Megan and Brandon
How We Met
The first night we met, Brandon was totally not interested. He was fresh out of a long term relationship and didn’t have eyes for me, or so I thought. That night we played trivia with mutual friends, and life moved on. Little did I know, Brandon would slowly begin to open up to the idea of dating again. We remained friends for quite awhile, texted back and forth endlessly, and about a year later he asked me on our first “official” date. We went to eat Mexican food (our all time favorite), and I was totally ashamed that I ate all my food and Brandon only picked at his. I thought I definitely couldn’t date a guy who eats less than I do. Later on in our dating lives, it came to be known that his nerves got that best of him that night. Ha! Prior to officially dating, my biggest “complaint” about Brandon was that he was too nice. You know you found the marrying type when that is the flaw you find in a man. Lucky for me, he was persistent and pursued me relentlessly ever since. He’s a sappy, hopeless romantic, and I love him for it. Here we are, almost a month from marriage, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what’s in store for our future.
How He Asked
Brandon told me on December 31, 2014 that 2015 would be the year we got engaged. Little did I know, those champagne-inspired words would actually turn into reality on December 12, 2015. And here we are on December 31, 2015, toasting to 2016, the year we get married. I’ll start by answering a common question, did you have any idea?!? Yes and no. Brandon and I had been seriously discussing marriage for months. However, engagement was always discussed as something that wouldn’t be a reality until at least the spring semester. Brandon always deferred to a later date every time I suggested that we get the ball rolling. So yes, I knew we would get engaged. But no I did NOT think it would be on December 12th…
Rachel and I had been talking about getting our nails done for over a week. She had exams until Wednesday or Thursday, and I was killing time in Knoxville as Brandon and I were going to a wedding on December 19th. She found out she passed her first CPA exam and was done with exams a day early. I suggested moving our nail appointments to an earlier date, but Rachel insisted we stick to our Saturday plans and that we would make a “girls day” out of it, brunch and mimosas included. *Retrospectively, I realized how clueless I was for why it had to be Saturday and why on earth Rachel stayed in Knoxville after her exams were over.*
So we woke up, I forgo my shower and workout, throw on a semi-decent outfit, and we are off to our favorite brunch spot, Tomato Head. Two mimosas down, and I begin to rant to Rachel about Brandon’s lack of planning skills as I further convince myself that an engagement was not in our near future. Rachel somehow keeps her cool, and we head off to Val’s as I want to look for a dress to wear to the upcoming wedding. Fifteen minutes later, we walk out empty handed and head to the nail salon, where the day really begins to unravel.
As we walk into the nail salon, Rachel links arms with me (and I’m like, okay, normal), the dollar store worker outside makes some weird comment about how cute it is that we are best friends, we open the door and Hallie says, “Hi Megan!” holding a card that reads “One.” At first, I’m like “HUH???” Why is Hallie, who lives in Nashville, at the same nail salon as me in Knoxville, TN???? Then reality strikes, in its most real form. I have never experienced the feeling of realization as strong as it hit me that moment. I was getting engaged. On. That. Day. Commence the first of many rounds of tears that day. When it began to sink in, being the controlling/planner personality that I am, I ask Hallie and Rachel pretty close to ten thousand questions. Including, but not limited to, “Rachel, why on earth did you not make me shower? What am I going to wear? Can I please change? What about my family? They have lower bowl Preds tickets tonight and he knows I want them to be here…..????”
