Emily and Joshua
How We Met
Emily: Josh and I met on Christian Mingle in October of 2016. Online dating was something we both never really thought of trying but at roughly the same time, we both decided to sign up and see what happens! Who knew we would end up meeting our future spouse on there! Josh sent me this cute message that instantly got my attention and had pictures and a profile to match. We talked for about a week before he asked for my number. Believe it or not, I turned him down and played the “too soon” card. About a week later, he asked for my number again and this time, I was ready. Three weeks later, we had our first Skype date (YES! He looked like his profile picture!) which lasted about three hours. We continued to Skype, text, and call each other daily. When we were finally able to meet each other face-to-face, we met at a crowded shopping mall (you know, just in case he was crazy or something). Once I got to him after I parked about a half a mile away (thank goodness I didn’t trip), I was completely swept off my feet (no seriously, he picked me up and spun me around). In that moment, I knew two things: one, this date was going to be amazing, and two, I was going to marry this man. That first date was spent walking the mall and talking for 8 hours… oh and splitting a piece of Oreo cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (wipes up drool).
How He Asked
Josh and I knew very early on that we were meant to be so we would talk about getting engaged and married all the time. He would always tell me that he knew exactly how the proposal would go and how he was going to make it the most special moment of our lives. He definitely did not disappoint. Take note of the phrases in “quotations” throughout this story and you’ll understand why at the end. My family planned a picnic the Saturday before Father’s Day. This picnic had been in the works for about three weeks and all my family and close friends were expected to attend. This was nothing out of the ordinary as we had picnics all the time and the more people the merrier! We were going to have a huge bonfire down by our pond, tons of food, and games. The day before the picnic, I received a call from my grandmother requesting my assistance with “loading her car” about two hours before the picnic.
Again, nothing out of the ordinary. The day of the picnic arrived and we were all visiting and playing games when a nursing friend of ours showed up with her husband. She had taken care of my dad a few years ago when he had cancer and then my mom just a few weeks before when she had a brief hospital stay. She explained that she and her husband were out and about and wanted to see if it was okay if they “went fishing” in our pond. She felt bad because she said she “didn’t know we were having a picnic” and felt as though she was intruding. We told her the more the merrier and to grab a plate of food before they headed down to fish. We continued to mingle, eat, and play yard games. It was about 6:30 that night when Josh asked if I wanted to play Bean Bags (some of you know it as Corn Hole). We won and I continued to play another game with my grandma while he got something to eat. As I was playing, my dad got a phone call from our neighbor who owns the house up the road from us, but lives two hours south.
He said that one of his “house alarms was going off” and asked my dad to please check it out. So my dad, brother, and Josh proceeded to head up to check things out. About 10 minutes later, my mom approaches me all puzzled and asks where the guys all went. I told her about the house alarm and continued on playing Bean Bags. A few more minutes go by and my mom receives a call from my dad (no, she didn’t, she totally acted the whole thing out). He said that they were on their way back down and wanted us to meet them down at the pond because he wanted to start the bonfire. We gathered everyone up and started heading down. I should note that it was a straight shot to where the bonfire was located from where we were on the patio. Instead, my mom says she wants to “show everyone the new path we created” and even though it would get us there, it was the long way around. Gullible me said, “Oh yeah, good idea!” As we started up the path, I noticed red and white rose petals spread out along the ground. In that moment, I knew what was going to happen but I had no idea what all was in store for me on that walk down the path.
As we continued to walk, we came upon a small table that had a vase full of wild flowers, more rose petals, a framed picture of our very first date, a canvas stamped out with “brought to you by christianmingle.com,” and a hand-written note from Josh explaining how perfect we looked for each other even on our first date. I’m in shock at this point, but my mom takes my arm and leads me down the petal covered path, with about 25 close family and friends behind me.
The next checkpoint was down the path a little further and nailed to a tree was where I found another canvas that was stamped with “Are you ready to be a Lewis”? The “Lewis” was his name tag from his Air Force uniform. Below the canvas was a big heart with E + J and the date we picked for our wedding branded into the tree (I told you we talked engagement and marriage all the time!). Like stated above, Josh envisioned this proposal for months prior and he enlisted some of the most important people in my life to help execute his plans. Including what was branded into the tree. It was created by my brother who had recently taken up blacksmithing and forging, and he made the heart, letters, and numbers for the brand.
The third checkpoint landed us at a huge tree stump that had more rose petals and pictures of us scattered on top with another hand-written note listing the things Josh loved about me. What made this even more special was that all the pictures used were ones I surprised him with for our 6 month anniversary.
