Jessa and Nic
How We Met
After my freshman year at College of Charleston, I decided it was not the right school for me, so I moved back home to Columbia to work full time at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. My hopes were to figure out what God had in store for my future education, however He had much bigger plans. Nic(my now fiancé) had already been working at Riverbanks Zoo a few months prior to when I started. I remember my first day of work was a cold, rainy day in February at the carousel. Nic advanced to the carousel, introduced himself, and for the next 4 hours we talked endlessly, played hangman and tic-tac-toe. I was so drawn to Nic’s hospitality and generosity while he was working with the guests. Our friendship and chemistry strengthened and grew over the next 9 months. I was accepted into Appalachian State University and was planning to move 3.5 hours away that coming August. A couple of weeks before my move, we both confessed how we felt and how our chemistry was rare and unique. We decided to start dating long distance. We made an effort to visit each other twice a month. It was extremely difficult, but long distance challenged us and made our time together more valuable and appreciated. For the next 3 years, Nic and I explored and travelled together, bonded with each other’s families and friends, and ate way too much sushi. Nic challenges me to be a better and stronger person of faith everyday. It was impossible to not fall in love with his gentle and kind spirit.
How He Asked
Nic and I have grown fond of a low key beach on Hilton Head Island, and we would often go during low tide. During low tide, beautiful oyster beds and large boulders would consume the shore. Nic took me out to lunch in Bluffton and then drove us to our beach. It was a very crowded day and many people were on the beach even though it was pretty chilly. It was low tide so Nic and I started walking towards the water which seemed like miles away. About half a mile down, a hazy fog surrounded us. Nic faced me, grabbed my hands, and started spilling his feelings. Before I knew it, he was down on one knee! I don’t even remember saying yes, I just know I shoved my left hand as fast as I could into the gorgeous ring he was holding. I immediately kissed him but then heard a “click, click”. I whipped my head around to see a photographer who was capturing the entire moment. Nic had hired her from our church to hide out into the fog and be able to capture the moment. The fog continued to surround us, concealing all of the other people on the beach. It was such a magical moment because it felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves.
Nic later told me that all week he had prayed for seclusion on the beach. The fog created such an intimate moment that we will cherish forever.