It's taken me a while to write this post. Mostly because its hard to capture the emotion of being asked to marry someone. That and coupled with the fact that riding high on emotions causes you to forget some of the details. I wanted to tell the story right. So here's my best shot . . .
We became "officially" engaged on July 3rd, 2010. I say officially because we knew we were getting married months before he actually asked. Some would argue that beginning to plan our wedding before Nate proposed was doing things a little backwards. I think it's a personal preference thing. We knew we wanted to get married in 2011 and I loved the idea of having it in the spring. We had discussed it. . and discussed it some more. So the fact of getting married was no surprise for me; and I wanted it that way. Frankly, if I girl has no inkling that her boyfriend is going to propose and then he pops the question with no discussions on marriage, kids, live values etc. . .isn't that a slight problem? I'm a planner and I needed a year to plan the wedding we wanted. So I planned. . without a proposal.
That being said, I wanted a proposal to remember; something to tell the kids and grandkids if you know what I mean. It was also important to me that Nate had a chance to do things his way and "play the role". I knew he wanted to ask me, I just wasn't sure when.
Then reality hit. To sum things up, an engagement ring just wasn't in the financial cards. I was "ok" with it. It was just a piece of jewelry after all, and although my disappointment was obvious, I knew that ultimately all that really mattered, was being able to marry each other.
So I forgot about rings (tried to) and stopped hoping for a proposal (mostly). So it should come as no surprise that when Nate suggested a 4th of July trip to visit friend R in Charleston (now groomsman R!) I suspected absolutely nothing. I really should have been suspicious, yet even when I complained about not wanting to make the drive, Nate was incredibly insistent that we go on this trip; I should have known something was up. So I relented, and off to Charleston we went.
On Saturday, the night of the 3rd, Nate, myself along with friend R and friend D, walked downtown to find a place for dinner. The weather was typical Charleston summer weather. Even though the sun was dipping behind the trees, the heat and humidity still hung in the air. My sunburn, gained from the day we had spent at Folly beach, had turned me into a touristy lobster. Friend R suddenly stopped on the sidewalk.
R: "Oh man, I just realized I forgot my wallet, D, walk back with me to grab it, (to me and Nate) we will meet you guys at the restaurant."
Me: (slightly annoyed at this point) "um, ok, we'll text you when we decide where to go"
I found out later that R did not actually forget his wallet. This was all part of the plan.
Nate and I continued on towards the waterfront to hunt down a dinner location. I was hungry and was very focused on naming off dinner options, when Nate suddenly announced that he wanted to walk over to waterfront park.
Me: "???, ok, but there's nothing to eat in the park."
We reach the fountain that looks out over the pier. Nate is fidgety and acting really weird. Then he says he wants to show me something over in the grass.
Then, at that moment, I knew something was up.
I feel like a total bride FAIL at this point, because I don't really remember the details after that!! I know I know, isn't that terrible?! My memory of what came next comes in snippets.
I know we sat down on a bench, I know that the sun was almost completely gone below the horizon and that the gas lanterns in the park had come on. I remember that the air smelled like gardenia blooms, delicious smells from the restaurants over on King Street, and the salty brine of the harbor.
I remember Nate asking me what it is I loved so much about this park. It is my favorite place in Charleston, the best of what Charleston has to offer, the beautiful buildings, the towering trees and spanish moss, and the beautiful view of the water.
He says something, something about how pretty I look, something (ok let me ask Nate really quick what he said. . . )
o.k. back, He said that we had been through so much together and had so many wonderful memories and that he could think of nothing better than spending the rest of his life with me.
He got down on one knee, cue ugly crying face from me, and asked me "Katie, will you marry me next year in Charleston on May 1st?" Then he opens the ring box and I gasp.
It was my mother's ring. even after her divorce from my Dad when I was three, she had kept the ring all these years. I didn't recognize it for a second, it had been changed to white gold from the yellow gold that she preferred.
Me:" It's so pretty, wow, it's just so pretty. . "
Nate: "So, um ,is that a yes?"
Me: "Oh! Yes yes! sorry, yes I will!"
A crowd of tourists that happened to be walking by had stopped to watch the whole thing 30 feet behind us. At the nod of my head, they errupted in cheers and congrats, causing me to erupt in a fit of giggles, I shouted "Thank you!!!!"
As we left the park, Nate repeated his question:
"So what do you love so much about this place. . .now?"
I love it because . . . it's where I said Yes.
No pictures of us in the park, we were much to excited to pause for pics. I will leave you with a picture from our dinner that we finally got around to that night. Sunburned, excited, and so so happy.