Zach and I started dating on June 25th, 2014 and got engaged about 9 months later on March 22nd, 2015. He had asked my parents' permission and planned the proposal while I was on a mission trip in Vietnam. We messaged each other every day while I was away and he mentioned that he got lunch with my mom, but that was a fairly regular occurrence so I wasn't too curious. I had even sent Zach messages telling him how much I wanted to spend our lives together and how excited I was for our future, but he talked me down by telling me he just wasn't ready for marriage anytime soon. Trickster!
I was home for a about a week before our "surprise date" took place. Zach told me a day and time to be ready and he would plan our date. He'd done similar things before so I was not expecting a proposal, though I was hopeful. The morning of our date, I told Zach on the phone that I was so excited and also mentioned how much I wanted to be his wife (he was probably tired of hearing that) and he replied that I was pressuring him! That completely threw me off, so I didn't do my hair or change into a cute outfit for our date. I just waited for him to come and pick me up.
Zach came to get me mid-afternoon and took me to a park we'd never been to together. He said we were having a picnic! We did a lot of picnics when we were dating so there was nothing alarming about a picnic. When we showed up to Sycamore Creek Park Zach was on a mission. He just led the way to the place he and my mom had chosen (which I did not know). We carried a cooler he packed and a blanket. We walked toward a pavilion, but it was decorated with balloons so I told Zach it was probably in use. He didn't answer me and kept walking towards it. The balloons were so pretty - mint green, blush pink, and yellow - 3 of my favorite colors and colors I had mentioned to Zach I wanted at our wedding some day. As obvious as that might have been to some people, his earlier comment that I was pressuring him made me sure it wasn't for me. We got up to the pavilion and there was a man there taking pictures. I was positive this spot was already in use by the man taking pictures!
We sat down the picnic stuff and did not spread out our blanket. We talked about how pretty the balloons looked (I was sure it was for a baby shower or something). Zach just pulled out his keys, handed me a pocket-knife keychain, and told me I had to pop the middle balloon. I popped the middle balloon and a million (exaggeration, there were actually 50) heart shaped balloons came flying out! They started popping on the grass and I thought the noise was fireworks going off. Along with the balloons was a little black box - and even though I saw it fall, I thought it definitely couldn't be a ring because he told me he wasn't ready! I am obviously very naive and so trusting of this guy. It wasn't until Zach got down on one knee that I was convinced.
After he asked and I answered, we took some pictures and sat down and had our picnic. I tried to start calling people to share the news but of course my phone died. I used Zach's phone to take pictures of my GORGEOUS ring and after our picnic, we headed to the car. He helped me gather the heart balloons and told me I could pop those in the car. We sat in the parking lot, popping the heart balloons and I found a little love note in each one! It was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture to add to an incredible date! I have some of the balloons and all of the notes saved in a scrapbook.
Zach insisted that we go to dinner straight from our picnic, but I wasn't hungry. Little did I know, our parents and siblings were waiting for us at the restaurant. It was such an awesome surprise to get to hug my mom and brother and soon-to-be in-laws right after it happened. After the celebratory dinner and wedding talk, Zach and our brothers went back to his dad's house to get in the hot tub. I don't think I ever got in, there were too many people to call! I'll always remember sitting on the floor in his dad's kitchen calling all of my family and friends and telling them the news.
We were married 5 months after the proposal and the rest is history. We are certainly living out our happily ever after.
Videography: Roth Productions