Michael Gardner is a regular man and a dad. Six years ago, he didn’t know how to sew, but he still managed to create over 200 outfits for his daughter and even start a business.
Just a Dad Looking for a Way to Bond with His Daughter
Gardner’s dad was absent, and when Michael grew up, his father wouldn’t want to speak with him. This is something Michael didn’t want to happen between him and his daughter, so he started sewing.
At first, Michael didn’t have any experience. His daughter, Ava, was three years old at the time, and he was just looking for a creative way to bond with her. It was Michael’s sister that helped him with his first sewing steps. The dad shares that YouTube tutorials were also helpful, but whenever he had a question, his sister was always there to help.
Michael’s sister would refashion almost every piece of clothing she bought in a way she thought suited her taste better. Whether it’s replacing the sleeves with African Ankara fabric or just making pants out of an old skirt, this was something she’d do. And as a dad of a three-year-old daughter, Michael realized he wanted to do the same.
6 Years and 200 Outfits Later
At some point, the daughter and dad duo started photographing the outfits, and Ava quite liked showing off her modeling skills. This is when Michael realized this could work, and Ava seemed to love everything he created for her.
Michael’s fiancee, Thama, has recently surprised him with a poster featuring every single look he’d created. Besides Ava being Gardner’s inspiration, the poster with all the outfits gathered throughout the years has helped with the creation of Michael’s fashion blog and social media campaign, which is called Daddy Dressed Me by MG. MG, of course, are his initials.
It seems like an absolute guarantee that when two people are in love, one of the lovebirds is supposed to get down on one knee and ask for the other’s hand in marriage. Moreover, that person is expected to pull out a beautiful engagement ring in the process. While the following story revolved around this pivotal moment in a young couple’s life, things got a little complicated along the way. But it’s how the couple responded that took this story to another level…
Their Plans Took an Unexpected Turn
Happy couple Quinn and Ariel were ready to move onto the next stage of their beautiful relationship. It didn’t take too long before they knew they were meant to be together forever.
With that comes all of the usual rituals and traditions that one must embark on in order to express one’s commitment to each other. Quinn needed to get a ring for Ariel, but on the day this happened, things took an unexpected turn…
It Should Have Been a Normal Day
During that fateful trip to find the perfect rings for his future fiancée, Tennessee-native Quinn forked out as much money as he could to get an engagement ring so that he could propose to his beloved Ariel. He also wanted to buy a matching wedding ring, too.
Despite his best efforts, though, Quinn was met with a shocking response from none other than one of the staff members at the jewelry store he was shopping at. Thankfully, Ariel was also there and had the perfect response…
Things Used to Be So Simple
There was a time when Ariel and Quinn didn’t need to worry about what others thought about their love. When they were both just 20 years old, fate brought the two together when they ended up meeting online. Many people who meet online like to take their time and ease into things. Not these two, though.
It was just a matter of time before one thing led to another and the two would embark on the journey of a lifetime together…
They Hit it Off Instantly
After just a couple of messages were sent back and forth, Ariel and Quinn decided that they wanted to exchange numbers and hear each other’s voices. From that point onwards, it seemed like the two couldn’t stop talking to each other. They completely skipped the texting part.
According to Ariel, the two spoke on the phone for 6+ hours each day for the next two days. Shortly after this, Quinn would make the next move that escalated things even further…
He Picked Her Up the Next Day
Just two days into talking to each other, the two agreed to meet. Amazingly, even though Quinn lived quite far away from Ariel, he drove all the way to her house to pick her up and take her on their first date. It was an hour-long drive, but one that he would certainly never regret.
According to Ariel, she “wore a tacky Christmas sweater” as she stepped inside the car and embarked on a truly unforgettable first date…
Funny First Date
During that crucial first date, the two went to a local bar and ate wings! Ariel and Quinn were so comfortable in each other’s company that they even had a burping contest together!
After having so much fun at the bar, the two hopped back into Quinn’s car and went on a joy ride around the neighborhood, listening to their favorite songs and singing the night away. As soon as the date was over, Ariel knew exactly how she felt about Quinn…
Already in Love
As soon as she got out of the car and returned home, Ariel knew exactly how she felt about Quinn and how she wanted to treat things moving forward. Online, she confessed that she was already in love with him after the first date.
