April 9, 2020
When Shaina and I met it felt like fate. It all started when I had a traumatic brain injury. I used to play volleyball at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We were playing in a game against the Ragin’ Cajuns, when I dove for a ball and hit my head in the floor instead of having my arm catch my dive. After my injury I ended up being in the hospital for 2.5 months. During my stay I was overdosed on pain medicine and ended up having a stroke and almost passed away. Thankfully after 4 brain surgeries I made it out of the hospital. Although the doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to play volleyball again I was determined to learn how to walk again in hopes of one day being able to play volleyball again. After 8 months of recovery and self guided physical therapy I reached out to Martin Methodist College the school that one of my former teammates attended to see if the program had any volleyball scholarships for the the upcoming school year. Oddly enough they had room for one more player and offered me a full scholarship to move from San Antonio, Texas to Pulaski, Tennessee. Shaina is from Nashville, Tennesssee and ended up attending Martin Methodist College to play basketball the following year.
Fast forward a couple of months to an Amish restaurant called The Yellow Deli in our small college town of Pulaski, Tennessee. We were out with a group of friends on our respective teams: We were both fresh out of relationships at the time (and not really looking for new relationships) but we couldn’t ignore the sparks we felt in the room that night. After one date with her, I knew that she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The connection, was spiritual, the type of connection that can not be replicated. After swearing for months that she didn’t like me, and didn’t want to be in a relationship, she decided to follow her heart and give it a try. After dating for 3 years we got engaged during a surprise photoshoot at the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee right after finding out that I got my dream job back in Texas!
After moving the wedding planning process was absolutely crazy for us. From initially having our hopes set on a huge Austin, TX. wedding, to an elopement in Greece, or Vegas. After a couple of looooong conversations, we finally decided to wed in my fiancées hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. It was such an exciting time. We had our venue booked, my dress was ordered (even though it won’t be here until June), my fiancées suit was ordered from Men’s Warehouse and we had all of our vendors lined up and had a date set for September 25, 2020. A very personal touch that we agreed on was that my grandfather (who’s father was a minister) was going to officiate our ceremony (he got his ordained ministers license and everything!).Being that I am his first grandchild this was going to be very special for all of us. Unfortunately, we unexpectedly lost my grandpa on February 19, 2020. The week after my grandpa passed we then received word that Epic Elopement was doing an Elopement giveaway and knew that we had to apply.
We found out that we had won the elopement the day after we applied and canceled our Nashville wedding immediately! As crazy as it was trying to get Impression Bridal to agree to sell me the sample dress of the rack, to getting a wedding dress altered in a matter of days, everything worked out perfectly!
We flew to New York City, and set out on the adventure of a lifetime! The day of our elopement was so perfect! I was up at 4am for hair and makeup! Shaina went downstairs and waited for me in the lobby while I put on my dress! Being in my dress, and seeing Shaina in her tuxedo was magical. We then took an Uber to Top of The Rock! We met our coordinator, officiant and photographer the day of and everyone made us feel so comfortable, supported and beautiful. As we recited our vows to each other it felt like we were the only people there. There is something so special about making a lifetime commitment to the one you live in the intimate setting that we had. After our ceremony we were allowed to get creative with our photographer and spent the rest of the morning telling our stories through the pictures we captured. Our elopement experience was absolutely perfect! After the pictures were done I was STARVING and galavanting through Brooklyn in my huge dress dragging along the streets just wasn’t happening. As we were walking to catch an Uber I found a hot dog stand and proceeded to order a hot dog (all the way), roasted corn and a pretzel. Passerby’s saw me in begged to take pictures of me because it was so “New York”. Our elopement was perfect, stress free, and adventurous. I wouldn’t have changed a thing!!
This journey with the love of my life has been and always will be my absolute favorite. As we approach this new adventure we can’t help but feel as though the intertwining of our lives is nothing but fate. I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way. We are two of the luckiest people in the world, with a love story for the books.
Elopement Planning : Epic Elopement | Photography: Aesthetic Sabotage| Officiant: Kevin P. Bain