I put on my cheerleading uniform, tied my white tennis shoes, fluffed my ponytail and slicked on my shiniest lip gloss. I was ready! He was definitely going to be there tonight. I had heard about him from mutual friends for weeks on end. My 16-year old imagination had idealized this upcoming moment and replayed a thousand different scenarios. Maybe it would be love at first sight? Maybe he would ask me out on a date right then and there! The only problem was…I didn’t know what he looked like (and they refused to tell me)!
It was the start of basketball season and we were playing our rival high school at home. I had my dad drop me off early to scope out the other team hoping I would know who he was when I saw him. I watched them practice drills and darted my eyes around the court hoping my heart would alert me. I scanned and scanned. Nothing. No butterflies in my stomach. No heart palpitations. Nothing like I had imagined.
The rest of the girls arrived and we got in line to cheer on our team. I stood there feeling very confused. My friends had promised he would be there and they were smiling and waving at me from the stands. For weeks, they had filled my heart with endless excitement. They had rattled on about his achievements at his school, his sportsmanship and his overall good looks. It was enough to make you daydream right through Algebra II.
“You’ll know it the moment you see him!” “Y’all are meant to be!” “You guys are going to get married!”
The announcer boomed over the speaker and prepared to announce the starting line-up. Rival team up first. He whirred through their names and positions and then began to read the final name, the team captain. The world hit pause as a 17-year-old boy ran out onto the court. His wavy charcoal black hair matched perfectly with his beautiful smile. It was him. He was there! (He had been in the locker room…)
On June 15, 2013, that handsome boy and I were married in Austin, TX… nine and a half years after we first met on that special day. I was no longer standing in front of the teenager I fell in love with at a high school gymnasium, but a wonderful, kind-hearted man. We were high school sweethearts, dated through college, moved to a new city, bought a house and rescued three beautiful dogs. When you write your life out like that, it appears to be an ideal timeline of the natural progression of life and love. Those major occasions are the plotted points on the graph of life. However, in between the big moments, you find the true nitty gritty of any relationship; the real reason why people fall in love and stay in love. It’s in the tiniest of memories, the smallest inside jokes and the quickest of glances across a crowded room. Those are the details that serve as the glue between two people. Dating for nearly a decade isn’t always a cake walk. There are joyous years and hard years, happy months and sad months, weeks spent making memories and weeks spent alone, memorable days and ones that are difficult to look back on. No love story was ever successful because both people did everything right. The success lies in the promise that a future as one is brighter than a lifetime apart. It’s in the glue.
The day I walked down the aisle to the person I have now enjoyed 11 years of life with, I was wearing a Blush by Hayley Paige style from Now and Forever Boutique in Houston, TX. (Thanks, Vo!) It was the third dress I tried on and I decided it was the one before I even stepped out of the dressing room. I chose it because I wanted to be comfortable and look natural on my wedding day. I wanted to dance and twirl and hug and kiss every person there. The dress was meant for me, like it had been designed just for my memories. I didn’t need to scan the room. I didn’t need my friends to tell me all about it. It was there…ready and waiting to be mine.
Wedding Photographer: Clayton Austin
Makeup: Make-up by Marie-Lynn (Austin, TX)