How did you meet?
Carly and Mark met at McAlpine Elementary school in Charlotte, North Carolina. They've been friends and schoolmates growing up, and also attended South Mecklenburg High School together. After college, they reconnected through mutual friends, and their rekindled friendship grew into love!
Tell us about your engagement story
Mark & Carly planned a visit to Carly's cousins in Maple Valley, Washington. Since Carly was busy finishing up her dietetic internship and unable to plan specific excursions for the trip, Mark said he would plan something and it would be a surprise (a big surprise). Bright and early the first morning of the trip, Mark drove Carly nearly an hour away to a parking lot where several people and vans with hot air balloon baskets on trailers were waiting. Carly was excited about the idea of a hot air balloon ride, but unfortunately due to low clouds the flight had to be postponed.
With the flight rescheduled for the last day of their trip, Mark and Carly's adventures continued around the Seattle area, Woodenville, and across the US/Canadian border to Vancouver as planned - except that Mark had not planned on carrying around an engagement ring all week. On Tuesday, Carly was in bed with a stomach bug and Mark was worried that she might not be able to go on the flight the next morning. Nevertheless, Carly fought off the bug (and an alarm malfunction that almost made them miss the flight), and the two made it to the launch site in the nick of time. When Mark and Carly arrived at the site, the balloon was being inflated and the weather looked perfect.
Mark had planned to propose either before or after the flight depending on how things worked out, but had not expected that there would be 3 other couples on the flight with them and did not want to propose in front of all the strangers. Mark then decided he would propose after the flight, when he could find some privacy from the others. Less than fifteen minutes after the balloon had risen, a passenger became sick and it became necessary to end the trip early. Not sure whether it was the illness from the day before, the lack of hydration, the speed of the decreased altitude back to the ground or a combination of these things, but Carly blacked out for several seconds as the balloon descended. Plan B for the proposal had now become plan C, or maybe D... at this point Mark had lost count.
Deciding that it was not the perfect time, Mark waited to pop the question, and knew they needed to grab some breakfast so Carly could regain her strength. Mark proposed a picnic breakfast in the same field where the balloon took off.
After eating breakfast, Mark told Carly he wanted to take a picture of them, so he ran to the car to grab the camera (and the ring), and set up the camera on a nearby fence post. Little did Carly know what the camera would soon capture. As he ran back over to Carly, he told her to stand up as he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him- while 10 consecutive images of the surprise proposal were captured. :) Click this link to see their proposal flash before your eyes! http://megaswf.com/file/2425634
Carly & Mark with Lilly! What a happy family!
What are some things you both enjoy doing together?
Carly and Mark enjoy traveling, staying active, and spending time with friends and family. Their favorite hobbies are running, biking, kayaking, attending college football games, horse races, and the two never turn down an opportunity for a good adventure!
Enjoying some time on the water together!
If you had to pick one characteristic you love about one another what would it be?
Mark loves Carly's enthusiasm for life, and Carly loves Mark's compassionate nature!
What a sweet couple! We are so glad that Sweetgrass Social is going to be a part of your special day!