Tarah and Alex

Image 1 of Tarah and Alex

How We Met

Alex is two years older than me, and was attending MSU for Athletic Training at the same time I was attending Bethany Lutheran College. Both schools are in Mankato, Minnesota. Alex was assigned a clinical rotation at Bethany while I was actually playing on the girls basketball team!

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He was helping mainly with the mens team, but I definitely noticed him in the Athletic Training room! ;)

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Once day, we were playing a huge rivalry, and towards the end of the game I ended up spraining my ankle.The head Athletic Trainer helped me off the court, and she and a few people (including Alex) where in the room taking a look at it.

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I thought he was cute, but never really thought it would turn into anything so I didn’t ever pursue it.We became good friends after spending hours in the Athletic Training room together as he helped me with my rehabilitation, iced my ankle, and we talked about great topics like Taylor Swift and our love for m&m’s. ;)

The season eventually came to an end, and we didn’t see each other anymore! We both continued on with our normal lives over the course of the next year, but then one day I texted him an inside joke we had. 2 weeks later he responded.

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In his defense he was at the bar when he opened it, and forgot to respond. ;) Any-who, he responded and we have been inseparable ever since. We started hanging out and spending more time together, but then it was time for him to graduate, and I was still only finishing my sophomore year!

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Summer started, and we were both unsure of where this was going to go. He was getting ready to move all the way to Norfolk, VA for grad school, but we really liked each other.

Then one day he drove 2.5 hours to pick me up for a date in which he took me to Mall of America, dinner, and a comedy show. It was then that I realized how much he liked me. He had driven about a total of 7 hours that day..impressive right?!

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He asked me to be his girlfriend a few days later, and I didn’t say no, but I certainly didn’t say yes. I told him I wasn’t to keep talking and hanging out and see where it leads.

The only reason I didn’t say yes was because he was getting ready to move, and I wasn’t sure my trust was there yet.

A few weeks later, he invited me to spend the weekend with his family at their cabin! I was so nervous that I gave him every excuse in the book, but eventually ended up saying yes.

BEST DECISION I could have ever made. I met his parents, sister, and about 8 of his sister’s closest friends! I was terrified, but he never once left my side, and it was that following Monday while I was at work that I texted him and told him I was ready.

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Image 10 of Tarah and Alex

I was ready to take on any challenge that would be thrown at us, because I knew no matter what he would always be there for me no matter how far apart we would be.

We have gone through 3.5 years of long distance, and let me tell you, we are professionals. We cannot wait to finally get married, and spend forever at each others sides!

how they asked

Alex and I had been together 3 years, and originally set up this session to be a 3-year anniversary photo shoot, or so I thought! My best friend, Jessica Heller of Jessica Heller Photography, was behind his secret plans the whole time!

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One day, Alex and I were driving in the car, and as I was scrolling through my Instagram I came across a post that one of my friends had gotten engaged! I was excitedly telling him all about it, and how her fiancé had proposed during their 5-year anniversary session! That’s when Alex looked at me and said, “We should set up a photo shoot for our 3 year anniversary.”

You see, Alex and I have been long distance our entire relationship, and will continue to be until we are married so we never really had anywise photos together besides any that were taken on an iPhone! As a wedding photographer myself, that was always so hard for me!

I capture moments for a living, but I wasn’t able to really do it for myself because we only saw each other about 4-5 times a year! I reached out to Jess and we set up a session over Memorial Day weekend. I was as excited as they come, until that is, it DOWNPOURED. We had to reschedule the session, and I was so upset about it!

Then one day, about a month later, Jess texted me asking if I was available on July 24th for a makeup session! I looked at my calendar, and to my surprise I WAS! I texted Alex immediately and told him we HAD to make it work! He agreed, and soon enough the day had arrived!

I remember waking up that day SO happy. I stepped outside, and felt a perfect cool breeze hit my face as I stood under the warm summer sun. It just felt right. I drove to Alex’s parents house where we got ready, and soon enough Jess had arrived all the way from North Dakota!

Alex was in a great mood, but he usually is so I didn’t think anything of it! He was excited, and we put a lot of thought into our outfits to make my little photographer heart happy! ;)

Once we were ready we set out for Northeast Minneapolis! We did the first outfit and were having SO much fun. Then, when the sun started to set, we quickly changed into our more formal outfits! Alex in his suit and tie, and myself in my favorite white dress!

As we stood on the bride holding hands, and embracing each other I remember having this moment of, “Oh my goodness, could this really be it? Is he going to propose today?” To my shock, he stepped back and reached into his pocket…Now don’t get to excited, because all he pulled out was his cell phone. ;) That is when I realized (or so I thought) it wasn’t happening!

We went back to taking a few more as the sun was at its best spot, and before I knew it the session was over! That’s when Alex said, “Oh wait I still need to give you your anniversary present!” That’s when Jess reached into her camera bag and pulled out a small photo album of all our greatest adventures and milestones.

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Each page leading to a more exciting and greater adventure we had done together!

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The second to last spread was a photo of us with his family, and one with mine! He stayed on that one for a while before turning to the last page where there was a piece of paper in the photo sleeve that read, “The Proposal.

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“He then grabbed my hands, pulled me close and said, “Tarah, thank you for being so patient…”That’s when I think I got so excited I blacked out and can’t remember the rest! I also had tunnel vision at the time, because even though the bridge was FULL of people all I saw was him.

He then got down on one knee, asked me to marry him, and when he pulled the ring out of the box he dropped it, but it’s totally ok because it made for a GREAT story! ;)

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Needless to say I said YES, but the surprise wasn’t over yet! As we cried and hugged there in the middle of that bridge he looked at me and said, “turn around”.

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I turned around to see my parents, his parents, his sister, and his grandma.

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I immediately started crying even harder. That is why he pulled his phone out..to text them to start coming! Due to our long distance relationship, our parents had never had a chance to meet..until that day.

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It was as if every star had aligned in those few minutes, and seeing our families there was icing on the cake of the most perfect proposal I could ask for.

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We are SO excited for our October 14 outdoor wedding in Pepin, Wisconsin, and cannot wait to start the rest of our lives TOGETHER.

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