Shelby and Travis
How We Met: We first met at an orientation camp before our freshman year at Texas A&M University. Our fraternity and sorority did an on campus competition together that Fall and I went to Travis’ formal in Austin, where the group stayed at his house, that Spring. The following summer we wrote each other while Travis worked as a Christian camp counselor at Sky Ranch. That whole year we kept being drawn together time and time again without really planning it! After returning to A&M for our sophomore year, Travis asked me on several dates. Our first date was to Fuzzy’s Tacos Shop on a Wednesday evening. I became his girlfriend on November 3, 2011. When we get married, we will have been together for 3 years and 8 months!
How He Asked- by Travis: The proposal day began with the limo driving me to the George Bush library where I met the photographer. We talked about where Shelby and I were going to be and what pictures I would like him to take. He then went up by where the limo would drop Shelby off and I waited by the bench. It seemed like forever before I got the call from the photographer that the limo had arrived. I laid out rose petals on the ground by the bench and asked a stranger, whose name was Eric, to watch the bench for me and to not let anyone sit or take pictures there while I go get my soon to be fiancé.
As I walked toward the limo, Shelby got out and looked beautiful! When we met I gave her a hug and kiss, gave her a dozen white roses and told her how beautiful she looked. I can’t remember what we talked about on the way to the bench; my mind was racing and scrambling to think of what I was going to say when we got there. We were walking behind a group taking prom pictures so I asked them if we could take pictures at the bench first. We sat down and I told her how much she meant to me and how happy I was that she was mine. Then I got down on one knee and promised I would always protect, serve, provide for, and love her for the rest of my life and asked her if she would marry me. She said yes!
Shelby was so excited! She loved the ring and could hardly take her eyes off it. We prayed and thanked God for providing such a great day, for blessing us with each other, and for the support he’s put in our lives to lead us to that moment. After that we hugged and talked and enjoyed the moment. We started to walk back and ran into Eric, who had been saving the bench for me. We both thanked him. Inside the limo, we popped a bottle of champagne and drank a glass while the limo drove us back to my house, where our family and friends were waiting for us.
When we arrived, our family ran into the front yard and we all hugged before heading inside to where all of our friends were cheering. Before everyone got down to partying, I thanked them for coming and told them about the proposal and planning that led up to it. The rest of the evening we hung out with friends and took pictures and told everyone about the day. We went out to eat with our families and some close family friends at Chuy’s. After that, Shelby and I hung out at her house and talked about the day and how happy we were that we get to spend the rest of our time together.
How He Asked – by Shelby: April 11-13 was Parent’s Weekend at A&M and it had crossed my mind that it might be an ideal time for Travis to propose because both of our parents were coming into town. However, my suspicions were diminished by the fact that my good friend Caroline had gone home for her bridal portraits. On Friday evening we celebrated my dad’s 50th birthday. On Saturday the Johnson’s met us at the Aggie Mom Boutique and I came across some small wooden blocks of different buildings on campus. I contemplated buying one and at the last minute, after the Johnson’s had left, I went back and bought a wooden George Bush Library. The George Bush Library has had a special meaning to Travis and I ever since he surprised me with a date there on the day before Thanksgiving of our sophomore year. Little did I know that it was about to become even more special. :)
Travis told me he would pick me up at 4:45 on April 12th to meet our parents at Messina Hof Winery for a tour and dinner. Thinking we were on “Trav time”, I wasn’t planning on being ready until about 5:00. At 4:45 my roommate Bonner yelled back at me that my parents were here to pick me up. I thought my parents must have mistakenly thought they were supposed to pick me up instead of meeting us there. As I was walking out of the house, swinging my purse on my shoulder, I saw my roommates Amy and Emily across the street in the neighbor’s driveway with their phones pointed at me. I then saw Bonner with her camera and a long white limo behind her. I immediately knew what was happening and got tears in my eyes. The limo driver opened the door for me and I got in to find a letter from my dad inside. The letter explained how Travis had asked his blessing to make me his wife on January 3, 2014 before we had all gone to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
I knew where the limo had to be taking me to the George Bush Library. After reading the letter from my dad, I realized it was just me and the limo driver and he probably heard me crying tears of joy. I blurted out the first thing that came to mind – “I maybe should have worn more deodorant, huh?” He replied that I could turn up the fan in the back if I needed to. We went down Harvey Mitchell Parkway and turned right onto George Bush. The limo was unable to make the u-turn into the Library so we had to go down the road by the baseball field and basketball stadium. When we pulled into Reed Arena, the driver said “We are almost there”. To which I thought “You’re lost”. We eventually made it back to Bush to turn into the Library the correct way and I began shaking with excitement.
The driver opened the door, I saw Travis, and we began walking toward one another for what felt like the longest walk of my life. He had a bouquet of white roses and looked so handsome. He asked “Wanna go on a walk?” and I think I managed to nod. We walked together down a path to the pond behind the library where “our bench” is located. We were behind a group of prom kids and I guess Travis thought they might be headed to the same spot we were and asked them if we could go first. He told me not to worry because he had a stranger saving our bench. When we see the stranger, Travis nods at him and he leaves our bench, which was surrounded by white rose petals. We sat on the bench together and Travis told me so many incredibly sweet things about how much he loves me and our future together. He then moved to one knee, pulled out the ring, and asked me to marry him! I of course say YES!, kiss him, and then remember to look at the ring (which is perfect!). He put the ring on my finger, stood me up, and we hugged. I then realized a photographer was there to capture the entire thing. We walked back up the path toward the limo and passed the bench-saving stranger, Eric, who Travis introduces me to as his FIANCÉ!
We took some more pictures and got into the limo to head to Travis’ house. He told me that my mom found out about everything about 30 minutes before I did when flowers and a letter from him were delivered to her. When we pulled up to his house, the street was full of familiar cars and our families ran out of the house to greet us. After that sweet moment of celebration, we went inside to so many of our friend’s cheers. Caroline was back in town and so many of my high school friends had come in for the party. We went through a tunnel of support, hugging everyone along the way, and told the story of how it happened. We spent the rest of the evening celebrating our love and feeling overwhelmed with support.
Photography by Connor Thompson of JCT Photography