Stefanie and Nathan

awHow we met: I first spotted Nathan our freshman year of high school in gym class. That’s where our story begins. He didn’t notice me, of course, but I vividly remember having serious googly eyes over him. I don’t think Nathan acknowledged my existence until about three years later and by that point I was kind of  “over him” (so I tell myself). We graduated from high school in 2011 and up until then we had never really hung out but we had been around each other a few times during senior just because of mutual friends but by God’s strategic design we both ended up at Auburn University for college in the fall of 2011.

A few weeks into our freshman year of college I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. Hopeful that it might be some random person telling me I had won the lottery, I answered it. I didn’t win the lottery but that call started something much more precious than a lump sum of money. It was Nathan on the other end of the phone telling me that the lions at the zoo back in our hometown just had cubs and that I might want to go take some pictures of them  (Back story: I am a photographer and I love animals so I just thought this was the sweetest thing.) He then proceeded to ask me to lunch in which I replied that I had already eaten  but that I would be in touch and we could get together later on in the week. Long story short: I never got back in touch with him.

But he kept pursuing me.

Nathan somehow found his way over to my apartment with a few of our mutual friends a couple of weeks later and all I remember is falling in love with him all over again like I did in 9th grade gym class. Cheesy I know, but love is cheesy. We started dating a couple of weeks later.

One of our favorite things to do is to set up a tripod and take pictures together. It’s such a fun way to spend time together while making memories that will literally last forever.

adorable engagement photos

How he asked: Nathan and I had been dating about 3.5 years and from the beginning of our relationship and  we knew that one day, Lord willing, we would step into marriage together. We knew that dating was not just something we wanted to check off our list but instead something we wanted to pursue whole heartily. Of course, we had set backs, problems and doubts throughout our dating- all of that is inevitable- but the one thing Nathan and I focused intently on from day one was the word “commitment” we knew what that word meant according to webster dictionary but actually living out the word’s intent according to The Word of God was something entirely different. It challenged us to the core and that is the one thing I am the most thankful for looking back through the past three years of our relationship.

December 28, 2014 Nathan asked me out on a date to Carabba’s Italian restaurant. He picked me up around 5:30 and off we went. Of course, it crossed my mind that today could be the day but knowing how Nathan is I knew he would never be able to eat a meal before proposing so I shrugged the thought off and just enjoyed the night. We had the most delicious food and the fastest service. Looking back, there were several signs I should have picked up on that he was nervous- he had un upset stomach that he blamed on the fish he ordered and he was not all there half of the time we were eating (shaky hands and all).

Nathan Stefanie-Nathan Stefanie-0031After some pitstops, that I later found out was just a way to stall the night, we got back to his house. We chatted with his mom who was innocently making scarves in the living room and then Nathan asked me if I would go downstairs to pick out a movie for us to take back to my house to watch. Not suspecting a thing, I headed down the stairs. As I turned the corner our friend, Grant, was at the end of the room with his camera and I froze because I knew. It was the craziest feeling to know the moment you have been praying and believing for was right around the corner..literally.

I made my way down the stairs, to the end of the room, and around the corner only to see Nathan standing tall and grinning ear to ear. It was surreal. There were roses- tons of roses-, twinkle lights and pictures of us everywhere. He grabbed my hands said some really sweet things and asked me to be his wife.

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Of course I said yes. Cue the googly eyes. We are getting married!

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Photos by Grant Benton