Archive for the ‘Engagement Story’ Category

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Well there is always two sides to every story, so here is part two of our Engagement Story as told by the groom.

From Ryan’s Point-of-View

Back in March…

Savannah has made some of the most beautiful scrapbooks I have ever seen. However, she has never really made one for herself. So when I first got the ring, I knew that I was going to make her a scrapbook. But, I wanted to keep her in the dark, so for months and months I had been asking her for ideas for our proposal story, or if she knew of any good proposal ideas. I was playing dumb and like I had no proposal lined up almost all the way up to October. I am very transparent and like to have completely open communication with Savannah, so trying to keep our proposal story a secret was the hardest thing I think I have ever had to do. Even harder than Belmont’s MBA Program! I can’t count how many times I wanted to tell her a story about my adventures in scrap booking, Like how it was so hard for me to find stickers and doo-dads at Michael’s, or that day I drove to two Michael’s, a Jo-Ann’s and Target all on my lunch break. Especially when she called me during all of that and asked me where I was.

Now this was the first scrapbook I ever made. So it was quite the process. Our friend, Kelly Jennette, helped get me started, as she is also quite the scrapbooker. Savannah and I are huge fans of music, and so I wanted the scrapbook to be focused on music. I decided to gather up some album covers of some of Savannah and I’s favorite artists. Since I spend most of my time with Savannah, I had to convert my office at work into a scrapbooking lair complete with store room and large assembly area. During my lunch breaks I would pull out my bags of stuff and begin assembling. Cutting and glueing and assembling as many pages as I could in an hour. However, I was in the last few semesters of Belmont’s MBA program, so homework often took the place of scrapbooking. It took some time, but I finally, after six months and completing my MBA, I got the book assembled.

Location, Location, Location

Now the proposal location was always the easy decision maker. Sad to say, in all of my years living in Nashville, I had never actually made it to Centennial Park, or if I did, I didn’t remember it. Savannah LOVES Centennial Park, so throughout our relationship, it became a frequented stop on our adventures. So naturally, we would have to get engaged there.

Two summers ago, while amidst the tribulations of Belmont’s MBA program, Savannah asked if I wanted to do my homework outside at Centennial Park. I decided that homework would be completed in a much easier faster in a more positive environment, so I decided to take her up on her offer. When we arrived we laid a blanket down under the tree in front of the main entrance to the Parthenon and began to read. I thought to myself as Savannah’s head lay on my lap, that she was the woman I was going to marry, and that this tree would serve as the proposal site.

Mother, Sisters and Friends! Oh My!

Savannah had told me that she would love to have some of the people closest to her there right after the big proposal, and me being the gentleman that likes to make sure Savannah gets what she wants, I collaborated a day for five of the closest women in her life to be present when I popped the big question. But I wanted this part to be a surprise. So again, I had to implore more secrecy.

I am horrible at directions. I mean HORRIBLE. I often over complicate things, and hate getting lost, so when I give people directions I make sure they have 15 landmarks, repeat directions several times and basically inadvertently send people on a mission to get lost. So to help with issue of being directionally challenged, I utilized my skills in Microsoft Paintbrush to draw a color map of where I would be parking, proposing to Savannah and where everyone should park and hide the day of the questioning. Here’s the map I made!

Even with all of my careful planning there was a snag in my plan. I didn’t realize the day I had planned to be our Engagement Day would be the same day as a concert being held in the park. So the parking lot where I originally planned on parking was full. Frantically, but calmly externally, I made my way to the second parking lot, which was where I told everyone else to park. Luckily, there was enough activity around the park to keep Savannah distracted from recognizing anyone’s car.

The Speech

Thankfully, Savannah didn’t notice anyone’s car and was still completely unsuspecting of what was going on. We made our way to the tree and we went through the scrap book together. When she made it to the last page, she found a suede bag. It was now time for the big speech.

I am very laid back and love for life to unfurl. But this was a pretty important speech I was about to make, so I worked on it a bit before the day. But sitting there looking into those big blue eyes made me forget every word of it. And to this day Savannah and I can’t remember what I said. The more important part of the story was that Savannah had already answered as soon as I got down on one knee and starting talking. Her smile went from ear to ear and her head starting nodding yes with every passing word of my oration. After about 15 seconds, Savannah’s patience was beginning to wear, and she leaned into me as if to say, “Just ask me already, will ya?!” I did, and her answer confirmed what her body language was already telling me. She wanted to marry me and be my best friend forever.

