Southern Weddings

As you may have read a few weeks ago, I’m newly engaged! Despite what my job description might lead you to believe, I have definitely not been planning my wedding for years, and I’m still overjoyed at the fact that I get to do so now. Emily’s wedding planning series has already been invaluable to me, so I sincerely hope that having another SW gal’s wedding planning journey at your fingertips will be helpful…or, at least, fun!

Y’all already know a little bit about me, but I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my handsome fiancé, Dave, and tell you our love story, which spans three countries, five states, and four years. It’s a long one, so y’all get comfortable! Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

I graduated from the University of Texas, but before I went there, I spent my first two years of college at Franciscan University. Their study abroad program is unique in that everyone studying abroad goes together to their “satellite” campus in the Sound of Music-esque little town of Gaming, Austria. Here’s where we lived—stunning, isn’t it?

In spring 2010, I headed to Austria myself, where Dave had already spent the fall, and was spending the spring as well. He was an RA, so my very first memory of Dave was when I was randomly put into his group for an orientation meeting. We officially met about a month or so later, in the cafeteria. He sat down next to me at dinner with some mutual friends, and after asking me where I was from, we found out that one of my high school friends was one of his best friends. Side note: I went to high school in Qatar, so this was a pretty unlikely thing! A few weeks later, we hung out for the first time while on a 10-day school trip to Italy, and clicked immediately. Here’s the first picture ever of just the two of us, taken in Assisi.

As friends, we made some amazing memories in Europe, and left that semester knowing that what we had was incredibly special. But, we didn’t know what to do about it–I was all set to transfer schools right after Austria, and once we got back to the States, we didn’t keep in touch. We didn’t talk for about three years.

In that time, we both grew immensely. I realized my dream job of working for a wedding magazine and dove headfirst into pursuing that, which included starting a blog and transferring colleges again—this time to UT. He graduated, moved back to his hometown (Syracuse, NY) for his first job in finance, and started graduate school in New York City. We also both ended the relationships we had been in. I remember thinking that in my next relationship, I wanted someone who made me feel the way Dave had in Austria, but I didn’t even dare to imagine that I could end up with Dave himself.

Finally, just a little over a year ago in January 2013, I had brunch with one of my best friends from high school (who happens to be the sister of mine and Dave’s mutual friend), and mentioned to her that I’d be open to reconnecting with Dave. Little did I know, Dave had never stopped talking about me to her brother, so after our brunch, she went to tell him, and he immediately called Dave. Dave started planning what to say to me after all these years, while I, at the same time, started planning my own “casual” hello. A few days later, I drove back to Austin for my last semester of school, planning a Facebook message in my head the whole way. By the time I arrived, I was surprised to have a message from Dave already in my inbox. I sent him my number, and he called me during the Golden Globes. We talked for three hours that night, and three more the next night, and so on and so forth. He says he knew within a week of talking again that he was going to marry me.

After about a month and a half of talking constantly, we decided it was time for us to see each other and find out exactly what this was, so I flew to Syracuse. I remember standing outside the airport in the cold (it was March 1) waiting for him to pick me up, and thinking, “These are the last few moments of my life before everything changes.” And I was right! That feeling of waiting for him is what I imagine it’ll be like waiting for our first look on our wedding day, and I will never, as long as I live, forget what it was like to finally see him in person after all those years. That day, we officially started dating. Here’s one of the few pictures we took on my trip. Jumping pictures are an Austria tradition of ours. :)

Since that first visit, Dave and I have been dating long-distance—him in Syracuse and me in Austin, then Houston, and now Chapel Hill. We have gotten to know each others’ families (I even went camping with the Kirks, which is SO far out of my comfort zone!), taken some amazing adventures (spontaneously meeting up in New York City for a weekend), and even though he isn’t here yet, we’ve started to make North Carolina feel like our home. It was only fitting that he proposed in North Carolina—at the V6 launch party, no less!

Dave is my best friend in the world—he brings out the best in me and has taught me more every day what “love never fails” means. I still can’t believe that I get to marry him!!

I am so excited and honored to share our wedding planning journey with y’all, and would love to know what you’d like to hear about! We’re saying “I do” on May 2, 2015, so we have lots of time to chat about all things wedding! :)

lisa Written with love by Lisa
34 Comments
  1. avatar MacKenzie reply

    Well, I loved that! After getting the “short” version via email, it was awesome to sit with my coffee and read about your romance (with photos too!). So happy you two reconnected at the perfect time in your lives. And SO happy we’ll be part of your next adventure! xo

  2. avatar Aelish reply

    LOVE IT. so excited for this wedding! xo

  3. avatar Dana reply

    you left out the best part of the story! while in austria my beautiful family came to visit and Dave followed us on all of our travels pretending to be surprised that he crashed into us wherever we went.

  4. avatar Sarah Becker Lillard reply

    Lisa, this is the sweetest start to this blog series! Wedding planning, for me, is quite a blur (and it was less than 2 years ago!) and I know these posts will be invaluable to you as you wish to recall all the good and bad that can be planning such a huge event! So excited for you + Dave! Can’t wait for the next post. ;) xoxo

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Thank you so much, Sarah! I’m so excited to have a record of this sweet time–Dave’s grandma encouraged us to keep journals of our engagement, so we’re doing that as well! :)

  5. avatar Sara reply

    I LOVE this!!! Yay Lisa!!

  6. avatar jacin reply

    what a sweet story!!!! so happy for you!

  7. avatar Emily reply

    Love this and love y’all! It’s a beautiful story with impeccable timing. I can’t wait to read (and see!) the next chapters!

  8. avatar lena reply

    I’m so thrilled you’re going to be blogging about the planning process–and delighted to get to know more about your wonderful relationship!

  9. avatar Aimee reply

    I remember you getting up for that call during the Golden Globes and showing us all his picture once you got that Facebook message! So perfect how it all worked out. Remember, I also told you at the time, “If you guys get married, you’ll have the perfect story…”

  10. avatar Christina L. Frederick reply

    I love this! I love your story and am so happy to read a long as you share your wedding planning adventure! Sending hugs from Houston as you write this wonderful chapter! xo

  11. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    SO excited about this series, Lisa! Your wedding is going to be so lovely in every way, because you are. And Dave is quite the Southern gentleman – I can’t wait to read about how everything unfolds!

  12. avatar Sarah reply

    Lisa,
    Congratulations! I lived reading your story and am so excited you’re going to be blogging your entire planing experience :)

    Also, I love the dress you wore when you were proposed to!!! Where is it from?

    Wishing you all the best from Atlanta!
    Sarah

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Thank you so much, Sarah! The dress is from LulaKate–they made all of our dresses for the V6 launch party. Mine had the “Paige” bodice and “Sassy Stripes” skirt, and I absolutely loved it!

  13. avatar sarah tucker reply

    This made me tear up! So incredibly sweet. I am SO happy for you!! God writes the best love stories (:

  14. avatar Anastasia Kristina reply

    Lisa this is such a beautiful story! So happy for you two :)

  15. avatar Samantha reply

    So beyond happy for you, Lisa! You’re going to make such a beautiful bride and I’m excited to follow along on this sweet journey you’re stepping into! (:

  16. avatar Hannah reply

    So exciting! I love y’alls sweet story!!

  17. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    Congratulations!

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