Love Stories: Rachel + Chase

Rachel Chase LM 2From the day that they met, Rachel Sims, 22, and Chase Higginbotham, 28, have had an undeniable feeling that they were meant to be. After three years of dating, the pair are now planning for the rest of their lives together. This is their love story.

Proposal photos by Hal Yeager Photography

Engagement session photos by Lisa Marie Photography


How did you two meet?

Rachel: We met in a young adult small group at church. Before we were even dating, I remember telling my mom and grandmother that if I could design my perfect guy, it would be Chase.

Chase: I had what I thought was a secret crush for 5 or 6 months before we started dating. Little did I know, all of Rachel’s friends who saw us interact in our small group were already hearing wedding bells.


Tell us about your most memorable date.

C: It was our one-year anniversary date, and I had been planning it for months. We had wanted to take a date in an old classic pickup truck with a bench seat for quite some time. After months of no luck in finding one, on the day of our date I spotted one parked beside a barn on Highway 11. The owner let me borrow it and has since become a good friend of ours.

R: Chase picked me up that night in the old pickup, and we went to one of our favorite places to eat, Jim N’ Nicks. As the sun was setting, we drove out to a pond in Springville and canoed out to the dock. There were Mason jar candles, blankets, and a picnic table with homemade ice cream. I felt like I was in a movie; it was so thoughtful and romantic.


Rachel Chase LM 3When did you realize you had met “the one”?

R: I like to joke that we were getting married before we started dating. It was always something we were pursuing together.

C: I always tell Rach, “Forever is all I’ve ever wanted.” Even before we began dating, I knew that if we ever got the chance to be in a relationship, I wasn’t going to date her just to date her–I would be dating her for the pursuit of marriage.


Tell us about the proposal.

C: I wanted to propose to Rachel in a way that would totally surprise her. Rachel has a passion for animals, so I knew I wanted to ask her at the Birmingham Zoo. Rachel had won the Birmingham Zoo’s 5K the year before, so I talked with the Zoo’s event coordinator, who called Rachel and told her she needed the winner’s photo for their website. I picked a spot near Rachel’s favorite animal, the red panda, where she would get her photo taken.

R: I thought I was going to the Zoo for a picture to advertise the 5K since I was the previous year’s winner. Once I made it to the spot and Chase came out, however, I knew exactly what was going on!

C: After Rachel said yes, my cousin, who was nearby with his guitar, sang and played Amazing Grace for us as we celebrated and prayed together. It was a beautiful day that we’ll never forget.


What was your experience like shopping for the ring at Diamonds Direct?

C: I first went in about a year before I proposed just to get educated on diamonds and set a budget for the ring. I worked with Karen that day, and she spent time giving me a “Diamond 101” lesson even knowing I wouldn’t be making a purchase that day. When I did go back several months later, Karen remembered me and helped me decide on the perfect ring.

R: I feel like my ring is simple and classic–I receive a lot of compliments on it.


Rachel Chase LM 9What is your favorite thing about each other?

R: Chase has an incredible way of loving people. Whether it’s me, his family and friends, or a stranger, he shows compassion and genuine interest in what you say and do.

C: Rachel is quick to forgive. She’s taught me so much about forgiving others and loving them despite their faults and weaknesses. I love that about her.


What are you most looking forward to about spending the rest of your lives together?

R: I am just excited about creating our own life together and spending time together doing ordinary things.

C: I’m looking forward to growing old with Rachel and experiencing all of life’s joys not alone, but with her. I don’t like telling her “bye” at night when I have to go home, so I’m looking forward to the day I don’t have to because my home will be her home, too.


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