After a nice relaxing (yet, confusing/anxiety inducing) pedicure and manicure, Rachel and Hallie suggested grabbing some Starbucks as they were told to kill some time. At this point, I made Rachel drive my car because I couldn’t even think straight. Brandon was at my apartment, letting in my family, putting a couple new dresses in my closet, and grabbing my dad to show him the place where he was going to propose. We leave Starbucks, and I get note 2 that says something about getting back to my apartment. When we get there, I open the door and instantly hear the all too familiar bark of my sweet puppy, Pepper. She comes running around the corner with the next note attached to her collar. This one tells me to pick out an outfit from the two new dresses he bought and be ready by five. Mady, Mal, and mom are also there (commence tears again). Mom shares with me the story of how Brandon had asked for their blessing a week prior, on his way to Memphis, to help his dad clean out his grandmother’s house. Mom said Dad had told her that Brandon called and said he was coming through town. He asked if they would want to have dinner. Mom instantly knew and suggested the idea to dad who insisted she was reading too much into it. When Brandon walked in the house, mom said he was so nervous and she knew right away. They ate dinner at the house and he somehow managed to get through an entire dinner without bringing up the topic for conversation. Finally, mom said “You know, Megan is going to be so upset that you saw Pepper and she didn’t.” He said something along the lines of yes, but there is actually another reason I came. He said Megan and I have been discussing marriage for awhile, and it would mean the world to us, really it would mean the world to me, if we could have your blessing. To which my mom instantly responded with a “YES!” and a huge hug; dad, a firm handshake and a yes as well (OF COURSE…I always tell Brandon my parents love him more than they love me).
Anyway, I hop in the shower eventually after our story telling subsides (YAY – thank goodness I could shower) and get ready for the most memorable night of my life. Between the two dress options, I select a fuchsia/purple-ish dress. Lucky for me, it’s actually pretty warm out, and I pair the dress with an open toe heel (they were relatively new and super cute; it worked out perfectly). Mom, Mady, and Mal inform me that they are leaving 15 minutes prior to the arrival of my mystery ride, but before they go, I get card number 4. This one was really sentimental and had everyone, including myself (cry #???), in tears. They head out and shortly after someone knocks on my apartment door. I open it, and there is my dad. Commence crying again – should have worn waterproof mascara! Hallie and Rachel capture this moment on camera and then head out the door as well.
Chauffeur dad and I leave, and he insists I sit in the back seat. *Rolling eyes – Brandon didn’t ask for this but total dad move* and I am clueless as to where we are going. I share as much of the story of my day with dad as possible and laugh hysterically as I am informed that there was a reason he was ignoring my phone calls for 3-4 days after Brandon asked for his permission. He didn’t want to ruin the surprise. I am still laughing at this as I type.
In the spirit of not ruining surprises, dad wouldn’t spill the beans on where he was taking me. We exit the interstate for downtown Knoxville, and the ideas I had in my head of where in the world we could be heading began to narrow. Eventually, we pull into a parking lot behind an apartment complex called City View. Right behind the building is a beautiful view of the Tennessee River, Neyland Stadium, and Thompson Boling Arena. Tears flow as I finally see Brandon walking up the stairs to come get me. FINALLY! It had been four or five hours since I realized what was happening to the point where I got to see the man behind it all. Brandon is like “hi,” and I am not even sure what the first words I said to him were…
He walks me down the stairs and does a poor job of guiding me to where he wanted us to stand…so I’m like hmm…where we going? It’s fine, he was nervous, I was freaking out, and the next few minutes were pretty much a blur. He said something along the lines of what a great two years it had been and I really don’t remember what else besides, “Megan Elizabeth Beck, will you marry me?” I am pretty sure I said… “Yes, of course!”
A photographer was there to capture every moment, and I was literally blown away by his planning skills (totally bit my tongue). It was an incredible day. One I will never ever forget. I am so thankful that our families and my best friends, Hallie and Rachel, could be there. Hayden, Jenn, Joe, and Brandon’s parents met us at Calhoun’s for dinner afterwards. It was so surreal. He planned the day to be entirely the way I would have wanted it; he nailed it.
I feel so fortunate to call this man my future husband. I am sharing our story for two reasons; for one, I’m sure my memory will fail me one day, and for two, I haven’t been able to share this with all of you yet. Enjoy, I know these are memories that Brandon and I will both cherish for a lifetime.