October 29th was a day that I will never forget. It was truly the perfect day, and the best part of it all was that I had no idea at all! I knew once this day happened I wanted to write about it so that I could remember every detail and emotion along the way. So, let’s talk leading up to the surprise, the planning that Lucas did, my reaction, and the sentiment of the ring.
BUYING THE RING AND PLANNING THE SURPRISE
I’ve always told my friends and family that I will know when it’s going to happen because as soon as Lucas plans something it will give it away. For the past 4 years of our relationship, I’ve always been the planner. Lucas will say he wants to do things or make suggestions, but I always execute it. It’s my type A personality, I guess! But Lucas always said to me, ‘Carly, you will have no idea when it’s happening.’ And sure enough, I didn’t.
Lucas had met my mom at the jewelry store the first week of September to finalize and buy the ring. I actually remember this day because it was the Friday of Labor Day weekend and I’d finished up my work. So I looked at find my friends to see if he was on his way home yet because I was itching to start the holiday weekend. His location wasn’t working, but that happens all the time because his phone is either dead or has no service.
I didn’t think anything of it, but what was weird to me is that my mom was at the jewelry store. She used to work there several days a week, but not just helps out when they need it. Immediately, I was like ‘this is weird, she usually tells me when she’s working.’ So what do I do? Call my best friend ASAP. Mary Margaret picks up the phone whispering and says she’s on the golf course and can’t talk. I told her what was up and she was like ‘Carly, your mom is probably working or just being social — you know Debi!’
Little did I know, right before I called her, Lucas had called her to ask if she had any pictures from me to use as inspiration. And as I was calling her, she was pulling up my Pinterest. So of course, MMG had to text them and tell them that I had asked her to essentially talk me down and to have a solid story if I were to ask.
Fast forward over a month, and it was the Friday before the second weekend of the Apple Festival. Lucas had been out of town all week and Mary Margaret and Matt were staying with us for our annual Fall weekend. Lucas didn’t get home until like 6:30 that day. Come to find out, he was even later because he was picking up my freaking ring!! It had sat at the jewelers for over a month because he didn’t want me to find it.
That night while Mary Margaret and I were getting ready for dinner, Lucas showed Matt the ring and told him that he was going to do it that weekend at the Apple Festival. Again, I have zero clue that this is even coming. We get to dinner and Lucas takes a call from his dad in the middle of dinner outside and he was gone for a while. I thought that was a bit odd, but definitely didn’t even think it had to do with our engagement. Turns out he was finishing up the process of insuring my ring and telling his family what he was thinking to do.
The next day rolls around and we’re at the Apple Festival and Mary Margaret came as she usually does, and they were talking in the back while I worked the front. It was so slammed I didn’t have the chance to even going back there for a while. This gave them the perfect chance to talk a bit more with my dad about the whole plan. My dad said he would do it at the Apple Festival, but MMG said if I know one thing, she’s always told me that she wants to be dressed and have it captured.
Ultimately, they all decided to wait. While I would have loved it to happen there because it’s a special weekend for us, I am glad I was dressed cute and not a dirty shirt, leggings, and hiking boots lol!
THE SENTIMENT OF THE RING
Your ring is one of the coolest parts of getting engaged because you get to see what your partner picked out for you. It’s even cooler when there’s a sentimental meaning behind it, especially when it’s around your family.
My parents were together a long time before I ever came along. After a while, my Grandpa Carl was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was only given a few months to live. And his wish to take the whole family on a roadtrip in an RV to Alaska to fish.
Not long after that trip, he passed away. He ended up leaving some money to each of the brothers for their families.
My parents were coming up on their 10 year wedding anniversary, so my dad decided to upgrade my mom’s half carat diamond with a 2 carat brilliant diamond.
Fast forward a few more years, and along comes me! They decided to name me after my Grandpa Carl, who I never got the pleasure to meet.
While my parents didn’t end up staying together, they were college sweethearts who shared a beautiful life together and had me.
My mom had her ring made into a necklace until one day it was time for me to get married.
Now here we are, 27 years since I came along, and the love of my life asked me to marry him with a diamond that was essentially purchased by my namesake, who I never got to know.
No matter my parents story, this diamond has always meant so much to me. And now it means even more.
