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A surprising proposal

FRANKLIN LIVING—It was a quiet August evening on Cedar Creek Lake in Franklin County. Harley Voyles and Samuel Evans headed out on the water in his bass boat. Voyles had scheduled a little photoshoot, just a casual opportunity to get a few pictures of the two of them out on the lake where they both enjoy fishing together.

But Evans had bigger plans in mind.

Voyles and Evans had been together just more than four years Aug. 14, 2018 – a day Voyles now calls “the best day ever.” The two first met at Twin Forks boat ramp on Upper Bear Creek Lake and dated throughout their junior and senior years of high school – she at Phil Campbell, he at Russellville.

Time went on, and their relationship grew stronger. They graduated high school in 2016, and the high school sweethearts continued their educations at Northwest-Shoals Community College. As they entered their fifth year of dating, Evans knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this woman who shared his hobbies and his passions; the only thing to figure out was when and where to pop the question.

“I had been thinking of a way to ask but wasn’t sure how,” Evans said. But when Voyles arranged a photoshoot for the two of them, he made his decision. “It was the perfect opportunity to ask her to marry me.”

Alone together under a sunset sky, Evans dropped to one knee. Voyles said her first reaction was speechlessness – and a tiny bit of suspicion.

“I didn’t know if he was serious or if it was a joke because he is always pulling stuff on me, ever since we started dating,” Voyles said. “I have always dreamed since we started dating that we would be getting married, and I couldn’t wait.”

The proposal was no joke, though, and Evans felt sure his timing and the location could not be better.

“It was completely unplanned and a spur-of-the-moment decision, but I knew that it would be a great time to do it because we would be in my bass boat, and she would love that,” Evans said. As he worked up the nerve to propose, he could only think about “that I was going to ask the girl of my dreams to be my wife and get to spend forever with her.”

Thanks to the photoshoot, pictures document the special moment – and in the end, Evans said the whole proposal could not have gone any better.

“I was kind of nervous, but I was also very happy and couldn’t wait to ask her and hoped the answer was what I hoped it would be,” he said. “I just wanted everything to go smoothly because I knew she had waited on this day for a long time, just like I had. When I popped the question, and that big smile came on her face and mine, and she said yes – the calmness came over me because I knew she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”

When Voyles overcame her speechlessness and gave Evans his hoped-for “yes,” her next move was to share the happy news with her family.

“After the engagement I was crying, like every girl does after something so special happens, and I am still in shock to this day,” she said. “I called and texted family members, and they were all very excited and very happy for us. Two months later, when all the family could, we had an engagement party for us to all celebrate the happy news.” Of course, she added, they shared it on social media, too – “I couldn’t wait for the whole world to know that I was marrying the love of my life.”

The two will be married Oct. 19, 2019, at Voyles’ church at Pleasant Hill. “We couldn’t be happier,” she said. “We are just wanting a good country wedding – just like us.”


Photos by MONTANA HESTER

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