These two lovers have been together ten years. Becky saw a weekend already planned away for her birthday as the perfect opportunity to plan to propose to Monica. What Monica wasn’t expecting was that Becky had actually planned the entire wedding, and invited family and friends, for later that afternoon.
After being together ten years, two of which we lived 3 hours apart, Becky and I finally moved in together in 2016. Through those years, we had several conversations about getting married. We both agreed we wanted to get married, but the idea of planning a wedding (and being in a wedding) made me very anxious.
October 22nd is Becky’s birthday. On that day in 2016, we made a plan to spend the weekend in Apalachicola, FL to celebrate her birthday.
Apalachicola is a delightful, historic fishing village about 45 minutes from our hometown. Becky has three daughters, and two of them were going to join us for her birthday. I had asked a couple of friends to make a reservation for dinner and pick up a birthday cake for Becky. I was planning to surprise her with the cake and inviting our friends to dinner.
She definitely pulled a bigger surprise on me!
When we got in at our room in Apalachicola, Becky took me out to the balcony overlooking the river. As she took my hand, she said, “I want you to do something for me for my birthday. I want you to marry me.”
“Okay,” I said. “One day, we will do that.”
“No,” she said, “ tonight, in two hours.”
I was confused, to say the least. I had no idea what she meant and what she had planned. As we walked back into the room, the door opened, and in poured my mom, nephews, sisters and brothers in law. Some of our best friends were right behind them. Needless to say, I was crying my eyes out.
My family took me to another room in the hotel to get ready for the wedding. Becky had bought a gorgeous wedding dress, shoes and jewelry without me having a clue. The wedding spot was to be the city dock overlooking the Apalachicola River. She had every single detail planned out.
When it was time, my nephews and I were taken from the hotel in a pedicab, down a road along the waterfront, to the dock. Our friends lined the street holding signs that read things like “Have you seen the rings?” and “Hurry up, I want cake!”. Knowing I was going to be a nervous wreck, Becky had planned for only our families to be on the dock during the ceremony. Our friends would meet us at the reception.
As the pedicab approached the dock, a saxophone player played in the street. Becky stood on the dock, beaming and looking beautiful. I felt like I was in a dream!
After the ceremony, we headed to the reception, which was held in a historic brick building that is an art gallery with event space. Becky had thought of everything. Our favorite band, a bus to drive everyone from our hometown to Apalachicola, a great photographer, delicious food, flowers, an open bar and lots of friends. We had the time of our lives and thanks to Becky’s hard work, I didn’t have to go through any of the stress and worry it takes to plan a wedding. I have no idea how she planned all of this without me knowing!
This year is our 15th year together. Little did we know that we would lose our home to Hurricane Michael two years after our wedding. We had spent two years renovating a 1950s beach house and had just finished the interior. We were finally living in the same space and loving it. Then it was all gone. Our small town was demolished and everyone was devastated.
For the last year and eight months, we have been living in an RV, and it hasn’t been easy, but our love is strong. We have finally started rebuilding our house. We are doing most of the work ourselves as we have an engineering and construction business.
Photography by Kaila Bruner Photography