Jessica and Channing

Jessica and Channing_7

how we met

Jessica and I were high school sweethearts. When we met in middle school, I had no idea that Jessica would one day be my wife. When we first met, I was a stupid boy and didn’t pay much attention. Jess, on the other hand, had a little crush on me. Through those awkward middle school years, neither of us dated. We finally made it to high school and I can honestly say I know when it hit me that Jessica was the one that I wanted more than anyone else! My junior year in high school I asked Jessica on our first date, and we have been together ever since. We are each others first and only significant other. Over the past 5 years, I have fallen in love with Jessica more and more each day. We are getting married on October 1, 2016. I thank God for putting that girl in my life!

Channing + Jessica Engagement (derekcouts.com)

how he asked

I knew for about a year that I wanted to propose to Jessica in 2015. I saved up some money and went to Barry’s Pawn Shop in Madison, TN and put down a down payment on the ring. Over the summer, I drove down secretly to pay off the ring. On August 2, I popped the question. Jessica has lived in the same house while we have been dating. Every date I met her on the back porch of her house. Night after night of the same old routine for five long years. I thought there would be no better place in all the world to ask, than the place that I waited for her every night.

Channing + Jessica Engagement (derekcouts.com)

So here is how it happened. I came to pick her up and took her to her favorite restaurant, The Old Spaghetti Factory. I was needing it to be dark before I asked, so I was planning to take our time. After one extremely fast waiter, we were in and out of the restaurant in 45 minutes. Panicking, I thought of every possible place in Nashville that I could take us for the next hour and a half. We hopped in the car and went to Opryland Hotel. We probably walked every square inch of that place! Jessica is a very smart person so I wanted to keep her off of her game, so occasionally I would act like I was getting ready to propose. Whether it be those long pauses of just looking at her or the occasional reaching into my pocket, she was so confused by the time we left. As we were walking out of the hotel she looked at me and said, “I’m gonna be honest… I really thought you were going to propose tonight!” My plan had worked!

Jessica and Channing_1

We then hopped in the car to come back home. Longest thirty minute drive of my life… When we finally got back to her house, I pulled out an old hokey poem I had written her when we were in high school. We laughed at the cheesy writing that we both thought was SO romantic in high school. I then told her that I had written her a new poem, but we had to be on the porch for her to hear it. When she turned the corner to see the porch, she realized what was coming. We got on the porch and I began to tell her the poem I had written for her:

“Almost 5 years ago,
I walked up on this porch
My hands they were shaking
And my nerves all the more

So with a knock on the door
And a quick little prayer
All my worries just vanished
When I saw you there

So this starts a story
Of walking right up these stairs
Night after night
And year after year

Now this porch has heard fighting
But it’s heard joy all the more
Its watched us both grow up
It’s seen the worst and the best

So i continued to think
Of these long past few years
And this porch came to memory
And it brought me to tears

Cause night after night
Of this same old routine
There was always one person
Who was always with me

So tonight as I stand
On this wonderful porch
My hands they’re still shaking
And I’m more nervous than ever before

Cause tonight on this porch
After all of these years
Will be special forever
For the rest of our years

So, I just have one question
As I get on my knee
I want my forever with you
Will you spend forever with me?”

Jessica and Channing_3

Jessica and Channing_4

Praise the Lord she said yes, cause that poem took me a while to write! She is everything I could have ever wanted in a bride and I am so thrilled that she is mine! We will be getting married October 1, 2016 and it can’t get here soon enough!

Jessica and Channing_5

Special Thanks

Derek Couts
photographer