The fourth checkpoint brought us to the end of the path where I found stapled to a tree a piece of paper that read, “Every journey begins with…” and a Parris Jewels business card attached to it followed by “If you turn around, you’ll find your biggest catch yet.” That’s when I turned around to find him waiting for me, hand held out, ready to lead me down onto the dock. As we were walking down, Josh had one of our favorite country songs, “From the Ground Up” by Dan + Shay playing on his speakers.
At the end of the dock we just kept looking at and embracing each other. Josh stepped away and pointed to the other side of the pond where I saw “Will You Marry Me?” signs on an old door. When I turned back around, I found him down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen… that he designed!
Of course, I said yes!
Once we walked off the dock, we were showered with love, gifts, and congratulations from our closest friends and family. It could not have been a better night.
Josh and I knew from our first date that forever was in store for us and we cannot wait to see what God has planned for us as we begin our forever in less than a year. As for all those “quotations…” Remember when I went over to my grandma’s house to help her “load the car” a couple hours before the picnic? That was a decoy to get me away from my parent’s house while they put the finishing touches on the path. Remember that nurse who “didn’t know we were having a picnic?” She’s also a photographer on the side and she wasn’t there to fish, but to capture this amazing moment for us. Remember the “neighbor’s house alarm that went off?” No alarm ever went off, but was yet another decoy so Josh could get set up without me seeing him. I cannot wait to spend forever with this man.
Joshua: The idea behind the whole proposal was to make sure that everyone was involved. I remember her telling me from the very beginning of our relationship that it was a dream of hers to be surrounded by friends and family when that time came to get down on one knee. So, I figured having neighbors, family, friends, and some beautiful wilderness would be a perfect fit for the occasion. I knew that this would be something to remember forever so I had to make it perfect, planning every detail down to the exact T. Her momma was a huge help, as well as her dad, believe it or not! I live about 4 hours from her parents and I’m usually only there every other weekend so I had to make a lot of phone calls and send a lot of pictures back and forth.
But even with the distance, I can say one thing and that is that it was stress free! When it came time to hire a photographer for this special moment, I left that up to her mom. Unfortunately, her mom was hospitalized for a short period of time about a month before the proposal, but while she was in, she was able to talk to one of the RN’s who worked there who did photography on the side. I told her to hire her for whatever weekend she was free and that’s when the engagement would happen! The day of the proposal arrived and we played it off so well. We had a bonfire/Father’s Day gathering which was a cover up for the proposal on the dock. Everyone knew about the real reason for a picnic (besides Emily, of course) but we were calm and just smiling a bunch.
The RN and her husband pretended to fish when really, she had cameras set up and had been taking pictures the entire time. It was a well-rounded plan that came together like a fairytale. It’s our own country fairytale and I loved every second leading up to it. I actually got impatient and told her mom to push it up 15 minutes early! I couldn’t wait any longer! We had the neighbor right up the road make a phone call saying one of his house alarms went off. Her dad, brother, and I went up there when really, nothing was wrong, but it was a way to give Emily, her mom, and the rest of the bunch time to head down to the trail. Which by the way, had 4,000 silk rose petals that I had to beg her dad to let me put down. He finally gave in (I think he likes me). After a few minutes, we quietly came back down from the neighbor’s house and I sprinted down to the pond while she was at the first checkpoint in the woods. Once she got to the last checkpoint that read “Every journey begins with Parris Jewels, if you turn around you’ll find your biggest catch yet,” I walked up to meet her, grabbed her hand, and said I got one more thing for you as we walked down to the dock. This is when I got a little nervous and had to walk slow to stall because the RN’s husband had a part in this as well. His job was flipping the sign over that said “Will you marry me?” which by the way, her momma did a wonderful job designing.
I pointed to it and as soon as she turned around, I was down on one knee. That’s been the happiest moment of my life so far! When it came to designing the ring, I had been secretly listening and taking down notes for months when Emily would talk about her dream ring. I knew that this girl deserved nothing but the best, so I found her favorite jewelry place off Instagram, located in New York City, and called her up. I told her everything my sweet, soon to be fiancée wanted and I was able to custom design the ring through pictures and multiples messages since it was so far away. When she mailed it to me, it was like something out of a movie, just everything stopped for a second and I knew it was absolutely perfect. And let’s just say she loved it! Everyone loves it! That’s everything in a nut shell; the only way to get the full effect is to have been there to witness this magical moment that we will both remember for the rest of our lives.