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! :)