H O W  H E  A S K E D:

On November 6, 2014, while I was pulling together last minute details for a Shop Local Style event that my blog, Style Soufflé, was hosting in Charlotte, North Carolina, my boyfriend, now fiancé, was pulling together last minute details for his “big event” that night.

As guests settled in, mingled, and shopped, Justin, arrived…over an hour late. While somewhat annoying, this proved to be the perfect set up to his proposal. As he nervously mingled, had pre-proposal pictures taken, and waited for the perfect moment, I cluelessly continued to host the event.

In the midst of mingling with other Charlotte bloggers, family, and friends, Justin pulled me aside to ask, “Do you love me?”. Initially, I thought he was making sure that I was not mad that he had arrived late. It was not until he asked the third time that I realized what was happening. After telling him, “Of course I love you”, he responded, “I just want to make sure before I ask you this next question”. At that moment, in front of family, friends, and complete strangers, Justin got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and spend the rest of our lives together as one. I could not have been more thrilled or surprised…and he made sure every part of it was captured on camera!

Moments after Justin arrived ((L A T E))  to my event, yet I was so still excited to see him that I ran down stairs to greet him!  The ring was in his back pocket, and apparently when we were taking pictures I kept running my hand against it (I was totally oblivious). Moments after Justin arrived ((L A T E))  to my event, yet I was so still excited to see him that I ran down stairs to greet him!  The ring was in his back pocket, and apparently when we were taking pictures I kept running my hand against it (I was totally oblivious). Moments after Justin arrived to the event.  Moments after Justin arrived to the event. Practicing!  Practicing!

H O W  W E  M E T (more detailed version of the one featured on, How He Proposed):

It was on a Saturday night in 2004, the summer entering our freshman year of high school, and my girlfriend Emmy invited me to see a movie with a group of friends.  I was exhausted, had just come back form a national dance competition, and didn’t feel like going, but she kept insisting I go. I finally agreed and quickly got ready.  After the movie, as we were exiting the theater, Emmy and I ran into a mutual friend, who was there with a few of his teammates, one of them being Justin.  It was there that Justin, my now fiance, and I were first introduced.

After leaving the theater that night we went to dinner at a nearby restaurant.  Not long after being seated, I saw Justin and his friends walk through the door… how ironic.  Throughout dinner I caught him making glances towards our table, but I never read much into it until later that evening when I found a napkin behind my check with, “Justin Drake” and a phone number written on it.  After that night, we went our separate ways.  I never called the number he left, because . . .  well, girls didn’t call boys, and honestly I just assumed it was a something his friends put him up to.

Our paths crossed again for the first time several weeks later at a Friday night football game.  He played football for our archrival and I was a cheerleader on the opposing (better 🙂 team haha!!  After the game he approached me, and jokingly asked why I never called.  I’m pretty sure I responded with some sarcastic remark, which is typical!  I am not exactly sure how the conversation ended, but I do remember a girlfriend who saw us talking after the game that night asked if we were dating.  After telling her, “No! I just met the kid a few weeks ago”, she insisted that I introduce them.  Long story short, it was when she put me up to playing match maker that Justin admitted to being interested in me.

Over the next four years we developed a puppy-love friendship, and he became without a doubt one of my absolute best friends.  Now looking back I realize he always made me his first priority, even if it meant canceling plans with his friends or teammates at the last minute.  We would both go on to date other people, but we still remained very loyal to the friendship we shared.  I would turn to him for advice when things went sour with my boyfriend at the time, and yet he was aways there and never turned my hand away!  While we never really dated during high school it was evident that our friendship was something authentic, genuine, and truly unique.  My family and friends would often make comments like, “you two will get married one day” or “you were meant for each other”, which at the time I was always quick to deny.

During college, months would go by that we didn’t speak to one another, but we always found time to catch up, and when we did it was as if no time had passed.  As we grew older and started having to make real life, adult decisions we would always call to consult with the other first hahaha!  As a matter of fact, it had been months since we last spoke the night that he called to tell me his plans of buying a house.  My heart skipped a beat that night when he said he couldn’t make a decision like that without talking to me first.

The following summer, my junior year of college, I represented Miss Thomasville in the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant (around the time that Justin was closing on his new home).  Weeks leading up to the pageant I told him it would mean a lot to have him there, yet we never made concrete plans. During the week of competition I unexpectedly received a gorgeous bouquet of two-dozen pink roses and remember being completely blown away to he remembered.  After the pageant that evening he was the first person I sought out to find, and there in the aisle of the auditorium I gave him “the hug”, as he calls it, that neither of us will ever forget.  That hug really marked the “official” start of our relationship, and since then we have madly, head over hills, in love with each other (well . . . we may have been before :).

“Of course I love you!” That moment when you realize, That moment when you realize, “Is this happening!”

H I S:  Shirt: J.Crew | Sweater (on sale): Brooks Brothers | Bow tie: c/o Belles of Cotton | Belt: Brooks Brothers | Jeans: Joe’s | Socks: Soxy | Shoes (on sale): Clarks | Watch: Nixon.

H E R S: Shirt: Vineyard Vines (last winter) // J.Crew (similar) | Skirt: c/o Belles of Cotton – Olivia Mini | Shoes: Chinese Laundry (old) // Lyst: Ann Taylor (very similar) | Necklace: c/o Teal House Collection | Bracelets: David Yurman | Engagement ring: Diamonds Direct, South Park.