Grace and Hunter

How We Met: Hunter and I first met at a parent/family information meeting a couple of weekends before we left to study abroad in Vienna, Austria for the semester. I was sitting at a table with my parents, my friend, Kaley, and her parents, and later Hunter and his family joined us. My dad claims that he is the one that actually introduced us at this event. A couple of weeks later, we left for Vienna and looking back I honestly do not even remember seeing Hunter for the first couple of weeks. I do remember when I would see him, he would usually call me by the wrong name! Obviously he was very interested!

As time went by, we would end up hanging out in the same group of people. By the time we went on a group trip to Italy, we ended up spending time looking through the leather markets just the two of us. We ended up on a couple of other small group trips together visiting France, Germany, Spain, and England. By the time we were getting ready to head back to America, we had gone on a couple of little “dates” and talked about dating, but I always said that we should wait until we got back to America to see what our lives would be like when we were back in a normal routine. However, Hunter had other plans. On November 28th, just days before we came home, we went to see the Opera, went out to dinner, walked around all of the Christmas lights, and he asked me to be his girlfriend!

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This is the first picture that we took together!

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Right after Hunter asked me to be his girlfriend!

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How He Asked: On February 8th, Hunter and I had gone to his dad’s house to cook him dinner for his birthday. On our way back to our apartments, Hunter asked if we could go out to eat lunch the next day, which sounds completely normal. However, we never plan when we are going out to eat, we will typically just go. So I was kind of confused, but really didn’t think too much about it. On Sunday, he came by my apartment and at this point I was starving! He told me he had found this neat place about 35 minutes away that we had never been to. I thought that was great, but told him I was so hungry and really didn’t want to go that far away. He really wanted to go, so I decided to not put up a fight for somewhere closer. On the way to lunch, he said, “I’m sorry for you that the weather is not so great…” I just kept thinking, “Why are you sorry for me?” At this point I was confused, because I thought it was only lunch and that the weather wouldn’t really matter.

When we got to this little town, the restaurant we were going to was closed for renovations, so we ended up eating at another one nearby, which ended up being really great because there was live music and everything. Hunter was being so sweet and treated me to my favorite kind of ice cream, but other than that I thought it was a normal day. After lunch, there were a couple of antique stores near the restaurant. Since we have been dating, we have done a lot of antique shopping together and I have started a collection of jadeite glass that we are always on the hunt for. So, of course I made him shop with me a little. The first store we looked at, we immediately spotted a jadeite teacup and saucer! (Looking back, it is so special that I have this from that day!)

After looking around a little more, we decided to head back. As we were driving, Hunter took a sudden left turn. I was so confused and told him that we really needed to keep going straight. He said that he wanted to drive back on the Natchez Trace, which is a scenic route to the Nashville area. I thought that this was a great idea, but still unsure how he knew that was the turn since we had never come from that direction. As we got closer, there was a big bridge visible that was a part of the Natchez Trace. To get to the bridge, you have to turn left. As we started to turn left, I saw a familiar looking car. I told him to stop, which he surprisingly did. I realized this car belonged to one of our friends that went to Vienna with us, Kaley. The weird thing was that it was parked in a ditch kind of behind some trees. As we kept driving a little, there was a big open field right in front of the bridge. I saw Kaley and my roommate, Stephanie, running in the field behind some trees. I was so confused, but I just figured I would text them later and ask what in the world they were doing.

Right as I was thinking this, Hunter stopped in a little parking area by the field. He told me to get out of the car and I asked him what was going on. He said, “I think you know what is going on.” However, I was still so lost and wondered why we would join them running around in the field! I finally got out of the car and we started walking until we came across a vase that Hunter had painted for me on one of our dates a couple of years ago. It was laying in the grass with a rose in it. This is when I figured it out – why else would the vase that was in my room be in the middle of a field? We picked up the vase and kept walking until we got to a small table and chair in the middle of the field.

He told me to read the note on the table, which had a monogram with my future last initial. The note instructed me to watch the video that was pulled up on his phone he had left on the table. The video had pictures of us, special songs, a voicemail, and a clip from my parents! It was so special! The voicemail was included because I was with him when he got this voicemail, but he refused to listen to it when we were together. I kept bugging him about the voicemail for a couple of days until he told me to leave the voicemail alone. Turns out it was a voicemail from the jeweler telling him he had a special package to pick up. This is when it REALLY clicked what was going on!

When the video was over, I was shaking and crying and had no idea what to think because I was in so much shock! I had heard camera clicks, but refused to look over at them to stay in the moment, however I quickly realized that was what my friends were doing. He came over to me and told me to stand up. We walked a little bit away from the table and he positioned me in order for my friends to take pictures…

Hunter then read 1 Corinthians 13 from the bible and said a couple of sweet things, which is really all a blur for me. Then, he asked me to marry him and I responded with “Of course!”, which is what I said when he asked me to be his girlfriend. After all the shock, he showed me the front of the bible he had been reading out of, which had my future name engraved. He then described everything that was on the table: the tablecloth was one that my grandmother who just passed away had made, the candlesticks used as vases were from my other grandmother, the cross was made by him out of sticks he had found when looking for the perfect proposal location, the wedding cake topper was from my parent’s wedding, and the wooden box was from the cafe in Vienna we had cake from when we first started dating. Literally everything was so thought out and had so much meaning!

It was the most special day and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the two of us together! :)

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