…by the Seashore


Elizabeth’s Story

Max has always been around. He has been really good friends with my brothers, since grade school, and as the years went on I began to develop a secret crush. One day I accidentally let the “cat out of the bag,” and learned my feelings were not just one sided!

Because we have known each other for so long, our Love grew as time went on. He was like a fourth brother for a long time, and then one day… I saw him in a whole new light, and realized I was “smitten.”

I love Max’s ambition and big ideas. I love that he can say anything bluntly, and cares deeply. 

So, Max proposed on the beach in Mexico, close to Puerto Vallarta. We were on a trip there with my family, and they had all known about his intentions for MONTHS, and kept it a secret. One night while we were there, my mom suggested that we take a walk on the beach after dinner. Everyone agreed, and off we went. I noticed that everyone else was hanging pretty far back, and Max and I were definitely leading. I didn’t think too much of it. I love seashells, but on this particular beach there were hardly any. After we had walked quite a ways, we found one; Max pointed it out, and we started conversing about shells. Then, Max pulled a huge shell out of his pocket and said, “I found this one today, while I was out in the water.” I wasn’t sure I believed him, and was a little confused. Then he fell to one knee, turned the shell over, and on the inside was the most beautiful ring. I was overwhelmed with joy and couldn’t hardly contain myself. All I could do was stare at the ring for the rest of the night. I felt so lucky and loved. 

Since the wedding, a lot has changed a little bit at a time. Being married is not always easy, but when you’re with the right man it is always worth it. Not much changes instantly, but it is a life-long journey of learning everything you can about another person. It’s combining two schedules, two sets of favorite meals, to sets of sleep schedules, two sets of effective communication styles, two sets of just about everything. 

My advice to others on the verge of getting engaged is to know that the wedding planning process can be very fun, but it is not always easy. Remember to still take time for just the two of you that is not focused around details of the wedding.

Max’s Story

Elizabeth and I met when we were very young. Her brother Timothy and I are best friends, and the Pawley house has been my second home for 20 years. I always knew her but she was always just the “little sister.”

Because of how long we have known each other, it was not love at first sight. I always get in trouble for saying this but she was always around but never had my attention. She was off limits and I never had an issue with it until one day. I think she noticed me a little earlier than I noticed her. We went out for her 21st birthday and that's when something clicked. 

I love her laugh and her goofiness. I love it when she doesn't fully understand something and it takes a minute for it to click and she laughs at herself - I lose it and fall in love all over again. 

Well I knew after about 3 months of dating that she was the one. Then her brother Nathan’s birthday was coming up, and we had talked about going to Mexico as a family. I called Nathan and asked if I could propose during his birthday weekend, and he agreed. Before this of course I had to ask permission from not only her parents, Steve and Marsha, but also her brothers: Nathan, Timothy, and Matthew. The trip to Mexico was amazing and everyone, except Elizabeth, was in on it. We walked the beach and I brought a conch shell with me. I wrapped the ring in a black cloth and placed it in the shell in my pocket. Elizabeth and Steve both love finding shells. Sadly the beach didn't have many, but they sure tried to find any shells that were there. We walked awhile and I said hey check out this shell I found and I handed it to her. When she looked in it you could see the ring perfectly positioned and I took a knee and proposed.

It was an amazing experience to give Elizabeth the ring I created. From start to finish everyone involved made it enjoyable, and Dan really went above and beyond for us. I just felt joy and happiness and I was so relieved that she loved it. I wanted it to be a complete surprise, and Dan and I really had to find the right ring for her personality and her child size finger!!

My advice to others is to talk about marriage before you propose, and then be spontaneous when you decide to do it. Also, get the families involved. I felt so confident and comfortable when I knew that everyone was excited with me it made our experience that much greater.