LEADING UP TO THE ENGAGEMENT
The weekend after the Apple Festival we wanted to lay low around the house, Lucas wanted to hunt, and I had some stuff to get done myself. That Saturday morning I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I decided to go ahead and do my nails. I filmed the whole thing to post it, but once I finished I wasn’t happy with them. I did square, which I never do, and anytime I’ve done it in the past I’ve always regretted it. Plus, the design I did just didn’t look great. I said oh well, I’ll just leave it for 2 weeks and never do this again, lol!
That night we were standing in the garage, and I don’t know how this came up or what came over me, but I had an absolute meltdown. Back in May over a fire in the backyard, Mary Margaret gave Lucas a deadline on my behalf (that’s a best friend for ya lol!), and said that he needed to do it by the end of the year. He agreed and said that was a fair timeline.
Over the past couple of months Lucas had been saying it wasn’t going to happen before the end of the year. He said he wanted to have at least 6+ months of all of our expenses saved before buying the ring. He wanted to make sure that he could support us solely on his own should anything happen. Yes, that’s so freaking sweet and thoughtful, but me being my impatient self I just wanted him to do it lol!
So back to the Saturday before. I guess I got on Facebook or Instagram and saw yet another proposal of someone we knew that had only been together like a year. So, naturally I cried in the garage because I was so frustrated that all these people were getting married left and right, but it had been 4 years and I was still waiting (dramatic, yes I know!). Of course he was comforting, but at the same time, he didn’t have much to say like he usually would.
Come to find out, the ring was hidden 5 steps away from me as I was crying to him! But let me tell you — it was SO worth the wait!
Fast forward to Thursday, I’m over it and back to normal. Then Mary Margaret texts me that her and her Husband Matt were going to pick up a guitar in Ellijay on Saturday. Since they’d be passing by us on their way home, they wanted to grab dinner. Of course I take the bait, because duh! I called Lucas and first asked if he was in a good or bad mood at work before seeing if he’d skip hunting on Saturday afternoon so we could hang with Mary Margaret and Matt.
He had absolutely no hesitation. I just figured it was because he’d mentioned that he was sad he didn’t get to spend the whole day with us 2 weeks before since he was traveling home.
So me being me, I plan the day. I tell Lucas that if possible we should go do something fun since he won’t be in the woods. I’m texting MMG saying they should join us before the guitar and we could go to a winery or the cidery in Ellijay, and they could even stay the night if they would like. She kinda beat around the bush but I just chalked it up to it being Halloween and they probably had plans to do something with their friends who have younger kids.
Now it’s Thursday night, I’d just finished up with my work and I look down at my nails and I was like screw it, I hate these and I want to redo them. That day THREE of my nails came off on one hand. That literally never happens. I figured I may have missed a step when I did them early last weekend. But looking back, I think this was God’s way of telling me to do something about it!
Lucas called and said that he was going to his parents to replace some glass and he’d be home late. Perfect — gave me time to sit at my desk and completely re-do my nails! Little did I know, he was also there to tell them he was proposing on Saturday and the plan. Both my parents knew at this point and he’d already booked a table in the back room for us all to celebrate together.
My dad called me while I was doing my nails and asked if we wanted to come up to Ellijay to see a band that was playing at the luxury RV resort he works at. He knew I’d say yes and Lucas already knew this was happening. I tell Lucas the plan and he’s like heck yeah, sounds fun. Still at this point, I had zero clue.
THE DAY BEFORE
Now it’s Friday, MMG confirms a time with me that they should be coming back through. Because MMG and Lucas know me so well, they knew that I would make a reservation because she mentioned that Matt wanted to try the other restaurant in town.
I later find out that she looked at the reservations online and saw that there was a 5:00 and an 8:00. She literally told Lucas that I was going to book the 5, and then call to see if they could move to 6:30. Man, did she call it or what, because that’s exactly what I did.
That day while Lucas was working, he was confirming the reservation at The Old Mulehouse in town and finalizing the plan with our families. Unfortunately, my dad and his girlfriend Jan had a big event happening Saturday and weren’t going to be able to make the dinner. But they had already worked together to get us up there for the evening.
I thought it was a bit odd that night that my dad wanted Lucas and I to slow dance with him and Jan. And they were also very giddy and smiley, but still it didn’t lead me to believe anything. Turns out, they both knew the whole plan, had seen the ring, and were trying to keep it cool.
