Mariah and Nathan

How We Met

Nathan and I always saw each other around school. He was always hanging out with the popular guys, and I always had my group of girlfriends with me. We both had two separate worlds that rarely intertwined. Until our freshman spring formal came up in 2013. That morning I started getting ready by doing my nails, planning for hair, and makeup. I was excited to get to go to my first spring formal and hang out with my girlfriends all night. There was one guy in mind, however, that I met on Instagram that week. Nathan was sweet, funny, and wasn’t scared to talk to me..on Instagram. I thought that was enough. I never had the guts to talk to Nathan, and frankly, I was too afraid. However, that morning Nathan made a bet with me; the bet was that if I talked to Nathan, he would give me a nickel. Lame, yeah. However, I thought it would spark an amazing story. I imagined us talking for hours! I imagined him being funny, brave, and nice to me. I thought everything in person would be just like it felt on Instagram.

When I got to my freshman spring formal, in my bright pink floor length dress, I instantly got butterflies. Talking to him was so intimidating and I didn’t want to ruin our ‘hours’ of talking that night! Then I saw Nathan. His suit was so snazzy! He looked so good! Even though his hair wasn’t done, I thought he was the coolest guy there. I remember specifically that when I walk past him, I would calmly say “hey, did you bring my nickel?” And so I said exactly that. Those exact words were all that I said. He chuckled nervously, said “here’s your nickel”, handed me a nickel, and walked on. I felt so embarrassed, and so confused. I thought our perfect and magical night was ruined. We were 13 and 14 years old. That night was nothing compared to what God had in plan for us. My awkwardness and shyness in my freshman year didn’t ruin anything. It was all nerves, and it was all perfectly fine. We actually got to know each other better 2 years later, and that’s when everything sparked. Still to this day, I think he was the coolest guy at my Freshman Spring Formal.

how they asked

Almost a month ago my fiancé (Nathan) and I (Mariah), planned a two year anniversary, Christmas photo shoot with Gabriel Conover. The night before the photoshoot I had my suspicions of a possible proposal during the photoshoot. I knew that it would be perfect, I had my nails done, we already would have a photographer there, and we both dressed nice on purpose. It would’ve been perfect, I thought. The morning of the photoshoot, my boyfriend texted my dad asking to have lunch/dinner before the news years (to ask for his blessing). That threw me off, and I lost hope in a proposal during the photoshoot. As we started the photoshoot all I could focus on were the photos, and smiling, a proposal completely slipped my mind. We walked through a San Pasqual hike and stopped multiple times through the trail to take pictures. I knew halfway through the photoshoot that Nathan did not have a ring on him; The photography even made it clear that Nathan could not have anything in his pockets to avoid editing them out. When we got to the top of our hike, we came to a huge rock that overlooked the whole valley.

We climbed up the rock and our photographer got water out from his bag. He smoothly offered us some, and continued rummaging through his bag. My boyfriend and I climbed up the rock and waited for Gabriel to direct us how to pose. Gabriel climbed up the rock, repositioned Nathan, and gave us a prompt. Gabriel told us both to say 3 things that we love about each other and I went first. I told Nathan that I love how caring, genuine, and loving he is. Little did I know that while I was talking, Nathan was reciting his reasons over in his head. When it was Nathan’s turn he began to say his reasons. “I love your lips and the stories they tell, the kisses they give, and the smiles they show. I love your joy and your work ethic and how I know that you will never give up on us. I also love your hands. I love how when I hold them I can see years and decades and eventually an eternity with you”. While he’s talking I’m just smiling and enjoying his lovely words, I had no idea that it was planned, written ahead of time, and rehearsed.

He then adds “and speaking of eternity” and as he says those words, he begins to grab a small box from his back pocket. All I could say is “No you’re not. No you’re not. No you’re not!” The moment that I saw the ring, I could not stop crying. I didn’t even realize, but as our photographer was rummaging through his bag, he grabbed the ring box. When he came up to reposition Nathan, he slipped it into my boyfriends pocket. It was all so well done. Even the text to my dad was a trick! Nathan actually asked for my dads blessing months before the proposal! When Nathan got on one knee my eyes and cheeks were filled with tears. He said “Mariah Vannoy, will you marry me?”

And I said “yes, of course!” I kneeled down with him and I cried while he slipped the gorgeous ring on my finger. It was all straight out of my own fairytale story. After I cried for about a minute from pure joy, Nathan pointed over the hill to all of our closest friends and family that were hiding down the hill watching as he asked me to marry him.

Nathan’s best friend managed to hide 20 people from me, and it was all planned out perfectly. We loved walked down the trail to see them cheering us on. Their love and support is so powerful, and I am so glad to have the most thoughtful man by my side.

Special Thanks