How We Met
The first vivid memory Caroline has of Charlie took place at Frazier’s, a local restaurant, while she was celebrating her best friend's birthday. Charlie sent over glasses of champagne for each of the girls just because he knew they were celebrating something.
Through they had mutual friends and considered each other acquaintances, they had not really gotten to know each other more than a simple hello. One evening, while hanging out with a friend at Bloomsbury Bistro where Charlie worked, they started talking and ended up with friends, out on the town, but still talking and getting to know each other. At the end of the night, plans had been made to meet for brunch the next day and the attraction was evident, especially when he raced back into the elevator to steal a kiss before the doors could close!
After a proper first date and meeting the boys (who instantly loved him more than her.. traitors!) Caroline gave in and they started dating. Charlie met her parents and Aunt Peggy for the first time not long after that. They, of course, knew he was better than any other guy that had come around and quickly started including him in family plans.
In Caroline's words, "Charlie has been with me through the best and worst times, always my rock and biggest cheerleader. I knew if 5 years could fly by, he could still put up with my borderline obsessive need for a plan all the time and the boys still chose him over me, he must be a keeper!"
The Proposal- According to Him
I knew I wanted to ask Caroline to marry me somewhere special and figured Charleston, SC had turned into “our” city, so what better time than before the start of a new year? I thought I had it all worked out, an early breakfast followed by a stroll on the boardwalk, a quick proposal and off to lunch complete with a bottle of our favorite bubbles. What could go wrong, right?
I should have known things weren’t going to go “as planned” when I realized the ring box wasn’t as inconspicuous as I hoped in my coat pocket and I had to leave it behind. Having the ring in my pocket was nerve racking and I think I checked to make sure it was there every 3 steps! Once we finally made it to the breakfast destination and found that the wait would be MUCH longer than I wanted, I figured we could just skip breakfast, head for the boardwalk and move lunch a little earlier. Little did I know that Caroline’s need for coffee and/or food would soon trump rational judgement.
Finally, after a few more futile attempts to find food, I decided that the anticipation of the moment and the thought of dropping the ring somewhere were too much and we needed to go to the boardwalk as soon as possible. Luckily, she followed me!
It is still a blur of memories asking a random woman to take our photo and that I was going to propose, getting up from the swing to get on one knee and hearing Caroline say yes to marrying me!
The Proposal- According to Her
I’ll preface this with the admittance that I am nosy, always need to know what is going on and hate being left out of anything. That being said, the only way Charlie could have ever truly surprised me was to let me get in my own way and come dangerously close to ruining all his well laid plans!
Charleston is one of our favorite cities. We spent a Thanksgiving eating our way through the city, at times planning early and late dinner in the same day. On our first trip, we managed to capture the good times in a photo of us on the popular hanging swings on the Charleston Waterfront Park pier. It has always been a favorite picture and memory for both of us, so it was no surprise when Charlie suggested we spend New Years in Charleston, that he wanted to recreate the photo.
On our first day in Charleston on the New Years trip, we had plans to walk across downtown to eat breakfast at one of our favorite places, Toast. I had decided to take my time getting ready, not knowing we were on a strict timeline, and planned on grabbing coffee for the walk across town. We passed a Starbucks with the thought of eating somewhere closer, The Rarebit, which ended up not opening for an additional 15 minutes after we arrived. At that point we decided to just continue walking to our original destination. Decaffeinated and hungry (describing me, not him!) we arrived at Toast to find there was a 30+ minute wait for breakfast. We continued on to see what else we could hunt down, but only found other long waits and restaurants not serving food for at least another half hour. Charlie practically insisted we walk toward the Waterfront park so we could go take the photo he had been talking about for a few weeks. My “spidey sense” alert bells and flags should have been in fine form at this point, but the distraction of hunger and lack of coffee had me more concerned with food than trying to figure out why he wasn’t being his normal easy going self.
Charlie took off at a brisk pace toward the waterfront and I remember thinking, “Well, I guess I have to follow him.” As fate would have it, we walked down the pier and people were just standing up from the same swing in the picture from 4 years before. Charlie asked a stranger to take our photo while I was still miffed about finding food. After a moment on the swing, he stood up and dropped to one knee, holding the most beautiful ring, he told me that while I made it rather difficult that day, he didn’t want to start another year without telling me how much he loved me and wanted me to marry him. Thankfully, the beautiful sunny day required sunglasses that concealed my instantaneous tears of happiness, apology for being horrible and more concerned with food and coffee and, of course, my answer of YES!