Meghan and Nathan
How We Met
I was a dancer for 16 years starting at the age of two. Throughout high school dance became a huge part of my life and I was dedicated more than ever. My dance teacher had a son in high school, who ironically was best friends with the boy I was soon to fall in love with. All throughout my senior year of high school, Nate became a frequent visitor at the dance studio and I noticed he would show up during the times my classes were scheduled. I knew there was something special about this boy because what 18 year old wrestler, football player, and track athlete enjoyed spending time at a dance studio? The months went on and we became closer. Other girls at the dance studio noticed the strong connection we had begun to form, and they would always make a big deal when he would walk in, knowing I had butterflies in my stomach every time I saw him. Towards the end of the year, my dance studio plans to puts on a ballet production with the entire dance company being involved at our annual recital. This year, the theme happened to be “Beauty and the Beast.” I was asked by my amazing dance teachers to be one of the main characters, and was honored to perform in the show as Belle. After countless months, weeks, days, and hours of practicing for the big performance in June, there was only one thing missing.
We needed a Prince, someone who was strong, handsome, and would fit the part as “my Beast.” Immediately, I knew just who I wanted to share the stage with. A week later, Nate was in the dance room with my teacher and I, practicing his waltz and lifts trying to perfect dance moves he had never been accustomed to before. Although this was all for fun for him, it was the most romantic experience I have ever been apart of and it started what would be the best love story of all time. Recital finally arrived and everyone was getting ready for one of the funnest weekends of the entire year. Casey Sisters Dance Academy is a phenomenal dance studio located in Weirton, West Virginia and is well known in many aspects of talent, including tap, jazz, ballet, acrobat, contemporary, and lyrical. The studio has thrived for over 50+ years and has become a huge, and highly successful business in our community. Each year, the auditorium is packed with hundreds of people to show their support for the dancers. As I looked out into the audience, I became nervous to perform one of the studios biggest acts, but I vividly remember in that exact moment of fear, a tight squeeze on my hand a whisper in my hear saying “you’re going to be great, ill be right here with you.” I turned around and Nate was standing there with a huge bouquet of flowers themed in the colors of “Beauty and the Beast.” I thought to myself, “Is my fairy tale coming true?!”
In that moment of time I felt on cloud nine, and was beyond ecstatic to be sharing the stage with my best friend. The lights dimmed and I began to dance as if no one were watching, I felt better then ever, and was having the time of my life. As I am center stage, I caught a glimpse in the left wing and saw Nate in full costume, which he proudly wore, smiling from ear to ear waiting to meet me out there. He lifted me into the air, he spun me around, and we waltzed together to “Tale as Old as Time,” a song that will be ever so special to me for the rest of my life. Our performance soon ended, but just before we existed the stage, Nate, my Beast and prince charming, leaned in and gave his princess a kiss for the entire audience, all of his friends, and the rest of the cast to see. Later that night we celebrated and as a new graduate from Casey Sisters Dance Academy, I was able to reflect back on all the memories that I had made over the past 16 years. I had grown into the young lady my parents always knew I could be, and I owe it to to my teachers and my experiences I gained during my years of dance. Being apart of such an amazing studio allowed me to gain confidence, leadership skills, and life long friends whom are still close to me today.
I knew graduating from Casey Sisters I would, not only, gain a dance family that will continually stay by my side for the remainder of my life, but during the night of recital, when it was all said and done, on June 19th, 2010 I gained a boyfriend as well. Confessing he was too nervous to ask me to be his girlfriend during our waltz on stage, he asked me one of the easiest questions to answer in the parking lot that night. From that day on my life has been nothing but a celebration, so full of excitement and happiness, and so full of love.. all because of him. The pictures I have attached are in hopes to show you a glimpse of how our love story has transpired over the years. Looking at these priceless pictures, I hope you can see the pure love he shows me and the happiness on my face. We started dating at 18 and now were both 25 and it has been so fun to go through all of life’s obstacles with him and experience everything we have over the past seven years. THIS is my story on how I met the man on my dreams, I hope you enjoyed!
How He Asked
Nate’s family surprised Nate and I with a celebration trip to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and the Bahamas for Nate’s graduation present. He Graduated and has recently become a Doctor of Physical Therapy this past May. Anxiously waiting for our departure since December, we packed our bags and drove to Baltimore, MD. It was a 7 day cruise and his whole family was able to join us. Carnival Pride was the most amazing cruise ship I have ever been on. The entertainment team was remarkable, the ship was beautiful, and there were countless amounts of activities to do each day on board, which if anyone knows Nate and I knows how much we love to be involved and have ourselves a good time. We boarded the ship on Sunday morning, enjoyed the sail away party on the Lido deck and danced the night away at “Beauties” night club.
