Amanda and Stephen

How We Met

We originally crossed paths when we were in high school since we were only a year a part. I’m going to be honest I, Amanda, was not a fan of Steve at first. He was the football captain, the life of the party, and yes, a little bit of a bad boy. While I went to church 3 times a week at least, dragged my feet when friends asked me to attend football games, and never went to parties. When he was out of school and I was in my senior year my family got to know Steve since he was my little brother’s wrestling coach. My family told me a few times how nice of a person he is and that I misjudged him and his past.

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After talking to me a bit he asked for my number which I promptly replied with a “if you think you’re all that and a bag of chips go find it.” Just when I thought I had bypassed the “bad boy” of high school he texted me the next day asking to take me out to a movie. With a few months of me resisting his charm I finally gave in and thought what do I have to loose. Eight years later he is still my best friend, he is still a mush ball of a romantic, and it seems that the only thing that has changed is the number of places we’ve been able to cross off of our bucket list.

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How He Asked

On our 2nd anniversary, 6 years ago, we buried a time capsule that contained a few sentimental trinkets and love letters that we wrote for each other. We took a few photos of the spot that we buried our time capsule and visited the park regularly since it was our favorite place to walk when we first started dating. Last week I was pushing to go away for a weekend. I am a wedding photographer and I hinted to Steve that this is the only weekend I’ve had in weeks that I didn’t have a wedding to work and I needed a mini vacation. He told me last minute that his boss needed him last Saturday but we might be able to go after he was done. And then I received a text from a woman who was claiming that she worked for a animal refuge and that they were setting up a tent at the food truck festival that was taking place that day at the park where the time capsule was buried.

I love animals, and he knew I wouldn’t be able to say no, so I volunteered my services for that morning. When Steve called and told me that he was able to get done earlier then he thought he also asked if I could meet him at the park before my scheduled shoot to check on the time capsule. For months he said we really needed to check on it since it’s been 6 years! I finally said yes that we can check it out. As we turned the corner onto the trail there was only one person on the trail that appeared to be hiking along (which come to find out was the photographer that he hired to capture the moment). He put the shovel in the ground to start digging. Little did I know that his knee was bent as he started to dig.

He asked me to come over and kiss him and then proceeded to dig. He then pulled out the top of the capsule and said “there’s something in here that I wrote 6 years ago that I need you to read.” It still hadn’t hit me.

He then proceeded to pull out a little ring box with the most beautiful piece of jewelry I’ve ever seen. “Will you make me the happiest man alive?” I then proceeded to ugly cry Kim Kardashian style. We laughed over the letters with mascara still running down my face.

He then pointed out that Jessica Cooper, our wonderful photographer captured the entire thing! He took out our letters and we sat and read them over a stream.

I read his letter and when I reached the end of the letter it said to flip the letter over. And little did I know that 6 years ago he had a plan to bring me to that special place, dig up that time capsule, and read the words will you marry me on the back of that letter. I sobbed. After all these years, after all this time, so many things have changed but those letters still told our little love story when I was just 20 years old. The words that we felt never changed even after all this time. He knew that I was the one back then, he had the ultimate plan to check on the letters and have me read those special words.

Now, just when I started to fully compose myself we walked in the woods with Jessica on our heels taking photos of us talking to each other and being awestruck over what had happened. I turned the corner and his family, my family, and my best friend stood on the little bridge waiting for us to walk down to them. Of course I lost all control again because I thought that the surprises subsided.

We then proceeded to walk the trail and Steve mentioned that he needed to stop at one more place before we enjoyed the festival. This wasn’t just an important park to him and I but this was also an important park for him and his late friend Kyle who passed away a month before his own wedding. Since Kyle loved that park so much there is a bench there, by the water, that has his name engraved in the plate.

Before Kyle passed away Kyle took Steve fishing, which is something they often did together. They were friends since they were kids and Kyle asked Steve to be his groomsmen by giving him a beer bottle that had groomsmen on the label. So naturally, Steve had to make a beer bottle of his own for his late friend and he also made them for his brothers and my brother as well. He then poured the bottle into the lake that him and Kyle sat by frequently to symbolize that even though he wasn’t physically with us he was still part of the plan, he was always going to be a part of that day.

I’m still smiling from that day and I most likely never will stop. He pulled off the most perfect day. IF I could give my 17 year old self any piece of advice it would be to not give THE Steve Kelley such a hard time. <3

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