can this be real? i've spent so much time with brides-to-be over the last year that it's been hard not to think about the possibility that i might get to actually be one someday...still, not wanting to jinx it, i've done a pretty good job at keeping my mouth shut and my mind on everyone else's weddings! well guess what - it's MY turn. :)
i met alan a little over 6 years ago at hanes mall in greensboro. neither of us remember many details. i was 17 and spending a week with girls from all across the state to prepare for the north carolina junior miss program. one of those girls happened to be from roxboro and as she and i quickly realized that we had more small town north carolina in our blood than concern for our fitness routine, we became inseperable. on a quick break from rehearsals and interviews, the girls hit the mall. half the town of roxboro had already arrived to watch their very own junior miss - stacey - hit the stage that night, and alan was right there to cheer her on...with an airhorn. airhorns are now banned from the junior miss program.
over the next few years of college i made countless trips to roxboro with stacey to visit her hometown. alan never failed to show up when i was around. after years of playing hard-to-get, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks that i had no choice - he was "it." one year ago yesterday, july 20, 2007, alan and i ended up at the same concert in raleigh. brad paisley. that's where i told him that i quit. and i did...i quit pretending that he was not absolutely made for me - cut-off sleeves, pick-up truck, and all.
we had no choice but to celebrate our anniversary at the brad paisley concert. because this time around i'm a wedding photographer, and would be working cara & martin's big day (photos coming soon) on saturday during the raleigh show, we headed to charlotte friday night.
i'm a smart girl, and i expected that something would happen sooner or later. still, i believed him when he couldn't eat much at dinner because "the food was too spicy and that energy drink made him feel funny." when he rushed me to get to the concert waaay before it started, i considered the possibility, but convinced myself that those backstage passes that he picked up (courtesy of mr. andy griffith, brad paisley's hero and a frequent customer at my family's butcher shop in nags head) were the one and only reason he was so worked up.
the concert was just as awesome as it was last year. when brad sang about how "it's time to put a ring on the finger i'm wrapped around" followed directly by my favorite - everything, and NOTHING happened, every suspicion i had disappeared and i knew i'd be waiting for another day.
after the show, we lined up with 68 other fans at the backstage gate for the meet and greet. since i knew where the passes came from, i recognized the initials "ag" on the bottom corner of our passes. the guard noticed those initials too and asked us to step to the side, we would be going in to meet brad last...after the crowd was gone. 20 minutes later, we were standing face to face with brad paisley (who knew the plan all along). after a little small talk and a quick photo, alan proceeded to stutter through our story. before i knew it he was on his knee, my brain stopped working, and thank GOODNESS that photographer kept snapping.
visit the tour blog at http://www.bradpaisley.com/ for their (much shorter) version of the night. this photo is courtesy of the tour blog.
thanks mr. griffith and mr. paisley for helping to make this the most special night of our lives. now we just need to know if brad wants to sing at the ceremony or the reception. :)