#Howheasked: Rachel + Chris

We’re kicking off our #Howheasked holiday series with the beautiful story of high school sweethearts Rachel and Chris Zotti’s 2014 proposal!

Rachel said:

“Chris proposed to me the night after Thanksgiving in 2014, which just happened to be the night before my 23rd birthday. When he took me out to a nice dinner in downtown Franklin, Tenn. at the Cork & Cow I was thinking it was just an early birthday celebration. They sat us upstairs by ourselves where we could look out over the rest of the restaurant. It was so beautiful and romantic, and I thought we had lucked out by having them sit us at the best table. Of course, I found out later that Chris had a hand in that.

After dinner, he suggested that we walk through downtown Franklin to go get some coffee. There is a coffee shop right past the Franklin Theater, which is where we have “our bench.” It’s the spot where Chris first asked me to be his girlfriend, way back when I was a freshman in high school. It’s always been a spot that I loved to look back on and remember that awkward, sweet moment when we were sitting there waiting for our moms to pick us up from our date. We passed by the bench, and Chris asked if I would like to sit down for a minute. It felt like a movie because downtown Franklin is so beautiful, especially during the holidays. The little stores had their Christmas trees and lights up, and everyone was out and about shopping. We talked for a little bit, and then I noticed Chris seemed nervous which is when it dawned on me that we were sitting in this special spot. Before I knew it, he knelt down on one knee and asked “Will you marry me?” and it was absolutely the most exciting moment of my life!

All of the Stars Photography


All of the Stars Photography

Of course I said yes, and then out of nowhere, I heard cheering, and across the street I saw our families! They had gotten to witness the whole thing. After he put my ring on my finger, we ran across to them and got to hug and celebrate. It was such a special moment! I should also mention – Chris also had photographers secretly taking pictures of this the whole time which was so amazing, because I can look back on those and remember that night just as it was forever. (Especially because I was in so much shock, everything seemed like a blur at the After taking pictures, Emily – his sister and actually my Little Sister in my sorority – suggested that we go back to their house to celebrate with champagne…which led to another surprise waiting on me! Chris and I stopped in at The Bottle Shop in Franklin where we bought a bottle of champagne, which was so much fun because people were congratulating us everywhere we went. We pulled up to his parents’ house and Chris led the way into the house where ALL of my friends and family were waiting and cheering! It was SUCH a huge surprise! It meant so much to me that Chris had included all of our family and friends, and the whole night was a huge celebration. It was absolutely perfect.”

Chris, hat’s off to you! He thought of it all and included personal touches that meant so much to Rachel. I love how clueless Rachel was about what was happening! She thought they had lucked out with the nice table at dinner and was so completely in the moment and didn’t recognize Chris’s nervousness until just the right moment. I believe when a woman isn’t expecting the proposal it makes it so much better.

Chris and Rachel were married on November 14, 2015 at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Nashville and celebrated with family and friends with a reception at the beautiful Loveless Barn. Thank you for sharing your story Mr. and Mrs. Zotti!

Madi Flournoy Photography

Madi Flournoy Photography


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