Our Story Part 2: The Proposal-How He Asked

Here it is…part 2 of our love story! It’s all about how Halton proposed and the surprise that I had no idea was coming. This is such a special memory to us that we both wanted to write it from our own point of view so we could really encapsulate the whole story. How a guy will propose is something a girl dreams about from the moment she knows she wants to marry him. And I have to say, my guy did it in the most amazing and perfect way possible. So enjoy this behind the scenes look at how he asked!

P.S. If you didn’t catch part one of our story which was all about our dating years and how met, be sure to check it out here!

From His Perspective:

The day I asked Nikki to marry me was on April 4th, 2014, her 21st Birthday. It was also the first Friday of the month, which meant it was to be the day of our First Friday Picnic we had gone on for over a year (and still do even though with two kiddos it doesn’t always work out on the first Friday, but we still make time to go on a picnic together and as a family). I had the whole thing planned out for months and I knew this would be the perfect day because she would never see it coming. Nothing was normal, but at the same time nothing was different. So there were no subtle clues for her to pick up on that would give it away.

The day started by her getting a mani/pedi with her mother. Then later in the afternoon, I gave her a number of new dresses to choose from for her birthday and of course, to wear for the picnic. She chose a beautiful floral dress and we were good to go…or so I thought.

You see, Nikki and I had planned out what we were going to eat that night for our picnic and instead of making something we were going to order Pei Wei. She was feeling in the mood for rice all week so I thought I had that in the bag – it was on the way to the park, I’d order ahead and we would make perfect time – but that wasn’t the case. Nikki has decided on that Friday that she wasn’t really in the mood for rice anymore, so after all day of asking her where she wanted me to get food she still hadn’t decided on a place. 5:45pm rolls around and I’m trying to lovingly hurry her up in getting ready, because you know, we had a schedule. Finally, Nikki comes down the stairs at about 6 o’clock and tells me that she’s decided she would like rice now and still wants Pei Wei. Cue the panic! I jump on my phone put in some orders and go to check out for pick up thinking it’ll still be quick. Wrong! It was going to be 30 mins before it was ready and we didn’t have that long.

Side story: I bought the ring in September, booked the photographer in November, planned an incredible, sweep-you-off-your-feet-with-the-thoughtfulness surprise party for immediately following my proposal in January, and had invitations sent out in March to some wonderful people in our lives, including extended family that lived states away. This chain of events was all supposed to start precisely at when we always always always (mind you before kids) arrived at the park for our picnic. Which was ‘normally’ at 6:00pm.

So, I’m dealing with people checking on how it’s going, a photographer wondering where we are or if something has happened to delay us so much, a soon-to-be fiancée running late AND trying to figure out a rice – I mean nice – meal for us to eat at this picnic… and if you feel under pressure by reading all that, then just imagine what I was going through.

Back to the timeline; I tell Nikki we’ll figure out something on the way and then we hopped in the car. She suggests Wendy’s and I’m thinking “no way am I asking her to marry me over nuggets and fries!” Visibly frustrated, I tell her I’m going to Stonebriar Mall, where there was a little place in the food court that we would eat at all the time. It had rice, was quick (semi-nice) and I could walk in and get it to-go and be on our way. Nikki’s starting to notice my frustration and she too is not handling my attitude well because in trying to keep my cool, I wasn’t really keeping my cool. I get the food and leave, we sit at what feels like a thousand red lights and Friday night Frisco traffic and end up getting to the park at about 6:45pm. Yep, you read it right, 45 minutes behind schedule. I gather all the things in the car – picnic blanket, picnic basket that had silverware and drinks in it, a “special” present (more on that later) and of course, the ring – then we make our way to our spot. We always sat in the same spot, which was right on the top of this hill under the middle tree. The photographers are off to the side pretending like they’re on a picnic as well and had their little family under another tree where Nikki wouldn’t see them starting to take pictures.

We get up the hill and get everything ready. Did I mention Nikki brought her camera and wanted to take some pictures before we ate – I didn’t. Well, she did. And now it’s about 7:00pm (the same time that the surprise party was supposed to be starting).

We finally sit down, I pull out the food and she starts eating, I eat a couple of bites and have decided that it has to happen right now because otherwise, the whole plan will be in shambles. I set down the food and tell her I have another present for her. She’s starting to get very upset with me for making her stop eating and that I also told her she had to stand up for the gift. This gift that I mentioned above was a framed black and white picture of me holding a sheet of ice from the Dallas “icemageddon” that I wrote “Marry me?” on it. She opened it up and flips it over to see what this gift was (which she thought was a book by the way) and at that very moment I dropped to my knee, pulled out the ring and said, “Nicole Danielle, you are the love of my life and there’s no one I’d rather spend my life with than you. Will you marry me?”

Her response: *to the ring* “OH MY GOODNESS!” *to me seconds after* “Yes, of course!”

We did it! All the former crazy had come to an end and I had asked the big question. She said yes and we were going to get married! Cue next phase of the time fleeting plan:

Photographers came over and did what was supposed to be like a thirty minute session (once Nikki knew about it) in about ten minutes. We said bye and sent them on their way (they weren’t actually done, they just had to get to the party location before we did without Nikki finding out). I start to try and pack things up, but Nikki, being a photographer as well, wanted to get some pictures of the ring, of us, you know photographer stuff. I tell Nikki that we should go stop by the church and tell our families the news. My family was there getting ready for an event, and her family was to be there helping them, you know, coincidentally. We ended up getting to the church about 45 minutes late as well. People have been there for well over an hour because the invitation said arrive early and stay quiet. So all these people are in the dark waiting for us to arrive and here we come down this long dark hallway – because nobody is supposed to be there – and we turn the corner, lights on, and SURPRISE!! Nikki has no idea what was happening and I was even surprised at the turn out from our family and friends.

