Josh and I flew to Atlanta, drove up to Tennessee and stayed for a week at a cabin (booked via Airbnb!) bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We saw our first Tennessee game at Neyland Stadium, drove around the national park, went hiking, and spent a lot of time sitting with books and cups of coffee on our cabin's magnificent porch:
I don't know that yet another view from that porch is pertinent, but I'll share one for good measure because it's one of my favorite things ever:
On the second to last day of our trip, on the porch at sunrise, Josh asked me to marry him!
Here we are later in the day, en route to Clingman's Dome, the highest point in the national park. I will help you interpret my facial expression: "EEEEEEEEE!"
We were very excited to celebrate with our family and friends, and we didn't want a very long engagement, so we got to work as soon as we got back to Minnesota. Exactly a month later (Dec. 13), we booked our reception venue - and then exactly nine months after that, we got married.
Right off the bat, I wished the engagement was a little shorter, but we chose September because 1) we both love fall in Minnesota and 2) we hoped to reduce the chances of a heat wave. (We were deciding between Sept. 6 and Sept. 13, and Josh lobbied for the 13th because it was later and thus likely cooler. I teased him a little, but sure enough, the temperature approached 90 on Sept. 6 and had settled back into the mid-60s for Sept. 13.)
But truly, I'm happy now that we had 10 months, because it was a really marvelous window of time. When I think back on the last year, so many things happened that I'm grateful we didn't crunch: how our relationship evolved, the special times with our families, our marriage preparation classes, the wedding planning conversation threads with my mom via a sprawling Pinterest board, and very sweet and fun celebrations with family and friends who supported us as we started the new adventure.
I'm not sure if we'll keep marking this date in the years to come, but today I'm thinking of the porch in Tennessee!