If you had told 7th grade Matthew Lee that one day he’d be marrying the cute cheerleader in his class, he probably wouldn’t believe you. Yet, fate brought him and Kate Jones back together during their college years, and it didn’t take long for them to realize they were meant to be.
We’re sitting down with Lee, 26, an accounting director, and Jones, 25, a registered nurse, to hear about their unique love story and perfect beachside proposal.
How did you two meet?
M: We first met when we sat next to each other in 7th grade computer class. She was sitting next to me in her cheerleading outfit, and I thought, “Who is this cute girl with the long legs?”
K: We dated in high school, but when we went to college, Matthew went to Auburn and I went to Alabama. I visited Auburn in 2013 for the Iron Bowl, and my friends I went out to a restaurant where Matt was our waiter. That’s the first time we had seen each other in five years—and we’ve been together ever since.
Describe your partner in three words.
M: Beautiful, devoted, and hilarious
K: Funny, sweet, and selfless
What is your favorite thing about each other?
K: I can be completely open and honest with Matthew about anything, and he’s the same towards me. I love how we can be our weird, goofy selves with each other.
Tell us about the proposal.
M: Ever since Kate was a little girl, her dream was to go swimming with dolphins. So when we made plans to vacation in Destin, Florida with my family for Kate’s birthday, I wanted to make her dreams come true.
K: I woke up on my birthday to Matt coming into my room and giving me a card. It said to put on my swimsuit because I was finally going to get to swim with dolphins. I couldn’t contain my excitement; it’s an experience I’ll cherish forever.
M: Afterwards, Kate went back to the condo to get ready for family pictures, while my family snuck down to the beach to set up for the proposal. Kate and I met them down there where a “Will You Marry Me?” sign and flowers were set up a little ways away from us. When we reached the sign, I turned towards her and got down on one knee.
K: He said to me: “You are the first girl I ever kissed. You are the first girl I ever loved. Kate Jones, will you marry me?” The moment was so perfect and beautiful.
M: When I decided I wanted to propose, I was working as a waiter in college—needless to say, my budget wasn’t huge. No other jeweler had the selection and range to fit my budget like Diamonds Direct did. The ring I picked is beyond what I thought I would be able to give Kate.
K: The ring is absolutely breathtaking! Anyone who knows me knows I love to sparkle, and that’s exactly what this ring does.
Now that you’ve found “the one,” what advice would you give to someone else about love?
M: You have to make your relationship a priority. Being long distance—with me in Auburn and Kate in Tuscaloosa—for a year really taught us that. Any time we could be together, we were.
K: Don’t dwell on things that bother you. Talk it out with your partner and work together to fix the problem.
M: Waking up beside the most beautiful girl in the world every day for the rest of my life.
K: I’m looking forward to growing old together and taking on this crazy world with my best friend by my side. I’m excited to see us grow with our careers, as well as start a family of our own one day.