This was a very, very special day:) Caroline is not only my little, but also one of my closest friends who constantly inspires the world. She is a fighter, a believer, and someone who doesn’t give in when things get tough. She is full of hope and love for all people. When I first met Caroline, she and Jacob were just starting to date. He came into town from Birmingham one weekend and we all went to a party at a friend’s house. Caroline made the rounds, saying hello to every person in the room as she so beautifully does, and Jacob and I found ourselves comfortable having no more than 3 people in our conversation:) It was that first night of friendship that we all realized we had something really good going. Looking back, Jesus has been so faithful to give friends that really are family. It has been 3 1/2 years of laughter, adventure, real talk, heartbreak, restoration, dancing, climbing mountains, dreaming, getting back up, and sweet, sweet friendship. They have walked me through some hard seasons, and are the kind of people to never leave your side. In my mind, it has always been Caroline and Jacob, and I am so happy that the time has finally come for my people to be all official:) 



ps. Jacob is so thoughtful and crafted the sweetest proposal, so I had Caroline write out their love story to share with everyone. I love them a lot:) hope you enjoy! 


"The first time I ever saw Jacob he didn't see me. I was a freshman in high school and he was a junior and we were at a Needtobreathe concert at Sloss Furnace. I spotted him through the crowd and spent the rest of the concert fighting the urge to sneak a few more glances. I tried to get him to notice me, but he never did. The tragic life of a fifteen-year-old.

Almost two years later, on Feburary 5th, 2012, I stopped by my house on the way to a friend’s Super Bowl party because I forgot the chips I was supposed to bring. I forgot that my dad, a college minister, was hosting a party for his freshman leadership team. When I opened the door, directly in front of me among the group of students, was the guy from the Needtobreathe concert. I immediately called an audible. 

Instead of rushing quickly out the door with chips in hand, I worked my way around the room and finally turned to him and said “Hey I’m Caroline, have you tried the chocolate cobbler? It’s amazing.” He said he had not, and I scooped him a bowl full and we held a short conversation that left me thinking “wow.” 

It was hardly the start of a romantic relationship. That didn't ensue for another two more years, but it was an incredibly memorable first impression. That night, he became much more than just a memorable face to me. To him, I now existed. Yet for two years, he kept how he felt about my existence well hidden. 

Over the next two years, we spent a total of fourteen days with each other on consecutive spring break mission trips walking the streets of New York City and the beaches of Gulf Shores. We developed a friendship based off of quality times, shared values and common interests. Outside of that, we only had a couple of encounters, most of which were at my house when Jacob would come to give my little brothers' baseball team pitching lessons in my backyard. That was the only time I voluntarily did the dishes (in my whole entire life) because, well, you had to walk through the kitchen for water breaks. Not too proud to admit it. 

All of this time that I was getting to know him, I never thought we would date. He was the older guy in college and I was just a high schooler. To me, he was an example of the kind of guy I hoped to end up with one day. I didn't know until he asked me out that he had had his heart set on me.

We started dating the summer before my freshman year of college. We dated long distance for four years. That is a whole story within itself. It had its ups and downs, challenges and risks. For the sake of keeping this brief, it is a connecting point from the moment in my kitchen to five years down the road.

February 5th, 2017, five years to the moment we first met, Jacob asked me to marry him. 

He wanted to accomplish two things with the proposal- 1. obviously for me to say yes and 2. For me to be surprised. (The only thing I like more than surprises is ruining them). 

To counter my intuition, he constructed an elaborate lie with the help of multiple people. Most notably, his good friend Lawrence, who runs a non-profit in Birmingham and is well connected. He baited me into actually inviting myself to my own engagement by casually dropping details of a party Lawrence and his wife Frannie "got invited" to. He knew I couldn't resist - The Super Bowl, a scenic Birmingham rooftop, exclusive company and a double date with one of our favorite couples. He sent me screen shots where he "asked" Lawrence if we could come too and of course Lawrence obliged and gave us instructions to dress nice. 

As the Super Bowl neared, we cut short our ensuing Netflix binge of my favorite show to go to the party. We arrived at the historic building dubbed the Heaviest Corner on Earth and hopped on the elevator and pressed the button for the top floor. When the doors opened, the top floor of the club was completely empty. I nervously looked at Jacob and asked if he got the time wrong. He said no, but we needed to switch elevators to get to the rooftop which is where the party was. He pretended to be a little lost, but found the elevator to get to the roof. Rooftops are my favorite place to be, so I did not protest.

The elevator doors opened, and I smiled as I saw the rooftop of the building covered in candles and white roses. It finally dawned on me what was happening. He grabbed my hand and walked me up to the observatory deck overlooking the entire city, got down on one knee, and asked “Caroline, will you marry me?” 

I, still in shock, managed to muster out a surprised “yeah.” A smile rushed across his face as he placed the ring on my finger, jumped up, and kissed me.

My sister and two of my best friends came out of the building and celebrated the sweet moment with us. We then went downstairs, got into his truck and started driving to my house to see my family.

However, when we got to my house, no one was there. I unlocked the front door, and Jacob led me into the kitchen. There, in the same place we met to the day so many years ago, he had a letter and a dish of chocolate cobbler waiting for me. We took in the moment we had alone together as we wrapped our minds around what the past four years of long-distance dating was culminating to all along. 


After we left my house, he took me to his house. I opened the door to be greeted by (an actual super bowl party) filled with our family and so many of our dear friends. The moment was sweet. Jacob knows how important all of the friendships in my life are to me, so being surrounded by so many cherished people overwhelmed me with gladness.

We spent the rest of the night eating tacos and queso covered chips, watching the super bowl, and taking a few too many ring pics with all of our friends. It still hasn’t really sunk in that I am marrying the man I saw across the room at the age of fifteen, growing old with the one who weathered the ups and downs of growing up with me. But there is no one else I could sign on to this kind of commitment with, and I am thankful it’s him. "

Madalynn YoungComment