Risa and Austin

How we met

It was summer of 2015. After watching me spend most of the summer nights on the couch with my dog, my roommate began to feel sorry for me and invited me to go to uptown Charlotte with his best friend and her boyfriend. To his surprise, I agreed. I am the type of girl that takes all of two hours to get ready to go out, an hour of it might be spent dancing around, and pulling out every piece of clothing from my closet, but it is not until that 120th minute is up that I am finally put together. About an hour into my transformation rituals, the doorbell rings, but I was too busy singing some Beyonce to even hear it. My roommate lets his friends in, and offered them a beer, but since I was too busy getting my jam on, I failed to realize anyone had entered our apartment. With that being said, I wrapped a towel around myself and opened my bedroom door. Well there he was, looking like a greek god, and his eyes met mine and mine met his, and I think, I just about shut that bedroom door as fast as I opened it. When I finally could piece together an outfit that was picture ready, I attempted to open my bedroom door again. We introduced ourselves to each other, and as soon as I could get my roommate alone I asked “Who is that? He is so hot.” My roommate answered as if I hadn’t already introduced myself to tan, dark haired, Disney-looking prince charming. “That’s Austin.”

Well what do you know? Word got out that I was interested. So I did what every girl does, I acted like I wasn’t. Austin, has since confessed to me, that I was actually convincing. But it didn’t stop him from getting my number… from my roommate that is, and I couldn’t be happier that he did.

How he asked

Austin is truly one-of-a-kind, he doesn’t need an anniversary to buy me flowers, he doesn’t need something to apologize for to leave me an “I love you note.” He is just that dreamy. Some way, some how, some where between working full-time and going to school full-time he picked out the most exquisite engagement ring, and I might be a little bias, but the word exquisite is an understatement. Aside from keeping it locked up, literally, so that I would not come across it, he started planning the most elegant picture-perfect, (pun-intended) photo-shoot, I mean engagement there ever was.

A month before the engagement I got a phone call from Austin’s sister, Samantha. Samantha asked if Austin and I would be willing to partake in a photoshoot for SunShower Photography because the photographer needed some last minute models willing to do a romantic shoot. Since I had been waiting for my claim to fame, it was without hesitation I agreed. When I rushed home to tell Austin he seemed hesitant, playing the shy card (which had been all a part of his plan.) As the day of the photoshoot grew near, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I think my friends may have gotten sick of hearing about it. Prior to the photoshoot, I was given instruction to make sure my nails matched the color scheme of the photoshoot, and to be at hair and makeup on time!

When the day of the photoshoot finally arrived, Samantha offered to be my chauffeur and take me to hair and make-up, all which was pre-arranged. I truly felt like a model with everyone catering to me. When we got to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, Austin was already dressed his Dolce and Gabbana Suit, that Sunshower Photography had picked out for him, so I quickly slipped into my first dress. Holding a bouquet, I was instructed to pose romantically with Austin, and so I did. Before I knew it, it was time for an outfit change, and disappoint, it did not. The skirt was fitting for a princess, and since this is my fairytale, I think I can consider myself that on this special day. I met Austin back out in the garden, where we posed for some more romantic shots. Since this was my first time modeling, my movements were far from flawless and my train had to be straightened more than once.

On one special occasion Samantha assisted the photographer with my train, and just as I thought I had mastered the shot, I was instructed to face Austin. There are no words to describe what I felt, as I turned to face my prince, and he got down on one knee.

I was so surprised that their was almost a lack of reaction, not because I wanted to scream “YES,” but because I thought it might be part of the photoshoot, and therefore I didn’t want to overreact if this fairytale was merely that. So I did what any surprised wannabe model would do.. I stood there. After moments passed, and Austin’s strong smile grew soft, I whispered, “Wait is this real or a part of the photoshoot?” To which he replied… “I love you baby”

And just unlike any other ‘model’ would do in an overwhelming moment, I cried. I cried like a baby. Bless the photographer, somehow she made this ugly cryer look like a trained professional.

However, the fake/real photoshoot had to go on. So as we made our way posing in between the tears and laughter throughout the garden, we came across another pre-meditated, pre-arranged setup which included calligraphy on both glass pieces, and parchment, a bottle of champagne, and hand-made conversation heart cookies which asked, “Will You Marry Me?” and because Austin knew he had this in the bag, of course there was another cookie which read, “Yes.”

special thanks

Photographer: Sunshower Photography
Reception Vendor: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Design and Decor: BHLDN
Floral Designer: Bookout Blooms
Event Designer: Carefully Curated
Event Designer: Charlotte Brides
Hair Stylist: Mirror Bomb Studio
Calligrapher: Ocean & Coral Calligraphy
PR Rep: OFD Consulting LLC
Cake Designer: Sky’s The Limit Bridal Sweets
Other: Slumpys