Sachel & Ethan: Marriage Proposal in Charlotte, North Carolina
How we met: Ethan is the one who gave me my first kiss. He was the first guy I ever wrote in a journal about and the first guy I ever I said “I love you” to. To be a part of his journey and witness him grow from the young boy I met as a little girl to a man that pursues God fiercely…my future husband…I’m just SO honored and excited!!!
Our love story begins in the summer of 1995. In Atlanta, Ga. at our church’s summer camp, I met Ethan when I was seven years old and he was nine. Not too long after meeting me, Ethan told my mom he was going to marry me and I guess you could say I needed more convincing.
Growing up, we were involved in church activities that kept us around each other such as serving together on the youth usher board and traveling to Nova Scotia on a missions trip together. Although Ethan was never shy about his feelings for me, I was a bit more shy. I knew I liked him, but fear kept me from speaking up. As we got older and went to separate high schools, we would chat every now and then, but it wasn’t until our senior year of college (he went to Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, NC and I went to The University of Georgia in Athens, GA) that something in me just clicked.
While at a conference in South Carolina, I decided in the middle of the night, that I wanted to go surprise him for his college graduation. That trip to Charlotte gave me the courage to open my heart up to him and love him fiercely with all my heart. 5 years later, we’ve grown closer than ever before. With him serving in the U.S. Air Force in Alaska and me running a photography business in Virginia, we’ve had our ups and downs with each other. Nevertheless, in the midst of the distance, laughs and tears, our bond is unbreakable. All the experiences we’ve gone through together has prepared us for this very moment.
Looking back, Ethan is my perfect example of 1 Corinthians 13. Even when I was stubborn and tried to run from my feelings for him, he remained true to what God whispered to him at the young age of nine. It didn’t matter that his boys told him things like “let it go,” and “she doesn’t like you,” he never gave up on me. He was patient with me and believed in the power of our love even when I couldn’t see it. With each other, we have the freedom to be exactly who God created us to be and that is a beautiful thing.
I’m so honored to be his Mrs. :-)
How he asked: He, along with my best friend Tamara had been planning this for a year. While Ethan was visiting me this summer we stopped in Charlotte to attend my sorority’s national convention and to meet up with my mom and sisters who were also coming to the event.
The night before he proposed, he picked a fight with me and I was furious. But the following day, he told me he wanted to take me to his favorite place in Charlotte and keeping in mind I was a photographer, told me I should probably bring my camera because I could get some really great photographs.
We pulled up to what I thought was someone’s house, but turned out to be Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary. We went in and immediately I was in heaven. I pulled out my camera and began capturing the natural beauty. I eventually followed a path that lead to the main garden and sat down on a bench to get the perfect angle of the fountain in the center and the flower bushes along the side.
As I sat down, I asked Ethan to let me get a picture of him in the garden and said “Smile! We’re making memories!” Little did I know the ultimate memory was about to be made. After I snapped a picture of him, he began talking about how our relationship and how we are indeed making memories. As I put my camera down and looked into his eyes. As he said “in the spirit of making memories,” he got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him. Of course, I began to cry and in my head screamed yes. He then went on to tell me that we had a few very special people who were here to celebrate with us. Out of the rose bushes that I JUST photographed, popped my sisters, 3-year-old twin nieces, my mother and my best friend Tammy who flew down from New York…all with cameras capturing the entire thing!
I guess I still hadn’t said yes out loud, but I immediately screamed yes through my tears!
Before we left, our friends and family joined hands around us and prayed over us, thanking God for bringing us together. It truly was magical.
I later found out that he had never been to Wing Haven and that Tammy’s parents, who live in Charlotte, were also in on the planning and helped him find the gardens. I didn’t know when it would happen, but one thing I remember mentioning to him a long time ago was when I get engaged, I want it all captured on camera. Photography is my passion and for him to remember that made it even more perfect. We will have those images forever and I’m eternally grateful to our friends and family.
Our first night as an engaged couple ended with us toasting champagne with our very first engagement gift: two Tiffany & Co. champagne flutes and lots of dancing.
We are over the moon excited to spend our forever together!! Now the journey to the alter begins!! Yay for Team Harris!!!!