The Day We Got Engaged

Most of my friends and family already know the story of how Stephen and I got engaged, but in the event that you’re new here, I figured I had to share the story!

This story really starts with a shopping spree I went on in the fall of 2015 (yes, if you know me you know any of my good stories start with a shopping spree!).  I went in Urban Outfitters and happened to come across what I thought was the most gorgeous crocheted white dress I had ever seen! When I saw it I instantly saw myself facing Stephen down on one knee. This was the dress I had to be proposed to in. It was a creamy ivory color with a high neck and bell sleeves. It was the perfect combination of subtle and vintage and I loved it. I mean, really loved it. And it was on sale!

On my way out of the store, shopping bag and dress in tow, I called Stephen and announced to him that I had just bought the dress I would be proposed to in. He thought this was hilarious! We had talked about marriage many times, of course, but Stephen did not appear to have any intentions of proposing any time soon. Also, he pointed out to me, the chances of me actually wearing the dress when he did propose were slim because he loves surprises and if he ever told me to wear the dress, I would know something was up!

Months passed and there sat the dress in my closet, looking as pretty as ever! Occasionally I would pull it out and feel ever so slightly impatient at the waiting period I was in. There were many times I had to remind myself to trust in God’s timing and that when Stephen felt called to propose to me, he would.

Last March (2016), I got hired at my first Teaching Assistant job. I was in love. I was (and still am!) enamored with those sweet kids but the transition from my previous career in real estate to my career in teaching, while so worth it, was tough at times. The last day of the school year was June 30th.  I entered the day feeling sad that the year was ending, but proud of my accomplishment and excited to see what the next year would hold. Stephen told me he was leaving for his parents’ house for a few days so I was disappointed I would not get to celebrate the end of the school year with him, but the teacher I was working with invited me to a nice dinner that night with the rest of the ladies on the Kindergarten team.  She informed me that all the girls were wearing white lace dresses and were planning on taking lots of pictures and asked if I had anything I could wear that fit that theme. I told her I did have this one dress that would be perfect, but was sort of saving it for a special occasion! When I sent her a picture of it she said it was perfect and that I just had to wear it! I had to accept that the chances of my dreams of this being my proposal dress coming true were just not very high because of how much Stephen loves surprises, and put the dress on for dinner.

My cooperating teacher picked me up that night for dinner and told me that the restaurant we were headed to was in downtown Raleigh. I was giddy! Downtown Raleigh is my favorite place in the world. It holds so many memories for me and I jump at any opportunity to go back. What made it even better was that we drove through NC State’s campus on the way there — another area filled with nostalgia for me! I was feeling all sorts of emotions when we pulled into our parking spot downtown after having driven though my favorite route.

I had butterflies in my stomach as we neared the restaurant that I couldn’t explain, but my stomach quickly fell when we got to the restaurant and realized it was closed. I turned to the two teachers I was with and they said there was a note on the door of the restaurant and that I should read it! Still not suspecting anything was up, I read it and it said “Sydney, I have something for you on the bridge.”  At first I assumed there was no way I was the Sydney the note was referring to, but after some prompting from my friends, I walked around the corner to the bridge behind the restaurant, and there stood Stephen!

My first thought walking up to Stephen was “I thought you were out of town!” My second thought was “What an amazing view from this bridge!” And my third thought was “What is happening?!”

I had hardly gotten up to Stephen when all of a sudden he got down on one knee and tearfully asked me to marry him. The ring he held out for me was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! I was floored. After hugs, tears, and saying goodbye to my friends (who were in on it the whole time), Stephen and I walked down the street to where his car was parked. I asked him lots and lots of questions and said “I can’t believe this!” over and over and over again, but then we spent a few minutes in silence, holding hands and just enjoying each other’s company. Sometimes it is the quietest moments that mean the most.

Of course, the first thing I wanted to do was tell my family! My mom lives right up the road and so while Stephen was driving us to her house, I called my grandparents and my aunts and uncles to inform them of our news. This was super important to me because I wanted my family to hear it from me rather than hearing about it for the first time on Facebook!

When I texted my mom to find out where she was (so I could tell her the best news of my life!) she told me she was at my favorite restaurant with my siblings and that I could meet her there if I wanted. I tried to stay as casual as possible and told her I would be there soon, amused at the fact that she had no idea I was texting her with a ring on my finger!

When we walked into the restaurant, we were immediately greeted with both of our families and closest friends and lots of balloons and flowers! Turns out they were all in on it too! We spent the night eating, drinking, and celebrating. It was perfect. Right down to my outfit 😉 Best day of my life to date!

Our story was also featured on How He Asked and Southern Weddings!

Thanks for stopping by!


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