He did not relent, and having a suspicion that something was up, I agreed to go.
In the days leading up to the day trip, I could tell he was up to something. I did something no girl should ever do and stole his cell phone while he was in mid-text. He was sending a message to a friend of his in a band (who we both love), and he got angry with me for looking. The anger tipped me off some, and I went to work the next day with a smile and comments to my co-workers that I thought I would be getting engaged over the weekend.
When we left for Fort Worth on Saturday, my now husband mentioned to me that his friend in a band would be attending a funeral that day. His fiance's grandfather had died. To be honest, I had forgotten about the text message by this point but was now back on high alert.
Our first stop in Fort Worth was The Fort Worth Botanical Garden. He had borrowed his parents camera and asked me to take pictures of the flowers as we walked around. I snapped shots of roses and other flowers I don't know the names of. The garden was empty of people for the most part, and I enjoyed strolling in such a beautiful place, holding his hand.
We came to a bridge. With no one in sight, he stopped and turned around to look at me. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you," he said.
A puzzle expression crossed my face. My heart stopped beating. I had talked about this moment happening, but still, it didn't quite seem real.
"I want to spend the rest of my life with you too," I said.
"But I don't want to wait any longer." He dropped to one knee and pulled out a purple ring box. The box opened. "Will you marry me?"
I said yes. He placed the ring on my finger. We hugged and kissed. After saying yes, a couple walked up and offered to take our picture. Our smiles were big and tears were in our eyes. I sent text messages out and phoned the important people. None of it seemed quite real. We continued our walk through the gardens, and I looked down at my hand every so often to see the sunlight catch the diamonds and to make sure it didn't fall off my left hand.
I remember thinking and talking about how it was perfect, this engagement of his. And he smiled. It wasn't over yet.
What I later learned was that he had not planned to propose at the botanical gardens. Rather that was a side trip meant to throw me off the scent of the rest of his plans.
He had enlisted the help of several friends. Over the course of the day, we would be serenaded at the Fort Worth Water Gardens by his friends in the band and enjoy a romantic dinner at an Italian eatery in downtown Fort Worth. Even though I snooped and did not allow the engagement to be a complete surprise, he did better than I expected. To me, it doesn't get much more romantic than a private concert of a few of my favorite songs.
Almost immediately, we began talking about the wedding. I was living in a shabby apartment, and he was graduating in three months. We knew we didn't want a long engagement or an extravagant wedding. Truthfully, I didn't really want a wedding at all - just a ceremony on the beach.
We didn't have the ceremony on the beach, but we did have a beautiful wedding in an outdoor garden.
(title from "god gave me you" by dave barnes)
This post is part of a series. It is a snapshot of how I met (and married) my husband. To read the entire series, click here.