Chelsea and Derek

Grimes_036The city of Atlanta brings a plethora of things to mind when mentioned to people around the world. Some think of its strong Southern heritage, others think of the multiple attractions, but to Chelsea and I all that we think about is each other. This isn’t because we enjoy the city, but instead it’s the place we call home. It’s where we enjoyed our first date together, it’s where we spent time growing with each other, and most importantly it’s the place we fell in love. This is why when it was time for me to ask for Chelsea’s hand in marriage, the only place it could happen was Atlanta. Our engagement included all the magical things of the city including the Botanical Gardens, a great view of the skyline, and dinner at the Sundial. This special gift in our lives gave us even more to celebrate this holiday season.

Derek’s Reflection of the Engagement: Many guys I hear talking about engagements talk about being nervous, scared, or uneasy. It’s funny though because I have never been more confident in my life about what I wanted to do that day. I was so ready to ask the girl of my dreams to marry me. I wanted the entire thing to be a surprise. I knew she had been hoping I would ask her soon, but I kept playing it off like it wasn’t going to happen for a few months. In reality though I had been planning the engagement for weeks. I had reserved the spot at Botanical Gardens, hired an amazing photographer in Mike Moreland, and planned a great celebration dinner at the Sundial. The night came together so magically with the beautiful lights. She had been wanting to go to the Gardens to see the Christmas Lights for weeks. After all the planning I finally had the honor of bending down to my knee and asking her to marry me.

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It was the happiest moment of my life. She is the love of my life and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my days with her.

Chelsea’s Reflection of the Engagement:

Grimes_060I knew very early on I wanted to marry Derek. As soon as I realized I loved him, I realized I wanted to marry him. I like to say I fell for him like falling asleep, slowly and then all at once. When Derek told me that we were going to the botanical gardens for our six months, I thought “This is it”. This is when it’s going to happen!”, but the weeks leading up he kept hinting to me that the proposal wouldn’t happen until December.

So I just came to the conclusion it wouldn’t happen that night, but in the back in my mind the thought and hope was still there. That night on the way there ” I thought what if it is tonight” but the thought vanished as quickly as it appeared.

When we arrived at the gardens I was so excited to see the lights but Derek “didn’t have the tickets and in the process of him trying to hint to the people we were there for a secret event, a man let the secret slip out. He asked if we were there for the engagement. Derek was furious, I was beaming from ear to ear. We finally got in and I tried to make small talk and play dumb, but it was obvious with the smile I couldn’t make go way I knew what was happening. We strolled through the garden talking about the lights as Derek led us to the private area. He dropped to one knee said some really sweet things that’s all a blur to me now and asked me to spend forever with him. I said yes through teary eyes. Shortly after I recovered from the shock, we walked through the magical Christmas lights and took engagement pictures. It was the most magical night.

Photos by Moreland Photography