Hannah and Taylor

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Effingham, IL

How We Met

Taylor and I met at a college, age-ministry, event back in September. He actually sat in a row in front of me during worship/the message. Before the message, the speaker said “Turn and give someone a high-five. Who knows, you could end up meeting the person you’re going to marry.” Taylor turned around, and we high-fived. When we did, he said, “Oh come on, I know you can do better than that.” Appalled, I high-fived him again and hoped it was good enough for him. Towards the end of the night, we split into small groups and talked about the night/our lives. We ended up in the same group, and I thought he did it on purpose. When it ended, he asked if I was a runner, noticing my Garmin. We chatted for a bit, exchanged numbers, and started a friendship. We began hanging out all the time, and I began to find interested in him, unsure if he felt the same. Almost a month later of the meeting, we began dating on October 23rd.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Effingham, IL

Hannah's Proposal in Effingham, IL

When we first started dating, I was a tad skeptical as I thought he was just too good to be true. Two months into dating, I realized that I had fallen so deeply in love with him and was unsure if that was good or back. I’m a “take it slow” kind of girl so the fact that I had these thoughts 2 MONTHS in, I was scared if I should feel that way or not!! A few months later, in March, we had THE conversation, both agreeing that we wanted to stick around in each other’s lives forever. AHH. After talking about when we’d get married, where, and some other details, we settled on the summer of 2019. Knowing summer is the most popular time to get married, I STRESSED to Taylor that we needed to be engaged ASAP so we could lock down a date and venue. He assured me we would have more than enough time to do so and that we would be engaged by the end of August. With this conversation happening in early June, I said okay, but deep down I did NOT want to wait 2 whole months until we got engaged! I was so beyond ready to be his fiancé and begin wedding planning!

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Effingham, IL

How He Asked

We talked almost every day about getting married. I would tell Taylor how much I wanted to officially be his fiancé and then wife and all he kept telling me was that he needed to get through summer school, save money, and go find a ring. He convinced me he was broke, unsure how to pay for a ring, and that he had no idea how to ring shop or that he even had time to.

At the end of June, we got a call from his sister Haley asking us to do a Fourth of July themed photoshoot for her. She is an amazing professional photographer who often does themed photoshoots, so I just thought it made sense and agreed to it. A few days leading up, Haley asked me to send pictures of possible outfits for the shoot and asked if my nails could be painted red. I instantly grew suspicious and texted a friend asking if I should be suspicious of a proposal and she instantly talked me out of it stating it’s extremely normal for the tiniest of details be taken care of for a photo shoot.

On the day of the proposal, Taylor’s family had their huge annual Fourth of July party with friends and family. Towards the evening, I went inside to shower and have Haley’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law help me prep for the photo shoot. Haley informed me her mother-in-law wanted to be a cosmetologist and her sis-in-law had professional-esque make-up and would be great to help me get ready (which later I found out was actually just an excuse to help me prep for the proposal!) While getting ready, everyone else was setting up for the big moment.

Once Taylor and I were all ready for the photoshoot, we walked with Haley to a field where she had a picnic blanket set up to take pictures. A few minutes in, she informs us she has no space on her card and runs inside to see if she can find another one. A few minutes later, she calls us and apologizes by saying she doesn’t have any more cards to take pictures and we will have to cancel the shoot. I was bummed because I thought she really needed this pictures done for her business and we weren’t going to be able to do it!! I also later found out the photoshoot was fake to throw me off if I even suspected getting proposed to. But truth be told, I was oblivious the whole time.

As Taylor and I left the photoshoot area, we walked towards his house and he says, “Hey some of the lights at the barn aren’t turned on, let’s go fix it so everything will be set up for our bonfire tonight.” As I typically believe and follow whatever he says, I just said “Okay!” and quickly followed him. Once he turned the lights on, we round the corner into the barn where there were beautiful curtains, candles, lights, ferns, and so much more set up. As we walked in, I heard music come on and thought “HOW did he just do this!?” Taylor beings explaining that since we haven’t had date night in awhile (Which is true, summer school has consumed his life the last month) that he set this up for us so we could have some time together. I quickly believed it, and Taylor is the BEST date planner ever, always considering the smallest of details, so it was not out of the realm of possibility that he had done this strictly for date night. We walk over to the rug-candle-fern set up and start slow dancing. He begins talking to me, and to be honest, I forgot everything he said from this moment until the proposal was over. I do know it was something along the lines of “I’ve been thinking about how I want you to be my best friend for the rest of my life” and before I know it, he bends over, grabs a box, gets down on one knee and asks me to be his WIFE! My mouth drops, and I stand there in utter disbelief and eventually shriek out, “YES!” His sister pops out from behind a curtain and was photographing the entire thing!

Next thing I know, his best guy friend and brother-in-law pop out and say congratulations! They were the DJ’s playing the music! Which, during our dance they played “I was made for loving you” by Tori Kelly and Ed Sheeran (I mean can you just say SWOON!) and once they popped out, they played ABC by the Jackson 5! Taylor planned that just like it would be in a movie! I also found out that his best guy friend, Conner, knew about the proposal the entire time! Taylor convinced me he hadn’t told Conner which I was very upset about – how could you not tell your best guy friend!?

After the proposal, we walk into his house where we had time with my family, followed by time with his family. We had intimate moments with both families where our dad’s prayed over us, our marriage, and our families. How sweet!! We walked back to the barn where Haley continued to take the most beautiful pictures of us to remember the best moment together to date.

Once we had taken pictures, I began to ask questions: How did you pull this off!? How long had you been planning this!? and so many more! Guys, Taylor had the ring for 2 MONTHS, and convinced me other wise. And, it is my DREAM ring y’all. I couldn’t ask for anything better! He had been planning the proposal for over a month, having everything set up like you would see in a Nicholas Sparks movie, and let me tell you, it was the most magical moment of my life. He had EVERY detail covered. And I was clueless the entire time until he got down on one knee. He made sure my family was there, that we had something intimate, and time to celebrate after! Later on, some of his extended family and friends came back to celebrate with us, where his parents put together a slide show of pictures and his mom made a cupcake display shaped into a ring!

But it doesn’t stop there. The next day, we drove 7 hours from his parents to mine. On the drive, Taylor asked me several times to check with my parents where they were at, what our ETA to Cleveland (my home) was, and so much more. I just believed it all. When we pulled into my driveway, I saw a massive sign on my front porch that said congratulations, and behind it were 3 of my best friends: my cousin Sarah Jo (who will be my MOH!), Laura, and Allison. We walked into the house and most of my extended family were there too! Taylor wanted to make sure that I was able to have a moment with my friends since we had time with his the day before.

And that is pretty much it! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, marrying the most loving, selfless man there is, who planned and perfectly executed the most amazing, unforgettable proposal ever.

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Special Thanks

Haley Klockenga
Photographer