The Story of Us

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How We Met - Eric

While I was attending WSSU my roommate/groomsman AJ and I had a few mutual friends that lived in Greensboro that we would visit on occasion. Well, this particular weekend a friend of ours was having some people over so AJ and I went. About 30 minutes after we get there Mary Kate and her roommate Angelica walk in and I was immediately in awe. I was going to talk to this girl before the night is over. More time goes on and I end up in the same area of the house as Mary Kate and she actually started the conversations that carried on throughout the whole night. We had really hit it off and exchanged numbers at the end of the night. Soon after I sent her a text and little did I know that text would unfold into such a beautiful relationship with such a beautiful woman.

How We Met - Mary Kate

Eric and I had almost crossed paths multiple times in the months leading up to our meeting. He had been to my apartment and met my dog Maci, but we never actually met each other. One night my roommate convinced me to go over to one of our friend's houses when I typically would have just stayed home. I saw Eric as soon as I walked in the door and knew I HAD to talk to him. Since I kind of hate large group settings, I quickly found my spot in a corner (shocker) but kept looking him out of the corner of my eye. I was making my plan on how on earth I was going to talk to this cute guy when he started walking my way. After we started talking it was like we were the only two people there and the rest is history.

The Proposal - Mary Kate

Sometime in November I told Eric I wanted to go to Disney which I do pretty much once a week and he just looked at me and okay I’ll start planning. After the fact, Eric told me he has known he wanted to propose at Disney since the last time we were there he was simply waiting for the right time. Eric had been acting weird all morning. I didn’t really know what was going on (at the time) because I was over there all pumped that we were about to be inside Magic Kingdom and he was pretty much pacing back and forth. When I asked what was wrong he said he was a little nervous about riding the rides, which was believable because he is afraid of heights. On the ride to the park, Eric wasn’t really talking while I was practically jumping up and down to excitement. We finally get inside the park and immediately get in line to take a photo in front of the castle. We are next in line when the music starts playing and the photographer turns around to tell us she is so sorry but she can’t take our photo because there is a parade starting. I suggested we go ride Splash Mountain, Erics favorite ride, but he quickly told me we need to take our picture first. I have no idea what's going on with him, but I am on top of the world being at Disney so I don’t really care. After the parade and get back in line to get our photo taken. As we are getting ready for the picture I turn to see Eric on one knee. This is where I blackout. I have no idea what he said there are just bits and pieces I can remember. I immediately burst into tears and started shaking. I forgot to yes and Eric closed the box before he put the ring on my finger. It was perfectly us. Everyone around us clapping and cheering. It was actually was the happiest moment of my whole life. There were so many special aspects of our engagement like the diamond being my grandmas, that my brothers helped Eric design the ring, and that we got engaged on Eric’s parents anniversary.

The Proposal - Eric

For over a year prior to me asking for Bill's blessing, I knew my plan to propose to Mary Kate and wouldn’t settle for anything less. Mary Kate and I spontaneously decided to go on a trip to Disney just the two of us. Ever since the first time we went to Disney (honestly even before that) I knew it was where I wanted to ask her to marry me. We were in Charleston after Christmas and I knew it was my chance to ask for Bill's blessing. With a lot of much-needed advice and support from my parents, I had already thought through what I was going to say. A few happy tears later, Bill and Angie were on board. That step is out of the way and I was on the hunt for the ring. After help from family members, I ended up with the most beautiful ring I have ever seen before. The middle diamond was given to me to use by Mary Kate's Memaw and that made it even more special. Days go by and before I knew it we were packing to go on our trip to Disney. We stop in Charleston to pick up the ring and were are off to Orlando. The morning of us going to Magic Kingdom my mind was racing. I was more than excited to get into the parks and ideally leave with a new fiancé. After a good luck send off from the security guard who saw the ring, we walked up to the first photographer we saw and I was determined to do it now. We were next in line to get our pictures taken and right before our turn we are asked to step back because a parade was coming through. My heart dropped to my stomach. After a morning of anticipation I was determined to watch the parade and catch the next photographer I saw. After the parade we stepped up in front of the camera and as soon as we started looking at the camera I got on one knee and looked up at Mary Kate. Tears were immediately flowing, the photographer continued to snap photos of the entire moment and before we knew it there was a crowd of so many people around cheering and clapping. It was absolutely beautiful and an amazing start to an unforgettable weekend.

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Mary Kate Leopard