Thanks for visiting our wedding website! There are only -1529 days left until the wedding, and it is so unreal to both of us! On this website, you can find lots of information about our story as well as the details of our wedding day. When you receive your invitation, you will find enclosed an RSVP code you can enter to let us know whether or not you will be joining us. We hope you enjoy getting a better look into our lives, and please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
We met at Wings of Eagles Ranch in Concord. Jess had been volunteering there for a few years, and Corey had just decided to go that summer. She was a counselor in his grandmother’s group, and he was working on the rock wall. We both noticed the other around camp, but neither one of us got up the nerve to make the first move. So, the whole summer we simply admired from a distance. At this point, we were friends on Facebook, but still no contact. So, on Veteran’s Day, Jess posted a status, which Corey liked, so she posted on his wall. This sparked a long conversation, and November 29, 2009, Corey asked Jess out, and she was very happy to say yes!
Coming into the end of the summer of 2013, I was trying to become more serious about becoming engaged to Jess. I haven’t really said anything to my parents at this point and I wasn’t really sure what they would think of it- I know they love Jess as their own but when it came to asking them what they thought, I was nervous. I asked my mom and my dad what they thought about me proposing and they were pretty pumped about it. Knowing that I got one set of parent’s permission felt good but it was the other set whose opinion mattered the most. A few months later in October, my fall break was a week before Jess’s but I was unable to fully enjoy my fall break so I came home for two days for the main purpose of asking Jess’s parents for permission. I texted her Dad and asked if I could swing by to say hey for a couple of hours so I swung by their place. The whole time I was there, I was trying to build up the courage to ask while making small talk to disguise the fact that I was so incredibly nervous. A couple hours went by and they had to go to church and I was in no state to ask so I left without asking. I had really one last time to ask for permission and that was the following week whenever Jess came into town for Fall Break. Jess’s fall break came and went and Jess was about to leave to return to Cedarville. I realized that this was my only real shot at asking for permission. Jess went on her way to Cedarville and I stayed behind to talk to her parents. I did a similar thing to the week before where I was trying to make small talk while hiding my nervousness. An hour went by and I finally built up enough courage to ask her parents. I honestly don’t remember what I asked but once her father and mother gave permission, I felt so much better! Now came the time to figure out how to do it. My original plan was to do a bunch of small activities and then take her to Frank Liske Park in Concord and propose to her around the lake. At Thanksgiving, while Jess was at her grandmother’s house, I was at my grandmother’s house and my uncle brought up the idea of going to Dupont Park, in the mountains of North Carolina, and proposing to her on the top of a waterfall. I really liked this idea and pursued it. I was told by Heather that Jess really wanted a photographer or someone to take pictures of the actual engagement. My uncle’s original plan was to go to Wintergreen Falls with my aunt and cousins but my aunt and cousins were unable to go. My uncle wanted to help me though and made the 5-6 hour trip to take pictures for us, which I am very thankful for.