Monday morning was our first day at sea. We laid out all morning, swam in the salt water pool, ate endless amounts of food from the buffet lines (their food selection was OUT OF THIS WORLD). The day went on, and at around 3:00 pm Nate asks me if I would want to go to karaoke with him at 4:30 pm. Now, Nate can sing, I mean really sing. He has the voice of Elvis and is really good at putting on a show for anyone watching him do his best impersonation. So, of course I loved the idea of watching/listening to him sing. Monday night also happened to be the formal night on the cruise ship where you dress to impress and have a fancy dinner with all the fellow cruisers. Lisa and Dave, Nate’s parents, were the only two on the ship who knew what was about to happen, however Lisa was so nervous about the proposal and did not know if she would be able to get the perfect picture or video of how it would happen.
Lisa knew she needed backup and told Nate’s sister and cousin what was about to happen. So, back in the room, trying ever so hard to keep their composure and not bust at the seams, Nate’s sister and cousin are “beautifying” me, picking out my outfit, and doing my makeup because of the news they had just received. Now, I didn’t think twice about this because what girl doesn’t love to be pampered before getting ready for a fancy event? Maggie, Nate’s sister, thought on her own and with her own money, to go and purchase a WiFi and internet package from the cruise ship so that she could call my family back home to incorporate them into this wonderful surprise. Back home, my mom and dad knew the proposal was going to happen on the ship and were devastated that they were not going to witness it first hand, but when Maggie called my mom that day at 4:00 pm and said, “its time get ready,” my mom burst into tears, ran home, and got my dad, grandma, and grandma ready to watch the big reveal!! Down in the Karaoke room, we are all sitting in front, in perfect view of all the singers.
Nate signs up to sing, just as he normally does, and a few names later, his is called. He nervously walks to the microphone, looks me dead in the eyes and says, “Meghan, this one is for you..” Of course, my heart swells and he begins to sing to me “I Cant Help Falling in Love with You” by Elvis Presley, which he knows is my favorite. As he sings he glances over at me throughout the song, making eye contact and being as romantic as ever. I felt so special and loved because in a room full of 200 people, I could tell that in his eyes, I was the only girl in the room and he was truly singing to me, the girl who was head over heels for him ever since that first day back in 2010.
The song was beautiful, everyone couldn’t believe how remarkable his voice was, but then as everything in life does, the song came to an end. Naturally, I’m clapping and waiting for him to walk over so I can kiss him and thank him for making my day. But, Nate had other plans. As the song stopped, the room got quiet. I was confused wondering, “what is he still doing up there?” At 4:30 pm, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, on a cruise ship, in front of 200 strangers, Nate spoke into the microphone and said.. “Meghan, the past 7 years have been absolutely amazing, and its all because of you. I need that in my life, for the rest of my life… Will you MARRY ME?”
He put the microphone down, walked over to me, got down on one knee and asked me to be his future wife. After convulsing in my chair and crying into my hands, I composed myself, stood up, AND SAID YES! The room erupted with cheers and congratulations. I couldn’t believe I no longer had a boyfriend, but a fiancé. Moments after the proposal, Maggie showed me her phone and the only thing I see is my mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa, four grown adults, sobbing at our kitchen table watching their daughter and granddaughter get engaged to the man of her dreams from miles away. I instantly began to cry and couldn’t thank Maggie enough for allowing them to be a part of one of the best days of my life.
Throughout the entire cruise, passengers on board, workers, and the entertainment staff congratulated us, gave us bottles of champagne, looked in awe at my ring, and helped make our engagement so very memorable. We were known as “the cutest couple who just got engaged,” for seven straight days. Needless to say, a smile never left my face the entire trip. Nate couldn’t have picked a better time or place to “pop the question” because we were able to enjoy our engagement on Carnival Pride and take millions of pictures of my BEAUTIFUL ring with background sceneries I could only picture in magazines [he did so good, didn’t he?!]
This is definitely a vacation for the books, & is one that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I knew fairy tales existed, but I never knew how amazing they felt until just now.. I have been on cloud nine since the moment he got down on one knee, & I know he’ll keep me there forever.
The video of the most adorable proposal can be watched on our Facebook pages. Grab the tissues, I promise it will be worth your while! –> Meghan Billick or Nate Stiffler.
Posted by Meghan Billick Stiffler on Sunday, June 11, 2017