Congrats, Steph and Jeremy!
Two weeks ago, my best friend Stephanie asked if I could take some photos for her. I’m always up for practicing photography, so I would have said yes no matter the assignment. But this particular photoshoot was special. Life changing. A day I’ll remember until my last day.
Steph wanted to capture the moment she proposed marriage to her longtime boyfriend Jeremy, another dear friend. Steph and Jeremy celebrated their 13th anniversary last Monday, and Steph said it got her thinking.
She knew she wanted to be with Jeremy for the rest of her life. She knew Jeremy would never expect the proposal, making it even more special. With that, she knew exactly what to do.
So last Tuesday, I left work early, picked up Gideon and drove to Steph’s house. Steph told Jeremy we were going to Sam’s Club, which is a solid excuse. Y’all know how much I love Sam’s Club! Instead of entering the land of bulk product, we headed to a trail in Bella Vista. Steph “proposed” to Gideon while I hid behind a tree snapping pics, trying to decide if that was the right spot for the proposal.
It wasn’t. We took off toward another trail, drove in circles for 30 minutes and finally landed at Lake Ann. Just a short walk down the trail, we spotted a nice big tree in the not-so-far distance. Steph picked a scenic spot to propose and I shoved myself behind the tree, asking repeatedly if she could see me. It took a few adjustments to really blend in.
We found the place and Steph decided to propose Friday evening. We texted about how excited we were for the next three days — those days felt slow as molasses! When Friday morning finally arrived, I woke up smiling. My morning meetings went by quick, even though the last one bled into the afternoon.
Then I clocked out and purchased a bucket, champagne glasses and a bouquet of flowers. Gideon got home and changed clothes in a flash. We left for Bella Vista, stopping for a bottle of champagne and ice on our way to the trail. The set-up was perfect: a flower arrangement, champagne in a bucket of ice and two glasses atop a plaid blanket.
When their car pulled up, Gideon hid on the trail and I concealed my body behind the tree. From there, I could hear everything: Steph and Jeremy walking across a footbridge, the crackle of rock fragments and Jeremy’s surprised exclamations when he saw the picnic.
“Are you serious?” he asked, dumbfounded. He had no idea how Steph pulled this off — she hadn’t left the house since he got home. I bet he was so confused!
Steph kneeled down and opened the ring box, and I started snapping. Jeremy teared up and said yes, of course he would marry her. They embraced and I kept snapping. I ended up taking 100 shots from the first five minutes.
“Gideon, you can come out now!” I called out.
We all hugged and cried and said how much we loved each other. Then we went to a fancy steakhouse for dinner. It was the perfect evening.
Sometimes, we don’t understand the significance of special moments in our lives. Other times, we are acutely aware that we’re experiencing a cherished memory as it happens. This was one of those times. Even writing this column a few days removed, I’m tearing up thinking about it.
Here’s to Steph and Jeremy, two of my favorite people, and their beautiful life together. They have supported each other through multiple losses over the past few years. They understand that life is often bittersweet, and sometimes just plain bitter.
So when such a sweet moment presents itself, they embrace it wholeheartedly. They move forward together, happily and deeply in love, always keeping faith in each other. To love and be loved — could you ask for anything more?