Ali and Brent
How We Met
From Ali: Brent and I met in the Fall of 2015 at a friend’s house one Sunday night. I remember thinking he was kind and funny but we didn’t really talk much. We started seeing each other more often through mutual friends and in December, Brent made the bold move of asking me for my number through a Facebook message. I gave him my number and we set up a date. We went on a few dates in January, but I eventually told him I would prefer to just be friends. Looking back, I didn’t have a real reason. I told myself that it was because we didn’t have much in common (he LOVES the Gamecocks, I went to Clemson. I love to read, he loves to watch sports, etc. etc.) Mostly, I was just being picky. Against my expectations, Brent met my “break up text” with grace. Whenever I would see him after that, he treated me with kindness and friendship. Fast forward to October of 2016. I ran into Brent at the same friend’s house where we first met. He was just as friendly as ever. This time, I left knowing I had made a big mistake. How could I have passed up someone with his character? I waited 3 long days until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I texted him and told him that I had been wrong and that I still wanted to get to know him. He responded with something like, “I’m not surprised. I’m a great guy.” We ended up talking and eventually setting a date. I don’t like to be wrong, and I don’t like to admit I’m wrong…but I am so glad I was wrong about Brent. Since our second “first” date, he hasn’t stopped treating me with grace. I love watching Brent follow Jesus and lead others.
From Brent: The first time I saw Ali Bee it was on a friend’s back porch during a Sunday Night NFL football game. I remember thinking to myself, “Who is the cutie talking junk to some of the guys?” Being the southern gentlemen my mother raised me to be, I did not want to move too fast and decided to wait a few weeks to get the digits. Using technology to my fullest advantage, I decided to shoot Ali Bee a FB message to ask for her number. She begrudgingly obliged and gave me her digits. We went out a couple of times and then she texted me, “I hate you. Please never contact me again.” I was crushed!!! The love of my life ripped my heart out and threw it on the ground, and she did all of this through text. After a couple of months of self loathing I finally picked myself off the couch and got back to work and normal life. I would see her at parties and get togethers and think, “Brent, do not cry in front of all this people. Have some respect man.” It was a rough few months. Then one evening I get a text from her saying that she made the biggest mistake of her life and she loved me soooo much and she just needed one chance to make it up to me. I thought, “Yea, of course you made a mistake. I’m a great guy.”
In all seriousness, the past year has been exciting experiencing new things with her and I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives learning more about Jesus and serving together.
How He Asked
Our engagement story is one I will never forget! We got engaged in September, 6 months after we started dating. We both had talked about engagement being in our future, but I was thinking it would be closer to the 1 year mark. I had no clue he was planning something until just a few hours before he popped the question.
The day that he proposed, a Friday, was a typical work day for me. I went to work with wet hair and a t-shirt and jeans on (I always take advantage of casual Fridays!). On the way home, about 4:30, I called Brent to see what the plan for the evening was. He had mentioned meeting up with friends around 5:30 for happy hour. When I called, he said they wanted to meet at Cola’s. Alarms started going off in my head as soon as he said that. Not only is Cola’s way too nice of a restaurant for a typical Friday happy hour, but it’s also where we had our first official date. I calmed my nerves, got off the phone quickly, and went straight to a local clothing boutique on my way home. I grabbed a dress off the rack telling myself I wouldn’t be disappointed if he didn’t ask that night, but I at least wanted something cute to wear if we were going to a nice restaurant (plus I hadn’t done laundry in a while). I think that I got home about 10 minutes before Brent was supposed to pick me up. I slapped on some makeup, ran a straightener over my hair, and told myself to CALM DOWN. When Brent came in, he could tell I was nervous. He asked what was wrong, and I brushed it off with a “Nothing, I’m fine!”
My solace on the way to happy hour was that our friends were meeting us there. I convinced myself that he wasn’t the type to propose in front of people so I was in the safe zone. As we walked in the restaurant, Brent glanced down at his phone and then said, “They can’t make it. Let’s go inside anyways.” I KNEW. We went inside, ordered a drink and some appetizers and sat through what felt like an eternity of a happy hour. I think I went to the bathroom about 10 times. Brent says he knew that I knew and laughed every time I had to go.
After we finished up, Brent said he wanted to walk across the street to another restaurant for dinner. We started walking the 1 block distance between the two places when Brent decided to take a detour. He asked me to walk through the garden area of the the local State House. I agreed, and started following him nervously as he crossed the street. As I followed, I noticed a box-shaped imprint in his back pocket. This was it! I told Brent I thought I was going to throw up, he laughed and told me to keep walking (like I said, he knew I knew). We walked a little ways through the garden until we came to a bench. Brent asked me to sit down, said some things I will never remember, and got down on one knee. It was the easiest yes I have ever given!!! Once I got myself together and slid the ring on my finger, I couldn’t stop smiling! Our cousins (who happen to be awesome photographers) popped out of the bushes. Not only did I have a wonderful engagement, but they captured it all! Brent had planned a surprise party after the engagement with family and friends. I was so excited so share our news with them and celebrate! Best. Engagement. Ever.