How We Met
On October 20, 2012 I walked into a small house party in College Station, Texas never expecting to meet my future husband. Braeden and I’s first conversation was very brief. We bumped into each other a few times throughout the night but that was all I needed. I immediately texted my mom telling her I had just met my future husband! Of course, she had heard this a couple times about random men I saw in toothpaste commercials or bumped into at the mall. But this one was serious. This one was real. Braeden was (and still is) everything I wanted and more in a man. I knew from the moment I saw him that he was the one. Fast forward a week or two and Braeden and I formally met. Unknowingly, mutual friends were also trying their hardest to get us together. They would force us to be alone at random times, make us partner up in games, and plan hangouts around us and the hope that we would eventually fall in love. Well, it worked. Braeden finally asked for my number on November 16, 2012 (yes, I remember every date) but did not talk to me for almost a week!! He likes to claim that he was playing hard to get but in reality he was just so incredibly shy and nervous! After that, it took him a good month to ask me on our first date. He showed up at my house nervous out of his mind. He will never admit to it, but he was shaking uncontrollably.
Our first date was incredibly awkward. I felt like a 12 year old going on her very first date all over again. However, I somehow felt that it would all workout and that Braeden and I were meant to be. Braeden eventually asked me on a second date, then a third, and fourth. We would hangout all the time and were practically inseparable. On March 4, 2013 we finally made it official! Braeden took me to dinner and pulled out a dozen roses then actually said “will you be my girlfriend?” Which I thought was a formality that only happened in movies! Braeden and I have been best friends/ dating ever since. He is loved by my family and friends and brings out the best parts of me. We have loved every single moment of dating and getting to know each other – even the awkward middle school-esque beginning as freshmen in college. I am so incredibly thankful for the love and support he has provided for me throughout the years and cannot wait to begin our next chapter together!
how they asked
To begin, you have to know that I am predictable and that my predictability allowed me to unknowingly plan my own proposal. On June 22, 2016 Braeden asked me to dinner to celebrate my new job. I thought that it was totally normal and didn’t suspect anything. We arrived at dinner and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Towards the end I suggested that we go to the water wall since it was so close. Unknowingly, I had just fallen into Braeden’s trap. He claims he knew all along that I would ask to go there. Hence, my predictability factor. After finishing dinner we jumped in the car and headed toward the water wall. Everything still seemed normal. Upon arriving at the water wall Braeden was having trouble finding parking. Not wanting to circle around for parking I said “Well, I can see it from here… let’s just go!” but Braeden quickly said “NO! We have to get a picture. We need a picture.” So I just settled in and helped look for parking. Once we got there Braeden calmly walked over towards the water wall. I actually look back now and cannot believe how calm and normal he was being! He gave absolutely nothing away! I suggested we stop at the archways to get our picture and then leave. He quickly bypassed that idea by walking straight in the middle of the water wall and asked if I would follow. I immediately turned him down claiming that my hair would frizz! He asked again and I followed. Once standing in the middle he pulled out a poem he wrote. I looked down to see his hands shaking just as they did on our first date. My heart began to pound in my chest and tears welled in my eyes. I thought “this cannot be real!”. But it was! I was completely overwhelmed and could not tell you what the poem said. All I know is that it ended with “Taylor Grace Stanaland, will you marry me?”
Braeden pulled the most beautiful ring that I have ever seen out of his boot and got down on one knee. I bursted out in tears and said “YES!!!” about a thousand times. I saw cameras flashing and looked over to see my parents, brother, and my best friend on FaceTime! I felt like I was in a dream and could not imagine a more perfect way to get engaged to my perfect man. Every moment since the proposal I have felt like I am living in a dream. I constantly think that I am going to wake up and it’s not going to be real! Words cannot describe how happy the both of us are. We truly believe that we were made for each other.