Emily and Kaleb

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How We Met

Kaleb and I met at work in a little village in Surrey, England – Kaleb was over on a year’s placement from our sister company in South Carolina. He already knew who I was from an article I’d written for the company’s website earlier that year and had made it his mission to get to know me. I, on the other hand, had absolutely no idea that this dashingly handsome American man would come storming into my life and sweep me off my feet.

We first met at our department kick off meeting. I remember noticing him straight away – his striking features, tall build and warm smile – but I was too shy to say anything to him. Later on that day, we introduced ourselves briefly in the lunch line but quickly grabbed our food and sat down on opposite sides of the restaurant. Later on in our relationship, I found out that Kaleb was hoping to have a more in-depth chat to get to know me better and was a little affronted that I’d scurried away so quickly.

Needless to say, that didn’t stop his pursuit and after a few email exchanges and drinks out together with colleagues, he plucked up the courage to ask me out on a date. We had our first date in Clapham Common (London) and I was still half expecting it to be a work meeting. However, when Kaleb met me with a beautiful bouquet of sweet peas, roses and stocks (typical English flowers) outside the Underground station and escorted me to a beautiful little candlelit restaurant, I knew it was more than that. From then onwards our love grew and a few weeks later we headed to Porto, Portugal for our first holiday away together. The rest, as they say, is history.

Although we are from completely opposite sides of the world it feels like we were always destined for one another. We have so much in common and complement one another so perfectly. It was truly meant to be!

How He Asked

After a wonderful year together in the UK, Kaleb’s work visa was up and he flew back to the US at the start of the year to begin his new role. However, we planned for me to join him in the US for a few weeks in the Spring. The months we were apart were horrendous and seemed to drag on forever. But, as Spring approached, I started to get excited about jumping on a flight to the US and finally being reunited with him again.

Two days before I was due to fly out to the States, my best friend Katy had planned a girly day out. She told me it was a day full of my favorite things, but wouldn’t tell me any more. Blissfully unaware of what we were doing, I followed her to London – to a lovely wine bar that Kaleb and I would often go to while he was living there – The Humble Grape. “I heard you love this place” she said as we approached the bar. As I walked in, we were seated at ‘our table’ – a perfect little spot by the window that Kaleb and I would often sit at and always joke that was ours.

Suddenly, Katy got a phone call and had to leave (I should have caught on then, but this was not at all unusual for Katy). It was then that I heard a familiar song over the speakers, one that was a reminder of the American South and that no one in the UK would ever know. It was then that I realized, this was far too much of a coincidence! I glanced across the bar and saw the love of my life walk towards me. “What are you doing here?” I asked, half in tears. “I think you know why I’m here,” he replied with a cheeky smile on his face.

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Still in shock, the moment didn’t hit me until he got down on one knee.

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“Emily…” The world stopped, I couldn’t believe my eyes!

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I was in so much shock that tears of joy started running down my face. “Yes!” I said and nodded, as Kaleb pulled a box from his pocket. “Hold on,” he said, “I haven’t even asked yet!” to which we both started laughing.

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We sat down at our table and the manager brought over a bottle of my favorite champagne. Kaleb planned every detail including working with the chef to do a tasting menu of some of my favorite foods including strawberries with cream and patatas bravas – the first thing he ever cooked for me. We spent the next few minutes Face-timing our family in England and America, but there was one more surprise. Just down the road, my friends and family had started to gather in one of our other favorite restaurants – No. 32 The Old Town – for a ‘surprise going away party’ for me. Little did they know that it was me going to be giving them the surprise. As I walked in, they all yelled “surprise!” – then looked at Kaleb and did a double-take. “What are you doing here?” they asked in shock. Kaleb smiled and looked at me as I lifted up my left hand.

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No words were needed as the room erupted in screams followed soon after by the sound of champagne corks popping.

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It was the most perfect, magical day and on  e that I will never ever forget.

Special Thanks

The Humble Grape
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