Julianne and Kyle

Image 1 of Julianne and Kyle

How We Met

Our story began in the fall of 2013. In the fall of 2013 I was starting my first semester of graduate school in Georgia and Kyle was playing football in college in Virginia when we first met. I had a family friend from my hometown in Georgia who recently transferred to Hampden-Sydney College (HSC) where Kyle was a student and playing football. My friend, Nash, has never met a stranger and was great at keeping in touch even when things were busy. When football season kicked off, Nash told me I needed to ride up to Virginia with his parents one weekend and come to a football game. I kept putting him off and saying something vague about how it would be fun and I’d look into a weekend to come visit, but I never did. As the semester went on, Nash kept asking me to come visit and he eventually he told that he had a roommate that he thought I would really hit it off with I listened to him, and appreciated him trying to set me up with someone, but I felt overwhelmingly busy with work and school and so I kept putting off making the trip. I was not interested in spending a weekend driving 9 hours (one way) to Virginia or starting a long distance romance. One day, Nash Facetimed me with Kyle. We all chatted for a while and I remember being struck by how Kyle seemed so genuinely kind and funny Kyle was. Kyle asked for my number and we began talking. I finally agreed to visit just in time for the last home football game of the season. 0

Image 2 of Julianne and Kyle

Image 3 of Julianne and Kyle

I could tell he was serious about me after just knowing me for a few days. I, on the other hand, was very hesitant about the whole thing. I was definitely attracted to him and I adored his personality, but the odds just seemed too much for us to really make anything of the one weekend meeting. But Kyle didn’t let it stop after that weekend. He kept pursing and insisting that things would work out in the long run even if they felt impossible at the time. I felt as though I was straddling a fine line trying to decide to either pursue a relationship with Kyle or let the mounting odds that were stacked against us rule in the decision of “this isn’t going to work”. It just seemed too far-fetched – 500 miles separated us and he was a student athlete, busy every other weekend, and I had just started my master’s program for speech-language pathology and was overwhelmed with school and work. After 2 months of talking and a couple visits over Christmas break. I was pretty smitten. I remember the day that I told Kyle that I was all in – that I was picking a side and going with it. We were willing to give the long distance try even though it seemed so impossible. Over the next three years, he reminded me every day that it would all be worth it one day.

Image 4 of Julianne and Kyle

Image 5 of Julianne and Kyle

how they asked

(Fast-forward three years of long distance dating – daily texts, weekly Skype dates, monthly weekend visits) In January 2017 our long distance finally ended. After we graduated, we moved to Greenville, SC to start life in the same town (exactly half way between both of our families). Ending long distance is heaven – we had grown and challenged ourselves as a couple so much over the years of long distance. We felt unstoppable and everything was so perfect being able to see each other after work, spontaneous date nights, hanging out with friends together. After a few months of being in the same town, Kyle told me he wanted to plan a trip to Wyoming. He had grown up spending Christmas breaks at his grandfather’s house there and it is his favorite place in the world. We decided to go together over the 4th of July holiday and spend the week together fishing, hiking, and touring around. It was nothing out of the usual for us.

Whenever we talked about getting engaged or married, we said that we would want to wait a few years to get acclimated to the working-world and get our feet on the ground. Kyle even made a comment on the way to Wyoming abut how nervous he would be when he asked my dad to marry me one day- so I had NO idea what was coming. We spent the second day of our trip hiking at the Grand Teton National park. We had some plans during the week, but we decided to just make some sandwiches (which we ended picking up at subway) and have a picnic that night when we came back from the hike. Kyle is just sweet in nature and loves to plan special trips, so I didn’t think anything of his request for a picnic (we have actually never gone on a picnic together so I was excited it was our first!). As I was getting ready, Kyle made a comment about how he was planning to wear jeans and a pol, and I was surprised because I was just planning to wear a t-shirt and leggings – but he said he wanted us to take some pictures with his camera so to put on something “sorta cute” so I threw on a outfit and we packed up our subway sandwiches and rode up a mountain behind his grandfather’s house.

Image 6 of Julianne and Kyle

We set up our picnic and began to talk and watch the sunset with some of our music on the playlist on in the background – still; all of this thoughtfulness was nothing out of the ordinary to me. Halfway through dinner, he looked at me and said “Do you remember what I gave you our first valentines together?” and I told him of course! He had given me a wooden box that was filled with 50 notes of things he loved about me. In the bottom of the box, he had placed a note that said, “To be continued…” He reached into his pocket and said, “Well, here are a few more things to add to the box.”

Image 7 of Julianne and Kyle

He handed me 9 cards and I stood there crying because of the sweetness of it all. After I finished reading the last note he said, “Oh wait, here’s one more” – it said, “Because you said ‘yes’” and Kyle got down on one knee – it was the most shocking and amazing surprise! We sat on the mountain overlooking his grandfather’s house and called our parents and told them the news.

Image 8 of Julianne and Kyle

Image 9 of Julianne and Kyle

Kyle also told me he had arranged a photographer to meet up with us later during the week to take our engagement pictures in Wyoming- something we have talked about doing for several years! We sat on the mountain talking and laughing and trying to remember every detail of that moment. The most beautiful sunset lit up the sky that night. It was more than I ever could have dreamed of!

Image 10 of Julianne and Kyle

Image 11 of Julianne and Kyle

Image 12 of Julianne and Kyle

Special Thanks

Tony Cross
 | Photographer