Mandi and Braden

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How We Met

I met Braden almost two and a half years ago, in August of 2014. His sister (my former church leader and friend) set us up and we went in a double date with her and her husband. We went on a couple dates after that but eventually fell apart because of busy schedules, long distance, timing, etc. Fast forward to July 2016. We reconnected and over the course of 7 months Braden quickly became my best friend and I decided he was the man I wanted to spend eternity with.

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How He Asked

I drove over to his house for a game night with his family. (…Or so I thought.) Just a we were walking up to his parents house I heard guitar music playing one of my favorite songs. He walked me to the back yard where he had strung lights on all the trees and made a path in the snow down to a stream and a fire pit. Standing next to the fire pit was one of my favorite bands, The National Parks…..THE NATIONAL PARKS! We walked down to the fire and he asked me to dance while the band played “You Are Gold”. As the song ended, he got down on one knee and with tears in his eyes asked me to marry him. I said yes (of course) and we were congratulated and hugged by the band members. He said he had another surprise for me up at the house and I turned around to see all the lights in the house flick on and the happy faces of our sweet families clapping and cheering.

We went inside where his sister had made waffles for everyone and we spent the rest of the nights sharing our happy moment with the people we love. I kept thinking, “is this real life?!” I get to marry the man of my dreams AND I got to meet the members of one of my favorite bands. Best surprise ever.