The engagement story of Ashley Stott and Kurt Orfe

An April Fool’s Day anniversary present

By Ashley Stott

April 1, 2017, our one-year anniversary and also amusingly April Fool’s Day, was quickly approaching, and Kurt had asked a few days before if there was anything I was interested in doing for our anniversary. I had made a few suggestions about places we could go to spend the day but never received an answer. Finally, when it was literally the day before our anniversary, I asked Kurt what the plan was to which he responded that since he had been away the whole day, he didn’t feel like going anywhere far and would just like to go out to dinner somewhere nearby. Before that, I had thought that perhaps he might propose, but after such a casual response, I determined that that was not going to happen and forgot the whole idea. We ended up going out to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse and then Kurt surprised me with dessert afterwards at Vincent’s Ice-Cream Parlor in Mt Holly (he knows how much I love ice-cream!) We had talked about taking a walk somewhere afterwards since we love exploring new parks, so it was no surprise to me when he suggested we take a walk at Smithville Mansion which was nearby. He said that was the first place we held hands (which I could scarcely remember!) We parked the car near the trails by the lake when we arrived. Kurt pointed to the place we held hands, and I thought we were going to walk that way, but he instead directed me on a trail towards the lake. We passed a gazebo and when we got to the top of a flight of steps leading down to a dock on the lake, I was surprised to find candles lining every step! We walked down the candle-lit steps after a very long and nervous pause from me, and when we got to the bottom, he said “Happy Anniversary!” So then I thought he had just done this for our anniversary. But after a long pause, he said he wanted to “keep celebrating” with me, and that’s when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. We stayed down on the dock for a little while admiring my gorgeous ring, so that when we came back up the steps, the gazebo we had passed before was now decorated with strings of lights and pictures of us hanging from clothes pins. Music was playing, and in the middle of the gazebo was a table for two with candles, lanterns and champagne for toasting. There was also a picture of us and on it were written the words “She said yes!” with the date 4–1–17. We toasted to us and our engagement with smiles on our faces. We waited for a little while until it got dark and then walked down to the dock one more time amidst the glow of candles. It was magical. We spent the rest of the evening calling our family and friends and telling them the good news. We plan to get married this September, and we are hoping to have our ceremony and reception at the Smithville Mansion!