How We Met
We actually connected on the Tinder dating app in September 2013 during our sophomore year at the University of South Carolina (but for the longest time told our family and friends we met through a mutual tennis play friend). We both grew up playing competitive tennis and Eric asked me on a Monday if I’d like to play tennis with him sometime. I, of course, said yes. We planned to meet and play on a Thursday afternoon between our college classes. However, Eric decided he didn’t want to wait 3 more days to meet me so he invited me over to his place for dinner on Wednesday evening so that is when we met in person.
He cooked an amazing sea trout dish with vegetables that we still make together to this day. We talked for hours and played with his newly adopted 10-week old puppy (Molly is now 6 1/2 years old and will be ‘dog of honor’ at our wedding ceremony). Within 2 hours of the meeting, Eric asked if I’d be his date to a fraternity function that Friday. We hit it off so well that after the cocktail function he asked if I’d like to meet his parents the next day. His parents were in town for a Gamecock football game on Saturday. I was so nervous and couldn’t believe I was meeting some guy’s parents after knowing him for less than a week. Long story short, it obviously went very well and we’ve been inseparable since that weekend in 2013.
How They Asked
We were spending our fourth of July vacation on Fripp Island, SC. I had a feeling Eric was going to propose that week — we’d been together for 5 years at that point, graduated college, moved to Atlanta together, and Fripp Island was our favorite place in the whole world. On July 5th, we’d spent the morning on the beach together but Eric asked if I’d like to take a sunset cruise on the boat. I thought nothing of this — the weather and tides were perfect and this was something we’d done several times. We put the boat in the water and he started heading to an island across from Fripp which I thought was very odd because we typically rode around back channels in the marsh.
He said he wanted to get out and walk around Hunting Island for a bit and I was still confused because I figured if he was going to propose he wouldn’t risk bringing a ring on the boat. We walked around the remote part of the beach, watching the tide come in and dolphins feed at the mouth of the river meets the ocean. The sun was just starting to set and not a soul was in sight. Eric suddenly got down on one knee, opened a little black box with a giant rock, and said, “Natalie, you know I love you more than anything and I want to spend forever with you. Will you marry me?” I was so overwhelmed with joy I started crying. I never thought I’d be the type of girl that cried when she was proposed to but it was better than everything I could’ve ever imagined. I answered “yes a thousand times over”