But, that’s not all she admitted. “If he had asked me to marry him the first time we met, I probably would have said yes,” she said.
They Wanted to Elope
Those first three months into their relationship were absolutely magical. The young couple went on many memorable dates and it was at the three-month mark that they had a huge agreement — they wanted to elope. Truth be told, they also agreed to take some more time before they made such a huge decision.
However, Ariel and Quinn couldn’t wait any longer. “I’ve never been this happy in my life and I couldn’t imagine spending it with anyone else ever,” she said.
We Don’t Have a Lot
One of the reasons that Ariel and Quinn may have decided to elope was because they didn’t necessarily have the funds to pay for a big, over-the-top wedding. “[Quinn] doesn’t have a lot. Neither of us do,” Ariel said.
“We scrape and scrape to pay bills and put food in our bellies.” This was another reason why the couple took their time before tying the knot. They wanted to save money to get married the way they always dreamed of…
They Couldn’t Wait Any Longer
After nearly two years of dating, waiting, and saving up money for the perfect wedding, Ariel and Quinn decided that they simply didn’t want to wait any longer.
They realized that they were simply postponing moving on with their lives together and they might as well just get the nuptials over and done with. It was at this point that they decided to finally elope and do what was necessary. But, where would they start?
Wasn’t Even Thinking About Rings
For so many couples, the exchanging of rings is an integral part of tying the knot and committing to each other for a lifetime of happiness. While it isn’t technically obligatory to do so, the silver, gold, or diamonds bands are synonymous with getting married nowadays.
With this said, Ariel admitted that she wasn’t even concerned with what kind of ring Quinn was going to get her. “I wasn’t even thinking about rings,” she said.
Marrying Her Best Friend
Yes, for Ariel, the exchanging of rings was something that hadn’t really even crossed her mind. For her, it went much deeper than that. When she met Quinn, she had met her best friend.
She just happened to hit the jackpot, as she was now able to kill two birds with one stone — having a best friend who she could also marry. “I just wanted to marry my best friend,” she said. But, that didn’t stop Quinn…
He Wouldn’t Have It
Even though Ariel admitted that she wasn’t fussy about what kind of ring she would get and that all she wanted was to marry her best friend, this still didn’t stop Quinn from doing what he felt needed to be done.
“But, he wouldn’t have it,” Ariel said. Quinn couldn’t stand the idea of not providing any kind of ring for his beloved Ariel when proposing to her. So, the time had finally come to find a band for his soon-to-be fiancée…
He Knew What She Wanted
Some people don’t actually know what kind of engagement or wedding band they would like to wear. But, Ariel knew exactly what ring she wanted and dreamed of having a pear-shaped set. And Quinn was well aware of her dream.
He had noticed many pictures of the set dotted around her Pinterest page and he sincerely wished he could make them her own. Truth be told, though, he was going to need to save up a lot to afford them.
Tried to Save Up
For the next few months, Quinn worked tirelessly around the clock while also refusing to spend frivolously on things he didn’t need. Quinn was determined to put some money aside each month so that he had something to spend on his fiancée-to-be.
According to Ariel, “He scraped up just enough money” so that he could afford some kind of ring that she might get excited about. But, it was where he’d buy them from and the day he bought them that turned this story on its head…
He Couldn’t Afford Them
Even after putting in tons of overtime at work and saving up a lot of money, Quinn felt defeated as he knew that he would not be able to afford the pear set that Ariel was so determined to make her own.
He felt like he had been a lousy partner and the couple was not even married yet. But, the time had come to ask for her hand in marriage and he simply needed to give her something that she might end up liking. It was time to go to Pandora…
Matching Rings from Pandora
The day had finally come for Quinn to buy the ring he was going to use to propose to Ariel. According to the young lady, she ended up with “two matching rings from Pandora. Sterling silver and CZ to be exact.”
Quinn was convinced that he had found the right rings for the love of his life. And all he needed now was Ariel’s seal of approval. But, how exactly did Ariel respond to these rings?
In Love With the Rings
Unsurprisingly, it turned out that Ariel was in love with the rings from the moment she laid her eyes on them. “I am so in love with them,” she said. She also went as far to as state that this is what sits on her ring finger now.
