Rachel and Christian

Image 1 of Rachel and Christian

How We Met

Christian and I met…unconventionally, to say the least. When I was a senior in high school counting the days until I began school at the University of Texas at Austin, my friend Zach told me about his good (and handsomely tall) friend who was in his first year of college at UT. After hearing stories about his kindness, sense of humor, and love for God, I was sold. The next few months consisted of me trying to get him to notice me via social media, but to no avail. I pestered Zach to get us into contact, but as high school boys do, he kept saying he would without following through. Time passed and I ended up in Austin for the weekend of my 18th birthday with three of my best friends. We joked that we’d see him on the streets of the city, but with a population of almost a million, chances were slim and I knew it wasn’t happening. That Sunday, we unsuspectingly went to church at the Austin Stone. We sat down fairly close to the stage, and before the service started, I saw a 6’6″ Goliath sit down just two rows behind me. I thought I was going to puke. I quickly alerted my clan of friends that the man of my dreams was no more than 8 feet away from us and we spent the entire service making a game plan as to how I would reach him and make him fall in love with me. Once the sermon concluded and everyone began heading for the door, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me to reach him. Unfortunately, the large congregation successfully pushed me even further away from him in the process. By the time I was out the door, he was within running distance, but I froze and began to think my plan through. What if he had a girlfriend? What if he wasn’t as great as I had built him up to be in my mind? By the time I decided to risk it all and go for it anyway, he was in his car. I turned around with my head hung low and retreated to my friends. I had accepted defeat. We went home and shared the story with everyone who knew my secret undying love for him and laughed about it. Four months later, I decided to make a last ditch effort before I was separated from my connection to Christian–Zach. I begged him to send just one Snapchat of me to Christian describing my interest in meeting him, hoping that he’d see what he was missing (me, of course). After waiting an hour or so, he replied! He was eager to meet me and even drove 3 hours from Austin to Magnolia the next day DURING FINALS SEASON. We went on our first date, decided we wanted to marry each other on the second date, and the rest is history.

Image 2 of Rachel and Christian

P.S. I did finally tell him about the stalking…and he still wanted to get married. #winning

how they asked

My home church in Magnolia, Texas has always been a very special place to me. It’s where I found my closest friends, developed strong community, and learned how to love people to the best of my abilities. Since we began dating, Christian was welcomed into this church family and loved by everyone in it. We even joked that people just wanted me to come home for the weekend so that everyone could see him. My pastor began talking to Christian and I about an event that the church was planning where college students would come hang out with graduating seniors to talk to them about what living as a follower of Christ looked like beyond high school.

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Naturally, I was in–I loved helping with events like this and it meant I got to see my best friends again. We drove down one weekend for the event and spent the night with my parents, who were more excited than normal to see us. I brushed it off, thinking it was because I hadn’t been home in months. On Saturday, we drove to the church and got there at exactly 5:00 PM, as instructed by the pastor. We walked through the entrance and found no one there. I was a little bit confused, but figured everyone was in the sanctuary. As I opened the door, I saw a trail of candles and Edison bulbs leading up to a bench in the center of the empty room. At that moment, I knew exactly what was happening.

Image 4 of Rachel and Christian

Image 5 of Rachel and Christian

Christian began grinning ear to ear and led me to the bench. We sat down and a video began playing on the big screen. My friends and family spoke to me through the video, talking about my relationship with Christian, their favorite things about me, the future, and anything else that can make a girl cry. The video ended and Christian stood me up as he knelt to the ground. He said something incredibly sweet that I cannot remember for the life of me (because that’s how engagements work) before pulling out the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.

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Image 7 of Rachel and Christian

He asked me to be his wife and I leapt into his arms with joy. He yelled “She said yes!” to the seemingly empty balcony overlooking us and about 40 people, friends and family, popped up and began cheering. Everyone ran downstairs with tears on their cheeks and we celebrated with an ice cream party!

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Our Video

Special Thanks

Philip Winham
 | Photographer
Christian Roper
 | Videographer
Daniel Rowland
 | Planning