After having to reschedule this shoot multiple times due to unpredictable East Tennessee weather, it was a joy to finally be able to spend the afternoon with Rachel and Jared while documenting this fun season of their lives! The morning of the shoot it was pouring down rain, but as soon as it let up we met downtown and these two didn't let the rain damper their excitement. As we walked around downtown Knoxville, I loved getting to know Rachel and Jared and enjoyed seeing them laugh together. It's very apparent that they are excited and overjoyed about spending their lives together!
Jared and I met through mutual friends in high school and began dating my senior year. We dated for 2 1/2 years and then we broke up. We both began dating other people pretty seriously so we didn't really talk for several years. When we were both asked to be a part of Kasey and Nick's wedding in 2010, we started seeing each other again at "wedding events". I guess you could say that is where we "reconnected" after being broken up for about 3 years. Or you could say that's where Jared realized how crazy he was for ever letting me go! Without wasting much time, I broke up with my boyfriend in a dramatic beach break up. Eventually Jared was single again also and the time we spent together began to increase. After several months of Jared "making sure he was ready" to date me again we became "official" in August of 2011. Being broken up for 4 years was the best thing that ever happened to us. Our relationship now is better than it ever was the first time and it was definitely worth the wait.
I knew I wanted to marry him the first time we dated, I just had to wait awhile for him to realize what I already knew. The second time around, I think we would both say that we knew that this thing we had was going to last forever when we went on our "first-second-date" to Soccer Taco on a Sunday afternoon. It's like we were able to pick right up after all those years.
On Friday, March 1st, Jared was texting me all day telling me that Nick needed us to help him set up a surprise for Kasey for their anniversary at the church where they got married. The details were kind of fuzzy to me, but I figured I would go along with whatever they were planning to do for Kasey. Normally after school on a Friday I would slip into yoga pants and a t-shirt, but for some reason on this day I thought I would wear "normal clothes" since there was the possibility we would be going to eat with Nick and Kasey after the surprise. I met Jared at his house and he had me drive to the church because he couldn't remember how to get there. When we got there I was asking all kinds of questions like "Where do we go?", "What do we do?" Jared acted like he knew where to go. So we go into the church and head towards the sanctuary. When Jared opened the door to the sanctuary, I knew that this was not a surprise for Kasey, but more than likely it was the moment I had been waiting for since I was 18 years old.
As soon as we started walking down the aisle the Jagged Edge song "Meet Me at the Altar" began playing and I said "Nick isn't here is he?". Jared just smiled and kept leading me down the aisle to a candle lit table with yellow rose petals (my favorite) and pictures from the first and second time we dated. I said something to him along the lines of "Is this really happening?" That's when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Obviously, I said yes and began screaming and yelling and jumping up and down! It was by far the best moment of my life.
I can't wait to have both of our families together for our wedding weekend! I only get to see my extended family a couple of times a year so I'm excited about seeing them. We both love being with family and I think having everyone there at the same time is going to be the best! Oh, I also can't wait for my free Starbucks I will get for being a bride. It's going to be the best weekend.
Being engaged is really the best. I didn't know that being engaged would make me love Jared even more than I already did. We have really enjoyed planning the details of our wedding and our life together once we are married. I think it has been helpful for me to realize that it's good to take advice from people, but don't be afraid to do what YOU want to do! For me I have ignored "wedding rules" or what I "should do" and focused on how WE want to make our day personal and special for US. One "problem" I have had is that I spend a lot of time and money buying "bride" stuff...I'm kind of obsessed with the fact that after all these years I finally get to be a bride and the future Mrs. Daugherty.