Elesha and Joshua

How We Met: I was employed on campus at the University of Kentucky as an Assistant Hall Director.  The semester had ended and all of my students and Resident Advisors had gone home for the summer.  I had a mutual friend with Josh who invited me to come out for the twins birthday. Not knowing the twins, but also having an empty residence hall and nothing else to do, I agreed.  I went to the Paddock where they were all meeting and before being introduced to anyone, I walked inside and got my way through a large group of guys.  One of the guys said, “Wow, you’re brave.”  I turned around and smiled.  He said, “Well, with a smile like that you could get away with anything.”  I laughed it off and walked back outside.  Later, I was introduced to this guy as one of the twins, Josh.  I spent many more nights at the Paddock and eventually we exchanged numbers.  Texting turned into meeting for dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Rincon, which turned into many more dinner dates, frequent texting, an amazing friendship and then a relationship.  This picture is from the first night we met.
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How He Asked: Josh goes on a trip every year to Maggie Valley, North Carolina to spend time with some friends that come together from across the country.  This trip includes beautiful scenery on backroads and Deal’s Gap which has 318 curves in 11 miles.  He picked me up from work on June 17th and our trip began.  I had a suspicion that he would propose to me while we were out of town and tried my hardest to find out when he would do it.  The morning of June 18th we got ready and he asked me to wear a dress I had recently purchased.  I told him multiple times that I felt overdressed for the day but he kept telling me that it was perfect.  We had breakfast, traveled to Hot Springs, then continued to the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping to take lots of pictures.  Each stop I thought, this has to be it, he has to propose here.  By 5 o’clock we settled in for dinner at Pisgah Inn with a breathtaking view overlooking the mountains.  At this point I texted my mother, “I thought he would propose here, but he isn’t and I’m kinda bummed about it.”  We left from dinner with me feeling slightly disappointed but I just told myself to enjoy the trip.  Our next and finally stop was Looking Glass Falls.  As we pulled up and got out of the car he asked me to grab his camera from the front.  He was fiddling with his  bag in the backseat and when I handed him his camera said never mind.  We walked down the pathway towards the falls and stood looking out for a few moments.  The only people there was a couple and their son that were leaving and a photographer and his model.  Josh said we should go out closer to the falls and I agreed.  I took my shoes off and we began walking over.  As we approached a rock in front of the falls there was a skull bandana, I pointed at it and Josh said we should go there since the rock looked smoother for me to stand on.  The model for the photographer walked over and apologized, saying that it was theirs.  We stood there talking about how beautiful it was and how perfect the day had been.  Josh began to say how much he loved me and how much I meant to him.  He grabbed my hand and began to get down on one knee and asked me to make him the happiest man and agree to be his wife.  I was speechless but nodded “yes.”

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We hugged and I was still trying to take it all in when the photographer walked up.  Josh turned, “Elesha this is my friend Zac, Zac this is my fiancé Elesha.”  Zac was a friend of Josh’s from Lexington and he had asked him to come and take pictures of our special moment.  The”model” was Zac’s cousin Rachel and the bandana was for Josh to know where the perfect spot was for the picture.  It was perfect in every way.

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The next day on our home we made our way to Deal’s Gap.  Before we started the 318 curves we stopped and Josh wrote “She said yes” on the passenger side back window.  The road has cameramen set up at certain points to take pictures as you drive through.  The pictures of me hanging out the window with the writing next to me just add a fun memory to the proposal that Josh had put so much thought into.

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Photography by Zac Guyer