We’re engaged!

I don’t think I could be happier to share this post!

Matt asked me to marry him on Friday, April 17th, 2015. I thought about writing a whole new post, but I’m going to include what each of us wrote for our wedding website. It’s so cute. He’s so cute. I cannot wait to become Mrs. Redinger.

From Amanda:

Matt and I met through a mutual friend (hi, Ed!) back in July of 2012 when Ed brought Matt to our company picnic. I remember meeting Matt and learning he was from Asheville and thinking to myself “I could marry a guy from Asheville!” Little did I know that almost three years later I’d be saying YES to doing just that!

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On Friday, April 17th Matt had planned a date night for us to check out the new BBQ and Whiskey Bar in downtown Gainesville. Even though I had been anticipating Matt proposing for some time, I didn’t suspect it that Friday because it was a BBQ place and Matt was super calm that day (and doing a great job at throwing off my scent trail!). We got downtown and headed to Mojo Hogtown BBQ & Whiskey Bar where we had a delicious dinner and delicious drinks. I should have noticed that Matt wasn’t eating his dinner, but I was oblivious! We even got our check, so I was just thinking about what we’d do after dinner. Matt said he needed to go to the bathroom, and when he came back, a sweet manager came over to ask us about our dinner and experience. Thinking this was just standard procedure (the restaurant had just opened the week before), I chatted her up! She asked if we had heard about their banana pudding, and I said yes, but that we were just so full we couldn’t manage. She offered us one on the house (if you know me, you know I don’t turn down free banana pudding), and told us to stay right there and she’d be back. Little did I know she was just stalling for the big event. When she walked away, Matt looked at me and said “Babe, this is our spot. This is where it all started two and a half years ago.” I then realized that we were in the same spot where we had our first date! (Duh, Amanda.) I still didn’t understand what he was getting at, until I noticed his hands were shaking. Matt said “I just have one question,” and someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and there was a decadent chocolate cake that said “Amanda will u marry me?” I think I shrieked, and by the time I turned around, Matt was on one knee with THE ring. He then asked me if I would marry him, and I started crying and said yes! The whole kitchen staff was standing waiting and started cheering, which caught the attention of everyone else in the restaurant. We kissed and the whole restaurant erupted in cheers! It was perfect, and so us.

Matthew, I cannot wait to marry you!

From Matt:

Amanda and I met nearly three years ago, in the summer of 2012, at a work picnic for her job at the time. I tagged along to my roommate Ed’s company picnic for Gainesville Health and Fitness (basically expecting to get a free lunch and not much else), and it was there that I met Amanda for the first time, at Kanapaha Park in Gainesville, FL. We talked some that day, but it wasn’t until a month or two later that we hung out again and got to know each other a little better, and over the next few weeks weeks we started seeing more of each other. We had our first official date as part of a double date (again, with Ed there as well) at a seafood restaurant in Gainesville that unfortunately went out of business not long after. Luckily, our relationship didn’t suffer the same fate. We always had so much fun together when we hung out, and we both kept seeing more of each other until we were officially dating not long after. Our relationship has always been built on friendship and fun from the beginning, and I know that those values will continue as a big piece of our marriage.


Our relationship continued to grow as time went on. We began serving together at church, volunteering in the children’s ministry with the babies and the 1’s and 2’s at different points over the next couple of years. The relationships that we built there, at Anthem Church, continued to grow our relationship, and we both realized how much the other loved kids and had a heart for taking care of little ones. Our love for each other grew more every day, and two and a half years later it was time to propose (finally, if you ask Amanda!).

For the proposal, I wanted to make it perfect for the uniqueness of our relationship, and also make it a surprise so that Amanda would have no idea it was coming. A couple of weeks before the proposal, I met Amanda’s dad out for lunch, and asked him for permission to marry Amanda. He said yes, and that he and her mom would be thrilled to have me as part of the family, which really meant a lot. Two weeks later, I set up the proposal. As luck would have it, a new restaurant had opened up a week before in the exact same location that the seafood restaurant had been where we had our first date a couple years earlier. The new location was called Mojo Barbecue, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity for the proposal (Amanda and I both love barbecue as well). I called the restaurant that day to set everything up, and they were awesome in helping to make it happen. I managed to keep this all a secret from Amanda (and everyone else) the rest of that day, and even managed to sneak the ring into my pocket and keep it hidden as we drove downtown for our date and walked to the restaurant. We ate dinner and had drinks, and towards the end of the meal I realized that I still hadn’t seen the manager that arranged the proposal with me on the phone. Getting concerned, I went to the bathroom to text him that we were finishing up and to let him know where we were sitting. Luckily, things started to really come together after that. Another manager came over to our table to delay while they got the cake ready to go, and the next thing I knew the entire wait staff was standing behind Amanda at our table ready to go. I quickly blurted out the beginning of my proposal, reminding Amanda that this was the spot where we had our first date. My hands were shaking, but I thought I was playing it pretty cool to that point (although I hadn’t eaten even half of my meal!). At that point, the waitress walked over at the perfect time, I told Amanda I loved her and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Written on the cake that they placed in front of her it said “Amanda, will you marry me?” I got down on one knee, asked her to marry me, and she said yes! It was truly a special night. It was the first proposal to happen at that particular restaurant, Amanda was genuinely surprised,and we both couldn’t have been happier to officially be engaged and moving towards marriage and spending the rest of our lives together.

“That night didn’t feel like a beginning…It felt better than that. It felt like a celebration of something that began a long time ago, and like what we were doing that night was stopping to notice and celebrate this glorious thing that had been inching it’s way into existence day by day, growing like a slender tough stalk, almost imperceptibly, until one day you realize it’s become a strong tall tree, providing shade and protection to everyone under its branches.” –Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

4 thoughts on “We’re engaged!

  1. So thrilled for you!!!! We get married in two weeks and the process has been such a joy. I am so excited to see your plans unfold. BTW we are HUGE bourbon fans and are toasting with that at our wedding! OXOXOXO so great to see you so happy.

    • I’ve loved following your process as well!!! We also LOVE bourbon and are thinking of following the old Southern tradition of “burying the bourbon”…wish us luck! xoxoxox
      PS–take lots of pictures! I want to see!!!

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