How We Met
Moving to Tampa, Florida, was a new adventure I decided to take following graduation from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. My sorority sister Kelly introduced me to her future sister-in-law Lauren and boy am I glad she did! We all attended a Tampa Bay Lightning game one night and she mentioned she knew this great guy she had attended dental school with at the University of Florida that she would love to set me up with. I rolled my eyes and politely declined her offer as I had made a pact with my friends that I would not date anymore in 2015 after some disastrous dates.
Sean vowed to wait until January 1st, 2016, but fate stepped in early. We were going to grab lunch one Sunday afternoon shortly before Christmas with friends when Sean called to say he would not be in attendance as he was sick and heading to the emergency room. He declined my offer to take him but did not have a choice once I arrived at his place. He was admitted to the hospital that night and went into emergency surgery the following evening. We prayed together before he went into surgery and I knew then he meant more to me than I had let myself believe. I joked with him after a few nights in the hospital that I had better take me on a nice date after he was discharged. Sean kept his word to waiting until January 2016 for our first date and our story officially began.
how they asked
Sean had planned a weekend away for us to Charleston, South Carolina, for a long weekend of rest and relaxation as we celebrated his birthday a few days early. We had the itinerary planned for months, staying at the Planters Inn in downtown Charleston, stopping by FireFly Distillery and Magnolia Plantation while in town were just a few things that were a must in my mind. Saturday morning, March 11th, began with a brunch at High Cotton and then a tour around the Market prior to heading out to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
It was a bit chilly but I was determined to take a picture worthy of a possible Christmas card or updated profile picture. Sean agreed that indeed we would ask someone to take a picture even though he absolutely detests posing for pictures. We arrived at Magnolia and while waiting in line a woman approached us stating that she had our tickets and to go ahead in. This should have been a red flag for me as well as Sean’s quickened pace through the gardens. I asked him what the rush was for and he said, “didn’t you want to get a picture by the bridge?”. We made it to the iconic garden bridge only to find it was packed with couples that had the same idea as us.
I shrugged and decided to walk down the garden path in hopes of coming back later to take a picture. Little did I know Sean had hired a private photographer who was waiting around the corner to capture the moment. She saw this and stepped in, introducing herself as an amateur photographer in need of a few pictures of a couple to build her portfolio. I thought we had won the lottery, what were the chances of this happening?
Pointing to a quiet secluded garden adjacent to the garden bridge we made our way behind her. Standing in the middle of the garden she directed us to stand for the picture while she had to adjust her camera. I looked up at Sean and whispered, “Sweetheart, can you believe this, isn’t this amazing?” Sean slowly started to turn in front of me and dropped down on one knee.
He said, “how about instead of a photo, an engagement?… Will you marry me?” I was in disbelief and was only able to stammer out, “is this real, is this really happening?” After seeing his smile I was able to say, “Yes”!