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Before I Do

Abby + Parker


photo | Kelly Costello Photography


Our families both love to travel to the islands, and this summer we had the opportunity to all be there at once. Little did I know, Parker had a plan in place and people were assigned jobs to help pull off the perfect surprise proposal.

We already had a couple of great days there, then the morning of July 4th. we sailed around more islands, snorkeled a little bit, stopped off at some island bars and just enjoyed the day. Then before heading to our island dinner destination, we stopped off at our favorite little island (emphasis on little) called Sandy Spit. It is literally just a spit of sand – it used to have a few palm trees, but no more… thanks Irma! Some of the family were tasked with distracting me, while others set up the proposal site.

Parker had used message in a bottle placed on a Turkish towel surrounded by photos that captured some of our favorite memories. He led me down a “path” which started with a bottle of champagne with a label on it saying, “It’s Happening!” (because let’s be real, we had dated for 5 years!). All of the sudden it hit – it’s REALLY is happening!

At the end of the path was a handwritten letter inside of a bottle. Parker’s heartfelt words about our relationship and future together brought me to tears. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. One of the best parts was that our families were there to witness and to celebrate this huge milestone for us. Next came champagne toasts, lots of hugs, happy tears and lots of dreamy photos.