Jessica and Tucker
How We Met
Easter egg hunts and sing Easter egg hunts and sing a longs!
Tuck and I have a pretty unique story. When my mom became pregnant with me in 1991, my grandparents were living in California. She didn’t want them to be the type of grandparents who visit twice a year. So, she begged my papa to relocate closer to us in Virginia. The closest they could transfer was Batesburg, South Carolina. That’s where they met Tuck’s grandparents! Not long after, his grandparents bought a campground In Saluda and mine followed them there. I’m so thankful that our grandparents remained friends. Spending time in South Carolina with Tuck and our families is one of my favorite childhood memories! There were endless days spent on pontoon boats, jet skis, playing in the baby pool, and having awesome meals at the store. Yoo-hoo’s and popsicles were a regular treat!
We spent every Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day together! Easter Sunday was always spent at the campground and going to church together. His Nana’s Easter meal was a definite highlight! Our mom’s used to sit with us at the pool and joke about how they knew that someday they would be related. Tuck and I joke that they arranged it for us! Through middle school, we didn’t really get to see each other. I was playing travel volleyball and he was super active in boy scouts so that took up a lot of weekends.
We went about three years without seeing each other until I was in 8th grade and he was in 9th. One day, as my mom and grandmother were talking on the phone, I got some unexpected news. To everyone’s delight, Tucker would be at the river for Easter (2005) weekend for the first time in quite a few years. That phone call was absolutely ridiculous. All I kept hearing was how excited she was that we would get to see each other and how cute he was. I rolled my eyes repeatedly. That’s all I heard nonstop for two months. Apparently, his nana had been doing the exact same thing. Well let me tell you, Easter weekend when I gazed into those perfect baby blue eyes my heart stopped. Somehow, I knew right then that he was it, even if I did not totally realize exactly what that meant at the time. Exactly one year later he kissed me for the first time and that’s where our story really picks up. We spent high school becoming best friends again and sharing so much. After high school, he attended Clemson University and I attended Presbyterian College a little over an hour away. His uncle was the pastor at First Presbyterian Church and had been recruiting me to PC since I was little. Both he and his wife are PC alumni! Tuck and I had a blast tailgating and living it up in college. High school and college brought a lot of ups, downs, and bumps in the road. We dated other people at various times but always made a way back to each other through it all. After graduating in 2013, I pursued my M.A. in Northern Virginia and he started his career in Arkansas. After two years, many trips, and lots of Facetime chats, we finally decided it was time! I moved out to Arkansas and we started a big new adventure together!
How He Asked
I have known every day for the last ten years that Tuck was the one for me. Even through some super rough times, I always had faith. I never believed I’d ever look down the aisle and walk to anyone but him. Despite all that, nothing really prepares you for a proposal. I’m still an emotional disaster (in a great way of course). One thing that I really believe in is having the ring and proposal be solely up to the guy. He is my best friend and knows me better than anyone so whatever he planned would be perfect. I wanted the how, where, and when to be 100% up to him. We had talked timelines and knew that it would happen at some point but I didn’t want to contribute to the details. He started planning in the fall of 2015 and asked my dad’s permission at Thanksgiving. At Christmas, his Nana gave him the ring. All of this is overwhelmingly amazing to me because I’m a very sentimental and family oriented person. The fact that his Nana wanted me to have a ring that means so much to all of us is so humbling. Her friendship with my grandmother is the reason I have Tuck and their family in my life. Also around that time, Tuck suggested that instead of birthday presents we take a trip somewhere. Since our birthdays are 5 days apart and right after Christmas I was in love with the idea! Since we are so close to Louisiana and New Orleans is on my bucket list, that’s what we went with! Initially, we were going to visit the first week of March. However, Jazz Fest announced the Red Hot Chili Peppers as a headliner in April and we both excitedly (although extending the stress for him) decided to push back the trip! They’re my all-time favorite! As the weekend approached, Tuck suggested that we have a tour of the St. Louis Cathedral and spend our first day dressed up and enjoying the city. He even got me the watermelon dress I’d been wanting! As we walked around Jackson Square, I was in love with the beauty of the cathedral. I turned around by the fountain to throw my arms around him and tell him how happy I was. He looked back at me nervously and told me he had to ask me a question. I totally lost it! He got down on one knee and told me some of the most beautiful and wonderful words ever spoken to another human. I kept asking him if this was really happening in between crying my eyes out. I said yes and all but tackled him and smothered him in kisses. He finally broke away to ask if he could finally put the ring on me. I hadn’t even seen it because while he was asking me to marry him I couldn’t take my eyes away from his! Then he informed me that the ring was from his Nana. I lost it again. Then he pointed out the photographer. I lost it yet again. So much crying and smiling at the same time! Originally, we were supposed to go to the New Orleans Museum of Art afterward (when I didn’t know what was going on). Clearly, I was not in the mental state to handle that. Instead, we went and celebrated on Bourbon Street! Calling all of our loved ones who have been waiting on this moment our whole lives was so overwhelming. Their love and support is just so incredible! It was all such a whirlwind. We were crying, shaking, and smiling so much! I’m so thankful for all the thought and consideration he put into that moment! It was so selfless and loving! We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating and enjoying all the fun of New Orleans. I legit cried seeing the RHCP. Jazz Fest was an incredible way to celebrate such a huge moment in our 25 year story and the rest of forever! April 22nd, 2016 was the best day of my life and we’re looking forward to getting married Spring 2017!