Christine and Joey

Christine's Proposal in Ringling Bridge Sarasota Florida

How We Met

Joey and I met as teenagers, I was 15 and he was 17. We met through mutual friends and hung out in groups here and there, as time went on we used to debate and argue about theology and scripture. As much as we used to drive each other crazy we always had a respect and love for one another. I went off to college for four years, not seeing or hearing from Joey in a long time. When summer hit my junior year of college I went home to my college youth ministry! Where Joey and I saw each other again and reconnected! It was so cool seeing him in a different season of life. He was in a relationship and seemed happy as ever, Little did I know things would change and our friendship would grow and change into something beautiful!

They eventually broke up, and as I invited Joey he started coming to different college events and hanging out with my friends and I. He would make trips up with a group of his friends and we all would hang out! After a year of growing our friendship, I found myself staying up for hours on the phone talking to him about Jesus, Next thing you know its two in the morning and I have to get up for classes the next day. When I graduated from college I moved home and started my photography business full time. Shortly following I had a graduation party and that is when everything changed, hanging out every night became the norm as we quickly became best friends. For about a month and a half straight, we went out to the beach at least four times a week to look at the stars, talk about Jesus and life until around four in the morning. Mind you I think Joey got four hours of sleep every night, Still not sure how he survived.

We always denied our feelings, and told each other we would let the other know if we caught any! well, let me tell you I fell and I fell hard, one night I told him how I felt and the rest was history. The crazy thing to me looking back now is that we got to know each other through different seasons in our life, here and there. Not enough to be the closest of friends and know too much, But just enough. Seeing each other twice a year maybe through friends, catching up every time we saw each other. What blows my mind now, is to think that I got to see my future husband as he grew into a young man. A man that is now endlessly chasing the Lord with an abandoned heart, filled with love. I am honored and glad to have known him in little ways through different seasons of life.

Seeing the Lord slowly shape and mold him, Not many women get to say that they had the chance to do so. It makes me fall in love with him the more I think about it. Its crazy to think after being gone for four years in college, the love of my life was seriously the boy down the street. He was right in the backyard of my hometown Sarasota and I had no idea!

How He Asked

It was an overcast, rainy day on March 10th, 2018. I woke up and started getting ready for my day, Little did I know what would happen later that afternoon. While I was brushing my teeth, I saw him out of the corner of my eye! I was overwhelmed with excitement, right there, and then I knew today was the day.

A little backstory, I am terrible with surprises. I have ruined every surprise party I have ever had. Because of that, Joey told me the morning of the proposal he would surprise me early with breakfast So that the rest of the day I could get ready for the special moment that night! Leaving the proposal a surprise/anticipation mix!

After we ate, he kissed me goodbye and I left to photograph a brand. Once coming home I got ready for the day, I had butterflies in my stomach, I couldn’t believe today was the day! I had no idea how it was going to turn out, all I knew was that the word “YES” would be leaving my lips that night.

I got dressed in a beautiful gold shimmery dress, curled my hair and watched as the rain fell outside of my window. To my surprise, I heard a knock at the door. I opened it to his best friend James and wife Nicole there to pick me up! With an umbrella in hand, playing the song “I THINK I WANT TO MARRY YOU” by Bruno Mars. They blindfolded me and took me to the location.

While waiting in the car my heart was racing, I was talking to Nicole about how I felt in the moment, then asked her to pray for our future marriage. When her prayer was done, she played a worship song while I was praying with anticipation. Little did I know, Joey and I were praying at the same time as he prepared himself!

Nicole opened the car door, as James walked me with my eyes closed to see the love of my life. When they told me to stop and open my eyes, I saw Joey. Dressed in all black with a black umbrella, waiting for me at the end of The Ringling Bridge with fog all around us and a light drizzle.

As I started walking towards him I could cry, I was so excited for what was to come. As he walked me under the bridge and turned the corner, talking of his love for me, he then took off my shoes as we climbed under the bridge over the rocks through the beautiful lit candle walkway.

As his hand was in mine, he walked me to the center of his beautiful setup. He began to tell me of Jesus Christ’s love for us, as well as his promises to love me as his wife!

Then he got on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage! With a mix of thankfulness, tears, joy, and laughter I said “YES”! Hearing the words ” WILL YOU MARRY ME CHRISTINE” was music to my ears.

After that, I took a look at his decorations. They were filled with our pictures and memories together over this past year! Even a little inside joke of a hanging picture of Matt Chandler to ensure that I was tracking with him! We talked, drank sparkling cider and looked out into the ocean, enjoying the moment!

 

While leaving, he took me over to our friends Chris’s house, little did I know there was a beautiful surprise party waiting for us. With all of our friends and family, We spent the rest of the night celebrating our love story and delighting in what God has blessed us with! I was blown away by Joey’s thoughtful heartfelt love declaration to me. words cant express and I couldn’t have asked for a better night!

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Special Thanks

Leah Miller
Photographer
Fox Grove Films
Videographer