Shelby and Geoff

How We Met

Geoff and I met at a bible study in San Diego, CA. I was already friends with his sister and she brought him along one night. We became friends but never actually hung out outside of the bible study. We both went to a mutual friend’s wedding and got to talking. Turns out, we had a lot more in common than we thought! We both loved country music and were both going to the same concert in a few weeks. Although we met up at the concert (an he definitely was flirting with me), we didn’t start dating. It wasn’t until about 6 months later that we finally went on a date. He was busy completing his Master’s degree, but we knew there was something between us and decided to give it a try. Thank goodness we did, because we’ve been together ever since and it’s been an amazing journey!

How He Asked

Geoff’s family is from Tennessee and he grew up spending summers at his grandmother’s house. He is always talking about the memories and unique charm of the South. He still tries to make a trip out there from San Diego to see his cousins each year. So of course, I was very excited when he invited me to join him on the trip for the Thanksgiving holiday. During our trip, I saw the no-stop-light town where his grandma was born, the house his grandpa built for the family, and many more special people and places.

One of the special spots he took me to was Cades Cove – a secluded valley in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. This 11-mile loop was home to a few settlers in the early 1800’s. On our trek, we saw the well preserved cabins, barns, and churches of the early settlers. We saw gorgeous sweeping views of the valley full of rich fall colors. And we even saw a mama bear and cub walk right in front of our car! As we were taking in the sights, Geoff kept telling me how special this place is to him. He said that when he was a little boy, he wished he could live out here and run around all day. But his favorite homestead was the last one on the loop – the Carter Shields Cabin.

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We reach his favorite spot and hopped out of the car to take a closer look. The quaint cabin was surrounded by dogwood trees and a little creek ran behind it. Geoff told me to go stand by the cabin and he would set up the camera (we had a tripod). I stood there, asking “Is this good?” He smiled, said yes, and walked over to me. He gave me a huge hug and kiss and asked “Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me?”

I knew it then – this was the moment! “Of course, yes!” I answered, still holding him tight. The he took a step back, got down on one knee, and presented the ring. “Will you marry me?” he asked. “YES!!” I answered without hesitation. I took the ring and we hugged and kissed and laughed. I was so excited that I forgot to put the ring on my finger. Then after I calmed a little, we put the ring on and he told me that he had captured the whole proposal on video. He had been recording the whole time!

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We walked around and took more pictures. Another visitor congratulated us on the new engagement, saying “I thought I heard that going on over there. Congratulations!” Geoff told me all about the ring. The diamond was from the ring his grandpa gave to grandma, our initials are on the inside of the band, and he took months to custom design the perfect ring for me. He told me that he already got my family’s blessing and everyone is waiting to here the proposal story! He thought of every detail and I am so thankful to have him for the rest of my life.

Now we have this special moment, in this special place, to share forever!

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