Stephanie and Aaron

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How We Met

Aaron and I were both music majors at Baylor University and planning to serve on a mission trip to Malaysia during May 2014. We didn’t know each other before the trip, but apparently he had had his eye on me all semester leading up to the trip during our weekly meetings. On my end, I thought he wanted nothing to do with me, because I tried to introduce myself to him, and he hardly said a work. Later he told me that he was was just nervous around me and didn’t know what to say– typical. When we arrived in Malaysia during the trip, I noticed that he was trying to talk to me and be around me more than normal, but I was very confused, because I thought he hated me. Turns out, he’s a wonderful guy and a great listener. We had several meaningful conversations throughout the trip just learning about each other. Obviously it quickly turned into childish flirting that our fellow team members noticed, and Aaron told me a week into the trip/knowing me that he wanted to pursue a relationship with me that would last. I am so glad he took a leap of faith by telling me that, because a year and a half later and we are engaged! He truly loves me so well and respectfully.

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How He Asked

This year for Thanksgiving, Aaron and I decided that we would spend Thanksgiving Day with our respective families since we pretty much knew it would be our last Thanksgiving as single people. We made a plan for him to come to Austin, my home town, on Black Friday when we would just hang out and watch the Baylor/TCU football game (that ended up being a BIG MESS) with my family. He arrived at my house very promptly in mid-morning with Shipley’s Donuts for my whole family and wearing my favorite shirt of his (dark green button down). I asked him why he was so dressed up, to which he responded with a lunch date suggestion. We have been long distance now for 6 months, so we don’t get to go on dates often, so I thought nothing of it! I was just happy to be with him.

He suggested my favorite restaurant, Kerbey Lane, because he knows that I go there every time I’m home. We ate lunch, and LOTS of Kerbey Queso, then he asked to see more of Austin and if we could go to Zilker Park (a large open park in the middle of Austin). I told him it would be mostly closed due to the annual Trail of Lights set up, but that there were some Botanical Gardens just on the edge of the park we could go to. Turns out, he was already set up there and had been trying to get me there, so since I suggested it, I had absolutely no idea!!

Once inside the gardens, I wanted to go into the little gift shop, because it was cold and rainy and I like looking at all the pretty flowery things inside, but he kept shooing me out of there, so I obliged. As we walked down the wet path towards the garden map, I suggested the Rose Garden area, because it was open and beautiful. I even told him some story about how a friend of mine got engaged in that very spot just last summer, but he didn’t say anything. I pestered him for a while about engagement so that was nothing different either. Well, the Rose Garden was EXACTLY where he had set up camp for our special time, and I had absolutely no idea at all because, yet again, I had suggested this place.

I am also the most difficult person to surprise… If I know a surprise is coming, I WILL figure it out. Well I didn’t figure this one out…

We rounded the corner of this Rose Garden and were just looking around. We came up to this little gazebo covering, and we were trying to figure out where it came from. So we walked closer to it, and as we got closer, I saw two people standing behind some bushes under an umbrella with cameras trying to not be seen. I looked closer and realized that it was his sister and brother-in-law after about 30 seconds. Once I realized it was them, I screamed (and I mean screamed) out, “Is that Hannah and Jake?!?!” The next part just seems like a blurry movie…

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Aaron turned towards me, handed me a letter from his pocket, turned me to face the other way and told me to read the letter. Now Aaron knows how much I love letters and how well he writes them, but doesn’t do it often, so this was a treasure. As I read, it began to rain harder and the pen ink began to smudge so I tried to read fast, but my head was spinning and I wanted to know what he was doing and and and…. I “finished” the letter and turned around to find him standing there with his guitar strap on and a sweet smile on his face. He looked at me and I lost it. Tears everywhere. He did too. He began to sing my favorite Ben Rector song “I Like You” then turned the words into “I Love You.” I don’t remember this next part, but he said really sweet things about how he wanted to serve me through marriage and make a family together and grow old and live out God’s plans for our lives together. He didn’t even have to tell me that for me to know.

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He got down on one knee, pulled the box out of his rain jacket pocket (SIDE NOTE: I have NO idea how I missed the box in the pocket, so he was sly…), and I pulled my promise ring off of my left ring finger so quickly. He placed the beautiful rose gold ring on my finger and asked me to marry him. I don’t remember physically saying “yes,” but I know that I nodded a lot and screamed and cried and hugged and kissed him a lot.

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What a sweet day. To top it off, the rain came down even heavier and allowed for a beautiful picture with the rain drops down in front of us. They say rain is lucky, right? I’m one lucky girl to be marrying this wonderful man.

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Special Thanks

Jake and Hannah Allen | 
Photographers