Natalie and Ben

Image 1 of Natalie and Ben

How We Met

Benjamin and I met during our freshman year at High Point University. After admiring each other from afar for months at freshman bible study, we finally clicked while sitting around a bonfire at a retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains in November of 2013 (he got my attention the second he brought out his guitar and serenaded the group). Ben and I slowly got to know each other over the next few months by spending time together whenever we had the chance, which usually meant making other friends tag along to ensure that whatever we were doing wasn’t a “date”. On January 27th, 2014, after a long night in the library (doing more talking than studying), Ben walked me back to my dorm room and asked me to be his girlfriend!

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how they asked

Over the past three years, Ben and I had spent every New Years together, switching off between Portland and Orlando to be with each of our families. This year, it was Ben’s turn to come to Portland so I was disappointed, to say the least, to hear that Ben had a family conflict for that weekend and he wouldn’t be able to make it. About a week before New Years, Ben called to tell me that his family trip was cancelled and he would do whatever he could to make it to Portland- little did I know, he had his Portland flights booked all along and this was all part of his plan! On the afternoon of December 30th, 2016, Ben and I made plans to get a drink downtown with friends, prior to the “holiday party” (read: secret engagement party) that my parents were throwing at my house that evening. After a long happy hour, I was rushing us back home to make it to the party on time when my mom called to tell me that she forgot to pick up the wine for the party and she needed us to stop at Oswego Hills Winery on our way home.

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Confused, we pulled into the winery and Ben assured me that we would find the case of wine that was allegedly waiting for us- but I was skeptical, as the entire property was dark and there wasn’t a soul in sight. Confident, Ben led the way around a dark corner where they came to a gazebo, beautifully lit with lanterns, string lights, flower petals, and photos strung up of memories from the past three years together.

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Straight out of a fairytale, it was more perfect than I ever dreamed of. After the proposal, we returned to my house and spent the night celebrating with friends and family!

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Special Thanks

Douglas Frierott
 | Photographer
Lori Stuart
 | Planning
Hayley Shepherd
 | Planning
James Allen
 | Ring