Adam has always been an over the top type of dude when it came to dates. (If you don’t know the story of our first date then check out my blog called “The Start”.) The proposal was undercover as a surprise graduation trip. Adam planned the whole thing and it was absolutely everything I could have dreamed and more. A few months after the proposal, Adam was asked to write out the details of the proposal for “Valdosta Magazine.” Continue reading from Adam’s point of view of our whole proposal story!
The whole proposal process started about six months ago when my girlfriend of two and a half years and I sat down and had “the talk”. We learned that we both had the same goals and expectations and I knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with anyone else. After I had made up my mind to propose, it was time to start planning.
Like most guys, I knew the basics of the process; ask her dad, get a ring, and get down on one knee. I wanted to wait for her to graduate from college before I popped the question and I knew that I wanted it to be a surprise. Then I came up with the idea of masking the proposal as a surprise graduation trip so she wouldn’t see it coming. After weeks of searching for the right location, hotels, flights, things to do while we were there, and a photographer, I had the plan. We were going to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and I was going to pop the question at scenic Bear Lake. Soon after this I got together with a great local photographer, who also happened to be Colleen’s boss, and booked everything for the trip.
Next came picking out the ring, and I learned quickly that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Then I came across Colleen’s Pinterest account and found that she had pinned a bunch of different rings on there a long time ago. I showed the people behind the counter at Steel’s jewelry her page and they did a great job at helping me find the perfect ring.
Then the daunting task of asking her dad came at Thanksgiving 2017 when I spent the holiday with her family in Brunswick, GA. Her dad decided to do a fried turkey which meant that he would be alone outside for at least an hour cooking the bird- this was my chance. While making small talk and keeping him up to do date on the Thanksgiving Day football scores, I was frantically trying to come up with a way to shift the topic towards his amazing daughter. The topic of conversation never strayed very far from football and we only had five minutes left on the turkey so I had to suck it up and go for it. I had already told him that I was planning on taking Colleen on a surprise graduation trip in a few weeks after she graduated from VSU, so I reminded him of this and said “Hey Coach (her dad), on this trip I am planning to ask Colleen to marry me and I would love to have your blessing”. I was expecting him to want us to sit down and have a hour-long conversation about the expectations he had for me to care for his daughter or a long lecture on what it means to be a husband but instead he said, “you got it! That’s great, I’m excited for you guys, welcome to the family!” After a handshake, it was over and we enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving meal.
After all of this, the time for the trip finally came. I kept it a surprise as long as I could and she finally found out where we were going when we made it to the terminal. I had only told her that she should pack clothes for being outside in the cold and some nice clothes to go to a nice dinner. She was shocked and thrilled to go out west into the mountains. We made the trip safely, and after being gouged on a rental car, made it to the AirBnB. The next day we drove to the national park and made it to the trail that led to Bear Lake. I had changed the photographer’s name in my phone to one of my other friends so she wouldn’t see when I texted him and he sent me pictures of exactly where to go to get a fantastic shot. After I saw him discretely following us and saw him give me the thumbs up, I took her to the spot and asked her to marry me. She said “Of course!” It was a perfect moment that neither of us will ever forget.
Here is to more love, stories, joy and grace in 2019!
Love, Colleen Howard