Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Matt + Abbey - The Engagement

This is another "grab the tissues" engagement story, because its just so SWEET!
Also, in case anyone was wondering, the answer is "yes", Abbey's hair always looks like perfection. 

1} When + where did Matt propose?

Matt proposed on January 3, 2014, at the House O' Dreams at Berry College in Rome, Ga. It was a special place, because my mom's parents had both gone to school at Berry. Both worked at Berry to pay their way through school; my grandmother cooked cleaned and served many Berry guests and my grandfather worked at the Berry College dairy. At that time, I was working at the old Berry College Dairy barns, but they were no longer a dairy! They had been turned into a retreat center by the Cathy family, and is now known as WinShape Retreat. The House O' Dreams is a house that was built for the school's founder, Martha Berry, by the students at the school to celebrate its 25th anniversary. It's located at the top of a mountain, and it's not the kind of place you can "just go to". You have to plan a time, reserve a key, and be back down the mountain by a certain time. A caretaker lives there to ensure things are taken care of, and it was always my grandparents dream to become the caretakers of the house after they retired. My grandmother passed away before that dream was realized, but she is buried at a point on the hill at Oak Knoll Cemetery where you can see the House O' Dreams. We had always talked about going to see the House O' Dreams as a family, but we had never done it.

2} Did you have any idea that it was coming?

I knew it would be coming soon because we had discussed that I wanted to be engaged for at least a year to be able to plan and save for the wedding. However, I was completely blindsided by the date/location that it actually happened. He had really thrown me off! On Christmas day, my grandfather told us all that he wanted to go up to the House O' Dreams before everyone went back to school that January. We all talked and settled on going January 3. The more we talked about it, the more excited I got. I even talked to my mom about getting a photographer to come up and do family pictures at the House, since it would be a special day for Granddaddy to get to show us around the house. When we got home that night, I called Matt to ask him about going with us that day. I explained why going to the House was so important to me and why he needed to be sure he could come. But he told me he was having band practice that day for a CD he was recording, and that it was the only day the whole group could get together before school started. He even mentioned that a close friend of ours, who was in the band, was having her boyfriend's family leave vacation early so she could be at the practice. To say I was upset would be an understatement! I spent about 20 minutes crying on the phone, and we ended the conversation on a pretty sour note. I just couldn't understand why he couldn't see how important this day was to me! Little did I know....! Matt would tell you that that night was incredibly hard for him because I was so upset. His mom, sister and my mom were having to repeatedly encourage him to stay strong and push on with the plan. I didn't make it easy for him!

3} I'm telling everyone to have the tissues ready, so tell us how he proposed!

On the day of January 3, I spent most of the day at work until my parents came to meet up with me around 3. It was a freezing cold day, but I was so excited to go to the House O' Dreams I didn't care! Once our whole family had arrived, we started taking some family pictures on the beautiful grounds around the house. From the House, you could look out and see the cemetery where Granny is buried, and that was really special. When we finished outside photos, we went inside to look around the house and to let Granddaddy tell us stories. My cousin Bailey and I went straight for the old books on the bookshelves, as it is a tradition for girls to leave notes behind for their future husbands in the books. After a short time, Granddaddy told us he wanted to show us around the house. My brother, Brock, came with us as we walked through the house, and Granddaddy showed us different things that Granny had done in the house when she worked there. As we headed up the stairs, he showed us rooms used to entertain guests, then, off to the right (and much to my surprise) was a little sun room of sorts and Matt was standing in it! He brought me to the room with him and Granddaddy & Brock disappeared. Stephanie, our photographer, had sneakily gone upstairs without me seeing and captured the whole thing. Matt also had video cameras setup to record the proposal. As we entered the room, he gave me a rose and had me sit down next to him. He pulled out his guitar and played a song for me he had written specifically for the proposal. It was such a beautiful song - probably one of my favorites he has written for me - and it walked through some of our story. After the song, he read me a letter he had written. it was perfect; it brought in elements and analogies from the Chronicles of Narnia and Pilgrim's Progress, which are both special to us. At the conclusion of the letter, Matt got down on one knee, opened a ring box and said those four magic words - "Will you marry me?" I was crying SO hard at this point that I could barely speak! He slipped the ring onto my finger and picked me up in a huge hug. Finally, I managed to say, "Of course!"

4} What was the first thing you did right after the engagement?

Right afterwards, we went downstairs to greet our family. I didn't know that Matt's mom & sister were there, too! After a few more pictures at Berry, we headed back to Cartersville. My mom encouraged us to stop by another set of my grandparents', Mama Gail and Pops, to show them the ring. Soon after we arrived, I realized that all of my family and several of my closest friends were there! It was such a fun night and so special to get to celebrate with everyone that night!

Matt, I doubt you're reading this, but ahhh how romantic!!! This just fit Abbey so well + that made it even more perfect. 

If you think the proposal photos are great, wait until you see engagement photos, next week!

All photos by Stephanie Anne Godfrey.

No comments:

Post a Comment