Wedding Wednesday: How He Asked

A little over a month ago, TJ asked me to marry him! In case you missed my first Wedding Wednesday post about how we met, you might want to start there. But on to this story, we had been talking about getting engaged for awhile now. We met in November of 2017, and I was pretty sure he was the one a few months in. But we didn't really talk about it until spring of last year. We seemed to agree that we wanted a proposal to be just the two of us. No public thing, no family or friends waiting to surprise me after he asked, just us.  Since the pandemic hit, that was basically guaranteed anyway.

However I later learned, the "new normal" we have been living also threw the plan off a little bit. Back in March, TJ kept saying he wanted to plan a little weekend trip once we could go outside again. So we thought it would be fun to go to St. Simon's Island in GA since we had never been there, even if some things were still closed. We optimistically planned it for the first weekend of May but knew that there was a good chance we would have to cancel it. He later told me that he was first hoping to ask me on that trip if we were able to go. We did of course have to cancel that trip as NC was still under a stay at home order. But we went to Pawley's Island with my family a few weeks later (after orders were lifted), where he asked my dad for his permission. Little did I know, the ring also arrived at TJ's house that week. Shortly after we got back from that trip, we planned a trip to Asheville instead of another beach trip, so I could see the Biltmore Estate for the first time. I knew he had asked my dad, so I was expecting it at some point in the near future. But he also told me the shutdown was affecting the production time for the ring. Which was very smart of him, because I didn't suspect a thing!

The Biltmore Estate, which if you're not from NC, is basically a castle you can tour with gardens and beautiful grounds. They had recently re-opened with limited admission and all of the necessary precautions. Masks were required inside the house, one way traffic, limited capacity in each room (the smallest rooms were closed), and most of the shops and restaurants were closed. You now have to make a reservation to enter the house, which ended up being more of a process than we were expecting. We purchased the Annual Pass (NC friends, it's a great deal!) so we did not just buy day tickets and were not sure how to make a reservation without the physical passes. So TJ spent 2 hours on the phone to get us an 11:15am entry time. Although I later learned that he was first told we couldn't get in until after 3pm. But he told the customer service team he was planning to propose, and they got us the earlier spots!

So we arrived that morning, toured the house, walked around the grounds, and had a picnic lunch. We were planning to go back to the car and head to another part of the grounds, but stopped again in the gardens. TJ said something along the lines of "we didn't see this side of it the first time" and we walked over and stopped under this arbor between some of the rose bushes. While I was taking some pictures of my dress and jewelry, I looked over and saw TJ had something behind his back. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was in total shock, a little speechless, and teary-eyed. I of course said "yes" and he put the ring on my finger. It was absolutely perfect and I couldn't believe it had happened! He totally surprised me, and I was lucky I had applied a press on manicure a few days earlier to shoot outfit photos. My nails had barely been done all quarantine!

We FaceTimed my parents, called TJ's parents, texted a bunch of friends, and went back to the car to get my tripod to take some photos. Waiting in the car, TJ had a shadowbox he made of tickets from shows, football games, and museums we had gone to, mini golf score cards, etc. then he read a printout of the original emails from Father Frank and the first Valentine's Day card I ever wrote to him. He's just the sweetest, and I couldn't be happier! Another fun detail: he got the inside of the ring engraved with "C & TJ- Joined by God".

I had recently bought a phone mount for my tripod I have been using to shoot some content in my apartment, and TJ mentioned I should bring on the trip in case we find some cool spots to take a photo "or something". Well there sure was something to take photos of! So we brought it around to some of the prettiest spots on the Biltmore grounds, including back to exactly where he popped the question. We didn't want the proposal to be filmed or have a photographer waiting around, and I think this was the perfect way to document the moment. We were able to go back and forth to test the best lighting or ways to stand without bothering anyone around to take a photo for us (plus who wants to hand their phone off during a pandemic?) or keep a photographer waiting around. Then we explored a little more of the grounds and headed back to the hotel before we figured out some dinner. TJ had bought a 4 pack of cider from Red Clay Ciderworks in Charlotte where we had our first date, and had it waiting in the fridge. We were hoping to find somewhere we could eat outside for dinner, but didn't have very high hopes considering the circumstances. We ended up calling in a takeout order at a taco place that had 1 set of chairs outside that we ended up being able to sit at for a quick dinner. After circling downtown Asheville for a bit, we found the rooftop bar of the AC Hotel that was allowing limited capacity, so we were able to get some (socially distanced) celebratory drinks with a view! It was the perfect day and I wouldn't change a thing about it! A month later, and I still can't stop staring at my ring!

What should my next Wedding Wednesday post be? My amazing mom has done so much to get most of the larger things already set and planned just in the first month!

Thanks for reading!

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