Shawn and Diedre

How We Met

Shawn and I attended the same high school in Kentucky, though he is four years older than me, he stayed the handsome senior that only knew of me. I moved back to Iowa my freshman year to go to college in Cedar Falls to be closer to family. Oddly enough, Shawn moved to Cedar Falls because he landed his first big boy job there. Shawn and I again did not meet while we lived in the same town, I think God knew we were both not ready and was waiting for the perfect time for us to meet.

Fast forward, two years later, I found myself thinking back to a comment Shawn had left on my Instagram, we’ll just call it a compliment for sake of this article. So I built up the nerve to message him on Facebook. My first message to him said, “Hey, where did you live when you lived in Iowa?” Like what was I thinking?!? This is totally not a good pick up line, shhh, I obviously already knew the answer. Hey, it worked though!! A few minutes later he messaged me back and he asked me another question! We went back and forth for a couple of hours and then he asked for my number!! I was seriously so excited.

After weeks of texting, calling, and facetime dates Shawn and I were itching to meet in person. It was a week before NYE Shawn mentioned how he and some friends had rented a cabin in Beech Mountain in North Carolina. Shawn mentioned how he would love for me to come along, but didn’t think I would because it was 14 hours away. So after talking with one of my best friends she encouraged me to take a chance and to have some fun, I let Shawn know that I was coming to Beech Mountain. Little did I know I would be meeting the love of my life.
I drove 14 hours to meet Shawn for the very first time. When I got to the cabin he had rented, Shawn was waiting for me outside. He was just as handsome as I had remembered him. I was so nervous at the beginning, I don’t think I stopped shaking. Shawn, being the sweet gentleman that he is, made me feel so comfortable around him and his friends. Shawn and I spent the night getting to know one another being goofy in a photo booth and dancing into the New Year. We kissed at midnight, this kiss was different though, I forgot about everyone in the room and just lived in the moment with Shawn. It was a night that changed both of our lives forever. The rest of the weekend I felt like I was dreaming. Everything he did and said was exactly what I was looking for in a man.

I will add that this was the first time skiing for me we decided to go at night,I was so nervous! Shawn is very outdoorsy and I thought that if I was terrible at this that he would not like me. He was such a gentleman the whole time. He stayed at my side the entire time and helped me up every time I fell. I finally talked him into going down a couple times with his friends so he could actually snowboard instead of looking after me. After he went down the slope once, he came straight to me and said, “Dee, I think that I am falling in love with you!” Little did he know, I was falling in love with him too. We spent a year and a half traveling between Iowa and North Carolina before our adventure of forever began on May 12, 2017…

how they asked

The planning started early February, I remember having butterflies in my stomach daily, the anxiety and excitement of the fast approaching May was always present. The first thing I had to do was ask her parents for her hand in marriage. I had to call, traveling to Iowa on short notice wasn’t an option, which I thought would be easier. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I dialed the number and never hit the green button for about two weeks. It took two trips to the gym and a bike ride to calm me down before I finally heard the first ring. The conversation went better than expected, I asked Shane for permission to marry his daughter and his was response was “Hold on a minute” My stomach dropped, I pulled my truck to the side of the road and then he spoke up and said “I want you to ask both of us! Big relief hit and they gave me the best response I could have ever asked for. We have been anxiously waiting for this call Shawn, we knew it would be soon and we would love for you to be a part of our family”. I call this Phase 1.

Phase 2 was calling additional family and friends, this came with less anxiety though still I felt the butterflies in my stomach. The Proposal was set to be a two day event May 12th and the 13th. One thing Diedre had always mentioned to me was how she wanted her family and our friends to be present at the proposal. When you say that out loud it seems like an easy task, but our friends and family are scattered between 4 states with very busy schedules themselves. I wanted the proposal to be a more intimate setting just the two of us. I picked out a favorite hiking and biking destination in Western North Carolina, just south of where Diedre and I will be living. She has always loved our hikes to waterfalls so I thought a place named Triple Falls, in DuPont State Forest, would be the perfect spot to get on one knee. The plan was to ask in NC and then travel to Nashville, TN which was the middle ground for all of our friends and family. She would have no idea that more surprises were in store for her after the proposal. I picked a restaurant with a rooftop bar which showcased the Nashville Skyline. That’s where the gathering of our family and friends would be to surprise us.

Phase 3, THE ASK! The weather all week had looked terrible 80% chance of rain and I was trying to speak with the photographers (Kurt and Ansley) without letting Diedre know what was going on. She arrived on a Sunday and when I picked her up from the airport, I couldn’t stop smiling. I wanted to tell her right then how I hope she’s ready to have a ring on her finger come Friday! The night before, I had mentioned to Diedre that I wanted to take some pictures on our hike tomorrow. She then showed me an outfit she had already picked out, a blue dress that she looked beautiful in. I couldn’t have been luckier for her to pick that out! We woke up, I barely slept, but I had so much energy and excitement! So much that Diedre told me repeatedly to “simmer down”. Kurt and Ansley, our photographers, were to be waiting for us when we walked up on the falls. Just like we had rehearsed two weeks prior they were right where they said they would be. We passed by Ansley giving a soft hello to her as I do to most strangers. I could see Kurt at the area we had picked out for me to ask. I was to ask him if he minded taking a few pictures of Dee and I, instead of us using the tripod I had brought. Kurt took many photos but I never could catch a glimpse of Ansley, she was to take the “Money shot”. Kurt could tell I was getting nervous so he called me over to his camera and said “hey I’ll take some with my camera if you just give me your phone I’ll put in my email address”. I handed over my phone and he texts out {she’s ready back there, go for it}.

This was all the confidence I needed. I walked back to Diedre, pulled the ring out of my pocket and asked very simply “Diedre I love you, would you marry me?”

Special Thanks

Capturing WNC Photography
 | photographer