Bring on The Noise!

Once we had our little moment, horn blowers and yells of excitement came echoing across the park. Savannah’s mother, sister and friends came running down to join in our celebration. It was a truly wonderful day and will be etched in my mind forever. I am just so excited that I get to be married to my best friend and new partner in crime.


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Happy Wedding Wednesday, Everyone! So we posted our love story on the blog a while back, seems like it is about time to talk about our proposal. Here is a copy from our wedding website!

Engagement Story – From Savannah’s Point of View

It was the middle of October, and Ryan had been telling me all week that he really wanted to take our new puppy LuLu to Centennial Park before the weather started getting colder. For those of you who aren’t from around here, Centennial Park is a fantastic place downtown that has a lake and gardens and a full-size replica of the Parthenon. He emailed me one day at work and told me that he decided we should make the coming Sunday, October 19, the day we take her since it would get cold around the end of October. He decided we would go to church, grab lunch and then head out afterwards. It sounded like a great plan to me, and I was excited to let LuLu explore the park, so I readily agreed to his plan.

Sunday came around and everything was working according to plan. We went to church together and on our way back, Ryan asked if I wanted to do Mexican for lunch since he had really been craving it lately. Mexican food is my favorite, so of course I said yes, and we went to one of our favorite places U.S. Border Cantina. For some reason, my food wasn’t as good as it normally was, so Ryan, being the chivalrous man that he is offered to switch plates with me. (Isn’t he a sweetheart? He is always doing sweet things like that for me.)

After lunch, we drove down the road to the townhouse to get LuLu. Ryan thought it would be a good idea to let our food digest for a little while before going to the park, and since I was in the middle of reading the “Twilight” series, I jumped at the opportunity to sit on the couch and read a few chapters. Ryan casually looks up at the clock and says, “It’s 1:15 now. I think we should give ourselves 30 minutes and then leave at 1:45.” So we sat together on the couch reading for about 30 minutes until Ryan looks up at the clock and says we should get our stuff together and head out before we have wasted too much of the daylight. I was wearing my favorite pair of jeans and my favorite purple shirt at the time, but ran upstairs to change since I wanted to wear that outfit to the concert we were going to that evening and didn’t want to get it sweaty at the park. Ryan tried to convince me that I wouldn’t get sweaty and that I should just go in what I had on, but I’m pretty stubborn, and not wanting to give anything away, he didn’t really press the matter much. So I throw on a t-shirt and a ratty pair of jeans and we head out the door. Only Ryan realizes that we don’t have a blanket to sit on, so he runs upstairs and grabs a quilt—a big full-size comforter-type quilt that is ridiculously huge for an outing at the park. I make fun of him for a second, but he says it is the only thing he could find, and we are already heading out the door, so I decided not to go look for another blanket.

I called my friend Livi on the way to see if she was interested in a park outing since she loves Centennial Park, but she said she was hanging out with this guy Jake who she had just met.

It was a very nice day, so Centennial Park was pretty busy. We drove around looking for a parking place and could only find one in the parking lot next to the Parthenon. I grabbed LuLu and our bag of books and goodies, while Ryan was on comforter-carrying duty. This was one of the funniest parts of the day, and I wish that I had a camcorder for this part of the story because I don’t think I can accurately describe how silly Ryan looked at this point. Apparently, he had something stuffed in the middle of the quilt, but I didn’t know this at the moment. So, he is carrying the comforter quilt gently like a baby. This is a huge quilt, mind you, and there he is walking across the park daintily carrying this huge quilt like a woman would carry a baby. I let him walk ahead of me, looking around to see if anyone else is getting as much humor from the situation as I was, but no one else seems to notice. By this time, more and more distance is coming between us because I am trying to figure out what he is doing and why he is being so weird about it. Ryan is always making me laugh, so I figure he is just trying to embarrass me. At one point, I call out to him and ask why he doesn’t carry the quilt under his arm like most men carry things, but after trying to do that for one second, the object starts to slip, so he was back to holding it like a baby again.

