Rachel and Slater
How We Met
Slater and I both attend Freed-Hardeman University. I was going through freshman orientation called Interface. My group leader, Corey, and Slater were sophomores at the time. Corey introduced us. By introduced I mean, he asked right in front of a big group of people if I would ever go out with him. Of course trying to be cool I said, I’m not a big fan of redheads. A couple of days passed and we ran into each other after classes one day. He waved from down the hall and we both went back to our dorms. A few hours later I had received a Facebook message from him. We talked for a bit but then he never replied. I figured since he had already been at school for a year, he probably had someone or wasn’t trying to waste his time on a freshman right at the beginning of the new school year. Two days later he messaged me back saying, “So I know Facebook messaging sucks so if you want to text me you can…” and left his number. My first reaction was to text him right away, but I decided to make him wait a little bit. Finally, I got the nerve to text him and the rest is history.
We started dating on September 10, 2014 and I knew then that he was different from any other boy I had dated. My mother always joked with me about not settling for the first boy I dated, that I was in college and should date some. Of course. because she’s my mother, I listened but I just couldn’t see myself being with anyone else. We just fit together perfectly and have so much fun. He’s my best friend in the entire world and I couldn’t imagine going through a day without him. He is so kind-hearted and will always stand by your side through anything. I’m so blessed to know him and share life with him. I cannot wait to marry him and start such an awesome life together.
How He Asked
Rachel’s side: After all the Christmas festivities had happened, my siblings and I had one gift left to open but we weren’t allowed to open it until Slater had gotten there. It was the day after Christmas when Slater had come down to visit with my family and me. We finally got to open our gift that was for the four of us and to my surprise, we opened up magic bands. My parents had planned this surprise Christmas trip (well, what I thought was a surprise) and learned we were leaving two days later. We were all so excited. We got everything packed up and flew from Birmingham, AL to Orlando. The first few days of the trip were such a blast. But the third day was by far my favorite of the trip.
We arrived at Magic Kingdom, which was fun mainly to see Slater’s reaction because he had never been at Christmas time. We were walking down Main Street USA and mom stopped and asked if we could get a family picture taken in front of the castle. After we finished, Slater asked if we could get one of just the two of us. I thought nothing of it and agreed. We got into place and the photographer posed us. After a few shots, I started to walk off but the photographer asked if there was anything else we had in mind of doing for a picture. I shrugged and turned back to Slater to see what he thought. When I turned towards him, he grabbed my hand and began to get down to one knee. I immediately started crying. He looked at me and said “Rachel, I love you. Will you marry me?” I tried so hard to get the word “yes” to come out but I was crying so hard that I couldn’t speak. Everything about it was absolutely perfect. I have been going to Disney World with my family since 2001, so he knew how special of a place it was to me. We were able to share that moment with my family in my absolute favorite place on earth.
Slater’s side: I had been planning this whole Disney proposal for some time now. After I went to Disney with her and her family the first time I knew that’s where I wanted to ask her to marry me. She talks so much about how she loves it and how it’s so special to her since she grew up going all the time.
August of 2016 is when I started really thinking into what I wanted to do. I involved her sister, Elizabeth, and told her some of the ideas I was thinking. Elizabeth loved the idea of Disney, so she decided to talk to their parents about a trip. Luckily, Rachel’s parents were already planning a surprise trip as a Christmas present. Elizabeth told me about the Christmas trip so I knew that’s how it was going to happen.
I knew how important it was to Rachel that I ask for her parents blessing and I was raised to do so. One weekend we had gone to spend the weekend at Rachel’s house. Some of her family had come down to watch the Alabama vs. Ole Miss game that Saturday. After the game was over, a few of them (Rachel included) decided to make a Target run. I knew this was my chance to ask. Her father, Kevin, and I were sitting in the living room watching football when I finally got the courage to ask. I was so nervous, my hands were sweating, but I bulldozed right into it. I just started rambling on about how crazy I was about Rachel and how about my intentions of marrying her. Her father sat there looking at me and finally called for Rachel’s mother, Michelle, to come to the living room. I was so nervous, but finally they looked at me and told me how they had prayed Rachel would find a great life partner and they were so happy I fit the part. I finally had their permission and I could not have been more excited.
After months of waiting and planning, we finally got to Disney World. I was so excited and nervous the first two days we were there because all I could think about was asking her to marry me. The day that we were going to Magic Kingdom finally came. I was so nervous that I would screw up and Rachel would find the ring. Before leaving for the park, I buried the ring box in the bottom of my backpack. When we entered, a parade had just started and Rachel walked to the side to watch. I took that time to quickly dig out the box and put it into my pocket.
We made our way down the road toward the castle and her mom asked to stop and get a family picture. After that, I asked Rachel if we could get our picture taken of just the two of us. She agreed and the photographer put us in place. My heart was pounding. I didn’t know I would be so nervous but all my hopes and dreams for us were finally coming true. Her mother had told the photographer what was about to happen so he could be ready to snap a lot of photos. We took a couple of pictures and then finally, I dropped down to my knee and asked my best friend to marry me. She struggled to get any words out because of how much she was crying but I knew what her answer was all along. Finally she said yes and her family came over to congratulate us.