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Hi, BrideBox family! My name is Riane, and I’m the Marketing and Social Media Manager here at BrideBox. So, this post we’re switching it up and getting personal. I just recently got proposed to and wanted to share my story for some marriage proposal inspiration. Over the next couple of months, leading up to November when I’m getting married, I will be sharing real-time wedding and engagement advice, struggles, successes, and necessary tips. But before we get into that, we have to take it back to where it all started:
Love at First Sight
It all started at the University of California, Davis in early September 2009, the first day of Freshman year. I was trying to move an obscene amount of clothes and decorations into the elevator to take me up to the fourth floor. While I struggled to jam everything in (I was trying to be efficient, ok?) a cute boy walked in and offered to help us. While I didn’t want to think anything of it because I was just about to embark on my first day of college, I was immediately drawn to him. Low and behold, I find out that he lives directly across from me in the dorms! I had a total crush on him. He was unlike anyone I ever dated. He wasn’t the bad boy, he was the caring, sweet, kind-hearted athlete that didn’t know how cute he was.
However, because of this, he was a little oblivious to my flirtatious efforts. Instead, over the next 6 years, we went our separate ways, dated other people, yet remained friends throughout it all. We both played collegiate water polo and would go and support one another at every home game. We would always enjoy running into each other at a party or a restaurant, and in those moments, I was always envious of his girlfriend and wondering why nothing came out of me and him.
Fast forward to summer of 2015. Stuart had moved down to Southern California (where I’m based) and we decided to meet up for drinks. We picked up exactly where we left off. By the end of the night, he confessed that he’s always had a thing for me, ever since that first elevator ride. After a couple of weeks of dates to the fairgrounds, movies, beach, or breweries, he told me that I was his girlfriend and didn’t have much choice about it. I’m pretty sure his exact wording was something along the lines of “If I don’t date you now, you’ll get swooped up before I know it and I’ll kick myself for the rest of my life.” So, needless to say, that’s where our story begins.
The Surprise Nashville Marriage Proposal
I just want to preface this entire story that I am probably the worst person to surprise. I’m far too analytical and ask way too many questions to multiple people, especially when I think things are fishy.
I was visiting my cousin in Nashville for a fun girls weekend. We had been out on Broadway (NashVegas) the night before and when I woke up early in the morning of Saturday, January 28th, the first thing I wanted to do was call Stuart and tell him all about my night. When I reached for my phone I saw that I got a text from him saying he was driving to our best friend, Kyle’s house, in Ventura County (about 3 hours away). He mentioned that his phone was dying, he forgot his charger, he had ended up leaving earlier than expected because he couldn’t sleep the night before and there were some awesome waves up in Ventura earlier in the morning. Because the text was from only 30 minutes before that, I decided to call him. His phone was off. Immediately, I ran into my cousin’s room, woke her up and said: “I think Stuart is on a plane.” Half delirious she said I was psychotic and to go back to sleep. I agreed and headed back to bed thinking I was overthinking things.
A couple of hours later, I get a call from Stuart telling me all about his morning surf session. He went into extreme detail and I thought to myself “I love him, but there’s no way he could make this story up.” I think I even said on the phone that I was holding on to a glimmer of hope that he was coming and in that moment I knew it wasn’t happening.
After cooking breakfast with my aunt and my cousin, we headed off to coffee and then the farmer’s market, my absolute favorite place in Nashville. My aunt had kept bringing up Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and the 95 bells that go off at the top of the hour and play the Tennessee Waltz with the State Capitol responding with a bell of its own to represent all of the counties of Tennessee. I was intrigued but also tired from the night before, so to be honest, I was dreading making two trips. When we got to the farmer’s market, my cousin asked if we could take her dog (who had she had brought along) on a quick walk before we go inside. I didn’t mind at all, so we started to walk behind the market. My aunt then points across the street and says “Hey there’s Bicentennial Park, is it okay if we walk over there?” My immediate thought was “that is so convenient and thank God we don’t have to make two trips.” As we walk down the center of the park toward the chimes, I’m in awe of the history and gorgeous views that surround me.
We get to the final landing where all the bells are and they start going off. In true millennial fashion, I pull out my phone and begin to take a video of all of the chimes. In the very last second I turn around to try and get the State Capitol, and Stuart is standing right there. I think my mouth hit the ground and the tears were immediate. As he walks up, says something sweet to me, and gets on one knee (I totally blacked out) I was in complete shock. Somewhere, between both of us crying, I said: “of course!” I turn around and our best friend Kyle jumps out with a camera and had been taking pictures the entire time. I turn to Stuart and say “what are you and Kyle even doing here?!” He replies with: “we’re not the only ones who flew out for this” and turns me around to find my mom (and best friend) standing right there. I completely lost it. I’m talking cute tears to ugly crying FAST. It was by far the best surprise and best day of my life.