our engagement story
how we met
I love telling people this because it’s definitely out of the ordinary! I was sweating hard in the gym when an old flame invited me to his rugby game. I was a little reluctant but I used to play rugby in college and loved the sport. I eventually agreed and as I drove up to my house he was already there. I had no time to shower or change and lived in Florida at the time so naturally, I was very sweaty. I threw on a baseball cap to cover my hair and jumped in his car. Once we arrived at the game I was trapped in a sea of athletic men (que insecurity about my smell and lack of makeup!) An hour or so into the game one of the players caught my eye and it wasn’t the one I came with! I heard a few players call out his name, Noah and was pretty impressed by his athleticism. I was immediately smitten and HAD to meet him. Trying to act as cool and as cute as I could while being a sweaty mess I inquired to the guy I came with about meeting Noah. We coaxed him to join us at the bar afterwards and the two of us hit it off and knew we had to hang out again! (Secretly, I thought what we had would just be a fling and wouldn't last.)
I remember telling Noah several times how much fun it would be to go to Napa Valley and visit all the wineries up there for my birthday. A few months before my 26th birthday, he spilled the beans about talking to his friend in San Francisco. At this point I knew something was up! We flew into San Francisco a few days before my birthday and he planned out every detail about what we would be doing. Everyday was a surprise! The first day we were there we actually biked to City Hall to watch other couples celebrate their love. It was so adorable and the most amazing birthday surprise I could get, or so I thought...
The day before my birthday we made our way to Napa Valley where we stayed at the Embassy Suites Napa and had the most gorgeous hotel suite with birthday champagne waiting for us! They even had white swans in a pond outside our room! “Surely it couldn’t get better than this?!” I thought. The day of my birthday we made our way to a fun and eclectic vineyard called Raymond. When we arrived we were greeted with some wine and given a private “tour” of the vineyard. But it wasn’t a tour at all! As we walked through the vineyard of grapes completely alone our guide asked if we wanted a birthday photo in the vineyard. Noah told me to put my glass down and as we were getting ready to take a picture I could feel his heart beating a million miles and hour! He said, “Tori, I have a question to ask you.” And got down on one knee with the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face. He pulled out of his pocket a gorgeous ring and asked, “Will you marry me?”
In that moment my smile matched the size of his and I just blurted out “Oh, Noahs I love you!” And completely forgot to say “Yes!” But I bet that happens all the time. After many photos and smiles and giggles we made our way back to the winery where he had planned for us to make our OWN wines to be bottled up with a custom label to be enjoyed on our wedding day! We ended the evening at one of the most renown sushi restaurants in the world, Morimoto. It was so fun and such a whirlwind of joy and happiness. I am so astounded by all the effort and creativity he went through to really give me the most amazing surprise I could have imagined, a fiancé.
The day that Noah proposed I was a little skeptical it could happen. ALL of my girlfriends had told me he would, but I was still in denial. The reality was that Noah had crafted an elaborate plan to propose to me and everyone in our family was in on it. Throughout this process I've come to realize though, whether it is in a vineyard, whether it is on a roof, or in a bar, I feel like no one can ever recreate the feeling of surprise when the man that you love gets down on one knee.
He couldn’t have done a better job on the ring! Okay, this is where I am going to get a bit girly. I am very picky and very particular about what I like. I like to think I'm easy going, but I'm still a woman. Of course I had a Pinterest board with a thousand different ideas where I saved my dream wedding ring. I had no clue what the reality would be, but I wanted Noah to know that whatever he picked I wanted him to be PROUD of it and to not just buy something to impress me or our friends and family.
When I was in the phase of dropping hints about my ring I probably showed Noah 20 very different designs. But the funny thing is that Noah designed it all himself without any input from me. My ring is from a Denver based designer called Sarah O. Jewelry. Noah was very adamant about getting me a ring that was “unique but compliments Tori." Me being an artist, he wanted it to be perfect.
Sarah O. is all handcrafted in Denver (I love that it's a local designer) and they create these alternative looks and blend them into classic and timeless pieces. So Noah didn’t just buy a ring online. This boy reached out to them and went into the shop to make something extremely unique for me. He knew that he wanted a rose gold band to match my complexion and a unique gemstone. He saw the Grey Spinel and loved how it changed color in different lighting! (That’s my favorite part too) The gem was set in a high setting with an Asher cut accompanied by two small diamonds on either side. And for a little rustic vibe he added a textured finish to the band. The whole process sounds so fun and now I can't wait to go in and design Noah and I's wedding bands!
I have never loved a material item as much as I love this ring. I love it because it is classic enough to never go out of style but originally handcrafting to always feel unique to me, with no one else ever having the same one. But I love it most because Noah took the time to make it for me. It is never about the ring but the fact that when you get engaged you have something special that will always be with you to represent a bond that only you have with another. I really believe the design of my ring is a reflection of the unique design that God had for Noah and I to be one.
Whether you believe it or not, your life is a story unfolding. It is original and it is unique to you. It has many chapters and each is significant to the next. I am grateful for the story that started and unfolded that day and I am forever thankful that it was as special as it was. It is the first chapter of a new story that I get to tell with Noah and it started with a bang. Even if you are in a season of singleness, it is part of your story.
I am grateful for all the seasons God brought us through to prepare our hearts for one another; grateful for the man that God has made Noah into. I am grateful for the story that unfolded that special day, and grateful for the life I get to live with my best friend. There is so much to be grateful for. When you look back and remember what God has already given you then you experience gratitude and that brings joy.
If you have any brides have resources or tips, I'd love to hear it! Let me know in the comments below!