We are just days away from our annual bridal showcase. I am so excited. Excited about all of the great vendors, excited that it is going to be sunny and beautiful, and definitely excited to see all of our brides. I thought that I would kick the weekend off with with a fun love story.
When Neal McTighe met Heather Sidden...it was nothing but sparks.
Neal tells their story....and his words are full of delightful swooning. Heather..I would definitely say that he is a keeper!
We first met in June 2010 at Lilly’s Pizza in Raleigh, N.C. I was inside waiting. Heather showed up a few minutes later. I saw her and lit up. “She’s absolutely beautiful,” I thought. Smiles were everywhere in the room. (The others in the restaurant were apparently aware of the significance of the encounter.) We grabbed a menu, put together a perfectly orchestrated pizza, Heather called me out on my “knowledge” of Carolina basketball, and we headed downtown for a drink. Six hours later we went our separate ways, though not wanting to, and I missed her the minute she drove off. As is customary for these sort of things, I waited no more than a few hours after waking the next morning to give her a call to see if she wanted to meet again at noon.
She said yes, we were again all smiles (and those around us). The rest is history. This is a true love story, one of two people finding happiness together. Laughter. Excitement. Friendship. Companionship.
The proposal was done in typical Neal fashion: awkward, nervous, anxious. . . . Heather was in Chapel Hill getting her hair cut. I asked her if she’d like to meet to grab some ice cream in Chapel Hill, explaining to her that I had to be there to “drop off a book at my old professor’s office.” She agreed (if it wasn’t to see me, I knew at least she’d want to get ice cream!). I dropped by her salon, picked her up (she looked amazing), and we headed to campus to drop off the book. It was a beautiful, sunny day. 78 degrees. April 30th. Everyone was on campus, including about 100 people right in the spot where I had hoped to propose–under the historic Davie Poplar. This called for a bit of improvisation, which I’m, um, known for, of course. “Heather, why don’t we head over there, it’s pretty. Oh wait, let’s go over there. Wait, wait . . . it’s more beautiful here, in the arboretum.” Frisbees zoomed by, the word “duuude” echoed in the woods, and of course, a woman chose the spot to practice for her upcoming operatic performance. But I stood tall (actually, I got on my knee), and made sure it was the time. We came to a little bridge over the tiniest creek, surrounded finally by some quiet and solitude, and I asked beautiful Heather that special question. She shouted “Yes” (a miracle!), and I was lit up like all the stars in the sky. I had a little trouble with the ring, though. I had placed it in a plastic bag (again, typical Neal fashion!) and had difficulty getting it out of the bag. Heather laughed, said, “Oh my gosh, you put it in a plastic bag!” But then I finally got it out. I never saw her eyes smile so wide. She put it on her finger, was shaking. We were the happiest we had ever been (and each day since we’ve gotten happier). We’ll forever cherish that plastic bag and the laugh it gives us.
And now here we are, getting married one year after our engagement, April 28, 2012.
We’re so happy that we’ll share this day with our close friends and family.
The ceremony, with reception to follow, will take place at The Carolina Inn at half past five o’clock, April 28, 2012, in Chapel Hill, directly beside the University of North Carolina. All profits from the running of The Carolina Inn go to the University Library Fund of the University of North Carolina.
Congratulations Heather and Neal. The Carolina Inn can't wait to share this very special day with you. See you on Sunday!