Sydney and Brook

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How We Met: Brook and I have conflicting ways of telling people how we met :).  He likes to tell people we met through mutual friends… but the truth is that we met in February of 2012 during a pick-up flag football game at a park with friends.  I had been playing flag football with the same group for a few weeks, and we were so bad that we had to schedule pick up games on the weekends so we wouldn’t keep getting crushed when we played other teams.  I remember it was cold that weekend, so it was hard to find people to come out and play.  Our friend Mike invited some people who didn’t usually play on the team, just for fun.

We had been playing for a little while when two guys started walking towards our group in full workout gear.  I remember thinking “Damn!  Those guys are good looking.”  They both had dark hair and dark features and it was hard to keep my eyes off of them.  Anyway, they introduced themselves as brothers, Brook and Ethan, and we started playing.  Brook was playing quarterback and kept throwing me the ball (which I kept missing).  When it comes to athletics, I’m an average player.  I am not the worst and I am certainly not the best.  But this day, I could NOT catch the ball.  I was so intimidated and probably looked like an idiot.

I remember during one of the plays Ethan tore his sliding pants at the knee.  He was a little upset because Brook had just gotten the pants for him at Christmas.  I remember this part so vividly because Brook was so nurturing and caring.  He told Ethan not to worry – it wasn’t a big deal and he could get him a new pair.  It seems small, but he was so paternal which for me was a huge attraction!

When the game ended I guess I was pretty desperate to not let that be the last time I saw him, I blurted out that we should have a party tonight and everyone at the game had to come.  Brook told me later he knew at that moment I was interested.  So obviously I wasn’t very good at being mysterious… but it worked out in the end.

Later that night (at the party we put together last minute) we were playing a card game.  We were all standing in a circle around the table and there was a card that said to put your arm around the person to your right.  Luck had it that I was standing on Brook’s right.  And I swear I didn’t manipulate it.  It was fate.

We’ve been dating ever since :).

How He Asked: It was the ultimate surprise.  Brook and I have dated for over two and a half years and at least once or twice I casually mentioned that I wanted the two of us to be alone when he proposed because I think it’s romantic and intimate (and in general I don’t like surprises or being the center of attention).  So back in January when Brook’s family asked us to go on a family vacation to Kiawah Island in August I thought  nothing of it!

Little did I know Brook had been planning the surprise for NINE months!  He even flew out in February to ask my dad’s permission.  His flight was cancelled three times because of the snow and at one point my dad called him and said, “Brook, if you need to ask me something you know you can do it over the phone.”  Brook stood firm and insisted on flying out for lunch to ask his permission.

The week before our Kiawah vacation Brook was totally calm, he made me feel like I was making the plans for the trip.  We took the day off work on Wednesday, took our time packing and drove the 3.5 hours to the beach.  When we arrived we took a little tour of the house and his family showed us our room.  We went to a nice dinner and had a lovely evening.

Thursday morning we woke up and went for a run on the beach around 8am.  After the run we came back to the house and had some breakfast and chatted with his family.  Around noon the whole family went for a long bike ride in the maritime forest and down the hard-packed sand on the beach.  When we got back to the house we changed into our bathing suits and went to the beach.  We got back to the house around 3 or so and decided to lay out by the pool.

I was salty and sandy from the beach so I wanted to go take a shower but Brook was being so sweet and asked me to stay outside with him.  So we took a little nap until the pool guy showed up to clean out the pool. “Thank gosh,” I thought – I really wanted to take a shower!  I took a shower and came back out in the living area to hang out and chat with the family.  They had told me in advance we would have one formal dinner, and tonight was the night.

Everyone was talking about how they were going to dress up, so as soon as Brook was out of the shower and dressed I went in our room to get ready.  I took my time because I knew there were three other people in the house who needed to shower and get dressed.  Forty-five minutes later I walked out of the bedroom door and there was a chair blocking the exit.  On the chair was a note with gold  lettering that said, “Sydney, there will be a black car outside to pick you up promptly at 6:45pm.  I love you, -Brook.”  And nobody was in the house!!!

Immediately I registered what was happening, but 6:45pm was an hour and a half away!  I immediately started to panic.  I called my best friend, no answer.  I called another good friend of mine and she picked up.  I talked to her for an hour and we both freaked out together.  I opened a bottle of wine and made her talk to me about anything to pass the time.

At 6:40 the car pulled up and I ran outside.  His name was Lee and he drove me to the Ocean Course in Kiawah.  He had instructions to take me to the Atlantic Room.  When I arrived at the hostess stand at the very busy course the woman looked at me and said, “Right this way, Sydney.”  She walked me through double wooden sliding doors and out to the patio where Brook was waiting.

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It was covered in candles and white rose petals and he looked TERRIFIED!  We both were.  There were tears and words and he got down on one knee to ask.  I didn’t even see the ring because my eyes were blurred.  I said yes and then the photographers swarmed us!  They handed us champagne and the surprises kept coming… we walked out to the beach to take engagement photos.

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We took photos on the beach for about an hour and when we walked back inside our family, best friends, and godparents were all there waiting!

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It was such an enchanted night.

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It’s not how I thought I wanted it, but it turned out so much better than I ever could have imagined.  We spent the night and weekend surrounded by the people who love us most and we had an incredible time enjoying every single moment.

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Photos by: Richard Bell Photography | Event Planning by Distinctive Events