How did you two meet?
I had just moved back to Texas from Nashville, TN where I had been living since graduating college. I was missing my Tennessee life, but was happy to be closer to family. I had been back two months and my friend since middle school ( Kevin- our best man), invited me to a Super Bowl party. I brought my mother’s world famous cola cake ( ok maybe not world famous but DAMN GOOD). Kevin and Tyler had become really good friends while I was living in Tennessee, but I have never heard of him or met him. Tyler told me he was an Aggie, a bridge engineer and living in Austin. He also teasingly told me he hated my cake…. So at this point he has two strikes- Aggie grad and dissing my mom’s cake! He and I talked about all the cool places for him to check out in Austin and that was that. I went home and life continued. However, I told my friends, “I met this guy I could see myself with… you know someone like him, not him though. “ Fast forward a couple months , he and I became fast friends and according to Snapchat we were best friends. So you know something is brewing when Snapchat gets involved. The magic really started to happen when I had an extra ticket to the Spurs Finals 1 game against the Heat in 2014, the one where the AC went out. I had exhausted all my options of who to invite, no one wanted to pay, so as a last last last resort I offered to Tyler. He JUMPED on it and came the game with me, my mom and her boyfriend. Our love of the Spurs, specifically Kawhi, solidified our connection. My transition back to Texas was not easy, but God had a bigger plan for me and I couldn’t be more thankful to Him for bringing Tyler into my life.
How did you choose your engagement locations? Why those locations?
Even though we are getting in San Antonio (my hometown), we live and fell in love in Austin. Our favorite summer (maybe year round in this Texas heat) is Bull Creek. We love to take our energetic dog there, hike, and float in the water. We had BIG plans to have an awesome shoot at the creek, but Texas decided to have a downpour the day of our engagements. Great! Texts all day between Jackie, Tyler and I, we had to audible to an option with better coverage and less flooding. Jackie found some funky cool spots on the East side of Austin. Her go with the flow attitude, rubbed off on us high strung people ( he’s an engineer and I’m in ICU nurse- hello type A) and we couldn’t be happier. We are in the city where we fell in love with each other, so does it even really matter if we are in front of a blue wall or on the trail? I think not
How long is your engagement?
Who proposed? How?
From Tyler: I proposed on April 16th. Like all days we plan to be outside, it rained all day and week leading up to the proposal. I got a bed and breakfast in Fredericksburg for the weekend and told Rachel we should go hike Enchanted Rock and then drive on to spend some time with her family (That way she would pack a bag for the weekend). The morning of the proposal I woke up and was immediately showered and ready to go. I convinced Rachel that the rain would let up and we could still enjoy our hike. On the drive out it was raining pretty steadily but since we were already on the way I said we may as well at least see the conditions when we get there. Upon our arrival the park rangers informed us of the upper trails being closed, so I had to change my entire plan to propose at the "scenic overlook" on the outer trail. While we were waiting to buy our pass into the park, Rachel noticed that I wasn't hugging her or holding her at all. This was due to a combination of nerves, and not wanting her to feel the ring box in my pocket. I told her that I had to pee to throw her off my scent. After getting our pass it was onto the trail. Halfway to the overlook we encountered a group of 20-30 elementary school students. My heart sank. I grabbed Rachel's hand and we scooted around them at record speeds to avoid them crowding the overlook when we got there. Right as we got to the overlook we were in a tiny dumb argument over whether certain movies we like were actually good, or we just watched for the leading male/female characters. I said to Rachel, "I'm going to need you to drop this right now". Of course she didn't and so I turned it into the intro to my proposal. "Rachel, the reason I need you to drop this is because I have something much more important to say.... (I would go into my speech but I think after this I kind of froze up and got on a knee and before I could even say Will you marry me, she cut me off and said Yes!). The hike back to the car was awesome even though it was pouring rain. We called all of our family and friends, and enjoyed a great night in Fredericksburg before heading to SA and catching a Spurs game with our friends.
How he/she pick your engagement ring?
From Tyler: I knew what Rachel wanted in a ring. Thin gold band, diamonds on the sides and a shiny rock on top. I had the picture in my head of what she wanted and spent a lot of time at several different jewelry stores trying to find the perfect one. I Finally found the perfect band, but it was only on display in silver. I had to trust that it was going to look good in gold, but the size was perfect and it had a low setting for the diamond which is great for Rachel because she is a nurse and always working with kids. I ordered the band and moved on to picking out the perfect diamond. I looked a lot of different options based on size/clarity/cut and eventually chose the one that had the best cut and clarity. It made the ring shine beautifully when the light hit it. Her reaction when she saw the ring was worth all of the effort.
How did you choose your wedding date? What is your Venue? How did you choose it?
We didn't want a long engagement, we are ready to get this thing started! Tyler said he doesn't want a fall wedding...Why not, fall is beautiful?! Right, my thoughts exactly. Well, this is Texas, and football season is in the fall. So he said we simply could not have a wedding then, all our friends would be on their phones checking scores ( he probably means the groom too- Aggies are diehard. ) I probably would have agreed with him if Texas football was relevant…. Hook em! So we agreed on the Spring, March felt like the right month and March 4th is the only day of the year that is also a command! We are getting married at Zaza Gardens in San Antonio. I grew up in SA and he's a military brat and family was stationed there. We wanted one place for ceremony and reception in one spot to make things easier on our guests. Zaza has all the elements we love, outdoor ceremony site with a garden feel and indoor exposed brick- we love it!
What are you most excited about for your wedding day?
From Tyler: 1st place, finally getting to see Rachel in her dress. 2nd place, the mini chocolate chip cookies. From Rachel: The moment we are announced husband and wife. I'm so ready to be his wife!
What have you learned with planning that you'd like to share with other brides?
I would say, do what you want. You can easily go down a black hole of wedding stuff, but the truth of it is, its YOUR day. There is no must do and must have on one of the biggest days of your lives. So do what makes you happy and fits your personalities. Make it personal and let go of all the expectations. Easier said than done, but that mindset helped me!