I sent out a good number of invitations and I had a reasonable number of people rsvp. What we showed up to was breathtaking though – almost 300 people showed up from near and far to congratulate us, love on us, and surprise my beautiful bride to be. Her family from states away came in and I had family that traveled many hours to be there with us as well. The Lord was so kind to us in immediately surrounding us with people who cared about us, championed us, and loved us from the very beginning. We are still to this day so thankful for each and every person that was there that night. And if you are reading this today, please know that we are forever grateful for you.

The rest of the night was so much fun as we took pictures, I sang some love songs I had written for Nikki over the years, ate so many yummy cupcakes, and of course, told the story of how we got so behind which was already laughable just a mere couple of hours after it had taken place.

It was truly a day and night to remember. I’ll always cherish it, and I’ll always look back and laugh at how I thought I had the whole thing planned out perfectly. But you know, that’s actually been a mark of mine and Nikki’s lives together. We’ve made plans just to watch them unfold in front of us. There were times when we would get so frustrated at things that were very much out of our control, and there have been times when we faced the unfolding plan head-on, knowing that God has a better plan than we could have ever dreamed up. And that’s it, He really does. I’ve seen it! I know this to be so true and so life-giving, not life-taking… This may have seemed like the perfect proposal story. With it’s beautiful, crazy twists and turns, but know this – we didn’t do it all right, we’ve had to ask forgiveness and we’ve had to work through tough seasons, we’ve celebrated victories and we’ve rejoiced with laughter. Through and through our God is so good and so faithful. I know this first hand because I was the guy who thought I didn’t deserve a beautiful, kind, caring, and God-honoring woman because I thought she would see my failures, my sin, and turn away. But God! He has shown me more of His attributes, His character, and His desires to me through this woman that I now call my wife, my helpmeet, my co-laborer, and my bride. It is an honor to stand by her, a joy to do life with her, and a reward to serve her.

I’m so thankful to be married to you, Nicole Danielle. Thanks for saying yes…right after you acknowledged the ring. I love you always…


From Her Perspective:

What can I say…I’m a planner! So having the details of the proposal like when, where, and how be out of my control, drove me absolutely nuts. So many times before the big day, I would hint to Halton when it would be a great time to propose, so when those days would come and go I just kept wondering when it would finally happen. With it being my 21st birthday, I certainly didn’t have anything on my radar besides my usual birthday plans.

Our plan was to go on our first Friday picnic, just like we had been doing on the first Friday of every month for the previous year. When Halton came over to pick me up for our picnic, he had a few birthday presents for me to open. They were all gorgeous dresses (because he is so great at picking out clothes for me) and he wanted me to choose one to wear for our picnic since it was something new. After I finished getting ready we were trying to figure out what I wanted to eat for our picnic. I was so indecisive, as usual, and kept going back and fourth. We finally decided on Pei Wei but when we went to order it, it was going to take too long so we chose a different Asian place to have.

I distinctly remember Halton gently trying to rush me out the door so we could be on our way to our picnic. I could not figure out why he was in such a hurry and was honestly a little annoyed that he was rushing us, because I was on no time table (little did I know). The whole way to our picnic, Halton was driving fast like a crazy person with his hands tightly gripping the steering wheel and I could not figure out what was wrong with him. At the time, it was the weirdest thing!

So we finally made it to the park after picking up some dinner from our favorite place in the mall. We walked to our usual spot for our picnic, which was at the top of a hill, overlooking the whole area. We get settled, layout our blanket, open up our food, take just two bites, and then Halton says he isn’t hungry anymore…again, I was kind of annoyed because we had just gone through all of this work to get our food and now he didn’t even want to eat any of it! He then hands me another birthday present that he wants me to open. It’s rectangle in shape, just like a book, which was actually on my birthday list. Before he handed it to me though he said I had to stand up to open it. Once again, Halton seemed to be doing these weird things and I could not figure out why, which was driving me crazy! I questioned him a little as to why, but then happily did as he asked and stood up.

When I opened up the package, I was holding a framed picture of Halton holding a sign that said “Marry me?”. I looked up and there he was on his knee! After the sweetest words and the biggest question, a ring box opened and all I could say was “oh my goodness!!” I almost forgot to answer because I was so mesmerized by such a gorgeous ring. After giving him the biggest “YES!” he stood up, swept me off my feet, and it was the best moment ever!

Soon after, Halton told me to look across the field and there I saw a photographer that Halton had hired to capture every moment! The photographer came over, took some additional photos of us together and then I thought our time had ended. Little did I know…

When we got everything wrapped up, Halton asked if I wanted to go share the news with our families and I was of course so excited to do so. Both of our families were at our church preparing for an event so we quickly headed that way. We got to the church, walked inside, turned on the lights and all of our family and friends were yelling congratulations!! What a HUGE surprise!! Halton had planned a surprise proposal party for me and there were about 300 people there!! That meant all of these people had known about the proposal and successfully kept it a secret from me for over a month. Such an amazing surprise!

The rest of the night was just as magical. The same photographer that was at our proposal was there at the party capturing every moment. Halton sang me some sweet songs he had written for me over the years, we visited with our friends and family, and we took lots of photos. It was the most perfect day and to top it all off it was my 21st birthday!

I can’t even describe how great of a job Halton did with this surprise and it is my most favorite story to tell and brag on Halton for. Ever since we started dating, Halton has made so many moments special and he continues to do so today. Whether small or big occasions or no occasion at all, he has always been good at knowing how to make me feel loved. The Lord has certainly been so good to us through the years and I couldn’t be more grateful that He wound our paths together. Here’s to many more years of loving you babe!

The following photos were done by the amazing Alison Faith Photography.

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