THE BIG DAY
Saturday is finally here, and I truly thought it was going to be like any other day. Lucas got up early to go hunt and I had a slow morning on the couch. When he got home around 10:30, he didn’t even come inside right away. He just started blowing off the driveway, the porches, and the walkway. I remember looking out the bathroom window at one point and he was blowing leaves around in the backyard and I thought to myself like ’what in the hell are you doing?’
I finished cleaning up the kitchen and walked downstairs to see him. He was cleaning out his truck at this point and we were just chatting. He asked what I wanted to do that day, still not having a single clue. I told him that I wanted to go to Home Depot and Walmart to get the curtains and rods for the bedroom and finally put them up. Then I wanted to go to Fainting Goat because the leaves were peak on our own street and you could see all the colors in the mountains when driving through town.
I was fully expecting him to be less than enthused about this idea because this time of year, the winery is absolutely packed. Like you have to park along the road, walk up the huge hill, then there’s never any tables or chairs, you have to carry in your own. And to top it off, they’ve always had just one bar upstairs and it’s so slow.
Nope, not a single compliant or asking to do something else. He asked about what time I wanted to go, I said like maybe 1 or 2 after we dealt with the curtains. He said ok and then asked if I would pick up the upstairs and vacuum while he cleaned out his truck and stuff.
I went upstairs, cleaned the main level, folded all the laundry that was on the floor next to my side of the bed, FaceTimed with my mom for like 30 minutes, and started getting ready for the day. I felt like he was downstairs for ever. Turns out it was because he was calling Mary Margaret to change the plan and give her an update. And he was also so nervous that he just kept cleaning his truck, and taking things in and out because he couldn’t think straight!
Apparently, the original plan was for him to propose downtown at the main intersection where you can see the town with the mountains in the skyline. Then our families would pop out from the restaurant and Matt would have captured the whole thing.
When I suggested we go to Fainting Goat because it was a gorgeous day and the trees were at their peak, Lucas called an audible and change the plan. Little did I know at the time, I was literally planning my engagement that day.
I was finishing up getting ready and deciding what to wear. Lucas said ‘are you going to look all cute and fall?’ I said of course — we don’t get to do many fall things and my clothes need to be worn! I was playing right into his plan. He suggested I wear one of my hats because I hadn’t in a while and he loves when I do.
He was upstairs picking out his outfit and shaving. Again, I didn’t think anything of it because he’s always loved to get dressed up too and shaves whenever we’re doing something.
I was putting together the picnic (which never even got opened lol) and taking it down to put in the car. He asked where I was going to put it, and I said in the back seat. He jumped up and said he’d take it down because his hunting rifle and stuff was back there. Fine by me! Really, it was because the ring was hidden back there.
We left to go to Home Depot for the curtain rods and they ended up not having what we needed. So I told him let’s just skip Walmart because we couldn’t even get the rods. I then suggested that maybe we go through somewhere to get a quick bite since we hadn’t eaten that morning and all we brought were cheese and crackers.
He asked if we could go in so he could pee. Really, he was calling MMG to tell her we were running ahead of schedule and were going to the winery next. He comes out of the bathroom and sure enough, I’m on the phone with the restaurant moving our reservation from 5 to 6:30, just as they all expected.
We stop by the house to put our leftovers in the fridge and grab Lucas’ watch. We only live 10 minutes from Fainting Goat and had to pass it anyways to get there. The drive up was absolutely stunning. I’ve truly never seen the mountains look so beautiful. We were both in complete awe over it.
We get to Fainting Goat and there’s no cars parked outside of the parking lot, which is very unusual for Saturday in the Fall around 2 PM. It’s usually slammed! We ended up with a front row spot, walked up as a couple was leaving, and landed a table. I went to get our drinks while Lucas stayed at the table with our stuff. While I was gone he was texting Mary Margaret an update with a picture of where we were.
When I came back down the stairs, another table opened up right on the edge where you have an unobstructed view. I snagged it and we moved. A little while passes and Lucas says he has to go to the bathroom. As I’m sitting there, I texted a picture to MMG of the view saying I wish they were able to join us because it was the prettiest I’ve ever seen it. I also sent sent the picture to my mom saying ‘This is the perfect day — it’s not too cold, not too windy, and hardly busy at all.’ Again, having no idea it was THE perfect day.
