Drumroll please! Okay, so I’m a little dramatic. But I love my fiancé and I’m so excited to tell you our proposal story.
Of course, I am the queen of long stories – and in true alignment with my business – I have to tell you the WHOLE story.
Rough Take Off
So let’s start at the beginning – Brendan and I became friends after meeting during a missions trip to Brazil in 2018. But it wasn’t until months later that our friendship started to build.
Of course, I was starting to prepare to move halfway across the country to Dallas, Texas. On top of that, I was going through some personal things at home and at work.
Yet, Brendan made himself available to talk to. Unfortunately, there were plenty who didn’t like the idea of the match.
It was “us against the world” in everyone else’s eyes. Even to the point of us being called Bonnie and Clyde behind our backs (Though we found this hilarious and dressed up as Bonnie and Clyde for our first Halloween).
Meanwhile we just wanted to be loved for what we found and built together.
It was a rough start, but this is part of what super-glued us together. We agreed, early on, and before all the drama, that all we wanted was something that was real and would end in forever.
We understood each other on a level that was rare and we knew that this was it for us.
Cross Country: Part 1
Less than 4 months into our relationship, I made the move to Dallas. One thousand, four hundred and sixty-seven miles. Four days. Twenty-Four hours of driving.
Thankfully, I had a supportive and loving boyfriend who made the journey down with me. It was one of the most emotional road trips of my life.
Our first stop was in Virginia, to get out and stretch our legs at the Grand Caverns in Grottoes, Virginia. We even ended up with a completely private tour with a hilarious guide.
One of the chambers, called the bridal chamber, contains a formation called the “bridal veil.” Our cheeky guide told us that lovers who visit it together are destined to end up married, according to legend.
Of course, now looking back through internet archives, I can’t find evidence of this recorded anywhere. Oh if only he could see us now!
It was at the end of that trip, in Arkansas, that we first said “I love you.”
Aided by the recent release of the Facebook Portal, and frequent visits to Dallas by Brendan, we realized that our original plan of doing long distance wasn’t going to cut it.
Though it was made easier by advances in technology and Brendan’s availability to come visit, we wanted to be in the same state.
So Brendan decided he’d join me in this big state we know and love as Texas!
Cross Country: Part 2
In June 2019, just 6 months after we’d set out to be long distance, Brendan made the move to Texas. So it was cross country road trip, again.
This time though, with a tiny kitten!
Meet Audrey, named after Audrey Hepburn, who came to Brendan’s sister as a stray kitten. Then found a home with us!
Same State Life
When Brendan moved to Dallas, I was feeling a huge amount of relationship pressure. So we decided to do a “seriously dating/engaged couples” group at our church – Watermark – called Merge.
This class was insanely helpful as we hashed out details, boundaries and expectations while we explored the future of our relationship. We worked with a group
As an added bonus, we now get our marriage license for FREE in the state of Texas with the Texas Twogether program!
Our Proposal Story
Finally! Or, at least almost…
I ended up being the one who discovered the “missed package” slip to Brendan from Etsy in July. Though I knew it was coming because we had picked out the ring together months earlier and had figured out my ring size.
It was important to me to be in the know that our proposal was coming because I had seen first hand that keeping a proposal secret can be hard on a relationship.
Plus both of us wanted to choose the ring together.
Anyways, back to the package….
Brendan, knowing that I knew he had the ring, decided to mentally torture me by hiding the ring box in plain sight.
About a month later, we had planned on going on a picnic. However. That day also happened to be one of the days it got up to 106, so the picnic was a no-go.
Brendan had been acting strange the rest of the day since we called off the picnic, and when I finally asked him why he was acting weird he confessed that it was because he had planned on proposing that day.
In true feminine fashion, I was very upset that I had ruined our proposal story. Needless to say, I hadn’t. But I earned myself more of a wait as Brendan worked to throw me off the trail to surprise.
Brendan continued to tell me in the weeks to come he couldn’t get photographers lined up to make a proposal work.
Our Actual Proposal Story
October was up and running, and I was being told that a proposal would still happen by the end of November (though I still swear to this day he said end of October).
I had planned a date night for us to go to the Night Lights Sky Lantern Festival in Ennis, TX on the most popular wedding date of the year: October 10, 2020.
Brendan, being Brendan, made sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to lead me to the conclusion that he wasn’t planning on proposing at this point.
A) Because I had planned the date and not him. B) Because he couldn't find a photographer because they were ALL busy. C) Because I wanted to take pictures of a proposal at the event (hah, little did I know...) D) Because he made sure I saw that the ring box was still in its place in his desk drawer before we left.
All the way down to choosing a spot by couples we thought might be planning a proposal. And also creeping on peoples pockets to see if we could spot a ring box.
We had decided previously that we would video clips of our dates in October through November so I could get stills should he propose and not have a photographer.
So we set up my camera and got to work having fun!
On our first lantern, we doodled and played tic-tac-toe. On our second one though, we drew a heart and filled it with “I love you because…” statements. And framed the heart with “You’re the Clyde to my Bonnie” and “You’re the Bonnie to my Clyde.”
After we let go of our lantern, Brendan got down on one knee with the backlight of a thousand lanterns.
“You know I’m not good with words. But I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
After the event ended, a couple came up to us to wish us congratulations on our engagement – they hadn’t wanted to ruin the moment. But SO CUTE!
If you’ve made it all the way this far – thank you for reading our story and our proposal story!
As I’ve said before, it’s so important to me to tell the story because that is the foundations for how I run my photography business. I am a visual narrator, but I also love writing out the story!
We’ve been enjoying engagement life and look forward to all the adventures ahead.
Follow along our next journey: Wedding planning!
Part 1 | We’re All in This Together
Part 2 | The Wedding Planner
And join us next week as I talk about our experience at our first Wedding Venue Open House!