Mary-Alyx and Benjamin
How We Met
I was a junior at Mississippi State University, and he was a graduate from Mississippi College. We met through our mutual friend, Alexis Thibodeaux. Our first date was at what is now our favorite Mexican restaurant in Starkville, Mississippi. After we finished dinner, we went to a concert. I knew the moment I saw him that we were meant to be together. I never understood when my family or friends would say “when you know, you know” referring to meeting the right person. I finally understood that saying, however, when I met Ben for the first time. After getting to know each other, we figured out how much we have in common and quickly became best friends.
We both are very adventurous, spontaneous people so we bonded over doing fun things outdoors. He loves the Lord, and is one of the kindest, most passionate guys I have ever met. He is originally from Clinton, Mississippi, and he moved to my hometown, Birmingham, Alabama knowing that he wanted to eventually ask me to marry him. He knew that move would be the best decision for our future. I knew then how serious our relationship was and could really begin to picture our future together. We dated around 10 months before the proposal.
How He Asked
I planned to go home to Birmingham, Alabama from Starkville, Mississippi to visit with Ben and my family one weekend. I had absolutely no idea that Ben was planning to propose to me that Saturday with an engagement party to follow after. I woke up on Saturday, and it felt like just any other weekend. Ben and I had made plans to go to some of our favorite local bars around Birmingham. First, we went to Carrigan’s Public House for a glass of wine. We decided to go to my absolute favorite place next called the Garage Cafe. It is one of the most unique bars in Birmingham. It has a courtyard through the sliding glass doors in the back that is shaded by trees decorated with string lights. There are cement tables and fire pits. We went outside to the courtyard and picked a table as usual. A couple minutes into our conversation, I knew what was happening. He started telling me all the reasons why he loved me and how he wanted me to be in his future. He proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me the easiest question I have ever answered.
I said yes!! I wish I could relive that day over and over. It was one of the best days of my life. It was the day I knew I would get to spend the rest of my life with my very best friend. After the proposal, we went and had more pictures of us taken by Julia Sumerel at a park near by. We headed home, and I could not stop staring at the ring. It was absolutely beautiful.
I could not wait to show my family! When we walked inside my house in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, Ben had arranged for both of our families and friends to be there waiting for us. My best friend, Alexis, had decorated the dining room with pictures of us taken while we were dating. There was a beautiful strawberry cake, balloons, and champagne. Ben did an amazing job planning our proposal.
I’ll never forget the overwhelming sense of joy and peace I felt on that day.