After church, we made the two and a half hour drive up to Dupont Park, specifically Wintergreen Falls. Since my uncle was going to meet me there, I needed to figure out where he was going to be. So I went into a Porta-John and got on my phone to figure out where he was because I wanted Jess to have no idea it was going to happen. So I put the ring in my “infamous” hoodie and proceeded to go to the falls. The only problem was that I had no idea where I was going. I was just walking hoping that there would be signs but there really were no signs. As we are going down the path we come to a fork and I have no idea where to go. I look to my left and notice that someone has dragged their foot across the ground and made this mark on the path so I took that path. As we go on we come to another fork and on top of the one sign on this path was a twig pointing in the direction of Wintergreen Falls. I follow the twig down that path hoping I was going the right way and also that these were signs left by my uncle. Jess was just enjoying the scenery and while she noticed the signs as well, she really didn’t think anything of it. As we come up to the falls, there are some rocks right in front of the waterfall which is a great place to take pictures. Jess recognizes this and gets up on the rocks to take a picture and I follow suit. Well I never really found out where my uncle was hiding. As Jess was pulling out her camera to take a picture, I look down between the rocks to find my uncle hiding out there. I had to think on my feet to get Jess off the rocks to ensure that she doesn’t see my uncle and blow this whole operation. I repeatedly told Jess to get down and because trust me (for whatever reason) gets off the rocks and proceeds to ask “Why did we have to get off the rocks? I just wanted a picture..” I had to think on my feet of a reason and the only one I could think of was “There was a naked guy between the rocks and he possibly had a naked woman down there with him”. Not the best story in the world but she bought it which is all that matters. So now that I know where my uncle was, I was now trying to figure out where I should propose on the waterfall. At the base of the waterfall were some bikers that were taking a break, and I didn’t want to do it in front of them. I notice a path off to the left of the waterfall and take Jess up there to see if we can get on top of the waterfall and where my uncle could see me. We finally saw a spot on top of the waterfall where we could walk out but I was out of sight of my uncle. We sat there for a couple of minutes but I didn’t want to leave my uncle in that crack in the rocks for too long. So I take out my phone to take a picture and see I got a text from my uncle that says “The bikers are gone. Come back down here.” So I convinced an unwilling Jess to go back to the bottom of the waterfall and was pretty much forcing her to go as I was leading the way. As we are going down back to the base of the waterfall, Jess find another opening to the waterfall that wasn’t the top of the fall but there was a rock that we could walk on. So we go out on the rock, and Jess is taking pictures. I look down to where my uncle is and see a “thumbs up” pop out over the rocks. I didn’t prepare anything to say to Jess because I had been running this conversation in my head for weeks. So I turn to Jess who is just happily taking pictures and told her that I needed to talk to her. I was smiling like I usually do when I am guilty of something at this point and Jess turns to see that guilty smile that I so often sport and I think realizes what is about to happen. She smiles as well but as I’m telling her how awesome the past four years have been that happy face is slowly turning into a face that cannot hold back the emotion and she starts to cry (which is funny because weeks before that I randomly asked her if she was going to cry when I proposed and she said no). I tell her all that I tell her and I get on one knee and ask her to marry me and as soon as my knee touched the rock, I get a yes. As I stood back up, she greeted me with a hug and multiple kisses. I then turn to my left and point to where my uncle was hiding and told her that it wasn’t a naked man but my uncle. We stay at the falls for another hour or so but then went to visit my mother and step-father to show them the ring and see them. Afterwards we returned to Concord to eat dinner with my dad’s side of the family and Jess’s family at Golden Corral.
Corey asked over Thanksgiving Break if I would want to take a day trip to the mountains, and of course I said yes. So after church we drove up to Dupont State Park (where Last of the Mohicans was filmed and walked about 30 minutes to Wintergreen Falls. It was so beautiful!!! I wanted to take some pictures from the base of the falls, but as I started to climb on some rocks, Corey was in front of me and he wouldn’t let me go any further. I was indignant because I simply wanted a picture, but he quickly said there was a naked man down in the crevice, and there was a girl with him. I had no idea what was going on with that, so I decided to get out of there as quickly as I could. Corey then suggested we climb to the top of the falls. So, we climb up through the woods and make it to the top. It was such an amazing view! I sat down and wanted to just chill by the waterfall, but Corey stood back up and suggested we go down to the bottom. I reluctantly agreed, but dashed down to the next level of the falls when I saw an opening in the forest. We walked out on the ledge, and I was taking pictures galore. All of a sudden I heard Corey say "hey I need to talk to you about something". Then I turned around and he had a big grin on his face. He started off and said "I have been thinking a lot about the last four years, and I have been thinking about how stupid I was when I didn't talk to you at Wings of Eagles, and how I thought you were being silly when you talked about us being together forever. But now we are here and I have a question for you. (At this point he knelt down) Will you marry me?" I said yes really quickly and burst into tears!! Oh I was so happy! I took off my purity ring, and he put the most gorgeous ring on my finger :) After taking some additional pictures at the base of the falls, we just hung out and enjoyed the first moments of being engaged. For the rest of the day, we made stops around Charlotte to see Corey’s mom before we met up with my family and his dad’s family for dinner. Overall, it was an absolutely amazing day, and I am so incredibly happy to be marrying Corey Alexander Raper!! :)