Mr. and Mrs. David Carr Lockwood III of Irmo are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Kimberlee Allen Lockwood, to John Thomas Cannon, son of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Bernard Cannon of Spartanburg.
The bride-elect, a resident of Irmo, is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Lillard Allen Jr. of Lexington; the late Nancy Starnes Allen of Cayce; and Mrs. David Carr Lockwood Jr. and the late Mr. Lockwood of Charlotte, North Carolina. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wofford College in 2012 and a master’s degree in social work and graduate certificate in drug and addiction studies from the University of South Carolina, both in 2016. She is employed with LRADAC.
The bridegroom-elect, a resident of Irmo, is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Thomas Ponder of Greer and Mrs. John Richardson Cannon and the late Mr. Cannon of Spartanburg. A 2012 graduate of Wofford College with a bachelor’s degree in finance, he is employed with First Community Bank.
The couple plans a March wedding in Irmo.
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In their own words
Q: How did you meet?
A: God began working in our lives during our freshman year at Wofford College. John remembers the day he first noticed Kimberlee walking between two freshman residence buildings on campus. At the time, Kimberlee was dating someone and did not have the slightest clue that a sweet and handsome guy from Spartanburg had his eye on her. John and Kimberlee both joined Wofford Activities Council during their freshman year. They would see each other at the weekly WAC meetings, but Kimberlee really did not have her eye on John until Spring Weekend, a large annual WAC event. Kimberlee had been praying about her future mate throughout the course of her freshman year and put her faith in God to lead her to the man that God wanted her to marry. Kimberlee noticed that John was interested in another girl during Spring Weekend, but she could not help but hope that she would have the chance to get to know John better during their time at Wofford.
During their sophomore year, Kimberlee was a WAC committee chair, and John served as a member on Kimberlee’s committee, which required more time spent planning events. Kimberlee was always impressed with John’s willingness to serve others and his genuine kindness. John somehow managed to get Kimberlee’s phone number and began texting her. On Nov. 12, 2009, Kimberlee had a bonfire and music WAC event. John helped Kimberlee keep the bonfires going by going back and forth to the Roger Milliken Science Center to get recycled papers. Before the end of the night, John asked Kimberlee to dance, and she agreed. John asked Kimberlee for a second dance, but it was time to clean up the event. John sent Kimberlee a text that evening that said something like, “Thanks for dancing with me tonight. I really enjoyed it,” to which Kimberlee responded, “Yeah, I had fun. I guess I owe you another dance.” Kimberlee knew going down to The Row that Friday night that John would be waiting on her, and sure enough, he was. John asked Kimberlee out on their first date that weekend, which consisted of dinner and watching a meteor shower. You could say the rest is history.
Q: When did you know your fiance was “the one”?
A: Kimberlee says, “I knew John was ‘the one’ the night after our first date. I even communicated this to a few friends, who at the time, thought I was a bit crazy for knowing so soon.”
John says, “I knew Kimberlee was ‘the one’ in first few months of dating.”
Q: Tell us about the proposal.
A: Kimberlee says, “I want to preference our proposal story with two comments. In graduate school, I realized that I have a skill that most social workers possess, but one that few other people do. I read people very well, which makes it insanely difficult for anyone to surprise me. Also, I am very long winded, but wanted our whole story documented so that I can remember it forever.
“John and I went to look at rings together in August 2015, just a few weeks before I started my last year of graduate school. In my mind, I knew that John would propose by Christmas and that we would be married in the summer of 2016. John and God, however, had other plans. As I began my last semester of graduate school, I was ready to marry John and reminded him of this quite frequently. You see, I knew before John and I ever officially started dating that John was the man God had placed in my life for me to marry. Fast forward six years later, and I was a bit ready to marry John. Graduation came, and John still had not proposed. I began questioning myself and God and wondering if John was not ready to marry me, even though he would tell me otherwise. I prayed for God to give me patience, peace and contentment in where our relationship was.
