Hi y’all! Long time no chat! I know it’s been a while- life has been going a mile a minute for me and I have just been having the hardest time keeping up- new job, new car, and now a new ring!! It’s been a whirlwind lately, but all good things. I’ve been trying to soak up every second and be fully present- hence the lack of Instagram stories, collaborations, and emails, and blog posts.
But- y’all are the most amazing community and have afforded me so many opportunities and an incredible way to connect with Atlanta. I truly love you all and am so grateful for the messages. I’ve gotten so many questions about the engagement and am so excited to share the story with all of you!!
The Back Story
As most of you know, Ryan and I have known each other for years (you can read how we met here). He was confirmed with my sister at our church in Maryland, where we grew up, and he and I started dating in college long distance. I was only eighteen on our first date- how time flies!! When I graduated college in 2019, I got an offer for a job in finance in Atlanta and told him I was going to take it- it honestly wasn’t really a question, haha, I just told him! He just looked at me, congratulated me, and said, “You know I will follow you anywhere.” And he did!
Now we’ve both lived in Atlanta for almost two years- me since 2019, him since 2020. We don’t live together and won’t until we’re married, but have enjoyed our first time as a couple not being long-distance for 80% of the time; in college we were only in town together during holiday breaks.
Before the Proposal
The #1 biggest question I’ve gotten from all of you is whether it was a surprise, haha! My honest response is no…I literally got a blow out the night before LOL. I didn’t know how it was going to happen or specifically when, but after Ryan didn’t propose on our trip to Charleston I had a pretty good idea that it would be on our trip to Saint Simon’s!
Ryan has been talking about getting engaged since he was getting ready to move to Atlanta, but covid put a bit of a pause on everything, because I knew I didn’t want to get engaged and have all the celebrations affected by masks and restrictions, and I wanted my family to be a part of it. We had a conversation about it and I basically told him until we were vaccinated and things calmed, engagement was off the table…The same weekend that my mom got second shot at the end of April, Ryan told me to clear my Sunday afternoon and took me ring shopping.
Not picking out my own ring was something I never even considered- I am my mother’s daughter and jewelry is everything to me (we used to go to our jeweler’s Christmas party every year if that gives you an idea, haha). I’ll be the first to tell you that I am extremely picky, and I know that rings on Pinterest look sooo different than they actually do on your own hand. I had no idea what I wanted and needed to decide in-person.
Ryan had made appointments all over Atlanta but we ended up loving Solomon’s Brothers because of their huge selection and we wanted a local business (this isn’t sponsored but I wish!). The day we visited, we tried on a ton of rings…I was super overwhelmed, feeling the champagne, and had a few bands I considered. Ryan and I hadn’t really talked about the center stone, but I settled on three bands and knew I wanted something gold to complement my skin tone. After we finished looking, Ryan discussed the actual stones with the woman helping us and had me walk away (during which I took many photos and drank more champagne).
My mom visited me in Atlanta for her second time ever on Mother’s Day weekend (also the weekend that Ryan saved someone’s life in the river), and I told her about ring shopping the week before. Knowing that she is the jewelry expert, she and I went back to the jeweler to have a second look at rings. When we got back, I learned that Ryan had put a deposit down on a gorgeous center stone, and got to see it…and realized that it was much bigger than the sample stones on the bands I had been trying on!
The bands I had picked out were too thin to support the stone to hold it- meaning that I started over the search. My mom and I had the best time trying on bands- I settled on the one I have now, which I customized to make gold, with the diamond surrounded by Platinum. I absolutely love it and plan to get the same matching band as my wedding band!
OK so you’ve stuck with me this long- sorry I didn’t realize I had so much to write about!!- time for the actual proposal story. Like I said, I was expecting a proposal this weekend and I was a nervous wreck all week- I bought eleven (yes, you read that number correctly) dresses for the occasion, got a mani/pedi, and even got a blow out from Drybar on Thursday night.
We drove up to Saint Simon’s on a Friday morning for our annual summer beach trip and stopped in Savannah for lunch to break up the drive, and it was honestly the most awkward day ever. I had a feeling Ryan would propose on Friday (TBH I basically told him a few weeks prior if he was going to do it on a trip do it early to avoid torturing me the whole vacation), and we both were just so awkward. That lunch sort of felt like our first date all over again….we didn’t know what to talk about! And, he was constantly checking his phone which was really unlike him.
Unfortunately for my blow out, it was about one hundred degrees in Savannah and started pouring on our way back to Saint Simons. As we were driving, he told me we had dinner at 5 PM, to which I responded, “you turned 26 and now we are eating at 5 PM?”. He was so anxious and just kept looking out at the rain that he didn’t even laugh, hahaha. At this point I knew he was going to propose that night and was more giddy than anything, and was just snapchatting my friends live updates of Ryan freaking out.
We got to Saint Simon’s and checked into our hotel in the rain, and as I freshened up Ryan told me that the “restaurant had texted him and moved our reservations till later after the rain.” It was such a bad lie (restaurant texted? really?!) that I literally said “Oh can’t we just eat inside?” just to mess with him, and the look on his face was so panicked that I finally told him I would redo my hair while we waited for the rain to pass.
He continued furiously texting “the restaurant” and I attempted to recreate my blow out and put on the dress out of the eleven that I had settled on. It finally stopped raining and Ryan told me I looked beautiful, and asked if I wanted to stop by the Avenue of Oaks on the way to dinner. At this point the charade was off, and we were both just stupidly smiling to each other. I remember thinking, “oh ****, this is happening” and feeling completely panicked and overjoyed at the same time.
The Avenue of Oaks is this gorgeous, Spanish moss lined street of trees, and I told Ryan when we visited last year that it was one of the most romantic places I had ever seen- I love how dreamy the trees are. We drove up and he said “Let’s take a walk.” Then he helped me out of the car (not going to lie, it was so muddy), and took my hand.
That’s when I saw the setup- so magical. He got down on one knee and proposed, and I said “yes. Yes! Yes! It’s soooo big!!”. LOL y’all I about died when I saw that ring! I was crying as he proposed, and Ryan knew of course the photographer was capturing it and I remember him trying to make me laugh, which was the sweetest thing. It was the perfect moment- just us (and a photographer), simple, thoughtful, and the perfect summer evening. We took a ton of amazing pictures, and FaceTimed all of our close family and friends. It was the most magical night!!
Q & A
I got so many questions on Instagram…here are the ones I could get to!
Question: Was it a surprise ? Haha no- I got a blow out for it. 😉
Question: What is the bracelet you are wearing in your photos? It’s my favorite David Yurman bracelet- linked here! My mom got it for me in high school instead of a class ring (told you we were obsessed with jewelry!)
Question: How big is the ring? So many of y’all asked this so I’m just sharing…its 3 carats!
Question: What is the dress you are wearing? Dress is linked here.
Have more questions?? Ask me in the comments!! xoxo
thank you to Kaitlyn Delong photography for capturing our special day!!