Tori and Blaine's Proposal at Animal Kingdom

Wild Africa Trek 169How We Met: On a beautiful Summer day in May 2011, I walked into Applebee’s, my job at the time, to a beautiful, tan-skinned, light-haired man sitting at the table I knew as number 61. My boss quickly let me know that I would be training him to be a server and I couldn’t wait to get started. Little did I know, he would turn out to be 100 times the server I was. His specialty of course, was tables full of older women. The days of wanting to be “first-cut” were over. I wanted to spend all my time at work when he was there. Summer days at the restaurant quickly turned in to summer nights getting to know each other. In August of the same year, he asked me to be his girlfriend, only with the understanding he was going back to East Carolina University for his sophomore year and it would be tough. He was right, being apart from someone you care about for long spans of time isn’t easy for anyone. But with constant prayer, always making time for a few phone calls a day and support from one another, before I knew it I was at his college graduation and he was coming home, for good this time! In January, 2015 we moved into an apartment and began learning life by each others side. They say you learn a lot about a person when you live with them, that’s very true, but I found myself loving him more every single day (whether he did the dishes like I asked, or not). I was coming home to the best part of my day, every day. You can’t beat that.

How He Asked: In June, we got the opportunity to go to Walt Disney World (for my first time ever) and I was so excited! On our second day at Disney we went to Animal Kingdom. Being the African animal lover that I am, it felt like that place was made for me. Earlier in the month he had booked a Wild Africa Trek, where we had a three-hour guided tour through the wilderness on a VIP safari vehicle. We drove through the Serengeti Savanna, and saw many kinds of African animals including: giraffes, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, hippos and much more! During our African inspired lunch he asked if I wanted to go take pictures on the boardwalk looking overlooking the savannah. Holding hands the whole way we talked about how much fun we were having. When we got to the end of the boardwalk he insisted that I turn around and take a picture facing the scenery. I waited what felt like a lifetime for him to take the picture. When he finally told me to turn around, there he was, the man I had given my heart to for the past four years, down on one knee, asking me to be his wife. Overwhelmed with so much joy I quickly said yes so I could get straight to the hugs and kisses that followed such a special moment. I then slipped on my finger the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. My heart was full. It didn’t take long before the rest of our group realized what was going on and we were soon greeted with smiles and congratulations. I spent the rest of the day, well, the trip really, alternating between staring at my ring and staring at my future husband. We are blessed beyond measure and I can’t wait to stand in front of him and all of our family and friends and say “I do”.