Everything around me felt as if it was paused and it had become just the two of us standing there in the pouring rain looking into each other’s eyes.
Jeremy and I met in New Orleans, LA of all places! I had just returned from Basic Training, and was trying to adjust to civilian life again. My girlfriend and I were sitting on my bed drinking a glass of wine when she said, “Let’s go somewhere! You need to get out and have fun!” I said, “Where?” “I don’t know let’s just see where Cheaptickets.com shows us!” So, we got onto the website and New Orleans was being advertised. She said, “Let’s go to New Orleans! Let’s be spontaneous and buy tickets for Friday!” I was completely against the idea, as I had no desire to go to New Orleans because it was a party city and I wasn’t much of a drinker. But, she convinced me to buy my ticket, and had to basically drag me there when Friday came about.
When we arrived in New Orleans, we let loose and had an amazing time on our first night. During our second night in the Big Easy, we were walking down Bourbon Street when we heard two guys yell at us and throw us beads! We looked up, and there were two guys standing on their balcony telling us to come up and hang out. “No way!” I said. And Tara, my best friend, said “Come on, Erienne! We are in New Orleans! It will be fine. They are super cute! You know combat, and I can fight if need be,” haha! So, we waited for them to come down, and hung out with them that night. The two guys on this balcony, Jeremy and Paul (Jeremy’s best friend), were on vacation for his college graduation present. That night was amazing, and so much fun. The next day, I woke up very sick and received a phone call from Jeremy asking me if we wanted to hang out again. I told him no thank you, I feel very sick but thank you for such a great time. He continued to persist, and I went ahead and told him where we were staying. Jeremy showed up at our hotel with ice cream (my favorite flavor!) and some aspirin.
I started to feel better and we decided to go back out on the town. Jeremy and I really hit it off, and it was such an amazing connection we shared. I felt like I had known him my whole life. I never was one to believe in “love at first sight,” but this trip changed my views completely. That night the boys took us to a bar in the French Quarter called Lafitte’s. This bar was so romantic, and he knew all of the history that lay behind the four walls. His knowledge and intellect made me melt! We danced, laughed and talked for hours on end.
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It began to pour a hard summer rain, and he asked if I wanted to go play in it. I laughed, and thought this was amazing. So, we went outside and stood in the rain. I was standing against the 200 year old brick wall when all of a sudden, I looked him in the eyes and I cannot even explain with words to this day the feeling which came over me. Jeremy kissed me for the first time, and the world seemed to stop. Everything around me felt as if it was paused and it had become just the two of us standing there in the pouring rain looking into each other’s eyes. (This sounds like a movie, I know!)
After that kiss, the rest is basically history. I knew in that moment, I had just fallen in love. I did not go to New Orleans looking to find love, nor did I even want to, but somehow the stars aligned and I knew in the deepest part of my heart, I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life! The rest of this vacation, we continued to all hang out, and when it was time for us to part our ways we promised we would stay in contact. I went back to Columbus, Ohio and he went to California. We talked everyday nonstop like two kids for hours, sometimes calling each other four to five times a day. I just could not get enough of him, and at that time, I thought I was setting myself up for such heartache. Out of the blue, Jeremy called me and told me he wanted to be with me and why not just move to California? I laughed and said, “What?! How would this even be possible?” He told me he had his family’s blessing and they loved me and would welcome me into their home to be with him. I told my mother about this, and she supported me and told me I had to do it. She said she had never seen me happier, and why not take the chance. After all, what did I have to lose? At this time, I had been to California a few times to visit Jeremy. I called him back and said, “Ok! Let’s do this!” I got on a plane a week later, and the rest is history! I found my prince, my best friend and the love of my life!
Jeremy and I went to Ohio for Thanksgiving in 2008 to be with my family. A few months before this I had taken Jeremy to a waterfall down the street from my parents’ house. I had explained at the time to him how much this place had meant to me growing up and how I would walk down there to escape and write in my journal. This waterfall held a lot of meaning for me as this place had helped me through a lot of my young adult life and was my secret hideaway, which I was now sharing with him. The waterfall at Hayden Run was so peaceful and quiet and the best word I can use to describe it would be serendipity.
Thanksgiving is a big deal in my family as we all get dressed in our best! So, on this day I had gotten all dressed up and came down the stairs feeling great in my 4-inch heels. When I came downstairs my mom was in the kitchen cooking and said, “Could you guys run to the store for me?” She had “forgotten” something she needed for our feast. Off we went to the market to grab whatever it was she needed. After we left the store, Jeremy had asked if I would take him back to the waterfall. I laughed and said, “I am not dressed to go to the falls! I am wearing 4-inch high heels. Let’s go tomorrow.” Jeremy continued to insist that it would be fun and really wanted to go. Getting to the waterfall is not an easy task as you have to walk down a muddy slope and trek through rocks and dirt and this is not something I wanted to do in my new heels, but you only live once, and I said ok.
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Getting to the fall was a journey and was quite hilarious as I almost fell many times in the mud! To my surprise once we reached the fall, the city had built an overlook and platform right in front of the waterfall, which I had no idea about! It was stunning and beautiful and in that moment I remember closing my eyes and feeling the same peace overcome me as I use to when I was younger. There were people rock climbing, families with their dogs and children and when I looked up there were more people looking down at the waterfall from above.
I went to turn to Jeremy and as I was about to ask him what he thought he got down on one knee and pulled out this amazing ring. I was speechless and instantly tears began to fill my eyes. You see, I am not the easiest person to surprise and normally someone always fills me in on such a surprise, but this day I was completely and utterly surprised! Then he said the four words every woman dreams about, “Will you marry me?” In this moment I was happy and overjoyed and all of my dreams had come true. I said, “YES!!!!”
Before the wedding, we had been dating almost two and a half years. Unity is my favorite part about weddings. I have always been a hopeless romantic and I absolutely adore the word ‘love.’ I love sharing, giving, inspiring, and learning from others and when I think about weddings I get super gushy inside. A wedding to me is the most perfect event to be able to share such a love with all of the people who have inspired you and who have shaped you into the person you are today. I love being able to share such joy with the people I love and uniting your eternal everlasting love with the person who you will spend your days with forever.
Our wedding was inspired by our love. We are not the traditional type of people and we really wanted our wedding to feel like a celebration more than the traditional wedding one normally attends. We wanted our wedding to feel rustic and chic and different and really wanted our guests to feel as if they were walking into a Shabby Chic party!
To get on the show, we simply applied for it and I quietly prayed every night that we would get picked! I believe Jeremy and I were chosen to be on the show because of our love and our story. We had a lot of tribulations occuring during the beginning planning process of our original wedding and we were both terrified that our wedding was not going to take place, as we had lost our venue three weeks before we were supposed to say, “I do.” We had no idea how we were going to pull it off!