Haley and Matthew

How We Met

When I was 19 I packed up my car and moved from Missouri, where I was born and raised, to Gainesville, Florida. Ever since I was a kid I always felt like Florida was where I was meant to be. So I followed my heart and what my gut was telling me and moved! It was quite possibly the most nerve racking and courageous thing I have ever done. After I started to settle into my new town, I made a friend who invited me to go line dancing with a group of girls at a local country bar. Even though all I wanted to do was go to a beach bar, I let my new friends drag me to this all-to-familiar country dancing bar (at least I still had my cowboy boots from Missouri!). But it just so happens that this same night that I almost decided to stay in and watch Netflix, I ended up meeting Matthew, my future husband, partner in crime, and perpetual dinner date that lets me steal food off his plate (cue the goosebumps).

How He Asked

On October 15, 2016, the Mizzou tigers were playing the UF gators. My dad (MU alumni) was supposed to fly in and watch the game with me and Matt (UF alumni). However I received a call that his flight had been cancelled due to weather. My sister took me to Disney World that morning as a wonderful consolation prize. But as we park the car in the Epcot parking lot, my brother in-law handed me a sealed letter. I opened it and read a note from Matt explaining that today was I was going to embark on a journey that would lead me to a “grand finale.” The letter was the first of seven clues that I would open on a scavenger hunt taking me on my favorite rides, brunch with my sister and the Disney resorts, and even a spa day at the Grand Floridian (gosh I’m so lucky!). The final clue led me to the Be Our Guest restaurant where I found a vanity set up with a movie for me to watch.

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The movie was a collection of sweet diary entries of my loved ones from all over the country expressing their love and blessings for Matt and I. When the film was over, (and I thought I was done ugly crying), Matt came from across the bridge with my whole family who he flew in from different parts of the country so we could all be together as he got down on one knee for my grand finale.

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