The Big Mistake I Made While Planning the Proposal, by #TheOneAndOnlyGraysonHaye

Personal note: The man who wrote the below excerpt has been my biggest supporter, encourager, and grounding influence over the past 4 1/2 years. He was the impetus behind competing in pageants, the one who helped me learn the value of seeing a movie by yourself in a strange city, and the man who spoke truth and love into my life countless days and nights when no one else saw that I needed it. He is not perfect and neither am I. He is however, without a doubt, the man with which I want to endure every struggle, celebrate every triumph, and always warm my feet next to at night for the rest of my life.

“I made one big mistake when I planned out my proposal: I didn’t practice.

I had arranged for Eric Garcia, a photographer that Michelle has shot with in the past, to ask her about doing a romantic shoot in downtown Dallas and to see if I’d be up for some couples shots. She bought it and I was golden on the surprise element.

What I was not fully prepared for was to have the whole thing captured on film. I haven’t done much kneeling in my life and had never considered how to go down on one knee. If you ever see a picture of a guy proposing he is always kneeling in the same way: one foot forward and the other behind. Had I paid attention to this little detail I would have been better posed. Instead, what I did was drop to one knee and my feet stayed together. Not the classically romantic look I was going for.


Along with that I did not practice my ‘draw-” getting the ring out of my pocket, into my hand, and held in display. I wound up fumbling with it like a caveman wearing mittens trying to hold quarter by its edges. A little practice on the set-up and the draw to get some muscle memory would have also helped with the flood of nerves and anticipation that had hitherto been absent and suddenly crashed into me like a train riding a tidal wave.

At the end of the night she was surprised, thrilled, and we we’re both stupidly happy. Still wish I could have had better blocking and been posed a little bit better but that’s what the after-shoot was for. Her reactions, however, were perfect and priceless. Photo shoot or not I will never forget how big her eyes got and how much she smiled.


I Love you Michelle Alexandria Hanson. There’s no one else I would have rather shared this experience with, and I can’t wait to call you my wife. “

-By #TheOneAndOnlyGraysonHaye


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