Mallory and Tyler

How We Met

Breakaway Camp of 2011 was the year I first laid eyes on my red head dream boat. From the beginning of the week to the end, I did my best to look as good as I could at all times, and try to nonchalantly run into my future husband. Great thing to focus on at church camp right? Ha. At the end of the week, they have an award they give away called Mr. & Miss Lake Williamson. Where a boy and girl who get into the games the most and are good leaders for the younger students get rewarded. Dream Boat and I were both nominated and won! We stood up in front of the whole camp to get our certificate and picture taken together. He was even more handsome up close. And even though I felt like I could marry him right then and there and runaway with him to the Sahara Desert for all it mattered, he didn’t notice me until two years later.

Image 1 of Mallory and Tyler

I started my Freshman year at Evangel University in the fall of 2013. During the first week of the school year there’s a contest for anyone who attends the University called EU’s Got Talent. I decided to go with all the girls on my floor because the majority of them had friends who were performing. After I heard a crazy pianist, a boy band looking rap group, and a few other interesting performances, I was pretty sold on who I was going to vote for. But then out of nowhere, my red headed tall drink of water from two years ago walked on stage. Hello fate. He sat down and played the cello, kick drum, and sang. (Told you he was a dream boat). Even though he killed his performance, and looked good doing so, I didn’t vote for him because part of me felt like he knew how good he was and after all, I didn’t want my future husband to get a big head . After the contest was over, they announced Dream Boat the obvious winner. That was the night I learned his name was Tyler.

A couple of months later I went to a jazz orchestra concert with a good friend of mine on my floor. When we got to the concert hall, we met up with a group of her friends to sit with. After introductions, since I didn’t know any of them, we moved passed to sit in the open seats and in the same friend group and same row as us was Dream Boat! Oops, we know his name now. Tyler. Sitting in the same row as us was Tyler! And there were a couple of open seats literally right. next. to. him. After we scooted and squished our way down the aisle to the open seats, I sat right next to Tyler, and introduced myself. You better dog gone believe my heart was pounding. I tried to be as normal as possible, took some silly pictures before the concert with my friend to let him know I was fun. I grooved a little bit when the orchestra was playing to let him know I appreciated good music. But after awhile, those subtle hints weren’t doing anything. So I decided to just stop trying. To put this much effort into having a guy notice me was just crazy. The concert was just about halfway done when I dropped my program and it ended up right under Tyler’s seat. I was so nervous to tap him on the shoulder to ask if he could hand it to me, so I did my best to slide my leg under his seat and get it myself without him noticing. Ha. That didn’t work. I was just about halfway on the ground when he decided to get it for me himself, offer a smile, and finished watching the concert. It ended up being the most awkward encounter I think I ever had with another person. That was the night he added me on Facebook.

At Evangel we had chapel days. At a certain time on these designated days we went to the chapel, worshiped, listened to a sermon, then would go to our next class. But on this specific Friday, Tyler and his team lead worship. It was glorious. Everyone really responded during this chapel, not because everyone thought he was handsome as well, but because God was working through him in his worship. After service I felt refueled and unbelievably confident to talk to him, so I tried to find him. But even though Evangel is a small school, I couldn’t find him in the pool of students. So I did what any other millennial would do in the 21st century, I sent him a message on Facebook. That one message started it all.

I went back home to Chicago that weekend for fall break, and Tyler and I talked and talked and talked. When I finally got back to campus, we decided we should probably actually meet in person. Having a relationship over Facebook is a little too 21st century for us. When we hung out, we decided to hanging out in one of the practice rooms in the music hall. We both sing and love music, so we thought it would be the perfect place to spend a little time just in case things were a little awkward. Ha. Awkward wasn’t a word we used or will ever use describing that night. We hung out for 8 hours just doing different things on campus and talking about our lives and every time we hung out after that just seemed to get better and better. We’ve been through a handful of adventures since then. Missions trips to Africa and Thailand, a handful of long drives to wherever our heart desires, a church plant in the city, and now a lifetime of ugly cries and silly laughs. All because of our first 8 hour hangout.

Image 2 of Mallory and Tyler

how they asked

Tyler and I have been together for a little over 2 years and I still call him my dream boat. One of our very first dates was spent with a couple who are close friends to ours at the Steinberg Skating Rink at Forest Park in St. Louis. I am the world’s worst skater, and can’t move an inch without putting the majority of my weight on Tyler, so we just skated very slowly. I can’t say skating is my first choice of activity since I’m so terrible, and every part of my body aches for countless days after. But because it was our first “real date”, it still holds a special place in my heart. About a month ago, Tyler and I decided to go ice skating again with the same friends in honor of our 2 year anniversary of dating. Little did I know that he was going to ask me to be Mrs. Dream Boat. After a handful of laps, I was starting to get a little tired, but before we got off Tyler led me to the middle of the rink and pulled me around so I could face him, but when doing so I fell straight on my back. Told you I wasn’t a very good skater. It was in that moment when I realized what was happening. After pulling me up I tried to talk him out of proposing to me on the ice. I kept saying how he should take me on the normal ground and ask because as soon as he got down on his knee I would fall again. But he didn’t. Instead the words he said were, “Don’t ruin it.” and then he began his mushy speech he spent a long amount of time preparing. To be honest, I don’t remember any of it. I don’t even think I told him yes.

Image 3 of Mallory and Tyler

After the hugs and incredibly ugly crying, he pointed over to some of our close friends, and amazing photographers, who were incognito and were photographing the whole thing. They were there to take our engagement photos right after, so we did just that and boy did they turn out DREAMY. Once those we were done with Super Model Documentary Hour, we headed back to his house where he had a bunch of our friends and family from St. Louis and from back home waiting to surprise me. We spent the rest of the night crying, laughing, playing games, and ringing in the new year. The perfect start for 2016.

Image 4 of Mallory and Tyler

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Special Thanks

Charis Rowland
 | Engagement Shoot
Shane Co.
 | Ring