Stephanie and Woody
How We Met
Woody and I met by divine fate in Panama City Beach, FL. I was on vacation from Indiana with my
family and he was there celebrating his graduation from college in Mississippi. If you didn’t catch that, I lived in Indiana and he lived in Mississippi. My sisters and I had heard on the radio that Club La Vela was having a foam party and you could get in for free if you wore a bathing suit. The cover is normally $40 so we were all about it! Woody and his friends had heard the exact same radio ad.
When my sisters and I arrived that night, we bought ourselves a beer and went to the foam where all the dancing was. After a few songs, a circle had formed and there was one lone guy dancing. He had some pretty good moves, but the floors were slippery from all the foam, so he busted his behind! Since the foam was waist high, he floated up from the floor like he had fallen on purpose.
Everyone around was laughing and I casually said to my sisters, “Maybe he did that on purpose?” Little did I know, Woody’s friend was standing right in front of us and turned around and said, “No! He definitely did not do that on purpose!” We started talking to his friend and eventually Woody came over to the group. At first, he wouldn’t talk to me or look at me.
He was engrossed in a conversation with my sisters about him buying them a drink. After a few minutes he looked at my sisters and said, “I tell you what. I’ll buy y’all a drink, if SHE dances with me.” And he pointed right at me! The rest of the night was spent dancing and drinking margaritas.
At the end of the night I did something I’ve never done before and gave a guy from the bar my phone number. He called me the next day and asked if we could hang out again before we all left to go home. That night was spent on the beach with my sisters and his friends.
Over the next few months we continued to talk and see each other and flew from Indiana and Mississippi as often as we could. 6 months later he asked if I would move to Mississippi and of course I said yes! The rest is history!
how they asked
Woody planned the most romantic surprise proposal I’ve ever heard of. My birthday is in the month of November, so he arranged for his mother to invite me to her house for a “girls weekend.” I went to Chattanooga to see her and we went to get our nails done, went shopping, and had a great time. Before I left Sunday morning, she said she wanted to take me somewhere.
I assumed we were going to brunch. Her husband took my luggage to my car while I was upstairs (he really put it into her car) and off we went. We got to talking and after an hour on the road I said, “Where in the world are we going??” She informed me that she had kidnapped me for my birthday and that I would not be going to work for the next 2 days!
All along the way, I had no idea where we were going. After 6.5 hours we finally arrived at my favorite place in the world, Hilton Head Island, SC. We checked into the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa and, little did I know, Woody and his stepfather were all settled into their own room a few floors down.
The next morning Woody’s mom and I decided to go see the lighthouse in Harbor Town. We both had very special memories at the lighthouse and we wanted to go experience it again together. She was insistent that we get that right when it opened at 10am. I had no other plans so I happily obliged.
When we got to the top of the lighthouse the attendant told us that the best view was around the left.
I stepped out onto the balcony and turned the corner to see my handsome boyfriend in a suit with a beautiful bouquet of flowers! At this point, I still thought I was on a birthday trip so I thought he had just surprised me for that.
However, as he held me in his arms he started whispering in my ear how much he loved me. It was then that I realized that was it! He was going to propose! He looked me in the eye and said, “You are the only girl that I have ever loved and I want you to be the only girl I will love for the rest of my life. I want to grow old with you.” He got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. As we kissed and hugged and he lifted me into the air, the ring fell out of the box!
An elderly man with a long beard and an army jacket behind us bent down to pick up the ring and say congratulations to Woody. The moment he started speaking I knew it was my Dad!! As he hugged me tightly and told me congratulations I saw my mom (also dressed in disguise) coming up to hug me!
Woody had known how important it was for my family to be there when he asked me to marry him and he made it happen in the most special way possible. Both of our parents got to watch the proposal without giving the surprise away. Woody’s stepfather had recorded the entire thing on video and I had no idea he was even there!
After the proposal, we went to the bottom of the lighthouse and popped open a bottle of champagne that his mom and I had picked out the night before.
She told me we were picking champagne for a holiday event! We spent the rest of the day gallivanting around the island and telling our story to anyone who would listen! We wrote our names in the sand, drank “I Do” Martinis, and got upgraded to the Presidential Suite as an engagement gift from the resort.
After 3 years of dating I now get to call my sweet Mississippi boyfriend my FIANCE!!