Tell us how you met and fell in love!
Although we both attended the same college UNC-Pembroke in North Carolina and associated with the same group of friends, our paths did not cross until Courtney had graduated college. In the late summer of 2012 Courtney was newly single living on the coast of North Carolina enjoying new found freedom. Courtney’s friends knew she was not looking to settle down anytime soon, but they insisted that Courtney come home one weekend to meet Kristen. Eventually, Courtney gave into her friends and planned a weekend to go and hang out with everyone, not giving too much thought to even hitting it off with Kristen. A few days before I was going to go home for a visit I messaged Kristen asking if she would be in town that weekend. Immediately, she responds and says she would be but she was attending a concert with mutual friends. I joked could it possibly be this rock concert for Lynard Skynard because I have some friends who are begging me to go because they have an extra ticket. Turns out, it was indeed the same concert so we decided to meet up at the show.
The night of the concert, upon meeting Kristen, I knew something was different. I could not keep my eyes off her and I wanted nothing more than to have all of her attention, which for me was something foreign. I had been an out lesbian for about five years, so it was an adjustment for me to date anyone who was not open. As hard as I tried to fight the feelings I had for Kristen it was literally impossible. The summer quickly faded into the fall and I found myself in a long distance relationship with Kristen. I was living for the weekend just to be in her presence. I had fallen head over heels for her way before I would want to admit it to anyone, but all my friends will tell you they knew. Our love story is built upon a foundation of shared friends who saw two amazing women who would be life changing for each other. We became official in November 2012 and will wed October 12th 2018!
Was there a proposal? Tell us about it!
We actually both proposed to each other.
Courtney’s Proposal-May 20th 2016:
In November of 2015, I told my closest friends that I was going to propose to Kristen within the next few months. They were, of course, supportive and happy, but were also shocked that I was going to propose first. Kristen and I had been living together for a little over a year now so it made planning the proposal a bit tricky. After some thought I decided, why not propose while we vacation in Puerto Rico for my 30th birthday. Two weeks before we were set to leave for Puerto Rico, I went and picked up the ring. The anxiety of holding onto a ring made those two weeks seem like two years. I was a wreck by the time we got on the plane to head to San Juan. When we landed in San Juan my anxiety hit an overdrive. Tomorrow I would ask the woman who completes me to spend the rest of her life by my side. I had told Kristen we would be taking pictures to capture the last day of my 20’s the following morning in San Juan. Little did she know, it was actually our proposal pictures. The night before I barely slept and I woke up that morning feeling like "Will You Marry Me" was written all over my face. All I can really remember from that morning is playing Beyonce's Lemonade album as I did my makeup to keep myself from having to really talk to Kristen because who knew what I would say to her. When we made it to the top of the Fort San Cristobal and met the photographer, she instructed us to take a few shots in front of the lookout. As we took them, I still to this day do not know how Kristen did not realize I was a nervous wreck in a cold sweat. When I got the queue from the photographer that she needed one more shot of us out front of the lookout I knew it was time. I know I got down on a knee and said I cannot go into the next decade of life without you as my wife and after that, it is a haze of happiness and tears. Afterwards we celebrated with champagne and lunch in a cabana on the beach and soaked in the realization that I had pulled off the perfect proposal without her having any idea. The rest of our trip was filled with adventures celebrating our love and my milestone birthday.
Kristen's Proposal May 19th, 2017 -One day prior to a complete year that we have already been “engaged":
Courtney’s friends were coming into town for her 31st birthday. I thought, what better way than to do my proposal in front of her childhood and adult friends whom have all left a lasting imprint on both of our hearts. My choice…the Pineapple Fountain in Downtown Charleston. Cliché? Maybe. But it fit - a quaint and quiet atmosphere. The Pineapple Fountain carries the sounds and picturesque backdrop of a great place to “pop the question”. I remember being so nervous that day. Even though we were already “engaged”, it was still nerve racking to say the least. All week there were unintentional signs of Pineapples. Pineapple balloons, earrings, pictures, etc. My only thoughts were…Does she know?? The night of, I tried to calm my nerves with a few adult beverages. It didn’t work. At one point I tried putting my sports bra on over my regular bra before putting my shirt on. Of course Courtney saw it and asked if I was “okay”. I nodded and we proceeded to make our way to the fountain. At the fountain, we took some pictures with Courtney and her friends when I pulled out a bag she had begged me to get for her birthday. She was surprised, but didn’t feel the ring box inside. I finally had to hint to look in the bag, and she pulled the box out. Well, you know the rest. Not only did she say yes, she also put the ring on her own finger. If you knew us, that would be seemingly typical for our relationship.
Are you planning your wedding right away or giving yourself some time to just be engaged?
We are in the midst of planning our wedding with our planner Ms. Cayleigh Hopkins, founder of The Petal Report. I stumbled across The Petal Report on Instagram after I proposed to Kristen in 2016 and immediately became obsessed with her eye for everything wedding. Since Hurricane Matthew pushed our original wedding plans back a year, we jumped into planning right away as we live in Charleston the second most sought out destination wedding location in the US.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your spouse-to-be?
Courtney on Kristen- Kristen has shown me that even in the lowest point of life there is always something positive to be found. In January of 2016 I lost my job and then in October still unemployed we lost everything to Hurricane Matthew so it seemed like one misfortune after the other. During this time never once did Kristen dwell on the negative hand we had been dealt. She remained positive throughout the year always reminding me that we still had more than most in this world had. Her positive nature is what helped me through the most trying year of my life.
Kristen on Courtney – When I met Courtney I was not the most tidy person. Immediately I noticed with her that everything had to be a certain way or she would freak out. Courtney has just touch of OCD when it pertains to cleaning. Courtney has taught me to be better about picking up behind myself so that I don’t create more stress in my own life because of clutter. She has taught me the meaning of everything has its place in a home and that is where it belongs. It has helped me be a better partner to her as we now both share the household duties.
What’s your favorite part of your relationship?
Courtney on Kristen- Kristen is my balance. We are opposites I am the center of attention type of woman whereas Kristen prefers to stay in the background. This works for us, and I feel that it keeps the relationship interesting. She tells me when I am being too much and that I need to bring it down a notch, and I constantly am pushing her to go beyond her comfort zone. The balance we have in our relationship is what I need to be the better version of myself. It feels good to know that as a couple you can complement each other’s personalities without overshadowing each other.
Kristen on Courtney – That I have a supportive soundboard in Courtney. When something happens in my life Courtney is the first person I want to tell. I value her feedback because I know that at the end of the day she has my best interest at heart.