Gabrielle and Chrystopher
How We Met
I first met Chrystopher in the Fall of 2009. We met through a mutual friend; who was a college classmate of Gabby’s and longtime family friend of Chrys’s family. Our first interaction was at his family’s house on a military base in New Jersey. With squirrel cheeks (I had my wisdom teeth removed the day before) our first conversation was the ever wonderful “Hi” and “Bye”. We saw each other 2 years later, this time on my campus (High Point University) on Chrys’s 21st birthday. On their way to East Carolina’s homecoming weekend, Chrys and his 2 fraternity stopped by HPU to hang out the mutual friend and her sorority sisters. The mutual friend and her sister’s had other plans that night, so Chrys and his fraternity brothers’ then stopped by Gabby’s sorority house… Talk about random! Over the next 3 or 4 years, Chrys and I didn’t interact much more than liking each other’s pictures on social media. Fast forward to January 2015, Chrys and I had ended a long-term relationships. A few days before the New Year, I gathered the courage to finally talk to Chrys… but didn’t know what to say first. Since we are in the age of technology, I decided to send him a direct message on Instagram. I told him she had a photo shoot for an upcoming pageant in Atlanta within the next few weeks and that we should grab drinks while I was in town- which wasn’t quite the case ….
Chrys and I exchanged phone numbers, talked everyday (voice notes, texts, FaceTime, smoke signals, etc.) until he came to visit for the first time on Jan. 17, 2015. He asked me to be his girlfriend on Saturday January 24, 2015 after spending the day at Honda Battle of Bands in Atlanta, GA.
Photos by Ariel Perry Photography
Photo by Avonne Photography
How He Asked
The entire week leading up to proposal, my coworkers and I had been planning an “End of the Season Celebration” at our townhouse. It was the Charlotte Hornets last home game vs. Boston Celtics. Now for the other 41 home games, I was only required to stay until halftime or until my game-day responsibilities were finished. This game was different. My boss told me he needed her to stay until the end of the game to help with post-game pictures for one of our departments. So as I did for every weekend game, I left for work, dropped off the dog at a coworkers, then carpooled into work with her.. Everything seemed normal at work… Normal game, normal game-day responsibilities and routine,just normal. As the time winded down during the game, my intern and I prepared to meet my boss down on the court. I then she received a text message from my boss, “No worries, we’re all good. See you Monday”. Confused, I packed up and my coworker and I were finally on their way to the house to set up for the house party. As I walked into the house from the garage, I was greeted by my best friend/sorority sister and God-sister-who faked an allergic reaction during the game to leave early! There was silver balloons that said “WILL”.. Instantly it hit me what was awaiting her upstairs, or so she thought…. I walked up the stairs, lined with the letters “YOU” and burst into tears. As I got closer to the top of the stairs, I heard “$tonez”, the song Chrys wrote about their relationship and journey that was on his debut project as an artist. As I reached the top of the steps, I was not only greeted by a house full of friends, family and ALL of my coworkers, but Ashley Elim singing “$tonez” in the living room. My eyes were fixated on Chrystopher- standing in front of an illuminated “MARRY ME” marquee sign with rose petals in a heart on our hardwood. In tears and shaking, I walked towards him and threw my hands around him. A hush came across the room… The music slowly died down… And Chrystopher started talking; just reflecting on our 2.5 year relationship and journey and then down on one knee Chrystopher took my hand and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. Still crying, knees shaking, in my work clothes & WORK BADGE attached, I crouched down to hug him and said yes!