How it happened…
A few weeks leading up to the 4th of July weekend Dustin put on our shared calendar “surprise fun” and told me not to worry he’s got something planned. I was immediately excited because while he’s daily sweet I knew something extra special was planned and hoped it was an engagement! As the weekend approached he informed me that it was a weekend trip and not just an overnight and then gave me a packing list.  The list wasn’t a dead giveaway of our trip because it was so well-rounded and included things like hiking boots and swim suits, so I was extra curious! He told me that we’d be getting picked up the morning of the July 4th at 8:00am. Picked up? Talk about crazy levels of curiosity!

The morning of we got up, gathered our things and went downstairs and were greeted by Dustin’s best friend Matt and his wife Aleah. “I knew it!” I yelled and then gave them hugs. I looked at them and asked where we were going and they looked at Dustin and said the same. They didn’t know either! Dustin then pulled out two envelopes labeled “1” and “2” and said “Jess gets to pick where we’re going!” The pressure was on! Before I picked he told us that there was a catch, the catch was that whatever envelope I chose I could never know the other envelopes contents. Crazy right?! So, instead of making a tough choice I closed my eyes and grabbed for an envelope choosing number 1! I opened it and it read “We’re going to Daufuskie Island!” HELL YA! I’ve been wanting to go ever since I met Dustin because he has so many great stories from the island as does Matt and Aleah hadn’t been either so we were both very excited. After regrouping our emotions we settled into the car and went to priority number two, coffee, and then it was the open road all the way to Hilton Head.

Dustin’s parents own a home on Daufuskie but it was booked for the Forth so for the first night we stayed in Bluffton, SC which is pretty much Hilton Head. Once we got there we checked into our Air B&B spot and went to the neighborhood pool.  Matt and Aleah opted out claiming they were napping but I later found out they were up to additional surprises. After getting cleaned up we took the ferry to Daufuskie Island for dinner. Once we arrived at the island we grabbed the family golf cart and Dustin gave us a tour. We had time to kill before our reservation so we parked and went to take a stroll on the beach and that’s when he paused, said really sweet things and asked if I’d marry him!!!!

Matt had rented a really great lens and put it on Dustin’s Nikon and was snapping photos as it all went down.  They all went above and beyond to make this a special day that I will never forget! After Dustin and I hugged, cried and both stared at the gorgeous ring we ran over and had a group hug. We hung out on the beach for around and hour or so, looking at shells, horseshoe crabs and washed up jelly fish before heading to dinner. I can’t thank Matt and Aleah enough for all the effort they put in to the surprise. Later that night we discovered what they were up to when we were swimming. They had decorated the room at the b&b with strung lights, daisies, gifts, wine and chocolate!


Dustin and I are over the moon with excitement! It was nice being away and having privacy to enjoy the first couple of days as an engaged couple. We did a lot of staring at the ring which is super special as it was originally my grandmothers and given to us from my mom. We were given the option of keeping it as is or making changes and opted to make it our own. Dustin worked with a jeweler and did just that and together made it very much “us.” He upgraded the largest stone to a bigger more clear estate diamond, added two baguette diamonds, kept two small ones from the original and added two sapphire triangles to the underneath, side area for a total of 7 stones which is a lucky number to us.  The touch of blue represents Dustin and the triangles were a little something for me. We wanted it to remain two-tone, yellow gold and white gold to be able to go with whatever I want to wear with it and It’s perfect!

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I don’t think I could begin to put into words how thrilled I am that I have found my forever partner in love, crime, silliness and all things that life brings us. One last thank you to Matt, Aleah and my future husband Dustin for making this new chapter off to the best possible start!

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  • Reply
    Alison Smith
    July 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I love all your posts, but this is my FAVORITE! Buck and I could not be happier for you two! Welcome to the Smith family, Dustin! xo

  • Reply
    Kathy Smith
    July 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Amazing! Your pictures are worth a million words!

  • Reply
    Alana Saporiti
    July 10, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Pictures are amazing! My eyes watered up as I read! So sweet and romantic!

  • Reply
    Kelli Hall
    July 11, 2014 at 1:47 am

    This is a beautiful love story! I really loved reading this and can’t wait to meet Dustin!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I cried with excitement! So, happy for you guys!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2014 at 3:37 am

    The absolute sweetest post! So happy to meet you tonight!

  • Reply
    Becky Snowden
    July 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing and super Congratulations! =)

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