Courtnee and Erik have known each other for 15 years, but it wasn’t until a business trip to Los Angeles many years after their first acquaintance that their love really began to flourish. Although the distance between them was far, the love was stronger than ever… Read their proposal story below.
Names: Courtnee and Erik (@courtnee19 + @erikumphery)
Proposal Location: Atlanta, GA
Proposal Date: August 5, 2017
How did you meet?
“Timing is everything! Fun fact – We met in college 15 years ago at Clark Atlanta University. I pledged Delta Sigma Theta and he pledged Omega Psi Phi one year apart but didn’t even look at each other twice (well I’m sure he was checking me out). The point is at that time we weren’t ready. We dated briefly when he moved to my hometown, Charlotte, NC but I wasn’t ready for anything serious. We reunited at the age of 26 in Atlanta, GA and dated even more briefly but he wasn’t ready…..fast forward 7yrs I’m living in Atlanta and he’s living in LA. I was traveling for work to LA, on a trip I almost canceled. My first 2 days there we were just hanging out as friends and then the third day (which we infamously call day 3) we went on a real date. Day 3 was amazing, he cooked dinner, then we went for ice cream, played basketball at 10pm outside at some court in West Hollywood (I was somewhat of a hoop-star in high school), then we headed to the LACMA Lights where we both had on green hoodies (that will come into play during the engagement) and ended the night at Santa Monica Beach. We sat out on the beach in the cold holding one another and talking until 4am, then he took me back to my hotel and I headed to the airport for a 6a flight. We both knew something was different, we were now equally yoked and matured with God at the center of everything. Although we still get on each other’s nerves from time to time (lol) and long distance isn’t for everybody, we appreciate the life lessons it took to get here and the acceptance we have for each other. Cheers to patience and following God’s plan for the soon to be Umpherys.” – Courtnee
(As told by Erik)
“After buying the engagement ring my original plan was to sit on it for a month or two, but after 24hrs it was burning a whole in my pocket and driving me crazy wondering if she would be happy with my selection. The next time I would see her was in 10 days after finishing up a work trip to NYC, so that became the new date to propose. I called her parents to ask for permission and also asked them to travel to Atlanta and surprise her when I popped the question. The night I was flying to Atlanta from NYC, there was a storm that caused several flights to be canceled and I ended up stranded at the airport for 20hrs. The entire time she’s telling me not to worry about coming and to go home to LA. Little did she know I had already told her parents, Aunt, and cousins to come in town to surprise her, so there was no way I wasn’t going to figure out how to get there. After spending the night at the airport (plus the help of several gate agents) I finally made it on a flight, but I lost the entire Friday I was planning to do my last minute running around. I needed a green hoodie because of Day 3 and I wanted her 3 yr old son, Chase, to have a shirt that said “Mommy we should be a family” but I had no idea how I was going to get any of this without her knowing something was up. I eventually came up with a story that I need to go to the mall to buy some Jordans and thankfully was able to find everything I needed 30mins before everyone was planning to show up for the surprise. The entire time she’s thinking we are going to one of her friend’s houses for dinner. When I got back to the house (while she was getting ready for “the dinner”) I took Chase outside and changed him into his shirt. Now I just needed to figure out how to get her to come outside. Once she was dressed she started texting me to bring Chase inside so she could get him ready. That was my cue! I told her he was being difficult and I needed her to help. After some back and forth I finally convinced her to come outside. I gave Chase the ring box and told him “When you see Mommy, run up to her and say I have a gift for you.” Everything went exactly how I imagined it, she opened the door and Chase was a rockstar! He had the biggest smile on his face and gave his mother the ring box. I on the other hand was a nervous mess. I got down on one knee and the only words that came out of my mouth were “babe I’m so nervous right now.” I wasn’t nervous about her saying yes but I was overwhelmed because I’d found the woman I love unconditionally. I just want to live up to the standard my father set for me with how he loved and cared for my mother. Her family starts walking towards her and she starts screaming, hugging, and kissing me but I hadn’t even proposed yet. Finally she realized I hadn’t popped the question and I get back down on one knee and ask her to spend the rest of her life with me.”
Erik and Courtnee are planning to elope at the gorgeous San Fransisco courthouse (date TBD), and then depart for a luxurious two week honeymoon.
Photos by: Gerome Ogeris