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Acadiana Lifestyle

I Think I’m Gonna Marry You

08/18/2016 07:00AM, Published by Robert Frey, Categories: In Print, Life+Leisure, Today


Gallery: Unique Engagements [15 Images] Click any image to expand.



By Amanda Jean Elliott

It’s a fun exercise in finding out what your fiancé thinks when you get to interview him for an article about unusual proposals. And so in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll share that this new bride is among the round up of interesting proposals. 

 

Amanda & Scott Elliott 

“As I thought about the options for where to propose … a restaurant didn’t make sense, a concert didn’t make sense,” says Scott Elliott who proposed to me on June 12 in the Sunday School classroom where I teach each week. “The only thing that made sense was to propose in a place that represented what we stand for in our relationship.”

And so, on a Sunday morning he did just that. I was pretty shocked. It wasn’t something that I found shocking for him to do. He’s a bold man — just the kind to propose in front of a classroom of girls. But, it wasn’t expected. The children’s minister came to the door and with a huge grin and said I had a special visitor. When I saw the look on Scott’s face, I knew something was up. 

“This is the place where she first served in His kingdom … in that classroom and it represented what’s to come for the rest of our life and what our relationship stands for — submitting and service to God,” Scott says.

Seeing the joy on the faces of the girls who I’m honored to teach each week was the icing on the cake. It meant more than I could imagine it would. And it opened the door to talk about the kind of man to pray for and what to expect — someone who will love them unconditionally and who will put God in the center of their marriage. 


 Michelle & Paul Jaqua 

Proposing in a place that has significant meaning is just what Paul Jaqua did when he popped the question to now wife Michelle.

The couple met in 2006 while in the Master’s Commission program at Crossroads Church. But it would be six years before they began dating. 

“We were good friends,” Michelle says.

And while she knew Paul had feelings for her, she says she wasn’t there yet. For the first year of the program there was no dating and after that Michelle realized she cared much for Paul. Just not romantically.

Then in 2012 Paul gave her a birthday gift. It included a letter explaining how wonderful she was with one new caveat.

“He said he would never pursue anything again and if anything changes I would have to let him know. He said the ball was in my court,” she says.

They worked together. Saw each other every day. Paul went on tour with the commission program and Michelle began to see how much she missed him and soon her heart for friendship blossomed into more.

“For his birthday I wrote on his gift — a basketball — and it said ‘the ball is in your court. Love, Michelle’ and that was February 28, 2012. We started dating.”

They already knew each other’s families and much about each other. It wouldn’t be long before Paul popped the question. 

“The July after we started dating his family was planning a trip to California, where he’s from. His dad passed away when he was 15 and we went to take a picture in the place where they spread his ashes,” she says.

Michelle was in for more than a photo.

“Instead of standing to take a picture he was hugging me and his heart was beating really fast and he was saying he was so glad I was in his life,” she says.

Paul took a place that was special, but had a tough memory and made it a great place. “He was on his knee and he proposed and it was so great,” she says.

The two were married the next April and are expecting their first child soon. Last year they returned to the spot and it’s now a happy place and Paul really is able to experience the spot with new eyes.

“He lost his dad and that’s where they laid him to rest and at the same time it’s a good memory for us and for our kids one day,” Michelle says.


 Catherine & Matt Gaspard

There are few things more memorable than a flash mob proposal. Especially when it involves not only the man of your dreams but your closest friends and unexpected family members.

Catherine and Matt Gaspard are one of those couples who look like they might be in a frame at a home décor store. When Catherine began working at Matt’s salon - Cut House - it would be years before the two actually began dating. And the man with great hair made sure to bring things full circle when it came time to propose.

“We have been working together for nine years today,” Catherine says. “We have been dating for five years and married for two of them.”

She says the first move was “mutual” when the relationship turned romantic.

“We were both super flirty,” she says. “But I think I went in for the first kiss.”

When the new salon opened Catherine had no idea what was in store. The couple had discussed an engagement, but the when or how left Catherine stunned. 

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be the night of the grand opening for the salon. I was totally surprised and never once thought he would’ve put on that type of show.”

“That type of show” was a flash mob to Bruno Mars’s music with choreographed dancers — some wearing bridal veils. 

“It’s his personality, but all the dancing and the organization … I knew he had to have some help,” she says.

In the video, the joy on her face is clear. As well as the surprise. But, the thought of not being with Matt was never even a question. She knew.

“The thought of not being with the man who treated me with so much respect wasn’t imaginable. I knew that we would go the extra mile for each other and we had no secrets. I knew this was our time,” she says.

Matt had truly outdone himself with the proposal even getting Catherine’s dad on board with the dance, but it was who he had been through the entire course of their relationship (of course) that sealed the deal. 

 Sophia Spallino & Chahir Moore

From long simmering romances to fast & fresh starts, our next proposal was birthed from a romance that began when Lafayette native Sophia Spallino relocated to Los Angeles. 

“I met Chahir the fourth day I was there and he took care of me. We became best friends and I knew he was the one,” she says.

Sophia says she was looking at the floor when Chahir walked up and the first thing she saw was a WWJD bracelet. It was a clear sign that this man who would wear a What Would Jesus Do bracelet was on the same page as her when it came to faith. They began talking and on the first date he took her to a unique place that was a clear indicator, again, that this man understood the things that mattered most to her.

“He took me to a vegan restaurant called Café Gratitude,” she says. “A planted-based diet is important to me.”

After their first date the two wasted no time getting to know each other more. 

“The next morning at 6 a.m. we went on a hike and had a Bible study and a vegan picnic on the mountain.”

The duo has vlogged their entire relationship (that’s a video blog) and it was with this in mind that on a hike one day Chahir popped the question. 

He set up the camera for a photo on the rocks on a beautiful Tennessee locale in the woods and as Sophia was ready for a pic he dropped to one knee and proposed. She knelt down full of tears and surprise and a big “yes.” It wasn’t long before the two moved their L.A. home to La. And the couple who vlogged their relationship have even more for their followers in store.

While they are happy here in Louisiana, (Sophia’s parents own A. Bryan’s and, yes, her ring is totally gorgeous and her sweet fiancé found it at their store.) they plan to soon hit the road again. This time … for who knows where.

“We are going to get mobile in an RV and travel. We may be here for the next year and then ….” 

Then. Stay tuned. 





Amanda & Scott Elliot Michelle & Paul Jaqua Catherine & Matt Gaspard Sophia Spallino & Chahir Moore


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