Museum unique setting for marriage proposal

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

RIPLEY – For all girls who dream of receiving a romantic proposal when they meet their own Prince Charming, Brian L. Jones of Chalybeate set the bar high in his surprise proposal to Kayla Watson of Baldwyn.
On Jan. 5, Jones took Watson on a special outing to the Tippah County Historical Museum where he had set the stage.
“I told her I wanted to go to the museum and just look around,” Jones said. “Finally she decided she would just go with me, but didn’t understand why she had to dress up.”
Jones had made careful preparation with museum volunteer Johnny Wilbanks, who was happy to witness events unfold.
“I thought about it for a while, trying to figure out something she wouldn’t expect, and this just came to me,” Jones said. “I talked with them at the museum and they were willing to let me do it there. I had been there before but she had not.”
Jones, 29, is owner of his own logging business, and Watson, 24, is a first grade teacher at Joyner Elementary School in Tupelo.
“I had the ring set up like a display, with a little writing there with it,” Jones said. “We started through and went room to room. We got to where it was on display and that’s when she noticed. It was kind of like an exhibit and I had a little description written. It said, ‘History was made at the museum,’ with the date and her and my names. Then I proposed to her.”
Only the couple and museum volunteers were there, but like anyone with exciting news, Watson could hardly wait to share it.
“I told my mom right after it happened, put it on Facebook with all my friends and started calling and texting my friends,” Watson said. “They loved it.”
Jones and Watson have dated for several years, so they’ve certainly talked about marriage. In fact, Watson had already planned what she wanted in fairly thorough detail, and they’ve set a date: Feb 23.
“The proposal was a complete surprise, but I kind of had an idea of exactly what I wanted,” she said. “I pretty much had it planned and just needed the room. It’s probably going to be a small-scale wedding, no bridesmaids or groomsmen, just family and friends. In fact, already have the dress now.”
Her colors of teal blue, green and burlap are a good fit for the wedding location at the main lodge at Tishomingo State Park.
“We like it and that’s why we decided to marry there,” Jones said. “I think we’re going to go to the Peabody in Memphis and then to the Smoky Mountains – Gatlinburg.”
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com