Toria and James

Wedding Proposal Ideas in PNC Arena - Raleigh NC

How We Met

James and I met at a Friday night high school football game in October of 2010. It was my sophomore year and his senior. This night actually happened to be my first high school football game because I had just transferred from a different school at the start of the school year. We were introduced to one another by some mutual friends early in that evening. As the night went on we went our separate ways until I started to feel uncomfortable when another guy wouldn’t accept that I wasn’t interested. I saw James close by and casually whispered that I needed him to pretend that we were together. He played along, waiting until an appropriate time to ask why I had him pretend to be my boyfriend. I explained, we laughed and enjoyed the rest of the game. I wish I could say James and I have been a happy couple ever since this day but I was stubborn and refused to see James as more than a friend even though he saw me that way. For the next few years James and I were close friends but nothing more. I guess you can say he was in the “Friendzone”. We lost connection for 2 years when he and I started to date other people. We each ended up getting out of our relationships for unrelated reasons and reconnected when James transferred to the same university in 2015. It was during this reconnection that I slowly started to see what all of our friends had known to be true for years, James was the perfect guy for me. We started dating in October of 2015 and James and Couldn’t be happier. The chemistry had always been there but it took five years for the timing to be right.

How They Asked

James proposed to me on February 4th, 2019 and I certainly was surprised. I work for the North Carolina’s NHL team, the Carolina Hurricanes. I was scheduled for a promotional photo shoot for a formal event we had come up at PNC Arena…or so I thought. Things seemed to be pretty normal, I had been with two of my teammates to get our nails done the day before (I ended up not getting mine done because the salon was closing). I was told I was up first to shoot some individual photos before alternating and taking some group photos. I stepped out onto the ice to begin shooting, after a couple shots the lights in the arena went out. I didn’t think much of it and continued to pose, not realizing that in addition to the lights going out, “A Million Dreams” from the Greatest Showman soundtrack was playing as well.

TORIA and JAMES's Engagement in PNC Arena - Raleigh NC

After a couple of seconds of not noticing what was happening, my bosses told me to look up. Now shocked, I saw videos of myself and James from the past 3 years being projected from the Jumbotron. James is known to video nearly anything so he had footage of so many special moments in our relationship. At the end of the video, I turned to see James beside me on one knee and couldn’t have been more thrilled to agree to be his wife. I had always imagined a picture-perfect proposal but couldn’t have dreamed of anything close to what he was able to create.

Proposal Ideas PNC Arena - Raleigh NC

After a few photos center ice, we traveled home to “grab his wallet” that he “forgot” at our apartment before heading to a restaurant to meet my mom and closest friends. As I ran into the house I was greeted with a frightening “congratulations” from so many of our family and friends. Not only had he planned the perfect surprise proposal, but he had also gathered the people who meant the most to us and planned a surprise engagement celebration. I felt so loved thinking about the time and effort he put into planning every detail of that day. It has always been clear that I am a lucky girl, but on February 4th it could not have been more obvious.

Our Video

Special Thanks

Kyle Fowlkes
 | Videographer
Kyle Fowlkes
 | Photographer
Geni Bean
 | Engagement Photos