Savannah and Brady

How We Met

I had been attending Redeemer Presbyterian Church, PCA, in Florence, Al for about 4 years since I moved there to go to college. I had just begun grad school and started helping with the kids program on Sunday nights. That summer, Brady had providentially been spending time with some young men from the church and got involved with the kids program as well. We became friends and began leading worship together around November (which is wild to me because I am not musically inclined, but I thought hey it’s just for the kids right?). Brady was cute and funny, but he was younger, so I quickly dismissed any thoughts of potential romance. But by February, he was inviting me to hang out with a group on Sunday nights, where he was unknowingly impressing me with his dreams, goals, humor, and heart. I tried to ignore the excitement of new butterflies in my stomach.

On March 2, he asked me via a group text of friends he knew would say “no” to attend a John Mayer concert in Tuscaloosa at the end of April. (His sister says that he hoped that would be a first date opportunity). Opening for Mayer, was this amazing local band called St. Paul and the Broken Bones, who we stumbled upon in Florence mid March. When I saw that they had a show in Birmingham during spring break, I suggested that we go. While anticipating our two events on the calendar, he asked me, ever so cooly, if I would be interested in antiquing and lunch together. I love antiques so this was a dream! We ended up spending all day together to the point of a second meal so he got me dinner too. It was the most fun day of my life as I enjoyed sharing a hobby with this very intriguing friend.

Two days later was our trip to Birmingham. He had asked me so many questions about my life, my hobbies, my heart, and my dreams. The concert was awesome and on our drive home, Brady told me that he really liked who I was, enjoyed being with me, and wanted to pursue me for marriage and to be on the same team for life. I was delighted and humbled and we haven’t been apart since March 29th. The John Mayer concert was our next road trip and it concluded with our first kiss. He continued to ask me big questions as he pursued my heart and by May we felt affirmed in our desire to marry.

Its important to note that in July I entered a random Facebook contest about ‘your love’ hosted by a friend from my freshmen year of college who I hadn’t seen since and who was an up-and-coming local photographer. The contest was for a ‘styled shoot/date night in’ complete with dinner. I told her of this charming man whom I adored and I actually won the contest! She had great ideas and we began planning this themed couples shoot at a darling friend’s lake house, complete with my love of teacups and his passion for cigars. (I just didn’t know some of her inspirations came from secret lunch planning’s with Brady, since he acted indifferent). We envisioned a tea party with a masculine touch followed by a wardrobe change and trip to antique shop for some photos.

Teacups&Cigars // a proposal story

How He Asked

By October, we had finished several weeks of pre-engagement counseling with our pastor and his wife-which I highly recommend getting to know an experienced couple who love each other enough to tell you how Godly marriage is and why it’s both hard and worth it. Anyway, I knew that a proposal was near (probably the holidays) and was working on being patient. Brady assured me daily that he loved me and had been casually asking me for months about what kind of rings I liked, to note that he was shopping around, although hadn’t found the perfect one. (Lies! It was in his pocket since August…)

It’s a good thing I’m not a career detective, because the whole of October 28, I was clueless Claire. As I was getting my hair and face on with the artist, Brady was out in the crisp, fall air setting the stage with Jessica, including a wall of ribbons dangling from trees, nestling dainty teacups and our tea-table on the dock. Apparently this is also where he grew anxious about dropping the Vera Wang ring he treasured for months.

The moment had come, and I joined them outside for some cute shots and then Jessica took some individual photos. His first with a cigar, and mine next with a teaspoon “How perfect!” I could tell that there was engraved lettering and I was anxious and thrilled to learn its words. When finally she instructed me to turn the spoon over, I almost forgot English. I was so astonished and thankful to see “Savannah, will you marry me?” etched forever in the curve. I spun around to see my, now, groom on one knee with a shiny beauty in his hand. I screamed and cried and finally declared yes to this man, my best friend.

Teacups&Cigars // a proposal story
Teacups&Cigars // a proposal story Teacups&Cigars // a proposal story Teacups&Cigars // a proposal story Teacups&Cigars // a proposal story

Jessica told me these were my surprise engagement photos. We gazed into grateful, adoring eyes for hours at the lake and then at the antique shop and then over our intimate dinner (and dessert!) together as the day’s forever promise sank in. It became the best day of my life. I am so thankful to the divine Lord above who gives us grace and love to teach us about His goodness and I am thrilled to share this life as Mrs. Brady Liles.

Teacups&Cigars // a proposal story

Special Thanks

Jessica McCravy Studios | PHOTOGRAPHER
 Venue Decor | PERSONALIZED TEACUP AND SAUCER
Upcycled Love Letters | PROPOSAL SPOON
Slice At A Time | CAKE
The Transformation | HAIR AND MAKE-UP
 Lauren Fowler Design | MENU CARDS
The Chef Next Door | PREPARED MEAL

Special Thanks

Jessica McCravy Studios
Photographer