Nicole June Reporting
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Love can often take a couple to new heights. For 25-year-old Clarksvillians Clifton Smith and Rachel Weakley, the phrase has more of a literal meaning.
Clifton and Rachel met as 8-year-old kids on the same baseball team. They lost touch as they grew older, until about two and a half years ago when Clifton’s aunt, who attends church with Rachel’s family, insisted the two meet. From that moment on, their romance blossomed.
Several weeks ago, Clifton began conspiring with his parents to create the perfect way to propose to Rachel, who is a speech pathologist for the school system. After tossing around several ideas, he landed on the most exciting plan.
He contacted Pilot David Chapman, who graciously agreed to help Clifton with the proposal. Clifton, who recently received his masters in sustainability, told Rachel they would be taking a plane ride over the farmlands of Middle Tennessee as research, and she agreed to accompany him. “She fell for it hook, line, and sinker,” Clifton said.
He collected white bed sheets from all over town and painstakingly cut them into 15 ft. tall letters. Rachel’s father mowed a heart into the grass around the letters as an extra special touch.
As the two soared over the landscape, they approached Rachel’s family farm, and as she peered out the window, she noticed the words “Will you marry me?” spelled out in white in the field, surrounded by a heart. The couple’s families were in the field, waving to them. When she turned to stare at Clifton, he had the ring ready for her.
And of course she said yes.
“If you told me ten years ago I would be proposed to in a plane, I would have never believed it,” Rachel said.
When Pilot Chapman landed the plane, a photographer was ready at the airport to capture the once-in-a-lifetime moment.
For Clifton, the effort paid off in the end. “She’s pretty swift herself, so keeping the wool over her eyes was a challenge, but just seeing the excitement on her
face made it worth it.”
They have not yet set a date, but are hoping to plan an early spring wedding. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Photos courtesy of Alison Weakley Photography