AHH! Y’all…I am so excited to finally share some life-changing news! I’m sure you can already tell by the title, but I’m engaged!! My life has been such a whirlwind since the end of my spring semester at Notre Dame, so it’s taken me a while to get around to writing this all down, but today I’m getting into all of the details surrounding my engagement!
Before I get started, I just want to thank all of our friends and family that have sent kind messages and well wishes our way. Reading through all of the comments, DMs, and text messages has brought me so much joy, and I’m so happy that we have so many wonderful people around us to share in our excitement!
Now let’s get into it!
To preface, the proposal was only somewhat of a surprise. I knew that Jacob had bought a ring, and I also knew that he was planning to propose right after the end of our junior year at Notre Dame (how I knew is a whole other story!). After we both moved out of our dorms on campus (Wednesday, May 19th), we headed down to Westfield, Indiana – a cute northern suburb of Indianapolis.
At this point, I’m no stranger to Indy, as we take weekend trips to visit Jacob’s family and explore the city pretty often during the school year. This also means that we have a few favorite places to visit together when we’re in town, and over the past couple of years we’ve formed some traditions that we very seldom break (we can’t visit Westfield without taking a trip to Cone & Crumb or grabbing sushi during happy hour at Chiba!).
I wasn’t flying back to Houston until Sunday, May 23rd, so we had four days to hit up all of our favorite spots before we had to transition back to long distance for the summer. Of course, that also made me pretty certain that Jacob would be proposing in the next four days.
*Cue the excitement!!*
We had a baby shower to go to for Jacob’s best friend’s sister on Saturday, so I figured it wouldn’t be then, but other than that, I had absolutely no idea where or how it was going to happen! I had an adorable little white dress picked out for the occasion, but getting dressed every morning was a struggle because for the first time Jacob was actually managing to keep something a secret, so I was afraid I’d end up getting all dolled up on the wrong day!
He started his internship that same week, and was planning on being gone most of the day on Thursday and Friday, so I just hung out at the house in anticipation. Thursday and Friday came and went, and…nothing. No proposal, no ring, and a baby shower the next morning.
My best friend, Alex, whom I had told about the highly probable proposal before I left campus sent me a text on Friday asking if it had happened yet, and Jacob decided to respond himself with the following:
Gotta love that sense of humor, am I right?
Saturday morning I was still beyond excited, but I was also internally cringing – there’s no way Jacob would propose at someone else’s baby shower, right? Talk about stealing someone’s thunder!
I decided to save the dress for Sunday and wore a pretty white eyelet top, Kendra Scott earrings, and my favorite pink Anthropologie headband instead (remember this detail for later!). I made the finishing touches on the gift basket I had put together for the momma-to-be, and waited for Jacob to finish getting dressed. When he came downstairs, he had on a pretty casual outfit and his black Chacos.
I figured if he was going to propose at the baby shower, he would have dressed up a bit more than that, so the pressure was off…for now.
The shower was so much fun! I met a ton of Jacob’s family friends, we went on a little joyride in his buddy Jonah’s new car, and the food was great (although I found out later that I really shouldn’t have eaten so much)! I got a little suspicious when I met Jacob’s best friend’s grandpa and he mentioned that he heard marriage was on the horizon for us, but Jacob very smoothly deflected and excused the two of us to go meet some more of the guests.
A little while later, I dropped by the activity table his mom had setup for the shower. As I was writing out a few well wishes for the new parents, I heard Jacob’s mom ask him if he had made a dinner reservation. Jacob exclaimed “Mom!” since I was standing right next to them, and I knew that some sort of surprise had just been ruined!
Jacob admitted that he was planning on taking me to Chiba, our favorite sushi restaurant in Westfield (and of course, he had just let me eat two king roll sandwiches and half a plate of fruit not two minutes before!). So, we said our goodbyes and as we were leaving, Jacob’s little sister, Meredith, asked if we could take her home.
Before, I figured we were heading straight to Chiba, but since we gave Meredith a ride, I thought nothing of it when we stopped by the house. The baby shower was outdoors, and I had spent the past couple of hours sweating in the sun, so I welcomed the opportunity to freshen up a bit before dinner.
As we walked into the kitchen, Jacob told me to go upstairs and get dressed. My first thought was “I am dressed!” – it’s not like I was in a pair of sweatpants and flip flops for Pete’s sake! I was totally confused, and it got to the point where he had to very literally clarify what he meant.
“Go put on your dress!”
My jaw dropped, the excitement I had been trying to contain until Sunday came flooding back, and my thoughts went wild – “My dress? The dress? As in, the proposal is happening, like, now?”
I ran upstairs to freshen up, touch up my makeup, and change into my pretty white dress as quickly as I could – apparently I only had about 20 minutes until we had to leave! Those that know me in real life know that it takes me absolutely forever to get ready for things, so I was panicking. It was an excited kind of panic, but it was a panic nonetheless!
I pulled myself together as best as I could, wished I had spent less time cooking in the sun, and ran downstairs to meet him. Instead of his shorts and Chacos, Jacob was now dressed in khaki slacks and his sharp wingtip shoes, and I couldn’t wait to get to dinner!
Once we got to Chiba, we had a bit of an unexpected surprise…our server was an old friend of Jacob’s that he had a falling out with the previous summer and hadn’t seen or spoken to since. That definitely could have made for an awkward dinner date, but thankfully he remained very professional!