While it seemed like nothing could get in the way of the couple’s happiness, something would end up happening that threw a spanner in the works…
While Ariel and Quinn were purchasing the matching rings, another lady who was working at the store came over to the person who was selling the rings. At first, the couple assumed that she was simply coming to exchange pleasantries during this heartwarming occasion.
But, according to Ariel, this woman said the following — “Y’all, can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic.” It should come as no surprise how Ariel felt about this…
He Was Devastated
Initially, when the staff member of the store had said those devastating words, Quinn was absolutely distraught from it. “When she said that, I watched my now-husband’s face fall,” Ariel said. “He already felt bad because he couldn’t afford the pear-shaped set that so obviously had my heart and covered my Pinterest page.”
At that moment, Quinn was convinced that he had let his partner down and was now in a fit of desperation. He was really trying to salvage the situation…
Will You Be Happy With These?
Ariel could sense that Quinn had felt like he had screwed up. According to her, he kept asking her the following — “Are you sure you’ll be happy with these? Are you sure this is okay?” Ariel claims that Quinn was so upset at the prospect of letting her down.
He felt like because he couldn’t afford the rings she wanted, that maybe she wouldn’t marry him when everything was said and done. But then, Ariel spoke up…
If this incident had happened a few years prior, Ariel admits that she would have acted very aggressively toward the rude staff member. However, she was a little older and wiser now, and was ready to provide a mature response. She said the following — “It isn’t the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that matters.”
After dropping the mic with that awesome line, the couple bought the rings and left Pandora. But, the story was far from over…
Sharing Her Story With the World
While Ariel felt happy with the response she had given, she didn’t feel like that was enough to prove a point. She felt the need to share her story with the world and ended up writing a profound post on Facebook.
She explained everything that went down on that fateful day, including her awesome response. But, she would go on to provide a couple more powerful words of wisdom that were bound to inspire whoever read them…
No Matter What
After breaking down the events of this heartwarming story, Ariel made it clear how it didn’t matter in the slightest what kind of ring Quinn had bought for her that day. She knew long before that he was the man for her and that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.
“Y’all I would have gotten married to this man if it had been a 25¢ gumball machine ring,” she said. But, this led to a bigger conversation that went far beyond their own personal story…
What Is This Nation Coming To?
Ariel went on to lament about how low people had got when it came to the topic of engagement and wedding rings, saying the following — “When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her $3,000+ jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring?”
While she didn’t want to cut down anyone for their own experiences, she was concerned about such high expectations.
Thankfully, Ariel was also able to share some great news in her powerful Facebook post. She did confirm that she and Quinn had since tied the knot. They got married in a courthouse and now they could spend the rest of their lives together and make each other happy.
“Here I am though, courthouse married, $130 ring set, the love of my life by my side, and happier than I could ever imagine.” But, that’s not all they had a reason to be happy about…
It didn’t take long before the story was being shared by seemingly everyone and became an overnight viral sensation. So many people could relate to Ariel and Quinn’s remarkable story that they couldn’t help but like, share, and comment.
As of January 2020, the post has amassed a staggering 217k responses, has been shared 163,000 times, and has received 1.1k comments! But, it’s what people wrote in the comments section that showed just how close to home this story was…
What made the post so remarkable was that others started to share very similar stories about how their partners couldn’t necessarily afford expensive rings to propose to them. Ultimately, though, this didn’t mean much in the large scheme of things as these couples were meant to be no matter what their financial situation might be.
Others shared photos of their rings and the beautiful stories attached to them. It just goes to show how many people go through the same stories.
The following woman shared her own story that was certainly in a similar spirit to Ariel and Quinn’s. “My husband and I got a similar reaction when we got a 2-in-1 engagement/wedding ring (just a one piece) at Kay’s jewelry for under $100! Saved money that went towards our “honeymoon” and the ring is still perfect to me,” she said.
“The people that need a huge ring in order to accept a proposal are the ones that fantasize about a wedding instead of a marriage.”
Someone Proposed With Bubblegum Wrap!
Some of the stories shared in the comments section were so unique that they were bound to put a smile on Ariel and Quinn’s faces while they were on honeymoon.
One woman shared the following photo and wrote this caption — “When my husband and I were dating I told him he could propose with a bubblegum wrapper twisted up like a ring and I would still say yes. That was more than 21 years ago. Guess what sits in a ring box in our lockbox?”