For the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day.
I honestly knew I wanted to marry Nicole from the first day I met her, therefore, I began to ask her many questions about her passions, beloved hobbies and anything that inspired her. In the weeks leading up to this day I began to refresh my memory on my favorite subject, Nicole McCarty, and gather additional feedback from my relatives, Nikki's mother, and other individuals that would offer advice into the world of Nikki. We'd visited jewelry stores in passing so I knew exactly what she liked and wanted. Once, I had the ring chosen, I began the delicate and anxiety-rich task of researching various sites to pop the question. Of course, this was the source of a lot of anxiety during this time since I wanted to make sure it was perfect. Fortunately, the timing could not have been better because Nikki's family reunion was approaching in the next few weeks and would be a prime opportunity to ask the question. In terms of creating the perfect scene, the light bulb finally turned on as I realized that Nikki loves nature, flowers and all things peaceful. With a botanical garden nearby, I enlisted the help and assistance of my father, stepmother, and her close friend Marion to help pull this event together. The week prior to the engagement I experienced many sleepless nights trying not to ask any questions that would lend to exposing the surprise proposal. The night prior I was up all night trying to prepare my proposal speech, nothing seemed good enough . Finally, I had the bright idea to simply speak from my heart. I presented a bag to her with wine and a gift wrapping paper and a shiny object slid over the paper. I bent down on one knee to ask my fiancée for her hand in marriage with the understanding that she is the woman of my dreams, the sunshine of my life and that I would never stop growing, and spending my life striving to make her the happiest woman alive.
What makes your love special?
Our love is special because it's honest and raw. There are no expectations of having to meet society's view of a man or woman. We are both accepting and refining, meaning we challenge one another daily to be the best we can be for one another, our families, and those we encounter. Our love story is beautiful and a whirlwind but it is not without challenges. We simply choose to take those stumbling blocks and make them stepping stones so we can grow and live together.