10/11/09 — High above the fair couple gets engaged on Ferris Wheel

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High above the fair couple gets engaged on Ferris Wheel

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 11, 2009 2:00 AM

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Stephanie Suggs points to her new engagement ring shortly after disembarking the Ferris wheel at the WayneRegional Agricultural Fair Oct. 2 where her boyfriend Austen Webber proposed.

It wasn't the ride on the Ferris wheel that left Stephanie Suggs's head spinning -- it was the proposal she had hoped for coming when she least expected it.

Ms. Suggs, 20, had not given much thought to seeing so many friends and relatives at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair on Oct. 2. Nor had she wondered why her boyfriend, Austen Webber, was wearing his zippered jacket on such a mild evening.

When the Ferris wheel stopped with their car at the top, she was looking at the brightly colored midway trying to decide what she wanted to ride next. Being seated on the side away from the midway, she failed to notice as friends and relatives began to gather below.

But she did find out why Webber had worn the zippered coat when he pulled a ring from the security of one of the pockets, though she said that before then, she had no clue Webber would propose.

"We had talked about getting married, and a few times, like when I went with his family to the mountains, I thought he was going to ask me then, so I wore all of the cutest little outfits that I could just in case," she said.

"I wore holey jeans (to the fair). He had my whole family in on it. Everybody knew but me."

Webber, though, had his reasons for waiting.

"That exact date was the (anniversary of the) first time we actually went out together five years ago," Webber said. "Her favorite ride is the Ferris wheel, and plus it is the closest thing to coming to be romantic at the fair. It is her favorite thing to do, so I couldn't think of a better place to do it.

"It is pretty amazing that she had no clue what was about to happen."

He said that the Ferris wheel car was so cramped that he couldn't get down on one knee to propose, but that was OK by Ms. Suggs.

"She was so shocked she didn't say much. She just said yes about 10 times," Webber said.

"I just I don't know. My mind was not there," she said. "I think I asked if you are being serious."

When the car came to a stop, everybody was gathered around.

"We walked around and I kept doing this (sticking her hand out) and saying, 'Hey look,'" she said.

Ms. Suggs said she has been looking wedding dresses for the past six months.

Ms. Suggs and Webber are high school sweethearts who met five years ago while students Faith Christian Academy. She is a fulltime student at East Carolina University and plans to be teacher. He is student in Wayne Community College's college transfer program and is not sure yet where wants to go.

Ms. Suggs said that their families are close.

"They are excited and are asking about dates," she said.

And while no date has been set yet, they do not plan to wait until next year's fair to be married.