Bridget and Chris

Bridget's Proposal in Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville, Florida

How We Met

We met in 2006 at 18 years old at the University of Ulster (Derry, Northern Ireland). Chris was studying for his Drama Degree and I was doing my Bachelor Degree in Dance. We started talking one day in the library (we were both quite studious!) and became friends then. I think somewhere in us there was a little flame beginning to burn. We both graduated in 2009 with first class honours and started going different ways down our career paths but always remained friends throughout. It was 2011 that we started talking again properly and hanging out more. As my career was dance, I got offered a contract to tour Germany and Austria for 4 months and then work with a company in new York for a few months – throughout this time we skyped. On the 13th September 2012 I landed back into Dublin and got the bus to Belfast, where Chris was waiting for me, with a big beautiful smile. We went to a local café for a cup of tea and something to eat. I plucked up the courage to ask Chris, ‘So …will you be mine?’ and he replied, ‘I always was’. Sounds cliché, but it felt very romantic!

Where to Propose in Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville, Florida

How He Asked

So this year has been a roller-coaster of a year. In April we had come to a point where we were unsure of where things were going. I has applied for a job at the University of Florida in Gainesville and with things being so unsure, between Chris and I …I took it. It happened very fast and before I knew it was out flying from Dublin to Florida on the 2nd May 2017. We tried to let the dust settle but seemed to keep talking with each other. It was so hard, I really felt like I left my heart in Ireland. After a few skype calls, he made a snap decision to come out to Florida to visit. He told me on the sunday and by the following Friday I was waiting for him in Orlando Airport. I saw him come through the arrivals gate and without and delay I ran up to him in tears and threw my arms around him and he did me. There was a security guard there telling us to keep moving and so he lifted me up still hugging and we waddled together to the exit!! haha. Blessed to see him, doesn’t even come close to how I felt that day. We enjoyed a beautiful 2 weeks a rekindled our ‘relationship status’ again on Daytona beach! (Its funny because we had our other moment in April on the beach in Portrush on the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland). Saying goodbye this time was a lot harder, but we had hope this time around. I was teaching in Prague in August so I managed to get 2 nights at home with family and Chris which was beautiful, and then I returned back to Florida for work on the 29th August 2017.

In September, a few friends of mine (Tim and Ruth) hired me for a ‘corporate event’ they were doing. They have a professional kite company and they asked if I could help with an event they have in Kanapaha Botanical Gardens on the 7th Oct. I wasn’t any good at flying kites but I thought I would help them without doubt. So Tim and Ruth told me to dress nice because its a black tie event and they picked me up at 5pm that day and off we went. We got to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and Tim got us in and we were walking through the beautiful paths and the trees (thinking gosh this is beautiful, I must bring Chris here the next time he is in Florida). We came across a clearing and round the corner there was a bridge and Chris was stood there!!!! Well my jaw dropped on the floor, I couldn’t believe he was in Florida!! I dropped my bag and went up to him on the bridge, tried to give him a cuddle but he assured me to step back and held my hands. The poor thing was sweating and shaking and so was I to be honest. He told me about when we met, and our little dog Toby, how much he loved me and how amazing our journey has been together so far. He continued..’We both love helping others, and dream of making the world a better place, so will you make my world a better place by spending the rest of your life with me? *goes on one knee*..Bridget..will you marry me?’ I nodded my head, I was in complete shock and he stood up and we embraced each other. It was the most magical moment and just after that moment, it rained on us for 10 seconds which was weird and then it went away! I couldn’t believe it, when I found that his father and brothers came too and they were helping with taking video and pictures. It was just incredible. Then we went to a beautiful sushi restaurant called Dragonfly in Downtown Gainesville and got champagne and beautiful food. I am still in shock nearly 2 months later!! He makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world, by supporting, trusting and respecting me. Nothing I say is too big or outrageous, and even when I am having a bad day, one look can make me burst out laughing. To say he followed me around the world is an understatement, but now I believe that love knows no boundaries. I feel honoured and blessed to call this amazing guy my Fiancée.