Shian and Jamie

How We Met

Jamie and I first met in our early years at Anderson University. We started as acquaintances, then had mutual friends, eventually becoming closer as friends and then best friends! We hung out frequently with our friends, but there were never any “feels” between us. About 2 years into our friendship, we made a pact: “If we’re still single when we’re 45, we’ll get married.” Jamie said we should move it down to 30, but I said that was way too soon, so we compromised at 35. We continued to be close friends, but nothing more. Over the summer after our junior year, Jamie went on a trip with his family to Mexico. He sent me a picture of the gorgeous resort they were staying at and said: “If we get married, I’m taking you here for our honeymoon.” I remember getting a tiny flutter of butterflies when I read it and thinking how weird it was that I instinctively felt that even though I “totally didn’t have feelings.” Coming back to school that Fall we started hanging out more than normal, especially one-on-one. Jamie applied to an Investment Banking firm in Atlanta and soon found out he got the job starting the next summer. One night, he randomly told me “If I was going to be living close to you, maybe we would go on a date or something and see how things go. But I don’t want to do that now because it wouldn’t be fair to date you then move away. So we’ll see what happens in the future if we reconnect down the road.” I was SO caught off guard by the conversation so I went home and woke my roommate up, saying “Jess, I think Jamie and I just had a DTR conversation??” I told her everything and she was crying as she said “Shian. You’re going to marry Jamie, I just know it.” I couldn’t stop laughing because that seemed like the most bizarre thought ever. Fast forward a few months and Jamie’s best attempts at preventing a relationship failed as we somehow ended up hanging out together a few times a week, he invited me to everything, and we would “accidentally” run into each other on campus a million times a day.

One weekend, we both went through difficult & heartbreaking experiences. After opening up and talking about everything (during which he wiped a tear from my face), he walked me out to my car and leaned against it. Suddenly, he pulled me into a super close hug and told me that God had been so faithful to us in our lives & despite the individual circumstances we were facing, He wasn’t about to stop now. At that exact moment, something between us changed. I will never forget the sudden shift in how I felt towards him and the dynamics of our relationship. Long story short, after many many “hangouts that definitely were NOT dates” we finally both accepted the fact that maybe we should just go on “one date” to see what happened. That date was the most dreamy, fairytale, movie-magic date to exist & Jamie set the bar high for himself (he’s exceeded it over & over). It’s crazy, but we later admitted that at this point, we knew we were in it for the long run.

In the next two years, we began officially dating, graduated college, experienced grief as we both lost family members, Jamie moved to Atlanta, we both started our careers as an Investment Banker & a Special Education teacher, spent many, many hours and miles driving back & forth to each other on the weekends, and fell more in love every day. Jamie is the perfect balance of planning to my spontaneity, fancy to my simple, logic to my emotion, & discipline to my decide-as-you-go mentality. He loves gifts & I love words, he’s funny when I’m serious, he’s achievement-minded & I’m comfort-minded. We meet in the middle where we both love to have fun, highly value family, love to experience new things, love people, and most importantly, love Jesus Christ & want a future where the only thing that truly matters is honoring Him. I fell in love with Jamie because he cares about the things that truly matter most & I can’t believe that I get to spend the rest of my life with the most amazing man God ever created. So yeah, the pact is off. Screw 35, we’re getting married ASAP!!! And who knows, maybe we’ll end up at a certain Mexican resort on our honeymoon ;)

How They Asked

The day before our two-year dating anniversary, we made plans to spend the day together. I woke up to pouring rain, so I figured we would find things to do indoors and probably be home early before our date that night. Jamie somehow convinced me (a theme here) to go ahead and wear what I planned to wear on our date. We went to brunch and lingered for a while until finally, he suggested driving around in the mountains. I had been freaking out over how gorgeous the leaves were that weekend, so I was all for it!

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Once in the mountains, he suggested stopping at a popular spot in our area, Bald Rock. it was still pouring, but we had umbrellas so even though we were dressed up and the car was warm and cozy, Jamie *somehow convinced me* to climb/slip across the giant rock face in my heels to see the view (which happened to just be clouds). We kept driving around for a while, everything felt so relaxed and fun – just the perfect day together. After a few hours, he asked what I wanted to do and I suggested going to my parents’ house to rest and refresh before going out again.

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He agreed and kept commenting on how tired he was and how much he wanted a nap – (he later admitted he was so extremely nervous at this point, but he covered it up well! I never noticed!!) On the way there, we passed a sign that said Campbell’s Covered Bridge and he asked if I had been there. I said yes and he said, “I haven’t, wanna go?” I said, “Sure, we can stop by real quick”. I thought nothing of it since we had already been out exploring in the rain in our dress shoes & clothes. We pulled in and there was one other car there. As we were walking down, I was wondering where those people were because I didn’t see anybody. Then, I looked up from my umbrella and saw that the bridge was lined with a candle-lit path and a canopy of string lights. Thinking that we were walking into somebody’s special moment, I pulled back and said, “what are you doing? we can’t go in here!” When he kept pulling me, I finally asked “Wait what is this?” and he said, “This is for you!”. He put our favorite song playing and pulled me into the middle of the candle path. He immediately started crying as he told me about how beautifully God had put us together, how he knows God has a greater plan for us, how he sees a life together in Christ and how much he loves me. Finally, Jamie got down on one knee and held open a box with the most GORGEOUS ring I have EVER laid eyes on.

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It seriously took my breath away and between trying to stop crying and trying to breathe again, it took me a while to say “YES! YES, I’ll marry you!!!” Then I realized that the ring was my absolute dreeeeaaam ring from the designer I’ve been obsessing over for years. I had no clue he was going to get it because every time we had talked about rings, he brought up totally different styles than me. I freaked out and Jamie said, “do you want to try it on??” I said “heck no, I want to KEEP it! FOREVER!” We stayed on the bridge for a while, savoring the moment and the fact that we’re getting married (!!!).

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He told me that we were going to have a “really small, intimate thing at home with just our parents. I tried to invite others but nobody could really make it”. He then somehow convinced me to go to Starbucks immediately after (starting out the rest of our lives right). On the way home, he confessed “okay, I might actually be playing this down. There might be more people there than I said.” Uh, yeah. I’ve never seen that many cars in my parents’ yard. We walked into a sea of people all cheering and I was in shock but so excited!

Shian's Proposal in Campbell’s Covered Bridge in Inman, SC

Shian and Jamie's Engagement in Campbell’s Covered Bridge in Inman, SC

Then I noticed my best friend and her husband, all the way from New Hampshire!! (Jamie had somehow convinced me to wait to facetime her until we got to the party. No FT needed!!) Everywhere I turned, I found another unexpected person, all people that mean so much to me and shocked me with being there!!! My cheeks were hurting from smiling so much and I was just overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness. That feeling still hasn’t left. I’m so so so blessed with the most incredible fiance, friends, family, and FUTURE!!

Special Thanks

Dara Raasio
 | Photographer
Heidi Gibson
 | Worked closely with Jamie to custom design my ring!