While he was gone, a couple asked me to take their picture and I said as long as you’ll take ours when he comes back! Time goes by, Lucas had been back at the table and we were just relaxing. I asked if he wanted me to get the snacks out and he said not just yet. Then I asked if we could ask the couple to take our picture real quick. He said let’s wait, and I was like uhhh, okay…
I go to the bathroom and come back, and the couple who I was going to ask had left. To top it off, a group of people literally picked up a table, and put it directly in front ours completely blocking the view and the spot that Lucas was planning on doing it. I got annoyed because they were all being obnoxious and we lost the view. So I saw another table open up and we moved for the third time near the guy playing the guitar. This was making him sweat even more since he had to secretly update them a third time without me seeing her name.
We get settled and Lucas has to go to the bathroom again. I’m still not thinking anything of it. I’m sitting there drinking the bottle that he got me on his last trip to the bar and enjoying the view. He was actually upstairs meeting Mary Margaret and Matt to go over where we were sitting and he was going to do it. After they got situated, they were going to text him that it was go time.
He comes back down and scoots me closer to him so my back is fully to the building so there’s no chance I will see them. Again, we’re just chillen’ and talking. Then he gets a text from MMG, which I didn’t know at the time, and he immediately puts his phone in his pocket.
He grabs my hand and suggests we walk down to see the goats. He leads me down the stairs and I’m just chatting it up like usual. We get to the fence, he puts his arm around me, which isn’t out of the ordinary. Then he says to me ’Are you ready?’ I start to turn to him and say for what? He says Carly we’ve been talking about this for a while now… I immediately freak out and say ’are you f*ucking serious?”
At this point, I’m looking at him and he takes the ring box out of his pocket. As he’s getting down on one knee, the box opens and I am absolutely FLOORED by the ring. He asks me to marry him and I couldn’t get any other words out other than ’are you kidding me?’
As you see in the video, I’m freaking out and can’t seem to get it together. He points up to the balcony and I see Mary Margaret and Matt. I lose myself again, and he says ’is that a yes?’ I say yes, of course! Then he stands up and we’re both crying at this point.
I had no idea. I was so shocked and could not believe this just happened. I didn’t see it coming. I mean, I planned the day that morning!!
TIME TO CELEBRATE
We walk back up to the table and our friends are there to greet us and they had actually captured the entire thing. Which is one thing I knew I wanted. I had a feeling I would black out from excitement, and sure enough I did. After the initial shock wears off, the first thing I ask is if our parents know. He said they were waiting for us at The Old Mulehouse — queue the tears again.
We got to sit and soak it in for a bit, drink some wine with our friends, and take some pictures. It was absolutely perfect.
On the way to meet our families, I FaceTimed my dad since Lucas had told me he wasn’t able to be there because of work. Him and Jan were smiling ear to ear, and it literally melted my heart. Of course, the first thing he asked was, ’have you set a date yet?’
We get to Downtown Jasper and had a chance to take some pictures in town before meeting with our families. It was so special, and those are some of my favorite photos!
We walk in and everyone is waiting for us at the bar. My mom, my sister and her fiancé, Lucas’ parents and his sister. Neither of our brothers could make it since they don’t live here, but Olivia had Connor waiting on FaceTime for me.
This was such a special moment that will live in my heart forever. Walking in to our families, congratulating us, and being able to celebrate all together. There was a table waiting for us in the back room with Champagne, ready to toast.
We got to all have dinner together, talk about the day and how I was so surprised. We ended the night taking pictures with our families before heading home to spend some time alone.
When we got home, we put Kacey Musgraves on the record player, slow danced in the kitchen, and shared a drink in our new glasses that the VanZants gifted us. We sat on the couch just listening to music and talking about the day, and our future. It was truly the most special evening, just the two of us.
We pretty much spent all of that night and the next day watching the videos back, looking at the pictures, and just crying happy tears. It was such a magical weekend.
I’ve never felt so loved or special in my whole life. I still can’t believe Lucas is finally my fiancé. People always told me that there’s an instant change in you and your partner once you’re engaged. I always thought that was a bit dramatic, but it’s so true.
I’m so thankful for everyone who had a hand in making October 29th the perfect day. But I’m especially grateful to be marrying someone who knows me so well, and loves me to intently.