Abby and David
How We Met
When I sit back and look at my first encounter with David I have to shake my head at its irony. It was 2004 and I had just moved back from France and started high school in Georgia. It was the first day of freshman orientation and David Byrd and I were put in the same homeroom due to our last names. They called our names one by one to hand out welcome packets and I don’t remember anything from that first day except what I was wearing, where I was sitting, and the boy named, “Byrd.” I heard that name being called and thought, that’s an usual name and chuckled to myself a little bit. ( I don’t live this down EVER with David now).
He says the joke is on me because it will soon be my name! But, that was it. I was a quiet band kid with a close group of friends and David Byrd was a popular, outgoing, athletic student who everyone knew as, “Byrd”. We ran in different social circles and graduated high school without ever having said one word to each other. Our homeroom class and teacher was the photography department and I am now a professional wedding photographer and David helps me run the business.
November 2009, during my second year of college, David wish me a Happy Birthday on Facebook. That year, for the first time, I decided to thank everyone individually for wishing me a Happy Birthday. This turned into a private message between the two of us making small talk and David leaving his phone number. Before, I knew it I was meeting up with him to take a ride on his motorcycle. Smooth, right? Totally worked on me, because my first impression of David was that he was adventurous. Total match up for me and my love of travel and adventure! The next date, we went bowling, but didn’t want to call it night yet so we stayed out and talked in my car until the sun came up. After a couple of months, David surprised me with the chance to travel back to my hometown in Paris, France, Four months in and we traveled to France and Spain, learning so much about each other.
I showed him around my old town in Paris and shared a piece of my life that I usually only get to share in pictures. I kept thinking, I can’t believe I’m here with “Byrd.” No way in high school did I think the two of us would one day travel Europe together! I had told David that I would be leaving for a year to study abroad, But, that didn’t matter to him. Only 6 months of dating, and I took off to England and we worked at our relationship with an ocean between us. The year I left, David was already in the process of transferring colleges and it just so happen to be the one I was attending In Georgia. But, I left to study in England for one year and he came into the University of North Georgia for his first year. Although when I got back, we were able to attend and finish school at the University of North Georgia together!
By the time I had returned from England, our relationship had been longer apart than together, but we worked really hard an ocean apart and I knew during that time that he was the one! His dad works for Delta (how perfect was that?), so he came to visit me a few times. We were able to some of England together, Italy and Croatia! As I mentioned, when I first met David, I noticed right away that this was a guy who was exciting and spontaneous. And it is those kind of qualities in him that have pulled out the greatest parts of myself. One of my favorite examples of this is our cliff jumping experience in Croatia. It was a huge jump for me! Literally. I would have stood back and been part of the audience….too afraid to do it. David took my hand and led me to the top of those cliffs, gave me about a ten minute pep talk, and jumped off with me. It felt amazing to have accomplished that! I wouldn’t have done it without him! So much of that moment relates to our relationship and the way he pushes me to be the best version of myself.
How He Asked
The whole proposal felt like something out of a movie and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world that he would organize something this spectacular, just for me. Shelby, my best friend, has been around to witness absolutely everything for David and me since the very beginning. So, being the caring best friend that she is, she took me to get my nails done for my birthday. Such a great cover up. David surprised me and said he would be taking me out that night. He told me to dress nice, bring a small camera and that’s it. We drive off that evening and I’m in the car making guesses about where we are headed. Then, we pull into an airport and he says, surprise! We’re going on a helicopter ride! WOW! I had come up with some guesses in my head but NEVER this one! Shelby told me to have a drink for her because she is at home folding laundry and getting ready for the week. Of course, I texted Shelby about this surprise and told her how shocked I was!
And then, who walks into the airport?! Shelby and Brandon! Again, I am SO surprised! Shelby walked in and said, we wouldn’t miss your birthday! So, the four of us jump into the helicopter and take a tour of the city, which was amazing. The views were fantastic, the sights were stunning, and I am in la la land taking a bunch of pictures. We start to approach the top of a building. I’m looking around shocked yet again because I couldn’t believe we were landing, I was not expecting that AT ALL. We are escorted out of the helicopter onto a helipad of the W Hotel Downtown with the city lights twinkling below and all around us.
David hands me a letter that says, “I love us” on the front. This letter contained the original “Happy Birthday” Facebook post from 2009. He said, “Seven years ago, I said the two best words of my life. I said, Happy Birthday to you! Little did I know what that would turn into. We’ve traveled the world, tried new adventures together, and even have our own hashtag #BreauxByrd! These seven years have been filled with amazing memories and I hope to continue them! So, let me now say the four best words of my life! P.S. They say that a friendship that last years will last a lifetime!”
He got down on one knee and asked those four words, I got so excited that I said yes and hugged him tight before bothering to put the ring on!
Then, he slipped that beautiful ring on my left hand and I couldn’t stop staring at it. I LOVE my ring so much.
Not only was this proposal an adventure and absolutely breathtaking, but his letter, and what he said was so heartfelt because it was our beginning, our love story, coming full circle to a moment that would lead to our forever.
AND out of nowhere, sneaky Allison Pedigo (my friend and a very talented photographer) and her husband, Rock pop up and had been photographing the entire thing. I LOVE our photos and it takes me back to a moment I wish I could live in forever! David organized for a photographer to be there AND had the entire thing video tapped as well. I will always cherish those memories.
And the fact that he got Shelby and Brandon to be there too….that was really special since I had witnessed Shelby’s engagement as well.
We jumped back into the helicopter and flew over the city at night. Although, I kept staring at the ring! We landed and headed to dinner where five of our closets friends were waiting to surprise me with a birthday party. They surprised me, but they were the ones who were ultimately surprised because they had no idea about the proposal. I flashed my left hand and everyone threw up their hands like it was a football touchdown and the neighboring table joined in on the “Congratulations” too! Our friends reactions were the best and saved a lot of phone calls! :) Shelby even arranged for my friends, Natalie and Kat, to be on Skype from London when we entered the restaurant so they were “there” too which was really special to me.
Last surprise of the evening, David already had bags packed and took me back to the “W” Hotel for a getaway that night. The hotel had a card, champagne and strawberries waiting for us.
My fiancé (still feels strange to say that!) and my best friend really went above and beyond and I feel so blessed!
After we shared the news with friends and family, my mom made the greatest post about me dressing up as Princess Jasmine A LOT when I was younger. She related my love of travel and wonderful new heights to Jasmine and Aladdin’s infamous carpet ride to “A Whole New World.” Regarding the proposal, she said, “There WAS that magic carpet ride after all. So, David being the prince that he is, made sure Abby’s birthday celebration was of the storybook kind. You know…every turn a surprise, unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings. And Oh! The ring, shinning, shimmering, splendid!” She continued on with the lyrics from the song and I had not thought about it this way before. She shinned a whole new light on this proposal and that meant SO much to me.