Mattie and Michael

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How We Met

Meeting Michael was totally unexpected but I always thank God that I just so happened to be in the right place at the right time. I was a student at UAB and Michael was a student at the University of Alabama. We had a few mutual friends but it was unlikely that our paths would cross. During the summer of 2014, Michael was working a congressional race in Birmingham with a friend, named Andrew, who attended UAB. One night, Andrew’s fraternity was throwing a party that my friend asked me to go with her to. (To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled about going since I had to wake up at 5:30 the next morning.) That same night, Michael and Andrew had to attend a fundraising dinner for their candidate that ended pretty late. But, Andrew convinced Michael to swing by the party anyway. When I was pulling up to the party with my friend, I saw them both walking to the door in their nice suits and honestly thought they were freshmen who were trying to impress some fraternity boys.

When I got inside and started talking with my friends, I noticed Michael was sitting on the couch and saw that he looked completely bored. Knowing very little about him, and knowing that he didn’t go to UAB, I went over to talk to him. (And boy am I glad I did!) We ended up talking the whole night and had effortless conversations about our life, school, and even our futures. My friends noticed us talking throughout the night and kept asking me how I knew him or if we were friends because it seemed like we had known each other for a while. As I was leaving, Michael asked me for my number and of course I gave to him but not really thinking much of it. I thought maybe I would get a text in a few days or even thought I wouldn’t hear from him at all.

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It was fun talking with him but I didn’t see it turning in to a relationship since we went to different schools and I wasn’t really interested in a summer fling. But, as soon as I got to my apartment and got in bed, I received a text from Michael saying, “It was really good seeing you tonight” along with a Facebook friend request – both within the same minute. As you can tell, he definitely proved every thought I had wrong. A month later, we started dating and a year and a half later we got engaged. I never thought I would say I met my husband at a fraternity party but I wouldn’t trade that night for anything!

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How He Asked

My mom and I had planned a mommy-daughter date night for Monday, November 2nd since we both had been so busy and haven’t spent much time together. She asked me where I wanted to eat and the first thing I mentioned was Gianmarco’s. (At that moment, she thought I knew about the proposal because that is where Michael planned the whole thing but I really just wanted to go because I heard such great things about the food!) She said, “Hmm.. maybe, let’s just keep thinking about it.” So that Monday rolled around and it was the epitome of Monday’s to say the least.

That morning I threw my hair in a ponytail, the work day went by rather slow, and when I finally got home I didn’t feel like getting dressed up to go to dinner. My mom said, “Do you just want to order a pizza?” Well, we both love pizza so I was all for that idea but that was never really an option! She tried to convince me to go do something with my hair and go change from my work clothes but there was nothing she could say to make me do that. (Now I wish I would’ve listened to her!!) Once we got in the car my mom finally told me we had reservations that night at Gianmarco’s!

Back story: On the way to the restaurant, Michael sent me a picture of him cooking at  his house in Tuscaloosa!! Where I thought he was!!

Once we got to the restaurant and went to the hostess table, they seemed so excited for us to be there. In my mind, I didn’t think this was anything out of the ordinary since it was a nice, smaller restaurant – I just thought it was great customer service! They told us the main dining room was full so they had to sit us in the “overflow dining room” (which doesn’t exist but I had no clue, it was my first time there!) As they take us to our seats, my mom leaves to go to the “restroom” and I followed the hostess to the private dining room attached to the restaurant.

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I walk in and the room is set up with four tables decorated with white table clothes, flowers, candles, and pictures of me and Michael – not to mention the 3 or 4 cameras set up around the room – all I was COMPLETELY oblivious to! The bartender hands me a glass of white wine as the hostess pulls a seat to the middle of the room and tells me it’s my seat! I was totally confused but at that moment I finally started to realize what was about to happen!!

Back story: A while back when Michael and I talked about getting engaged, I mentioned that I wanted to drink wine – so surprised he remembered that!!

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As I took my special seat, a video started to play that Michael made! It was the most thoughtful video that showed all the fun memories we’ve shared in our relationship. My family and his family filled the room as the video played with Michael being last. Then he asked me to MARRY HIM!!! It was a special day I will always remember!!

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Special Thanks

Gianmarco's
Restaurant