The 8th Atlanta NotWedding was an incredible fake wedding with a very real proposal. Our team could not have been more excited (and honored!) to play a small part in executing the most thoughtful surprise proposal we’ve ever seen. We caught up with groomsman and new fiance, Edward, to get the details on how it all went down. Enjoy!
It all started sometime in December when Eric texted to ask if I would be one of his fake groomsmen. Gina and I felt honored to be a part of Eric and Jaime’s fake wedding since we weren’t able to make it to their real wedding. During the same conversation, I asked Eric what if I planned a real proposal at their fake wedding. I didn’t want to take away from their special moment of renewing their vows, but Eric being the great man he is, said he would be honored to use their fake wedding as a platform for something bigger, our proposal.
But it wasn’t until January where the idea came up again and Eric said he would contact Callie and The NotWedding staff about the possible idea. On that same day where Eric and I talked about the possible idea, he emailed the staff and got a reply back saying everyone was on board and very excited. Things escalated very quickly from there and everything was planned from the surprise proposal to the flash mob. We even tricked Gina to join in on the flash mob to thinking that it was a vendor advertisement for the audience. Gina had always dreamed of a flash mob proposal but I always joked with Gina that it would never happen. The plan was to flip the flash mob on her as a proposal instead of it being for the audience.
I had less than a month to order the custom engagement ring I have been thinking about for Gina. That also meant that I had to hurry up and get her parents blessing for hand in marriage. When I called her parents to meet for dinner, her dad let me know that they were planning to be out of the country on the day of The NotWedding. He requested to meet in March once they returned from their trip. This was when I started to freak out and stress about the whole proposal idea. It came to the point where I emailed Callie and informed her I may have to cancel the whole proposal plan.I texted Eric about the possibility of canceling and he called me back about a half hour later.
“Kairos”. Eric asked me if I knew what “Kairos” meant. Kairos is God’s appointed time to act and a moment in time when the Holy Spirit draws near to do a special work in and through a person or group. He said this moment right here and my decision in the next few days could be the defining moment in me and Gina’s marriage. He said dealing with the tough moments are the moments where we learn and continue to grow as men in Christ. Will I tell Gina how I almost proposed to her at The NotWedding but didn’t because I didn’t fight for her and didn’t do everything I possibly could? Or will I tell Gina after the surprise proposal the whole successful back story?
The week where I talked to Eric on the phone was the same week as the second snow storm in Atlanta (also the week before the proposal). I planned to walk seven miles in the snow to her parents house from my house to ask for their hand in marriage. I really wanted their blessing even though they would possibly not make it to the proposal. I knew if I walked there, it would be hard for them to turn me away without giving me the time to talk to them. I even had a six-page hand written letter ready to use as final ammunition, just in case they turned me away, explaining my love for Gina, our love for each other, and asking for their blessing.
After praying during those two long snow days, I decided to drive to her parents house on that Thursday, 2/13/14. The snow had started to melt and figured it was a smarter idea to drive. I was set on confronting her parents and asking them to give me an hour out of their busy day to just hear me out. I was willing to do whatever it took; I even bought Korean food for them. As I got in the car and put the car in reverse, I got a call from Gina’s dad. He said their travel plans were postponed and wanted to see if I wanted to have dinner that Saturday, 2/15/14. Wow, God is good!
I had dinner with her parents on Saturday night, told them my love for Gina, our love for each other, and asked for their blessing. I received their blessing and I was ecstatic! Everything was set and planned…except for the engagement ring! That was the last obstacle. It was guaranteed to be delivered by Valentine’s Day but due to the snowstorm, the delivery was delayed. The ring ended up coming the MORNING of the proposal day, The NotWedding, 2/17/14!
After receiving the ring from a friend that morning and knowing I would propose to the woman of my dreams later that evening, I was reminded of God’s will for Gina and I. I took a few moments by myself looking at the ring and thinking back on the past stressful two weeks. There may have been times where I tried to take matters into my own hands instead of turning to God. The moment I was brought back to trusting Him and having faith in Him, knowing that His will would be done, I was at peace. God is good! A verse that has always stuck with me is Proverbs 16:9 – “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
The whole evening was perfect! We could not have done it without God, our family, our friends, the wonderful staff of The NotWedding, the flash mob crew, and the lovely fake wedding party who were in on it since day one (Eric, Jaime, Andrew, and Mimi).