“A few weeks after graduation, I planned to get together with my best childhood friend, Amy, for a day. Amy was scheduled to be in South Carolina from Washington, D.C., for a family wedding. I could not wait to have a chance to catch up. The week before Amy came to Columbia, she informed me that she would be staying an extra week to help her parents get their house ready to sell. I thought this was odd but brushed it off, excited to have a full day with Amy instead of a quick bite to eat. The week Amy flew into town was also the week before I was to start my first job as a social worker. My mom suggested that I get my nails redone so they looked good for my first day of work the next week. This was my first clue that something was up. I never keep my nails manicured and found this suggestion silly, but I obliged and went to get my nails done. After all, Mom was paying. For my second clue, in the middle of the week, I suggested to John that he needed to get his hair cut soon. To my surprise, John got his hair cut during lunch the next day. John getting his hair cut during lunch was not abnormal, but how quickly he got his hair cut after I commented was unusual. Also, while talking to my mom on the phone one day that week, she asked what my plans were for the weekend. I told her that Amy and I were having a ‘best friends day,’ and we were probably going to Spartanburg to walk around Converse College (where Amy went to school) and have lunch. Mom commented and said, ‘Ohhhh.’ I can still hear the pitch in her voice, which was my third clue that something was up. All week long, I kept telling myself that there was no way John was going to propose on Saturday; after all, it was best friends day, but a big piece of me hoped that he would propose and that I was not going crazy reading too much into all of the ‘clues.’ On Friday of that week, I came home to my dad pressure-washing the deck, which was my fourth clue that something was up. I had always told John that I would love a get-together with family and a few friends after the proposal, and I knew when I saw my dad pressure-washing that he had to be doing it for a reason, even though he denied having a particular reason when I asked him.
“That Friday night, I texted Amy to see what she was wearing for our ‘best friend day,’ and she told me she would be wearing a sundress because she had been sweaty and dirty all week cleaning up the house and needed to feel like a lady. This honestly did not throw me off, as this is something Amy would totally say and want to do. I will say, when picking out my outfit for Saturday on Friday night, I made sure to think of something that would photograph well in the event that John did decide to propose. See? It really is hard to surprise me. Amy also gave me the option of going to Charleston or Spartanburg, but being Memorial Day weekend, I chose Spartanburg. Amy insisted on driving to Spartanburg, and so I reluctantly let her. Before leaving Columbia, we talked to my mom for a little while, drove around our old high school, and I got her lost trying to take her a back way to the interstate. Not once did I see Amy check the time, or seem like we were pressed for time. I remember thinking, ‘Well, there is no way John is going to propose if we are not on some type of schedule.’ On the way to Spartanburg, we discussed lunch options, and I threw out the idea of going to Converse Deli, where John and I had our first date. I mentioned to Amy that this is where we had our first date and that I had not eaten there since. We easily decided to go eat lunch there. As we drove into downtown Spartanburg, Amy asked me various questions about John proposing and when I thought he would, and if I thought he would, etc. It was all I could do to not say, ‘Well, I was really hoping it would be today,’ but I did not because I did not want to ruin best friends day. Amy and I enjoyed a great lunch at Converse Deli and took a stroll around Converse College afterward. We had planned to go to Wofford to walk around after Converse, and as we were pulling out of Converse, Amy offered me a piece of gum. This was my fifth clue that something may be up. As we pulled into Wofford, Amy commented about wanting to go see ‘a garden on campus,’ to which I replied, ‘Oh yeah, Martha’s Garden.’ Martha’s Garden was almost right next to where we parked, but I insisted that we walk all the way around campus to see the new Greek houses and how awful the back of the senior Phase V living space looked. Little did I know I was putting myself in danger of seeing John waiting in Martha’s Garden to propose. John told me he was washing dishes about this time, which I thought was strange, because this was not an activity that John does on Saturdays. Anyways, as we approached Phase V, I saw Amy pull out her phone and start texting. I thought to myself, ‘She is either texting Ross (her husband) or John,’ secretly hoping it would be John. As we rounded the corner between Wightman and Lesene, the two junior residence halls, my heart began to beat faster. I really wanted John to be at Martha’s Garden. I was excited to see that he was and quickly gave Amy my purse and my sunglasses and went to go see my Prince Charming.
