Lauren and Dusty

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How We Met

Dusty and I have a story that begins at The University of Alabama through a philanthropy called Dance Marathon, or UADM. On a spring day in 2013, the organization was filming a promotional video for UADM while dressed in silly clothes and dancing around the student center, and that’s when we first met.

Dusty was there dressed in American flag shorts, a UNC basketball jersey, and high top sneakers. His eye found me, dressed in a pink tutu and bunny ears, and apparently had to know more about me. He asked around and finally approached me to introduce himself. I didn’t really know anyone there, and was happy for the attention, but only saw him as a friendly face. We got to talking, and he was really interested, but I had a boyfriend at the time.

Flash forward to the middle of that summer, when Dusty’s fraternity was having a rush party at the lake. My roommate and I decided to go, since so many of our friends were in the same fraternity. One of the first people I saw when I got there was Dusty, and we spent the entire day floating in the lake and catching up on each others’ summers. After having heard I broke up with my last boyfriend, Dusty was excited for the prospect of more with me. Alas, at the end of the day he found out I was already off the market.

Finally, the next spring when things with UADM were getting busy again, we were finally both single. With long nights of planning and meetings, we ended up getting close again and this time, we kept in close contact.

One night, he asked me to hang out, and even though I was supposed to meet a different guy on a blind date, I blew him off to spend time with Dusty. As we spent more and more time together, we realized how much we actually enjoyed each other’s company. Finally, at the end of March, at one of his fraternity’s parties he asked me to go on a date, and from there, things just fell into place.

How He Asked

Dusty and I had been together long enough to both know that we were looking for something serious. After being together for a while, we both knew that each other was “the one,” as sappy as that sounds.

I had an idea that he was going to propose during the summer. He knew I wanted a summer wedding, and we were both ready to start a life together, but I had no idea of a specific timeline.

At the end of June, when Dusty had a three week break from school, I was so excited to spend time with him. He scheduled a couples massage and manicures/pedicures for the two of us the weekend he was back, but did it under the ruse that he needed a weekend of pampering after his stressful exams.

Friday, while I was at work, he told her me was having lunch with his dad, when actually he was at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens with three of my best friends (and future bridesmaids), scoping out the best place for a proposal. We then spent the next two days being pampered, and I still didn’t have any clue of what was coming.

That Sunday was Father’s Day, but Dusty wanted to spend the day together just the two of us, so I called my dad and wished him a happy day, and hoped to celebrate with him later. Dust told me he had a surprise for me and to dress in something cute. Of course I agonized over what to wear, but he was patient, and finally we left for the gardens.

When we arrived, I started getting suspicious, and it really hit when there was a wedding going on as we walked in. Dusty’s opening line was anything but subtle, “So, speaking of weddings….”

At that point, I was so excited and giddy that I don’t remember much of what he said, just that it was touching and I loved every second of it. We walked through the gardens as he poured his heart out to me and finally stopped under a gazebo.

He got down on one knee and asked. I said yes! And then two of my best friends popped out of the trees and bushes with cameras, having perfectly captured the moment.

As we left, and I tried to call my parents with the exciting news, Dusty insisted I call them later. While I was upset, I was just so happy to be marrying my best friend. As a newly engaged couple, along with my two friends, we left for dinner, where yet another surprise was waiting. Both of our parents, along with more of our friends at the restaurant with love and congratulations!

It could not have been more of a perfect day, and it will be one that we both will remember forever, along with our forthcoming wedding day. Dusty and I are so grateful for everyone who loves us and supports us each and every day, especially on that day.

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