We had an exciting day here at Mount Ida helping Chris pull off a grand proposal that his soon to be wife won’t forget! Let Chris and Brette take you on a ride of their love story and the epic cover story of how he brought Brette to Mt. Ida!
Chris’s Account of Our Love Story and Choosing Mount Ida:
In late May of 2015, after my first year of law school, I walked into a room full of young, eager and mostly confused law students sitting for orientation at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville. I was hot, sweaty and flustered from jogging to the meeting. This was the first of many times Brette would see my lack of punctuality in action. I was too focused on not drawing attention to myself as I slid into my seat to notice the girl eyeing me from across the room. That isn’t to be boastful, I’ve simply heard it from the source herself.
Brette and I ended up working together in the Richmond branch of Legal Aid for the rest of the summer. It was probably not by accident that we also ended up sitting next each other all summer long and that we partnered on more projects than was technically necessary. At the end of the program, I had not just a co-worker, but a true friend. And as school began that fall, that friendship grew.
Only, over time, I (and I would come to learn Brette) grew dissatisfied with friendship alone. After a series of would-be dates, and missed opportunities, I worked up the courage to call her and ask in no uncertain terms, “Will you go out on a date with me?” She said yes! … on the condition that we got back from dinner in time to watch her alma-mater, the University of Oklahoma, play a highly important football game. I knew I had a good one.
That fateful conversation happened about a year ago. And in the time since, I have learned so much about my heart’s capacity to love. I have seen the tangible difference that being loved well can have on my life and how it only encourages me to share that joy with those around me. The decision to ask Brette to be my wife was the easiest I’ve ever made. The only question was how I was going to make that moment as special as her.
I chose to propose in Charlottesville because it is where our love became what it is today. And because this Blue Ridge region in the fall is simply stunning. I knew that I wanted to do it at Mount Ida because of a beautiful wedding I attended at the Lodge there in June. What I could not have imagined is how gracious Mount Ida would be as a host. They rose above and beyond my expectations to help make October 27th one of the most special days of our lives. This entire process brought out the best in friends, family, and strangers alike. It was so beautiful to witness what love can inspire in others. Brette and I are only excited to see what that love can do going forward, as we graduate from our respective law schools this May, and begin our careers and lives together in D.C. next fall.
Brette’s Account of the Proposal Day:
Thursday morning started like any other day. I got up and got ready for class at UVA Law where I’m a third year law student. Chris is a third year law student at GW Law in DC, so I was not expecting to see him on a weekday. I went to class as normal and when class ended one of my best friends was waiting for me with a note in her hand. As soon as I opened it, I recognized Chris’s handwriting and knew it was about to be one of the best days of my life.
Chris had handwritten the note and beautifully inked, “I have found the one whom my soul loves,” (Song of Solomon, 3:4) on the outside. Inside, there was a sweet note and instructions. That was the pattern that each subsequent note was to follow: a meaningful quote, a lovely message from Chris, and then practical steps I needed to take throughout the day. Those first instructions told me to go outside and look for my chauffeur who had my second note. My next destination was my house, where the third card was waiting for me in my room. The note was propped up against a picnic laid out on my bed, complete with Rosé. The note said that I should dress as if I was going to a fancy restaurant and be ready in about an hour for my next card.
I had a glass of wine and got ready with one of my best friends and roommates. We reminisced about the beginning of my relationship with Chris. When I was ready, I went outside to get the fourth note from the driver. This time the quote was from the musical Hamilton, and told me to hug my friend Anna when I got to my next destination. That’s exactly what I did when I arrived at the nail salon, where Anna and I had a great time getting pedicures.
After the pampering, I was so ready to see Chris. Luckily, the next note was the final one. He included a quote from my favorite book, Anne of Green Gables, that said, “Today is the birthday of our happiness.” And it was.
Chris was waiting for me under the Gazebo at Mount Ida. When I arrived, he spoke straight to my soul and then asked me the most important question I’ve ever been asked, “Will you marry me?” To which I of course I said “yes!” The proposal story is full of thoughtful details, words of love, and close friends- exactly like our relationship. I am so excited to marry Chris. He is easily the best man I know, generous and selfless to his core. The care he took in planning our engagement is just one of countless ways he has shown that to me.