How We Met
We met at the start of freshman year at Louisiana Tech University. I was a new member of Sigma Kappa sorority, asked Matt to be my date to a party and he said yes! Fate, however, had different plans, Matt, a new member of Sigma Nu, had his plans overruled by a fraternity event and had to cancel. We never got back together! We dated other people, saw each other throughout the years but we were never in the same place at the same time as far as relationships go. Fast forward five years, and we finally got the chance to reconnect. Matt had left Ruston to attend law school in Jackson, Mississippi, and I had returned to LA Tech to finish my degree after taking a year off from school to attend to my duties as Miss Louisiana 2012. Luckily for us, my sister, Rachel, found a way to bring us together.
How They Asked
We have been long distance our entire relationship (over 4 years and counting) so we frequently found fun places to meet in the middle for our weekend visits. I knew the proposal was coming but I had no idea it would be that weekend. He is ARMY JAG so I knew I would be joining him in Richmond after my work contract ended in February 2019 but I asked him to wait to propose until after my Miss USA competition in May (2018) and like any good pageant boyfriend, he did! I was convinced the proposal was happening over Labor Day weekend.
He had a training trip for two weeks in Salt Lake City so we decided that I would join him for a weekend of adventure. Fate had other plans. I flew out Friday night and was unable to hardly take a bite of the delicious Thai food he had waiting for me. I was nauseous. FOOD POISONING hit me in the middle of the night! I was throwing up, feverish, and could hardly move all day Saturday. He had to cancel all our plans and reservations. My mom joke on the phone “Well, I guess you can rule out getting engaged this weekend” and we all laughed.
I was determined to attend a “private Capital tour and reception” early Sunday morning with everyone in his training course. I managed to do my makeup and hair, but let Matt pick out my outfit because I had no strength. I was willing myself to make the most simple and gentle of movement. Were there signs all along the way that something was up? YES, but I was so out of it that I didn’t notice.
We park at the gorgeous capital building and I see a photographer looking like she’s shooting nature scenes by the steps. I thought “Oh, I wonder if there is a proposal” but then moved on because we were there for a tour. We walk up the steps and he stops.
“Wait, I forgot to do something first…”
Me, pulling away exasperated because I am exhausted “What?”
He bends down to one knee, holding my hand and I pull away saying “no way, no way!!”
“Lauren, you mean more to me than anything and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
I GRAB THE RING AND PUT IT ON all while repeating “this isn’t happening, you are kidding, I DO NOT believe you, are you sure??”
Luckily, the photographer I spotted was there for us and captured the entire special and magical moment.