Kara and Nathan

s7bKjSbw1yj_WbkuePhymMl4uRX8acxshnPYrlkqACAHow we met: Nathan and I met in a Film History class at the University of Georgia. Apparently he noticed me early on in the semester and about two months into the class, he finally struck up a conversation. Little to my knowledge, he already knew my name from looking at the roll sheet and his friends and family knew me as “Film History Girl.” We began sitting together in class and the rest is history!

How he asked: Anyone that knows me knows that I’m an incredibly curious person. I love surprises but I also really love figuring out surprises before they happen so Nathan had to be very strategic planning this proposal. I so wanted to be surprised. I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I was a little girl. However, I was so anxious and excited to commit to marrying this wonderful man of my mine that I couldn’t stop trying to figure out when it would happen.

At first, I thought he might pop the question on my birthday, October 11th, because he said he had to work all day and, in my head, I was thinking that meant he was going to show up to my birthday party unexpected. Turns out he really did have to work all day so I went to plan B.

Nathan got me tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera at the Fox Theater in Atlanta to celebrate my birthday a little late on October 22nd. It was the opening night so we got all dressed up. I wore my favorite dress (you know, just in case). He had even made a comment about my nails a few days before, which is not something he would normally notice so I figured there must be a reason. But, the night ended, no proposal in sight. At this point, I thought maybe I was getting ahead of myself.

Turns out, he had something much better than I had ever dreamed planned for the day right after the show, October 23rd. One of my best friends, Taylor (you may have seen her beautiful garden proposal on How He Asked last year), had texted me the week before asking if Nathan and I wanted to drive up to Athens for a double date with she and her husband, Kurt. We live about 5 minutes from them in Metro-Atlanta so I thought it was a little weird that they wanted to drive an hour up to Athens just for dinner and a movie but it sounded like fun to go visit the home of our alma mater, UGA, since I hadn’t been back since graduation. I happily accepted the invitation.

The night before, Nathan said he had one last birthday surprise for me and we had to get up to Athens a little earlier than planned, leaving right after I got off of work. I had already pretty much convinced myself to stop thinking about a proposal so I tried to put the thoughts out of my mind.

October 23rd came. If only I knew it was about to be the best day of my life so far. Nathan kept calling me, telling me about every little detail of his day from his workout to what he was eating for lunch to what TV show he was watching at home. Little did I know, he was actually in Athens the whole time scouting all of the details for the day ahead.

Now the excitement begins. Nathan got to my house to pick me up after work and seemed really anxious. I went in to freshen up and he started cleaning up frantically around my room. He kept saying we really needed to leave and finally I was ready. (Sorry Nathan, if I had known why you were rushing me, I would’ve picked up the pace!)

We hopped in the car and I have never heard Nathan talk so much or so quickly before. I don’t know if he was nervous, excited, or both, but the boy was chatty. An hour later, we pulled up to UGA’s campus and parked near the beautiful North Campus. We got out and Nathan grabbed a backpack out of the backseat, pulling out a little white envelope and handing it to me. On the outside, the words “Clue One” were printed.

I pulled out a Tiffany blue card that said “Just a Little Note.” Inside was printed: “The building where we first said hi. In that class, time did not fly by.” A scavenger hunt. My heart skipped a beat. I didn’t want to assume a proposal was coming, so I just tried to act normal.We met in the Fine Arts building so we started to walk that way. I looked down and spotted diamond rings and arrows written in chalk on the sidewalk in the exact direction we were heading. I looked at Nathan but he looked just as surprised as I was. Surprisingly, it was a complete coincidence for what was coming!

We arrived at the Fine Arts Building and he handed me a bag of my favorite candy, because we used to bring snacks to our class where we first met. He then handed me another little envelope. Clue Two. It read, “Our first meal at this place. No doubt I stuffed my face.”

We got to the cafeteria where we always used to meet in between classes to share lunch. He handed me a gift card to my favorite restaurant, Chipotle (I’m addicted), and my third clue. It said, “The place of convocation and also #dawgnation.” In college, we, along with our friends, were the holders of the infamous “DAWGNATION” signs at UGA football games. So we head to Sanford Stadium.

Nathan then gives me a UGA football t-shirt and my fourth clue, “To your studies you stayed true. This icon you may now go through.” There is a tradition at UGA that you can’t walk under the famous arch until you have graduated or else you will never graduate. Once we arrive at the arch, Nathan hands me a bunch of puppy and Disney stickers and tells me that he loves that even though I am all grown up and graduated now, I will never grow out of some things.

Nathan is about to hand me Clue Five when a guy right next to us drops to a knee and proposes to his girlfriend right in front of us! (Now we know where the chalk rings probably came from.) At the time, Nathan was so upset about all of the foreshadowing, but now, we love laughing about it.

Here comes my last clue. Clue Five read, “The teacher doth teach not clear. Fans not, were we of Shakespeare.” We took a Shakespeare class together in college and it wasn’t our strongest subject. I got a good laugh out of this one.

We start walking towards the library, hand in hand, where this class was held. Nathan starts getting a little quiet and then begins saying some very sweet things about me and our relationship and love for each other in reference to scripture. I hold back the tears and can’t contain my thoughts of him proposing any longer.

We get to the library and he tells me to wait while he puts the last card in its place. I’m starting to get nervous and fidgety at this point. He walks out into the beautiful grassy area on North Campus and places the card in the grass, waving me to join him.

My heart is racing. I walk towards my wonderful boyfriend, trying to control the butterflies in my stomach. I pick up the card, lifting it open, and see a picture of a ring.

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I gasp and cover my mouth, until to hear Nathan say, “Just kidding! Did you think I was gonna propose?” I laugh, trying to hide my disappointment, fully convinced that I am going crazy.

He kneels down to put away the card and begins saying some of the sweetest words to me, which I can hardly remember at this point. (Luckily he wrote me a letter of everything he was thinking throughout that day so I could remember those special words forever.)

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Here comes the moment I have been waiting for for so long. He pulls out a ring box, lifting the lid, and proposes. I was so happy and excited that words weren’t coming so I just nod yes and grab him and hug him, never wanting to let go.

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He places the beautiful rose gold ring on my finger, more stunning than I could have dreamed, and we walk over to where Nathan’s brother, Brian, and friend, Ryan, were hiding taking pictures and video of our special moment. I will always cherish being able to relive this!

We then walk around to some of our favorite places on campus, taking pictures and video along the way. Finally I ask Nathan if Kurt and Taylor are actually waiting for us at the restaurant. He says yes and that we should get over there to say hi. I had no idea what was waiting for me.

We get to the restaurant and walk to a back private room and there is our family and friends waiting to surprise us. Nathan had told them it was a surprise second birthday party for me since he couldn’t be there for the other one. I think they all assumed the real purpose behind this dinner though!

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I was so excited to celebrate with family and friends but Nathan had one last surprise. He told me he would be right back and then came back with my best friend, Ali. Ali lives in LA and I hadn’t seen her in a couple months. I had no idea she would be there! I screamed and ran to hug her! Nathan had flown her in just so I could share this night with her.

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This day was the best day of my life so far! I couldn’t imagine it being any better. It was beyond special and unforgettable. I can’t wait to marry this man!

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Photos by Brian Korosec  |  Video by Ryan Shove and Brian Korosec