Alexis and Chris

Alexis's Proposal in Radnor Lake State Park, TN

How We Met

I was headed into my junior year of college when a friend and I made joke accounts on a college dating site our University emailed us about. We were both recently out of relationships and interested in meeting new people. While this site bought me some frozen yogurt and dinner dates, I never expected any real relationship to come from this online dating experience.

One day, I logged in and scrolled down the homepage. A particular profile caught my eye as I read the witty biography and stared at what I still call his million-dollar-smile. I knew I had to message this guy and after many messages and texts, we eventually made plans to meet up. I was spending the summer in my hometown in Northern Virginia and he was residing in Maryland. I kept myself busy with a seven day work week between an internship and waitress job so it was hard to find a time I was available. When I offered up a Sunday night, Chris jumped on it and insisted on driving an hour one-way to pick me up for our first adventure. He suggested we spend the evening at the National Harbor for food and sunset views on the water.

The first date was our type of perfect. We enjoyed drinks and appetizers before walking down to the water to sit and talk on the dock. The best part is, we covered everything you aren’t supposed to talk about on a first date – politics, religion, gun laws, etc. And, by the end of the night, we were stuck between infatuation and a bit of surprise about our connection. It was perfect.

How He Asked

Chris and I had been together 4.5 years spending 3 of those years long distance from each other. We always knew we wanted to get married down the road but agreed it would be better to wait until I finished graduate school.

The summer before he proposed, we made plans to spend a long weekend in Nashville the following fall. Neither of us had been before so we eagerly started planning. Chris casually found Radnor Lake State Park on numerous lists of places to visit in Nashville and added it to our agenda. It was closer to our Airbnb than sites in downtown so I suggested we hit that first the second day in Nashville. Chris wasn’t keen on this. Unbeknownst to me, this plan would conflict with his already set reservations and coordination for the proposal. So in an effort to save his plot, he found a hole-in-the-wall breakfast spot and made a reservation with the most prominent escape room in Nashville for 9:30am that morning. I was confused about his extreme commitment to starting off our day as tourists with an escape room. However, I appreciated his efforts to make our visit fun and enjoyable.

After leaving the escape room with “I Escaped” stickers, we headed back to the Airbnb to change into more city-appropriate clothing. We had talked about doing a nice dinner downtown so I dressed ready for the city’s sites, both for the day and the evening. I had a hint that Chris may propose that night, but never considered it would happen earlier in the day.

We arrived to the park and walked down to the lake. On our short walk, Chris suggested we take a selfie and send it to my mom. Come to find out, he used this picture to send the photographer waiting at the site our current location and dress. We continued walking down the path and talked and laughed as we admired the park’s scenery. Finally ending up at a natural boat landing, Chris suggested we walk down to get a better view of the lake. I stepped away from Chris’ side to get a clearer view of the water and when I turned back around, he handed me a letter.

I looked up at him with a questioning expression, knowing that we only wrote letters to each other for big moments. Realizing that this probably wasn’t a birthday letter, I gasped. It began with, “4 years, 3 months and 21 days – we began messaging each other…” and went on to detail other big moments of our relationship down to the day. The letter ended illustrating our relationship as one hell of a ride and a promise to always share moments together. The bottom right corner included one word, “Flip…” On the other side of the letter it read, “And today, on October 13th, 2017, will be the day I ask you to be my wife.”

Proposal Ideas Radnor Lake State Park, TN

I lost it! I managed to look back at Chris through my tears as he bent down on one knee presenting a beautiful ring.

Alexis and Chris's Engagement in Radnor Lake State Park, TN

I could tell he was choked up and holding back tears. At this point, I was unable to keep the same composure and expressed my happiness with crying, blubbering, and nervous laughter. Chris asked me to marry him and I immediately reached out to hug and kiss him, almost forgetting to answer with a resounding, “Yes!”

After about a minute, Chris turned me around and introduced the photographer walking towards us from behind. She had caught the whole thing on camera and eventually revealed the details of their elaborate six-month scheme to make this moment perfect. After I had resourced almost a full purse of tissues and slipped the ring on for the first time, we spent the rest of the day taking engagement photos around Radnor Lake and downtown Nashville. I had always remarked to loved ones that I knew Chris’ proposal would consist of him sweeping me off my feet and messing with me. As expected, he did just that and made sure it was better than I ever could have imagined.

Special Thanks

Tiffany Bessire
Photographer