Lauren and Tanner

How we met: Tanner and I met at Ball State University’s Fan Jam. Fan Jam is an annual event held at Schueman Stadium that is open to the public so everyone can meet and get the autographs of the players on the football and volleyball teams. Tanner was there as a senior on Ball State’s football team, working on his MBA, and I was there as the only new freshman on the volleyball team. Tanner’s dad was actually the one who suggested to him that they go “check out the new talent” on the volleyball team (Tanner’s dad was not referring to skills ha). Tanner and his dad came over to the volleyball table and got my autograph. We talked about our mutual love for the Chicago Bears and our mutual hatred of the other’s favorite Chicago baseball team (he is a Cubs fan and I am a Sox fan).

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A few months after meeting at Fan Jam, Tanner decided to ask me to be his girlfriend. Tanner and his friends showed up to my volleyball game right as the pre-game warm ups were ending. Tanner and his friends were each holding a sign (pictured below). Tanner’s sign said “Be My Girlfriend” (as well as “Nice Ace” ha). During our player introductions we got to throw mini volleyballs into the crowd. I wrote “Yes” on my mini volleyball and threw it right to Tanner. :)

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How he asked: It was an ordinary Friday night. Tanner and I were going downtown for dinner at our favorite restaurant, St. Elmo Steakhouse. We loved to sit up in the 1933 Lounge to have our favorite infused whisky drinks. Except that day when we ordered our drinks, we didn’t get whisky. The waitress brought back flutes of champagne. As Tanner followed her into the other room to “tell her she brought us the wrong drinks”, I sat there oblivious to everything happening on the other side of the wall.

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When Tanner walked back around, he was putting on a suit jacket and telling me we needed to change seats. Still not realizing what was going on, I questioned why we had to move seats. Once I stood up, I realized we were surrounded by our closest friends and family. I looked over my shoulder and made eye contact with my dad’s tear-filled eyes, and it was at that moment I knew what was happening.

As I looked back at Tanner, he told me I was his best pal. He got down on one knee, and everything else he said was a magical blur.

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We were able to celebrate our engagement with everyone in a private dinner room, and picked out bottles of wine to open on our first anniversary.

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That was the beginning of forever.

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Friday October 10th 2014

A little over a year later, Tanner and I had the most perfect wedding day. We got married in a beautiful church surrounded by all of our friends and family, and had our reception at Union Station in Indianapolis. Everything turned out so perfect. I wish I could re-live that day over and over.

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The day of the wedding was all a blur until we did our first look. Tanner had surprise after surprise planned for me all day, but he was saving the best surprise for last. After a very emotional first look, Tanner handed me a thick book. The book was filled with emails he had been sending to an email address he created for us. He created the email address about two years before our wedding, and wrote in it almost every day. He wrote about the good, the bad, the funny, the sad, and made sure to end each email telling me how he couldn’t wait to see me when I got home. It is now my most treasured possession.

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Photos by: Molly Connor