Eric and Taylor spontaneously planned a vacation in April based on an awesome flight deal. They’d leave for the trip one week after their 7 year anniversary. Since the very day she booked, Taylor had probably been asked over 200 times if a proposal was going to “finally happen after 7 years of dating,” to which she said there’s a 98% chance not... it was a trip for fun and he wouldn’t travel with a ring internationally.
Although their Punta Cana resort was all-inclusive, guests had to make reservations at the different restaurants each night. On Wednesday, the couple had a seafood dinner planned for 7pm. Rachelle (Bridesmaid), the long-time girlfriend of Eric’s best friend Mikey (Best Man), happened to be staying with her family 3 resorts down from Eric and Taylor. She had met the couple at their resort that day to relax by their pool for a change. As the clock got closer to 7, both Eric and Rachelle continuously tried to urge Taylor to get ready for dinner, but she felt “no need to rush.”
Eric: “She’s not the type to cut social time or conversation with loved ones short… so this was harder than it sounds, but I needed her to get ready for a nice dinner.”
Taylor: “I was putting my chlorine-soaked hair in a quick bun and throwing on a wrap dress when he looked at me and goes: 'You’re not going to shower?' Yeah… that went over exactly how you think it did.”
On their walk to dinner, Eric looked at her and said, “Actually, I had something a little different in mind for tonight.” Low and behold, he had planned a private candlelit dinner on the beach with red wine and the best lobster they’ve ever had.
Taylor: “Everyone asks me if I was suspicious at this point in the story, but thanks to the craftiness of Taylor Sim (Bridesmaid), I had cast off the idea of anything happening. At one point during dinner, Eric excused himself to run to the bathroom, and I immediately texted my little (who else?!). I asked if I should be worried and if Eric had told her anything, to which (of course) she replied ‘no.’ She told me I was silly, to put my phone away and be present, and that he was probably just doing something nice for ‘our anniversary.’ I completely believed her. But today, I know she and my sister, Corbyn (MOH) were the ones to help Eric pick out my ring.”
During dinner, the wind began to pick up and dark clouds could be seen rolling up in the distance. In fact, it was so windy, Taylor’s napkin literally blew off her lap into the darkness. Within minutes, it began sprinkling and quickly turned into a torrential downpour. So much so, the waiter and photographer sprinted away to take cover at a nearby cabana, leaving the couple completely alone on the beach in the storm.
Eric: “It wasn't the vision I had in my head, I’ll be honest, but… I made the best of it. I pretended to duck down to look for Taylor’s napkin under the table for ‘cover’, but came back up on one knee instead. Creative, right?”
Taylor: “I think I blacked out. I legitimately had to ask Eric later that night what he said while he was on one knee. And if you ask him, he’ll tell you the first thing I said was ‘no’ … but before you jump to conclusions, it was more like a ‘no, no, no… this can’t be happening’ type of thing. I was in complete shock.”
They spent the next 10 minutes simply hugging, crying, and kissing on the beach in the pouring down rain with not a care in the world other than one another. Eventually, the waiter came back out to snap a few blurry cell phone pictures of the moment, and the two returned to their room to FaceTime their closest family and friends to share in the excitement.
Eric: “We decided to keep the engagement a secret until we got to the airport for our flight home that weekend. Thanks to limited WiFi in the Dominican, that wasn’t much of a problem. Honestly, we wanted to soak it all in, just us two. I did make Taylor keep the ring in the safe until we left the resort… I wasn’t chancing it.”
The storm was the only time it had poured their whole trip, they may not have fancy pictures due to a fleeting photographer, and Eric’s plan might not have gone how he initially envisioned, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. It was raw, intimate, and genuine. God’s blessing poured over the new fiances that evening on the beach in so many ways, and they’ve had the greatest outpouring of love and support ever since.