Y’all, this is a good week for me–the Southern Weddings blog has been full of Austin love! First, we had Jamie and Blake‘s fabulous backyard wedding earlier this week, and now, we’re delighted to share this adorable engagement session by Love, The Nelsons and Rhiannon of Hey Gorgeous Events. Since Rhiannon is based in Michigan, she planned a trip to the Lone Star State to surprise her Texas bride and groom, Sara and Austin, at their engagement session, complete with a mock-up of Sara’s beautiful bouquet. The only thing sweeter than this couple’s faces when they saw Rhiannon is their darling engagement session that followed!
From Rhiannon: I knew I’d eventually need to make a trip down South before Sara and Austin’s September 2014 wedding. The couple was expecting me to do so this upcoming spring, but I wanted to make the journey a bit sweeter, and ended up booking a surprise flight from Michigan to Texas to visit them in November. It just so happens that one of my closest industry friends, Shalyn Nelson, is the couple’s photographer, so the two of us worked together to make sure Sara wouldn’t suspect a thing! I also arranged to make her bouquet mock-up, attend a cake tasting, and be at the engagement session, so Sara could feel good about us being a team in person at least once during this exciting planning process. The moment when Sara and Austin turned around at the start of the session to see me standing there with Shay and her husband Drew (the creatives behind Love, The Nelsons) will forever be in my heart!
From Sara: For spring break of my junior year in college (March 2008), my two best friends from high school and I decided we needed a low-key, no-stress, no-drama, no-boys kind of spring break. On about day three in Jamaica, my friend Britani made friends with a few older women at the pool bar. They eventually got around to explaining that they were chaperones for a high school senior trip, and insisted that we meet the boys they were with—-Austin being one of them. Austin’s version is from a slightly different vantage point–he swears he saw us down in the pool talking with the chaperones from the balcony and thought to himself, “That girl (me) is so pretty.”
There was an instant chemistry between Austin and I. We spent the next few days laughing, talking, enjoying each other’s company, and getting to know one another. When it was time for me to head home, we promised we would keep in contact. The night I left Jamaica, I spent three hours in a hotel in Arizona during my layover on my Blackberry Pearl, searching for him on Facebook (mind you, this was before Facebook was optimized as an app, so it wasn’t easy with that little trackball and a 1G data connection!). Once I found him, we exchanged phone numbers and starting talking and texting everyday. Since I left Jamaica, not one day has gone by that we haven’t talked.
The face-to-face communication was a different story—-all the odds were stacked against us. We were 3,000 miles apart–I was in Colorado and he was in South Carolina, I was college, he was in high school. But we were determined to make it work. We didn’t see each other again until July, when I convinced my parents to let me tag along on a visit to our house in Tennessee, and Austin convinced his parents to let him drive four hours to see a girl he (according to them) barely knew. It was on that trip that we both knew that we were in love, and despite the fact that we were facing an uphill battle, we wanted to be together.
Austin and I have almost always been in complete opposite stages in our lives, which has made our road very interesting, and at times, trying. But, our journey is also what makes this time in our life right now, the one where we are finally on the EXACT same page, so much sweeter. We are so excited about the life ahead of us and so ready to make all our dreams come true together!
I love every single shot, and how special that they had these to look at during his deployment. Beautiful photographs are such a gift!