We walked over to a huge tree that sits directly in front of the Parthenon. A great place for a good book on a summer afternoon. Ryan starts to lay the blanket down, and then I realize that we came to the park to just sit under a tree, but we had LuLu with us and she was supposed to have time to explore the park. So I asked Ryan if we were going to take LuLu on a walk because “we could have sit under a tree with her at the townhouse.” He just smiled at me and said, “She’ll love this, trust me.” So he laid the blanket out underneath the tree and began to unfold it, I finally notice the object that he has hidden in it and his weirdness suddenly made sense. The object was a scrapbook, and when Ryan saw my eyes land on it, he said, “I have a present for you. I made you something.” My only response at this point is, “I love presents!” When we first started dating, I had told Ryan that he would have to give me a million presents before I would marry him. So I’m used to him buying or making me little things here and there, and I didn’t think too much into it at the moment.

I sat down beside Ryan on the blanket with LuLu in my lap, and he opened the scrapbook and started to tell me about each page. He used covers of some of our favorite albums/musicians, and each page of the scrapbook is a replica of the album cover, with plenty of room left for me to add pictures of us. Since Ryan and I love music, especially going to a live show, I can’t imagine a better layout for a scrapbook of our pictures. Ryan told me that since I am always making scrapbooks for other people and never make any for myself, he wanted to make one that I could keep. Then he flipped through the pages telling me why each album means something to us—Elvis Presley because of the time we went to Graceland together, Diana Krall because of the time we saw her at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Mat Kearney because of the time we saw him at Rites of Spring on Vanderbilt’s campus—each page had meaning to us. On the last page of the album, Ryan had written quotes from some of our favorite love songs. He told me that they couldn’t even begin to describe the way he feels about me. As he starts to give me his speech, I notice the little suede pouch that is tied to the middle ring of the scrapbook and I feel it and know what is inside. Except I wasn’t expecting it! I had no clue! Surely I would have had a clue! So I say (with a goofy I-can’t-stop-smiling grin across my face), “Is this real? Or is this a joke?”

Ryan took the ring out of the pouch and continues with his speech, proclaiming his love for me, I’m sure. Neither of us really remembers what he said, although we know it tied in music and the great times we always seem to have together. The part we do remember is when he finally got to the point and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes!

We stand up to hug, and I hear party horns in the background. Ryan had invited my mom and sisters and two of my best friends (Livi and Kelly) to be there! Livi wasn’t with Jake after all! Apparently, they had all been watching from the steps of the Parthenon the entire time, and I never even knew they were up there. They even said that I looked in their direction several times and never noticed them. Kelly had invited her friend Christie to come so she could get some pictures without us knowing it since we had never seen her before. Christie was standing in front of us the whole time, and I just thought she was trying to get a good picture of the Parthenon! They put a cardboard king crown on Ryan and a plastic queen crown on me, and we took lots of pictures. We toasted with Mello Yellow in some teal plastic margarita glass that my mom brought because she couldn’t find plastic champagne glasses and she figured Mellow Yellow would be close enough to champagne without having to buy us an alcoholic beverage. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time, and I said over a dozen times, “I really had no idea!” After a brief photo session, I texted and called the rest of my family to spread the happy news, and we met Ryan’s family (parents, sister and niece) at P.F. Chang’s to share our excitement. Then we headed downtown for a Ray LaMontagne concert at the Ryman…a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Ryan is usually so transparent that I know when he is up to something. Prior to the proposal, he had asked both of my parents permission to marry me, and they aren’t very good at keeping secrets, so they both let the information leak…and we had picked out the engagement ring together anyway, so I knew a proposal was in my future… but he had been working on the scrapbook for half a year without my knowing it! And he had the whole thing planned for weeks, with his family and my family and Kelly and Livi knowing about it the entire time. He had even sent the surprise guests a map with the location circled and had pointed out where they should park and the tree we would be under and everything! I had been telling everyone that I would know when Ryan was about to propose, but he did such a great job that I never had a clue! It was so perfect!

I’ll never forget that day when he proposed to me under that tree. And this fall, we will form yet another unforgettable memory when I marry my best friend under a tree at the Historic Two Rivers Mansion in Nashville.

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