Cierra & Alex: Asheville, NC

Q: How did you meet?

A: Alex and I met through my best friend Ashley who is my maid of honor. She introduced us in the beginning of 2016. We were in Charlotte, NC, partaking in several events that weekend. We met with him, and his friend that she already knew and started to reminisce on our days at North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University. It was very funny to us at that time that we went to the same school, and knew many of the same people but never crossed paths before. The entire night was full of nothing but laughter. During the mist of everyone talking he asked if I was on Instagram or snapchat. We exchanged names on both social media outlets and had continued to have side conversations while everyone else was talking.
The next day he sent me a DM on snap chat and said ” You left before I could get your phone number” I was cheesing super hard at that moment. He seemed like a really nice guy and we engaged in a great conversation. I then gave him my number, and from there we talked a few times per week. From there it began progressing to us talking daily. During the majority of the time that Alex and I knew one another, I lived in Roxboro, NC while attending graduate school in Durham, NC while pursuing my Master’s degree in Social Work. Alex lived in Charlotte, NC and traveled state to state for work. We continued talking every day and made it a priority to see each other on the weekends as much as possible. After several months of dating long distance on September 20, 2016, it became official that we were boyfriend/girlfriend, even though it felt like we were in a relationship all those months prior. Alex and I attended the same university, stayed in the same dorm our freshman year, graduated the same year (2015), lived in the same apartment complex for several years where he worked in the leasing office, knew several of the same people, and NEVER crossed paths. We saw this as God had plans to bring us together when he saw fit, and we couldn’t be happier!



Q: How did Alex propose?

A: After Alex and I had been in a long distance relationship for some time, we had gotten accustomed to celebrating Valentine’s day on the weekend if it fell during the weekday. Alex had work, and I had school so celebrating on the weekend was the better option for us! The day before Valentine’s day which was February 13, 2018, I was working in the Nursing Department as an administrative assistant and had a class that evening from 6pm-8: 30 pm. Alex called me while I was leaving work heading to class to inform me that he unexpectedly had to travel to Virginia for the week and would be coming to Durham, NC that weekend in time for us to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We had made plans to go to a nice dinner at Ruth Chris and to attend a Wine and design class since that was something I’ve always wanted to do. I get to my class that evening where I had a group presentation with a few of my classmates. The group members and I were extremely worried about our project and was hoping to get it over as soon as possible. Two of my friends who were not students in this particular class were in attendance. I remember saying to them “yall are not in this class what are y’all doing in here?”. My friend Desiree who is one of my bridesmaids stated: “we have to present in the upcoming weeks on the same topic and we wanted to get an idea of how the presentations would go”. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary by them doing this so I continued going over the information I would be presenting.
It was time for the group presentation to take place! There were two people presenting each section. Two people presented the first section and me, and another group member would present in the second half. After completion of the first half, my professor pulled me to the side and said: ” I don’t think your group conferred the material that was required. Can you show me what information you have to present for the next chapter because I am very disappointed in this group and how you all have performed thus far”. At this point, I am completely losing my mind . We worked very hard on our presentation and we all wanted to get an A on this project. As I am showing my professor the information I would be covering my best friend who introduced us walked in with flowers. I thought wow this is extremely nice of her since she knows I would be spending Valentine’s Day alone. This was the type of friendship that we had so this was not out of the ordinary for me. She gave me the flowers and I thought to myself wow I have such a good friend!! She is the real MVP!

My professor then instructed me to come to the podium and continue showing her the material I would be presenting to the class. At this moment I am in “tunnel vision” mode. I am solely focused on showing her the content that is going to be given that I wasn’t paying attention to anything or anyone around me. As I am going over the material with her, my friend taps me on my right shoulder. I look at her after she taps my shoulder and she was pointing to my left, and there stood Alex. I was in complete shock. This entire time I believed he was almost in Richmond Virginia. Little did I know he had made arrangements to drive to Durham, NC to surprise me. He grabbed my hand and guided me to the center of the classroom where he got down on one knee and proposed to me in front of all of my classmates and my professor. There was a slide show in the background with music and pictures of us from over the past two years. One of the pictures was from our very first date. Each one of my classmates had their cell phones out and was able to capture this amazing moment. I was in utter disbelief that he pulled this off and I had no idea about what was being planned without my knowledge. My friends were also in on the secret and were able to keep this surprise from me.
My professor gave a heartfelt speech to us in front of everyone. She stated she had known about the proposal for about three weeks and that I have great friends that knew how to keep good secrets. I was filled with such joy and happiness after he proposed but still had to present the second part of the presentation ( I could barely talk I cried so many happy tears). This was something that he put a lot of time and effort into while making sure that it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. I am thankful for him, my friends and my professor, for making it all possible. On February 13, 2018, the day before Valentine’s Day we got engaged and started to embark on a new journey!

Dorn-Long Photography 

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