Completely unknown to each other, they had long tailgated in the same lot, had a bunch of mutual friends, and grew up going to the same places. It wasn’t until one of Taylor’s friend got ahold of her phone and decided to send a friend request to “a cute guy” on Facebook that their worlds collided. “I was sitting at work when I got a Facebook message saying, ‘Did we meet this weekend in Des Moines and I just don’t remember? I feel like I would definitely remember if I met you.’ I opened that message and was so confused. Who is this guy and why is he messaging me?! Then I saw the notification that said “Stanley accepted your friend request.” My what?! Nooo, I did no such thing!” Taylor says. But despite the little prank of a friend request, they kept the conversation going and soon found out all of their could’ve-met moments in life!
It wasn’t until they had already been talking for quite some time and hung out a few times that they realized they should probably go on their first official date. Taylor describes that first date. “That night, I realized the true depth of our relationship. I knew I enjoyed talking with him, he made me laugh, and I could see a great relationship with him, but it wasn’t until that moment that I realized I truly needed this person in my life. He made me feel at peace with who I was and where our relationship was going.”
“Talking to her and being with each other in the moments came super easy so I was never too nervous after the first time we met so each time after that I just felt at ease and everything came so easily,” Stanley adds. Stanley proposed this past August with a sweet proposal that brought their relationship full circle. “Over the last few years we had started going to FryFest in Coralville on the Friday before the Hawkeyes opening game, so it had kind of become a tradition. On the day leading up to it and on the ride down from Cedar Falls, we had talked a lot about our friends and everyone around us getting engaged lately. I had purposely tried to throw her off the track that I planned on proposing soon. After getting down to FryFest, we went right in and I was somewhat stressed out because we were late getting there.
“So I hurried us around the booths in the convention center and she was starving at the time and needed to get something to eat from one of the vendors outside. After hustling her up to get some food, I told her I wanted to go drive by Kinnick Stadium and take a look. (It was a bad excuse at the time, but I was flustered and just needed some reason for us to go get in the truck and start driving to where I planned on proposing.) She was thrown off by this and confused since the plan was to watch the concert and enjoy the activities surrounding Fry Fest. After getting in the car I drove straight to Myrtle Lot, which is where we have always tailgated and has become a really special spot for us. After getting there I told her I was just planning on turning around in the parking lot and she was getting upset since the people taking money to park in the lot were there and collecting money to get into the lot. I was able to get in and I parked the truck. After driving over to the spot where I had kissed her a few years prior in the very beginning of our relationship, I got out and asked her if she thought this was that spot and she thought it was. So I pulled out a chalk stick and wrote our initials down on the concrete. She thought that it was really cute, but I don’t think she realized that I was about to propose because she had started to turn to head back to the truck so I had to grab her hand and stopped her. That’s when I got down on a knee to propose.”
“I cried a lot of happy, ugly tears,” Taylor says. “But I made sure I said yes through all of the blubbering!”
These two love to laugh and have fun together. They also love to go to sporting events together (football–both college and NFL–and baseball) and go out to the movies together. They both list their dogs, Moxon and Beau, as what they can’t live without and they brought Beau along to be in some of the photos. (He’s basically a model now.) When I asked what they’re looking forward to most about their wedding day, Stanley says, “Just seeing Taylor and how beautiful she will look and getting to spend the day with her and all of our closest friends and relatives…just enjoying the day. Mainly, I can’t wait to marry my best friend.”
I also asked what they admire most about each other and Taylor lists Stanley’s patience. “He is so kind-hearted and patient. When my mind runs one million miles per hour and I’m blurting out one hundred different things at him, he always find a way to calm me down and tell me everything is going to be okay. He has a way of making me feel so, so loved. And he’s the funniest person you’ll ever meet.”
Stanley describes her as being “fun, active, and adventurous. She loves trying new things and being with friends and family having a good time. She’s beautiful, inside and out. She’s incredibly gorgeous on the outside, but also a genuinely amazing person on the inside. She cares for others more than she does herself. I admire her compassion and the way she treats everyone around her. She’s constantly doing things for me, our dogs, her friends, our family that will put a smile on everyone’s faces. She loves helping people and making someone’s day.”