I absolutely love Chiba and the atmosphere is very fun and laid-back (exactly what you’d expect from a Japanese-Hawaiian-fusion restaurant!), so I would have been 100% happy with a proposal there! They have a very well-kept outdoor area, lights hanging from the trees, and relaxing island music to boot!
But…we got to the end of our meal, and still…nothing!
We left Chiba and started heading to an undisclosed location – I’m relatively familiar with the area now, but I honestly had no idea where we were going. After driving around for a while (Jacob admitted later that he didn’t quite know how to get where we were going either!), we pulled onto a beautiful property that Jacob had taken me to once before – Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, Indiana!
Once I saw the huge bell tower, I knew exactly where we were – there are so many places that would have made for a perfect proposal there, but I definitely had a specific one in mind! We parked the car, Jacob grabbed a picnic blanket from the back, and asked if I’d like to go on a walk. We strolled for a bit and decided to lay out in a lush, grassy field.
It was still pretty toasty at this point, and since we had no shade, the sun was still beating down on us pretty heavily. I absolutely did not want to rush him, but we had been laying there for quite a while and I was very curious as to what he had up his sleeve.
Jacob excused himself to go to the bathroom and was gone for more than a few minutes, so I spent the time admiring the gardens and trying not to suffer from heat stroke (that may be exaggerating just a bit!). When he got back, he found me fighting off the bugs that kept crawling onto the blanket and we decided to go for another little stroll.
We ended up at a bench by back by the Georgian-style bell tower and just sat listening to music and watching people drive by. It was very relaxing, and thankfully the sun had finally started to make its way down! Jacob excused himself to go to the bathroom once again, and as I watched him walk away, my nerves started to rise – I just knew the proposal had to be coming soon!
About 15 minutes later, Jacob came walking back, and I asked him to two step with me. I had been trying to teach him since we first started dating back in 2019, but he hadn’t quite gotten the hang of it yet (and at that point in the evening, listening to old country and trying to keep him from stepping on my toes was far more entertaining than people-watching!).
I explained the foot pattern again, we danced, we laughed, and I just felt completely content…until Jacob excused himself to the bathroom yet again! I had no idea what was going on, but I really hoped the nerves weren’t getting to him that badly, if you know what I mean!
It was starting to get a bit late, and I had been standing by the bell tower alone for about 20-25 minutes when my phone rang. I saw Jacob’s name on my screen and I was worried something was wrong. When I answered, he asked me if I could meet him at the bathroom (which was a bit of a walk, mind you!), and while I was a bit confused, I grabbed my purse and the outdoor blanket and headed his way.
As I walked around the bell tower through the field we had been laying in earlier in the evening, I saw him heading towards me with a huge grin on his face. We met about halfway from the bell tower to the bathroom, and when he reached me, he grabbed the outdoor blanket, took my hand, and started walking me towards the paved pathway.
As we were walking, Coxhall Gardens’s beautiful stone gazebo came into view. Jacob dropped the blanket, his phone, and his drawstring backpack behind a bush, and led me towards the center. I saw his friend, Johnny, with his huge video camera from behind one of the pillars, and I couldn’t stop smiling!
After a beautiful little speech, Jacob pulled the ring out of a little rosary pouch he had in his pocket (very clever, if you ask me!) and asked me to marry him!
It was so magical and romantic, and I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal! He did so, SO good!!
Now for a little behind the scenes…after the proposal, I got the real story. The evening actually ended up being a lot more drawn out than Jacob had been anticipating!
The trouble first started at Chiba. We got there around 4:30pm, and since we eat there relatively often, Jacob was expecting the food to take a little while as usual. To his surprise, it came out just a few minutes after we ordered! Since I had just eaten at the baby shower, we didn’t order much and finished pretty quickly. Little did I know, that threw off the entire schedule!
Fast forward to Coxhall Gardens – Jacob did, in fact, have to use the restroom at least once, but every other time he disappeared, it was because he was calling Johnny to chat logistics. Keep in mind, it was May 22nd. Coxhall Gardens is beautiful, and clearly we weren’t the only ones who thought so. Jacob completely forgot that it was also prom and graduation season, and there were hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of high school students around the gazebo when we first arrived.
Jacob was having Johnny keep watch, and they were trying to wait it out, but he was worried about the sun setting so soon, so that last time he went to the “bathroom,” Jacob actually met Johnny by the gazebo and asked the photographer who was taking pictures there if he could use the space for just a few minutes because he was about to propose!
The photographer said “of course!”, as he was just finishing up his last session. He also asked if Jacob needed someone to take pictures for him, and while he had Johnny (who was doing both photo and video), Jacob appreciated the entrepreneurial spirit!
Later that night, Jacob’s parents invited us out on the back porch for a prosecco toast with the crystal flutes they used on their wedding day – it was such a nice gesture and a great way to relax after all of the essential calls to friends and family!
Thinking back on that beautiful day always puts a huge smile on my face! I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes, but Jacob put so much work into making sure that it was special, and it absolutely was. So many things went wrong, but so many things also went so right, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
This is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend! Praise Jesus for this wonderful moment, this beautiful relationship, and for everything that is yet to come! We have been so immeasurably blessed, and I have no doubt that God has been writing this love story since the very start. My heart is filled with so much joy, and it is all thanks to Him!
I am so excited to walk through this wedding-planning season with all of y’all, and I will 100% be counting down the days until I am Jacob Mears’s wife!!
Keep an eye out for more wedding-related content – I am sure I’ll have updates soon! Wedding Wednesdays, anyone?