This month's Engagement Story is near and dear to my heart as the bride is one of my best friends in the world. In fact, I proudly claim being the person who brought these two beautiful people together! A couple who is adventurous, loving and endearingly quirky, their story will never cease to bring me joy and happiness. Everyone: meet Tiara and Tom!
How did you first meet?
Tiara: We met through mutual friends (Whitney and Gabby) at a pizza parlor in Nashville, TN. I got Whitney to invite Tom to my birthday party a week later. Tom got my phone number that night and the rest is history!
Tom: Funny story, the author of this blog and another mutual friend conspired to set us up. Tiara and I met over pizza, and Whitney made sure that I showed up at Tiara's birthday party a few weeks later. We got together pretty quickly after that.
What did you do on your first date?
Tiara: Our first date was awesome! We met at my house in Nashville, got on our bikes and rode to the 12 South area. Our first stop was at a wine bar called Rumors and our second was at a burger place called Burger Up. From there we rode back to the house and listened to records. I played the coolest music I knew at the time, which Tom only remembers as Loggins & Messina. Ha! Still, it was a fantastic date and the bike dates that followed were certainly ones to remember.
Tom: We took a bike tour of the neighborhoods around Belmont University. I didn't have a car at the time, so I was in pretty good shape, but Tiara still pretty much towed me around town. Afterward, we stopped at her house to listen to some music. I think it's pertinent to mention that I can be rather snobbish about music. She had a lot of great records, but mostly I remember her putting Loggins & Messina on, which is a punishable offense in my book, but I was having such a great time that I actually kind of liked them for a week or two afterward.
When did you know they were the one?
Tiara: I can't put my finger on a specific moment or gut feeling I had. However, I wouldn't just up and go with anyone to South Korea, nor would I move to a new state to start a life with someone who wasn't the one. I suppose, looking back on our relationship, it comes down to how I felt/feel when I am with Tom. I am comfortable, there's lots of laughter and fun, and I feel mutual love. It's not something he did or an event that triggered it, but his intentional focus on showing me love daily.
Tom: That's hard to say. I've always felt something special between Tiara and me, but I'm also a pretty reticent guy. Certainty - in anything, not just love - is something that takes me time to build. Anyway, I honestly believe that that initial impulse, while nice, is not what really matters. What matters to me is that, from where we are now, Tiara and I can look back on everything we've been through together and see the foundation of our future together.
How did he propose?
Tiara: Tom and I had been planning a backpacking trip to Utah for a few months and little did I know, this was also the trip when he would propose. I had my ring already designed by my Dad, but he wasn't going to be bringing it up until the summer so I really didn't think anything was going to happen on this trip. Our first day on the trail, Tom was clearly thinking about something. He was fumbling, tripping all over the place, it just wasn't like him. The night before we slept in the car (incredibly uncomfortable), and that morning we lost the trail and took a big detour. He was freaking out that things weren't going well but I was having a great time! Because I knew that he had brought my favorite gin as a surprise, and I figured that was what was making him nervous (I am a sucker). Anyway, we eventually made camp. We did a little bit of excursion hiking up to some native jail ruins and made some dinner. Tom surprised me with a gin and tonic (!) and then recommended we take our drinks to go look at the sunset. We climbed up to this gigantic boulder, sat down, and just took in the moment together. Next, he gave me a speech about our relationship, ect. Then he showed me the ring! It was amazing. I just looked at the ring (it was perfect), looked at him (he was perfect), and looked out at where we were (you guessed it, perfect). It was an incredible moment with him that made the trip 10 times more special than it already was.
Tom: We went backpacking in Utah together, and I proposed on our first night on the trail. It was almost laughably perfect - the canyon, the sun setting, the birds, etc., etc. Tiara had been talking to her dad about ring designs for a while (he's a jeweler), and he had secretly completed the ring and sent it to me. I wanted to wait until the second night, but by the time we put the tent up on night one I was going nuts about the whole thing, so I walked her up to an outcropping and gave a little speech and did it. This is going to start out sounding rather un-romantic, but the best part really was being done with it: seeing that ring on her finger, and having three days alone in the desert together. No phones, no friends or family, just us, feeling totally content.
What are some things you enjoy doing together?
Tiara: I would say that it depends on where we live. In Nashville, we went to a lot of shows, had porch parties with our friends, biked everywhere together and made vegan meals. In South Korea, we would go out to dinner a lot (it was cheap), hit up the bars with other expats, take some trips, and of course Norebang! In Colorado, we watch Star Trek (1st thing), go on hikes, play pin ball, sit in coffee shops and adventure into new culinary territory. Overall, we aim to have fun together and explore each others interests. Whether that be taking a weekend trip to camp or helping Tom cook, then sitting down for a night of TV, I love my time spent with him.
Tom: We're social animals, and we're both pretty active people, but we've gone through a couple of huge transitions recently, and we haven't had a ton of time or energy for social calls, so lately we've had a lot of nights in. I love cooking, and we'll just have a nice, simple meal and watch Star Trek and sink into our recliners. It's horribly boring, but honestly, I love it. When the sun comes back out, we'll be back out with it, but it's nice to know that you can sit around with your partner and have a great time.
What is your favorite thing about him/her?
Tiara: His drive, heart, intelligence, humor, realism, music, ability to easily converse with anyone. I can't just name one! But he makes me feel right at home. All these qualities wrapped up into a man that can turn my bad days into good ones, tickle me until the silliness quota has been fulfilled, and just take a walk with me and talk about anything and everything that is on our minds. I am my true self when in his company, and like Tom says, he is the Yin to my Yang. <3
Tom: Her intensity. I am very easy going, and I like to take things as they come, and she is just totally not that way. An apropos example: our wedding isn't until July, and we are literally done planning. This kind of forethought is just not in my DNA. I've learned a lot about pushing myself from her. Thankfully, she also likes to cut loose, and I'd like to think that I am good at helping her relax when she starts pushing herself too hard. We have a nice yin/yang thing going in that respect.
If you know someone who is engaged or have your own story you would love to tell, let me know down in the comment section!!