Amanda and Thomas
How We Met
Thomas and I met at the University of Georgia where we both worked for the football program. Surprisingly, we worked in the same office for months without the idea of dating ever crossing our minds. Looking back, I truly believe that timing is everything.
When summer came around, we began spending a lot more time together helping with camps. After one particularly long day of camp, we went on our first date…to IHOP. This was where I first realized just how goofy this guy is. Not only did he choose IHOP as the spot for our first date, (who doesn’t love pancakes?) as soon as the waitress comes to our table, he says, “I just wanted to tell you that this is our first date.” Talk about speechless! I was already nervous to be on a date with him, and then he made me blush in front of the waitress. Regardless, somehow I knew this guy deserved a chance.
By the end of the summer, Thomas had gotten a new job at Virginia Tech and I needed to stay in Athens to finish school. We didn’t know how dating long-distance was going to work, but we knew we wanted to give it a shot. We spent two years taking road trips from Athens to Blacksburg, then Charlotte to Blacksburg, and even Clemson to Blacksburg before finally being able to come home to each other at the end of the day only a couple months ago. While it was a lot of work, it really never felt like it. Neither of us every questioned whether or not we wanted to make the drive or whether only 48 hours together was worth it. Whenever we could find time we made it happen because we’re always happier when we’re together.
How He Asked
Let me start by saying that I knew Thomas wanted to propose, but also knew that there was no way I would see it coming. I typically have a very go-with-the-flow attitude, which can basically make me completely oblivious to what’s actually going on. This is exactly what happened on July 7, 2016.
We were coming to the end of our summer vacation and planned to make a stop in Athens, GA to have dinner and see some friends before heading back to Virginia. Once we got to Athens, our friends suggested that we all go to one of our favorite bars downtown first before deciding where we wanted to eat. I said “sure, that sounds perfect!” Little did I know that was all part of the plan.
We parked downtown and starting walking towards the bar, in which we conveniently passed the Georgia Theatre on the way. As we walked, I started to notice Thomas acting a little funny. He was fidgeting and messing with his hair (because, according to him, it was windy). Before I could figure out why, he asked if I wanted to stop at the theatre. It was then that I looked up and saw, “Amanda Will You Marry Me” spelled out on the theatre marquee.
At this moment I had no idea what to do with myself. No way this was happening! I kept looking at him and saying, “are you serious right now?!”
Still in disbelief, I looked over at the marquee again and noticed that one of the friends we were supposed to be having dinner with was standing under it taking pictures. Once I saw him I started to wonder which of our other friends were there. I looked around again and saw one of my sisters on the street corner with her camera in hand too. This is when the tears really starting flowing because I knew if she was there, then the rest of my family had to be too. Thomas knew that I wanted my family to be there and I couldn’t believe he had made it happen. Down on one knee in the middle of Lumpkin Street, Thomas asked me to marry him, and I (obviously) said YES!
*To be honest, neither of us remember what we said, but to me that makes it all the more special.
Our friends and family came out from hiding and, I realized just how much work Thomas had put into planning this moment. His best friends along with my high school and college friends and my parents and sisters had all made the trip to Athens to celebrate with us. We all had celebratory drinks at Pauley’s Crepe Bar, dinner at Five Bar Athens, and finished the night off with dessert at Last Resort Grill. Talk about a perfect day in Athens, Georgia.
Thomas, to put it simply, you’re the best. You are thoughtful, caring, fun, and adventurous. You always encourage me to be myself and inspire me to follow my heart. Best of all, you make me laugh every day. I couldn’t have imagined our story if I tried, but I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. I love you so much and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you!