Olivia and Braeden

How We Met

Braeden and I met in our neighborhood walking on the trails near our house when we were just 11 years old. I was walking with one of my friends from elementary school and we ran into this cute boy and his friend! My friend recognized him from a summer camp they both attended the previous summer and she then introduced Braeden and me! This was the summer after 5th grade. We ended up being really good friends going into the same middle school. Our middle school is 6th – 8th grade, and coincidentally we were science partners ALL THREE years of science class! We sat in the very front row and always had lots of fun doing experiments together. Throughout middle school tons of girls liked him and he ended updating a few of them. Braeden was a popular boy, haha. I always had a big crush on him because of how genuine, athletic, and smart he is. Well, he finally liked me back in 8th grade and “asked me out” with a bowl of macaroni and cheese, one of my favorite foods at the time. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever! Two weeks later we “broke up” and went back to being close friends. I guess I wasn’t ready to be a girlfriend at the time, haha. Soon enough high school came and we drifted apart during our freshman year, but I secretly still thought he was so cute and boyfriend material!! We became better friends at the beginning of our sophomore year and around Thanksgiving time is when we finally started dating! We have been together almost 6 years now, and I can honestly say he is my best friend, biggest supporter, and the most loving and thoughtful man I know. We are high school sweethearts, each other’s first kisses, and now we get to be married forever!! I cannot wait to be his wife :)

How They Asked

Braeden and I are high school sweethearts! We’ve been dating for almost six years and have known each other for about 10 years. We even dated for two weeks in 8th grade, haha! We had always been such good friends who grew up living around the corner from each other. We started dating in 10th grade before we both could drive. So, we would just walk to each other’s houses to hang out. How simple life was back then! Fast forward to the summer of 2019, the end of our junior year at The University of Texas, we’re engaged!

I am living in Austin, and Braeden is doing a summer-long internship in Dallas. I had just gotten back from doing a service project with UT athletics (I run track and cross country for UT) in Morocco for 10 days, so he planned a surprise three-part date in Austin to spend some time together before he had to leave for Dallas again. Little did I know this would include a proposal!!! First, he told me to wear something really nice and that he would pick me up for dinner. (Shout out to my best friends for helping me pick out the dress I would soon be engaged in and for taking me to get my nails done!) We first went to the Driskill Hotel, a vintage, a unique hotel in downtown Austin that has a really nice dining area. The Driskill Hotel has always caught my eye while I have been on runs downtown, so I’m super happy I finally got to see inside and taste the best crab cakes ever!! I could tell Braeden was acting more nervous than usual, so I kind of had an inkling that a proposal may happen. The second part of our date was up next. Braeden drove me to an empty parking lot near Town Lake. Town Lake, also, known as Lady Bird Lake, is a huge lake in the middle of downtown Austin with a 10-mile loop of gravel trail surrounding it! This is where I do the majority of my runs and workouts with the best team ever. Braeden knows how much I love it here, and he has also joined me on some runs…well he bikes and I run, haha. So, we got out of the car and started walking down to the trail, and I asked him what we were doing here. He then said, “Well, we both look really nice tonight, so I wanted to take some pictures of you, and maybe we can ask someone walking to take our picture together!” I started to get really suspicious and excited after this! We were walking on the boardwalk part of the trail where you can see the whole Austin skyline with the sun setting when we approached this beautiful array of flowers hung on the railings! There just so happened to be a photographer standing right in front of them. Braeden asked her, “Hey, what are these flowers for?” The photographer, whose name is Sarah and is so so amazing, said, “Oh it’s for a wedding party I’m waiting to shoot later tonight, but do y’all want me to take your picture right here?” As Sarah said, I was really thrown off and thought to myself… “Wait… they’re not for me?!” HAHA! Anyway, I was still glad to take a picture with my sweet boyfriend. I turned away to fix my hair and get ready to pose when all of a sudden I turned back around and there he was!!!

Braeden was on one knee with a ring! I gasped and was so shocked, speechless, and excited out of my mind! I even screamed YES before he asked, “Will you marry me?” It was beautiful! It turns out he had hired Sarah to capture the moment! I’m so glad he did because this is a moment I’ll never forget and the photos are priceless. Braeden ended up choosing this spot to propose to me because he knows how much I love to run here, and he loves the memories of us exercising together on the boardwalk, as well as the meaning of the city, Austin. It truly represents the beginning of our “adult life” together! We came to the same college and have been there for each other through the good and the bad. The night didn’t end just yet. After Braeden and I hugged and kissed forever after he proposed, BOTH of our families came running out of the bushes to surprise me! Braeden really had everything thought out and planned so great. We are both very close to our families, so having them there was very special to me and I am forever thankful for them driving from Houston and Beaumont to celebrate our moment together. An added surprise was that my dad was actually hiding behind another bush across the water videotaping the entire proposal, so it’s on video too!

Finally, the third part of this AMAZING date night was still yet to come! I ran back to the car with Braeden, eager to text my teammates and roommates about the news! My roommates texted back so excited and told me to rush home! I was expecting just my four roommates and Braeden’s three roommates to be at my house to celebrate, but wow that was not the case!!! I ran inside my house and opened the door to be welcomed by 25 of my closest friends and teammates. Braeden had planned all of this! He secretly made a FaceBook invite letting everyone know what was going down that night. So, apparently, everyone knew I was getting engaged 2 weeks in advance! They did a great job of keeping it a secret! My two best friends came in from College Station, and one of his best friends flew in from Nebraska! Everyone helped decorate the house and had cake and champagne waiting for us. We are so blessed with every single one of our friends and family members who made this night the best night of our lives. I’m still on cloud nine and I thank God every day that I get to marry the sweetest, most thoughtful, smartest, cutest, loving man I know! June 15, 2019, will forever be the happiest day of my life…well…I guess until the day we get married! :)

Special Thanks

 | Photographer