Lauren and Connor's Sweet Back Porch Proposal

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How We Met: I was never really the girl who dreamt about getting married. I was driven, career-focused, and had a wanderlust spirit. I thought more about traveling the world than the ring I would wear. Not that I didn’t want to have a fairytale love story, but it was never at the forefront of my mind.

Until I met Connor.

We met through mutual friends. I was always a “bro,” hanging out with guys in the most platonic way possible. One of my guy friends invited me over to hangout with him and some guys the summer going into my freshman year of college. Little did I know that I would be meeting my future husband.

Immediately Connor and I were introduced to each other as the Green Bay Packers fan (him) and Chicago Bears fan (me). Throughout the day we gave each other a hard time and just had fun. We also learned that we went to the same church when we were little and our parents knew each other. He also talked about some of the friends he had been hanging out with that summer- one of which I grew up with. We all started to hangout- boat rides, downtown food festivals, movie nights, church groups. I was falling fast for the boy with the biceps and curly hair. Which was so unlike me.

After a lot of flirting and obvious attraction, we went on a date. Movies and dinner. I picked dinner, my favorite wing place. Which in retrospect was NOT the best date idea, but hey it worked! That night we hung out with our friends and he kept wanting to leave early. He said he was tired and that was fine with me. We started talking in the car about life and how I was going to college in a little over a week. It became obvious where the conversation was going- he wanted to be “official,” but was nervous about the distance. I was only going an hour away, but we would be starting off a very new relationship only seeing each other on weekends. After he asked me, “Are you sure?” about three times, he finally asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes and he kissed me immediately. I told him early on that he couldn’t kiss me until we were a defined relationship. It was perfect.

About a month later, we knew. We knew that the day that he would drop to one knee would happen someday. My favorite story to describe this would be our 3rd month anniversary. He took me on a very nice date to Bistro Bella Vita in downtown Grand Rapids. As we were sitting down, he said something like, “When we are married I think our finances should be like this…” And then gave a detailed plan of income, savings, investing, etc. Since he is an accounting major, it showed not only how series he was about us, but his love for me as well.

The next two years were filled with fun times, laughs, and lots of sports. August of 2014 he told me to go look at rings. Being the logical person I am, there was no way he was going to pick out my ring. It was going to be on my finger for the rest of my life so I am picking it out. I took one of my girlfriends with me who knew all about diamonds. After trying on halo after halo, she encouraged me to try something new. The saleswomen at Kay handed me a solitaire ring. I put it on and couldn’t stop smiling. Two days later, Connor and I put it on layaway (a great option that everyone should look into).

It was cruel every time we went to the mall- knowing that MY ring was there- waiting for me. In December we went to make a monthly payment and the saleswoman told him that he should come in on December 6 because they were having a good sale. So on Dec. 6 I knew he went in, and he is an awful liar. My ring was purchased. I cried. Most girls want the whole surprise, but I just wanted to be engaged. But he knew that I craved a story. A story to tell our family, friends, and someday our kids.

In January he started a three and a half month long, intense accounting internship. He worked over 60 hours a week, Monday-Saturday. He was working hard and making money. I was so proud of him and tried not to mention how badly I wanted to be engaged (I didn’t do a very good job). Every time I mentioned it, he acted stressed and kept reiterating that we would talk about it after his internship.

In April, the week before he was done with his internship, I went down to Nashville for my best friend’s bachelorette party with a friend. It was going to be a whirlwind weekend. Leave on Friday, party Saturday, leave Sunday. As the MOH, I had a whole day planned- winery picnic, drinks at a cool lounge, quality girl time. It was going smoothly and we were having fun. Connor had texted me on Friday night saying that one of his friends that he never sees was in town and wanted to go on a double date when I got back Sunday night. Even though I did not want to go after a crazy weekend, I said yes.

He told me that we were getting dressed up a bit, which isn’t out of the norm for us. We both enjoy putting on some nice clothes and going out together. As my friend and I were driving back up to Michigan, he kept trying to convince me to wear my dress in the car. There was no way I was wearing a dress during an 8 hour car ride. He didn’t push too much and I opted to wear my leggings and cowl neck sweater. I told myself that I would just change as soon as I got home and he would pick me up to leave.

My friend had taken over driving midway through Indiana. As she was driving (to make up time for my slower driving), I put on my makeup and kept commenting, “I don’t know why I am putting on so much makeup.” I was bored sitting the car, but she knew. Little did I know that Connor had been texting her the whole weekend. But that was just the first of the many people that knew this day was happening.

As she pulled into my parent’s driveway, my grandparents and aunts car were in the driveway, which wasn’t odd for a Sunday. But as I ran inside, there was no way I could have expected what happened.

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Music was playing, candles and roses and twinkle lights led the way to my parent’s back porch. I knew the moment I walked in.

Tears began to fill my eyes, my hands went to my mouth, and all of the other cliché things that engaged girls do happened immediately.

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The porch was filled with pictures of us and both of our sisters taking pictures. I love that I have every moment captured.

After he said beautiful words that I honestly can’t remember, he got down on one knee, and said the words I never thought I would hear at the young age of 20. IMG_0988

I obviously said a resounding YES! and lots of hugging and kissing commenced. He also surprised me with a beautiful diamond wedding band. Who doesn’t love more sparkle?

He told me of all the planning that went into this day. How when my sister came up to visit two months ago? She was actually seeing him to set the scene and plan the day. That girls day that my roommates planned of doing shellac nails? Was to just make sure I had my nails done. There was a lot of secrecy on that day, but that showed me that there were so many people willing to be a part of our day.

After I couldn’t stop crying, my mom came out and the crying continued. Then my dad, sister, grandparents, grandma, aunt, his parents, and siblings, and cousins, and aunt and uncle all came out to celebrate. Which made a joyous moment even more celebratory. They brought out chocolate covered strawberries and champagne. The champagne was served in his parents’ wedding glasses which made it even more special.

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I asked if I could finally go change into my cute dress that I planned on wearing. After jumping up and down and squealing with my sister and putting on my dress, the celebrating continued. That double date was actually a party with all of our friends. Who also all knew what was happening that weekend.

I could not have asked for a better proposal. He listened to everything I wanted. Photographs, celebrating with family and partying with friends. But he also did what was most important to me- he asked my dad.

Even though that is the typical thing to do, it means a lot to me. There is no man I look up to more than my dad. He has overcome so much in his life, and has given me so much more than I deserve. Knowing that the man I was going to marry, asked the man I will always look up to, for permission, made me glowing with pride and filled with tears.

It took a long time for me to come down from the engagement high. After putting it on Facebook and seeing all of my college friends the next day, it was an exciting few weeks. And I know that life with Connor will always be just that- exciting.

We are beginning our life together. Graduating college in December, getting married in May, and moving to Nashville in August. We know that this is God’s plan for us and are beyond excited to see where He takes us!