Ashleigh and Ryan

Ashleigh's Proposal in Uncle Ernie's Restaurant

How We Met

Being raised during the turn of the Century, Ryan and I have grown up around technology and social media. While I never relied on dating apps to set me up with a lasting relationship, I was also not one to be rude to someone I potentially knew. The morning of November 21, 2016, I woke up for work and saw a Facebook message from this random guy. I wasn’t sure that I knew him but we had around 70 mutual friends. I assumed I had met him before and, not wanting to be rude, accepted his request. We talked daily and I knew I wanted to meet this guy even though he was a stranger to me (by this point we both realized we had probably crossed paths but never met). On Thanksgiving night later that week, after all the family festivities were finished, I joined him and some of his friends at a bonfire. Something about the crisp air, warm fire, and clear sky laced with stars, made that first night together magical.

How He Asked

We began seriously talking about marriage right before we left for our first true vacation together in April of this year. His mother even referred to the trip (a week long cruise) as the ultimate test to see if we could survive being together 24/7. Obviously we both made it back to the mainland together! A couple weeks after we returned, my best friend wanted to have a girls’ day together, which is not uncommon. We planned to go to Destin, FL for breakfast and nails/shopping before heading back to Panama City for dinner at our go-to spot – Uncle Ernie’s Restaurant. She mentioned to me that she really wanted their special drink she had a few months prior when we had gone together, so nothing seemed out of the ordinary to me. The week leading up to Mother’s day, she texted saying she had made reservations for 6:45, which I thought was perfect so we would have a good table for the sunset. She also had the whim to dress up (which neither of us do unless it is planned) so we had stopped by my house to freshen up before dinner. She picked out my dress while I fixed my hair and we headed down to arrive at 6:30 (I like to be early and my best friend knew to factor that in when she told me our reservation time was actually 15 min after the time we needed to get there). While looking for parking, I saw my parents car, but since every time my best friend and I go to dinner at Uncle Ernie’s, my parents are eating at a nearby oyster bar, I shrug it off as a silly coincidence. I guess I should mention that while I am off with my girlfriend, I thought Ryan was spending a day at the range with his best friend who was in town from Kentucky. So we arrive and the front desk girl looks clueless when we say we have a reservation (because they don’t take them!) But luckily another girl who helped plan to hold the tables, overheard and jumped right in to help. We are walking to the stairs to go up to the top level and a server stops us and says we need to go another direction. All the while, I am looking for my parents to give them a hard time, and I get frustrated because they are telling us to go back to an area where I saw there were no tables. My best friend grabs my hand and says come here. That’s when I get close enough to see Ryan down on the dock with a single red rose and dressed in a suit (which he also doesn’t do unless it is planned). It was then it all hit me and the tears were flowing. I make it down to him and he walks me out to the end where he has set up pictures of us and a beautiful saying on wood. As he gets down on his knee, the lower level of the Restaurant cheered and I glanced that way to see our family and friends (including his best friend who he was supposed to be at the range with) lining the top railing. He had planned everything perfectly and pulled off the biggest surprise because I am a planner and didnt catch any of the clues until it was over. I cannot wait to be Mrs. McGlothlin! November 30, 2019

Where to Propose in Uncle Ernie's Restaurant