4/11/15Anyone who knows my now fiance, Jon, knows that he has a sense of humor and likes to tease me a little bit- it's a good thing I can handle it since I'll now be putting up with him for the rest of my life!
We'd been talking about marriage for a few months and recently completed our church's premarital ministry class (which we cannot recommend enough- Merge), but I was not sure when Jon would propose. He liked to joke that it would be at least five years before he proposed, that he was going to buy his dream bass boat first, or, in all seriousness, that we wouldn't get engaged until he was close to finishing his MBA program in December.
We went on a weekend getaway to Fort Worth a few weeks ago and decided to come back when the weather was a little warmer, so I didn't think too much of it when Jon said we should go back the Saturday after Easter- April 11.
The day started out with a 1st birthday party for our friends' precious son. Our friends knew all along that the proposal was happening, but played along innocently asking about our plans for the rest of the day.
After the birthday party, we went to Grapevine and walked around the grounds of the Gaylord Texan Hotel and enjoyed lunch in downtown Grapevine, browsing through the shops and booths at a festival. We then headed to Fort Worth, which is such a special place for me because I went to college there, and explored the Stockyards before venturing to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. We walked through the gardens enjoying the springtime blooms and watching the preparations for a wedding, as I took pictures of the flowers not knowing what was about to happen!
We walked to the Japanese Water Garden and fed the colorful coy fish. While I fed the fish, Jon "went to go get more fish food", getting the ring ready in his pocket. He'd been carrying it around in a satchel in his pocket all day and kept walking away from me (I noticed nothing) to make sure it hadn't fallen out.
As we continued walking through the garden, Jon gestured toward a concrete circle area that overlooked the water, so we went up the stairs to see the view, and then down a few steps to a hidden area, underneath a tree by the water. As I'm looking for fish, Jon starts asking me if I had fun on our date that day, and I answered, of course! He later said he'd begun to feel nervous as we walked to the garden, but it wasn't until this moment that I noticed he seemed nervous.
He asked if I had enjoyed dating for the past year and a half, and I started thinking "why is he asking this? are we breaking up?!" (kidding), and proceeded to ask me if I loved him, if I wanted to keep him around forever, to all of which I said, "of course!" Then he said he had a question to ask me, and I realized what was happening. My heart was pounding as he got down on one knee.
I tried to focus on what he was saying because you always hear brides say they can't remember what their groom asked them, but all I can recall is him saying how much he loves me, how our relationship has been better than he ever thought possible, using my full name and then asking me to marry him! I made sure to give a loud and clear YES. In his nervousness, he tried to put the ring on my right hand (in his defense, facing me it was his left), but fortunately I made sure it went on the correct finger!
It was just the two of us together for that moment, and I wouldn't have had it any other way as he stood back up and we excitedly, shaking, shared our first kiss as an ENGAGED couple. And, obviously, we had to take a selfie.
We found other garden-goers to take a few pictures of us and explored a bit more before Jon said we had to head to my parents' house to go to dinner with our families. The whole drive back I asked him a million questions about how long he'd been planning this, how long he'd had the ring, when he talked to my parents, who all knew this was happening, etc.
Jon designed the ring himself, and it was perfect. I told him I wanted it to be simple, classic, and elegant, and it's exactly that. And yes, I've been the bride-to-be that can't stop staring at her left hand!
We arrived at my parents' house and headed inside for me to find that the surprises were not over- our families and many close friends were waiting inside for a surprise engagement party!!
I didn't cry when Jon proposed, but I teared up seeing all of the smiling familiar faces there to celebrate with us as we prepare for this adventure called marriage. We are beyond blessed with incredible family and friends who have encouraged us, prayed for us, and loved us well both as individuals and as a couple. The engagement party was perfect and a total blur, but it was without a doubt one of the best nights of my life.
To all our family and friends- THANK YOU for being there for us in this season! We love you and cannot wait to spend our wedding day with you!
Here's to Happily Ever Heckmann!