Will and Emily

Charlotte, NC

Emily and I had dated for not quite a year when at some point we said to each other that “it seems like we’ll end up together, huh?” I guess when you know, you just know. After that, Emily continued to drop regular and sometimes not-so-subtle hints about the fact that usually the man is supposed to buy the woman a ring, and the type and diamond shape and band she wanted. It took the majority of another year for me to get my act together to move forward with the process of getting a ring. It was during this time that I got in touch with the Shooks and talked to them about my options. I made multiple secret trips from Charlotte to Hickory to meet with Teresa Shook to go over my options and decide how best to take Emily’s general preferences for the diamond and band and build a ring that she would love. Teresa basically took over from there, which for me was exactly what I needed. When the ring was finished around the end of May, I didn’t plan to pop the question until early August so I asked Teresa if she would hold onto it for me until closer to that time. No problem.

A couple of weeks went by and I planned a weekend trip to Asheville in early August with Emily and her (now our) dog, Max. Because we’d been talking about the prospect of marriage for a while, I knew it would be difficult to actually surprise her. She mentioned one night that she thought it was pretty obvious that I was trying to get engaged that weekend. Uh oh — I needed to call an audible. Well, we had already planned a trip with some of Emily’s friends for the July 4th weekend to go up to Niagra-On-The-Lake in Ontario, Canada. So I decided to do it then and there.

I called Teresa back and told her my time-frame had been “accelerated” and we laughed about it. She was so accommodating that she actually met me at her house on Sunday morning so that I could keep the drive to Hickory a secret. The ring blew me away and I was probably awkward and pretty much speechless.

On Monday, July 4th, Emily and I woke up very early to leave her friends’ house and go see Niagra Falls from the Maid of the Mist before we had to fly home. On the drive to the Falls on the Canadian side of the Niagra River, there are many scenic overlooks with great views of the canyon with the river at the bottom. Emily and I both were very tired from the weekend and dressed in not-so-clean clothes, she in sweatpants, but she begrudgingly agreed to take a picture with me at one of the deserted overlooks. We got to an overlook, alone, and gazed out for a few seconds or few minutes — I had no sense of time — and at some point I got down on a knee and what-do-ya-know, she was actually surprised. She has since forgiven me for asking her in sweatpants :).