“I obviously knew what was about to happen and hugged John and enjoyed a few moments of telling him how much I loved him. John then told me he wanted to sing me a song. I practically melted right then and there. You see, for over SIX years, all I have wanted is for John to sing to me. He always told me he would sing to me ‘one day,’ and I am so glad that the first day he chose to sing to me was the day he proposed. John sang ‘Shine Through the Stars’ by Chasen, a Christian band. John had me tearing up with his sweet voice and the lyrics he sang to me as he held my hands. John got down on one knee after telling me how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and asked me to marry him. I said, ‘YES!’ John had a good friend and photographer, Rebecca Butcher, there to capture it all. Our parents, my brother (who drove up from Savannah during exam week), and our dog, Milli, were also there hiding behind a building. It was super sweet and special to have my best friend and our families there to witness such a special time in our lives. I also loved having Rebecca there to photograph the engagement since I had talked to her many times about John proposing.
“I rode back to Columbia with Amy as she kept talking to her family about eating dinner in Sumter. I was a little bummed because I was hoping John would have planned something with our families. When we drove down our street and I did not see any cars, I knew there was no way our families were at the house to celebrate. I was a bit confused as to why my dad would have pressure-washed the deck the day before, but just focused on the fact that I was engaged to my Prince Charming. We walked in the house, and I heard my dad say, ‘Hey Kimberlee, come in here.’ About the same time, I saw several glasses out on the counter and walked into the room with our families and a few friends waiting to surprise us and celebrate our engagement. It was such a sweet and special end to the day. For someone who is very hard to surprise, John sure did a good job surprising me with an awesome get-together with our family and friends.
“John spent so much time and effort planning the perfect proposal, and it was 100 percent worth the six-and-a-half-year wait.”
John says, “I asked Kimberlee’s father for his blessing to marry his daughter in July 2015. Even though I felt confident in what his response would be, I nevertheless was very nervous about meeting him at The Gourmet Shop in Columbia for lunch. I do not remember what he or I ate that day, but I do remember that he said yes. Thankfully, Kimberlee said yes as well, but I will get to that soon.
“Kimberlee and I went to Polly’s Fine Jewelry, owned by one of Kimberlee’s mother’s best friends and her husband, in Charleston in August to find Kimberlee’s ring. Kimberlee always told me that if I were ever to propose, she would love a ring from Mrs. Polly, so getting a ring from Mrs. Polly is what I wanted to do. After trying on many beautiful rings, Kimberlee found the one she loved most.
“Although I was ready to propose to Kimberlee when I purchased her ring, I wanted to wait until what appeared to be the perfect time. I knew there was no such thing as a perfect time, but since Kimberlee was still in graduate school, I thought that proposing in the middle of the semester was not the best idea. Thus, I waited until after she completed earning her degree. Kimberlee was definitely ready to be engaged when she finished graduate school. Kimberlee did not know that I had already planned when and where I was going to propose. I had been working with Kimberlee’s father for months to schedule a time when some of her family and friends would be able to attend a little after-proposal celebration. I also wanted her best friend, Amy Donohue, to be my partner in crime to try to help throw her off. I also asked Rebecca Butcher, one of Kimberlee’s good friends and photography buddy, to be our photographer. We finally determined that Saturday, May 28, 2016, would be our special day.
“I decided that I would sing to Kimberlee since she had often asked for me to sing to her. Because I feel awkward singing to anyone impromptu, without music, I always told Kimberlee that now was not a good time but that one day, I would. The song I chose to sing is titled ‘Shine Through the Stars’ by Chasen. It was on a CD that I had owned since high school. When I first thought about what song I wanted to sing, this song remained stuck in my head, even though I could not remember the name of the song or the band that played it. I only remembered that the song would be perfect to sing to Kimberlee for such a meaningful event in our lives. The song talks about forgiveness and love. It also expresses the admiration I have for Kimberlee and the wonderful person she is.
“On the day I proposed, Kimberlee kept texting me to ask me what I was doing throughout the day, so I told her that I was cleaning up around my apartment and washing dishes. In reality, I was getting ready, trying to make myself look as nice as possible, and driving up to Wofford College in Spartanburg to surprise Kimberlee. After waiting a while for Kimberlee and Amy to find me in Martha’s Garden, Kimberlee walked up to me, I sang, expressed to her how much I loved her, and took a knee. The rest, as they say, is history.”