Emily and Nate

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How We Met

Nate and I met leading Young Life together! He had been leading at Licking Heights already and we met for the first time on placement day when I was placed on the same team as him. For a year we got to do high school ministry together and become really great friends before going on our first date. Over that year I got to know Nate’s character so well and his heart for others and for the mission of the gospel- it was super awesome to know him in that way and love high school kids with him before even dating!

How He Asked

About a month ago my friend Kelly asked if I’d wanted to go on a girls weekend trip with her and Sara (little did I know it was planned by Nate all along!). So we left for our “girls trip” to Charleston, SC with each day planned out. On Friday we had planned to have a girly day with shopping and getting our nails done and getting dressed up. So on Friday we started our day at the nail salon. We walked in for our 11 am appointment and I was handed a letter that said “Emily, #1.” It was a letter from Nate, dated January 2015, from when he asked me on our first date! It talked about how nervous he was and that he couldn’t imagine spending his life with anyone else. I knew right away that it was happening, and got super sweaty and nervous and excited, haha!

The rest of the day I kept getting more letters, each one from some of our first dates and fun trips we went on that Nate had been writing me over the past year and a half (what?!). The next letter came at lunch, waiting for us on the table. We ate at Poogan’s Porch- a super cute classic Charleston spot. It was incredible, and already paid for! Then we shopped around awhile and went to a ton of cute boutiques. We walked into one shop called Two Cumberland, and right when I walked in I heard a girl say “are you Emily?!” She then handed me letter number 3 and had a bottle of champagne waiting for us! We went back to the hotel and had quiet times, and when we left the hotel again Nate’s friend Eric was standing out by his car waiting for us. (It was surreal to see him there- they were supposed to be on a camping trip for Nate’s birthday!) We got in the car and he handed me letter 4 and the rest of the letters in a notebook. We had a long drive so I read the rest of the letters and we listened to a playlist of Ben Rector songs.

We got to Kiawah Island and walked down the boardwalk to see Dave waiting for us on the beach. He walked us down the beach and they stopped and he told me to walk the rest of the way by myself to a table waiting for me. I got to it and it said “put in these headphones and press the space bar!” It was a video of Nate’s mom, my sister, my dad and my mom saying congratulations and how much they love us. Then there was a slideshow of picture of Nate and I, with the song “When I’m With You” by Ben Rector. A video of Nate came on last. At the end he said to turn around. I turned, and there was Nate, walking toward me! He looked so handsome, nervous and excited.

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He said a few things, and then got down on one knee and ask me to marry him… and I said “yes”!

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I never in my life have felt more special and loved and cared for. I’ve also never cried more (happy tears!) in one day, haha! It felt completely like a dream. We got to celebrate the rest of the weekend with our best friends… it was easily the happiest day of my life. It was so fun to get to talk with Nate after and reflect on how much the Lord’s hand was over all of it and how Nate had wanted it to be a reflection of God’s extravagant love and how he pursues me. We got to pray together and rejoice together, which was one of my favorite parts. I am the luckiest girl to get to marry him!

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Special Thanks

Mark Batke
Planning/photography
Kelly Helmreich, Dave Herbst, Sara Schubargo, Eric Cross | 
Planning