Nichole and Derek

Image 1 of Nichole and Derek

How We Met

Derek and I first met 6 1/2 year ago! I was a 16-year-old Junior and he was a 17-year-old senior, we are from the same small town and how we never met before then is beyond me! Lucky enough our assigned seats were beside of each other in Mr. Oliver’s 4th period pre-calculus class and I remember thinking on the first day, “Wow! Who is this guy?”. We quickly became the best of friends because it just seemed like the more we talked the more we found out we had everything in common. Derek and I are the same person, we have all the same likes and nearly identical dislikes. Our friendship continued to blossom and soon after went on our first date. To taco bell to be exact, I mean where else do to 16 years olds go? Haha! I can still remember vividly how nervous he always made me feel, anytime I’d see him it was constant butterflies and sweaty palms. He was my first real boyfriend, my first car date, my first I love you.

Image 2 of Nichole and Derek

Over the next 6 years we began making memories and overcoming obstacles. He never missed one of my basketball games, made every birthday, anniversary, and holiday special. He loved me through all my ups and downs and I loved him through the same. He helped me through my darkest times and pulled me out a better person on the other side. Everything I am and everything I have I owe to Derek. He has always been a hard worker and provided for our family. I moved away to college straight after high school where he soon followed me. He got a job at Toyota at 20 years old while I finished school and got my Bachelors. He works 5 days a week sometimes 6 and has always made sure we have had the best of the best and we have never gone without.

Image 3 of Nichole and Derek

At 19 we got our own apartment and moved in together, at 20 we were able to buy two brand new cars on our own, at 21 we bought a home together. Derek and I have always set goals and kept our eyes on the prize. We always sacrificed because we knew it was for our family, we truly are the dream team and I know as long as we are together anything is possible. We’ve traveled the world together from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, to the Bahamas, Charleston, S.C., and Las Vegas. In 2016, we got our first Dog together Lou Lou, soon after we got Penny, then Rocko. He really is the best dog dad, it makes me so excited to see him be a father to our children in the future. I love how much he loves them. I am so lucky my heart feels like it is about to burst out of my chest, I was blessed with a man who is my best friend, who was an amazing boyfriend, is an amazing Fiancé, and I know will one day be an amazing husband and father. I hope God continues to work in our relationship and bless us but I know as long as we are together and follow Him I’ll be happy and content. Derek is all I need in this life, he’s my soulmate, my perfect match, he completed the other half of my soul. I can’t wait to be a McCarty!

Image 4 of Nichole and Derek

how they asked

On June 16th, 2017 I said YES to the most amazing man I have ever met. What I thought was going to be a romantic but yet routine birthday with my best friend turned into the most amazing day of my life. That morning I woke up to no Derek and my phone missing with a note that read “Don’t freak out, but I took your phone for the day, it’s a birthday surprise. I’ll be back soon, get ready. Happy Birthday, I love you.” I’m excited and nervous and a little sad I can’t do my morning ritual of Facebook scrolling. I walk into the bathroom to see the most beautiful dress and another note telling me to “wear this”. After I showered and began getting ready Derek is finally back and he looks as handsome as ever!! He tells me he made reservations to my favorite restaurant, Tony’s Steak and Seafood. At this point I’m already so grateful for the most perfect birthday but little did I know it was just getting started.

After a delicious dinner we begin our trip back home and before pulling into the driveway he tells me to put on a blindfold. Me thinking it’s just another Derek trick i’m expecting a pie in the face at any moment. He leads me into our home where he tells me to count to 10 before I can look! My eyes open and our house is decorated in candles that he had actually kept from our first ever valentines day 6 YEARS AGO, flowers were in vases that he knew I kept from all the times before when he had gotten me flowers, pictures of all of our memories together, and then a video pulled up on my computer and a note that says “watch me”. He had created the most beautiful slideshow commemorating our 6 years together as two of our favorite songs softly played in the background. By the end i’m smiling through tears still oblivious as to what is going on. At the end he left me a video message, telling me how much he loved me and how excited he was for our future together, and then he told me he had one more surprise and to come outside!!!

Image 5 of Nichole and Derek

When I opened our back door the back deck was covered in candles and our fence was strung in Christmas lights while our song played in the background! My amazing now fiancé was standing in the middle of a heart made of candles with the biggest grin and I finally figured out what the big surprise was! As he held my hands and began to get all choked up, through tears and laughter and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen, he told me he had “one more pretty big question to ask”… The best part of the whole thing is he had been Facebook living our journey without me knowing it, which was why he had taken my phone for the day. So after I said YES he logged into Facebook to publicly tell all of our family, friends, and coworkers the good news. It was such an amazing experience to go back and see him getting ready, setting up, and planning the whole proposal while I am oblivious. It is literally my most treasured memory and I just wish there was a way I could get all the videos edited together to show all the thought effort and love he put into making our proposal so amazing!

Image 6 of Nichole and Derek

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Image 8 of Nichole and Derek

Special Thanks

Denise McCarrty
 | Planning
Caleb McCarty
 | Planning
Danny McCarty
 | Planning