Almost four years ago (in June), Rick and I had our first date in one of our favorite cities, Austin. And while I haven’t been one to get super personal about our relationship here on this space, I’ve had so much encouragement and love from friends & family, that I want to share with you our engagement story and bits and pieces of the wedding planning process as we move forward!
As a blissfully happy couple, Rick and I had discussed marriage and where we saw ourselves a number of times. By December of last year I knew that the engagement wasn’t a matter of if, but more a matter of when and where. If you ask me how I feel about surprises, I can’t give you a dead-on answer of, ‘I love them’ or ‘I can’t stand them’; I guess every surprise is different. Of course there was a lot of speculation as to when the engagement would happen! Friends threw out ideas like he may surprise me in NYC during Fashion Week or on a random weekend around Houston. But, Rick being Rick, did something so much more special and meaningful than I could’ve ever imagined.
The weekend of our engagement, I had an idea something was happening, but not much more than a ‘pack your overnight duffle’ we’re going somewhere in the morning. That morning we hopped into the car, dropped off Lucy the Terrier Mix with a friend and headed on a road trip.
Rick didn’t allude at all to where he was taking me. So I figured okay, if we get on I-10 we could be going to Galveston, San Antonio or Austin depending on the direction, but if we headed north we could be going to Waco or Dallas. All these cities are places we’ve visited and loved, so it was really a guessing game. But I kept my mouth shut and just let Rick drive, trying to not let the jitters make the drive awkward.
So my being a University of Texas graduate, means that the way to Austin is all-too familiar. So when we made it to Highway 71 from I-10, I knew it was Austin for the weekend. Rick then turned to me and goes, “Surprise! We’re going to Austin for the Baylor vs Texas basketball game!”
For those of you that know me super well, you’d understand my horror. It’s not that I hate sports, I actually love them, and was even a sports broadcast major in college. More or less, I think I’ve seen so many proposals at athletic events that I personally find them super corny and dorky (no offense to you if that was your proposal!). With all that being said, Rick who is a Baylor graduate looked so excited and I just couldn’t say anything silly so I found myself saying, “Okay, cool, looking forward to a college basketball game…”, when meanwhile in the inside I was absolutely freaking out trying to recall, which I was sure that I had mentioned, how I would never want to get engaged at a sporting event.
Regardless, I spent the latter part of our drive kind of freaking out, and trying to play it cool. I had no idea when the game was or really a sense of time that day, so when we pulled into Austin I wasn’t even sure what time the game started.
We have our usual spots that we stay at for the weekend in Austin, however, when Rick pulled up to the Driskill Hotel, I was stunned. I knew he had gone out of his way to make our weekend super special, and it’d be so fun to stay somewhere so historic and timeless.
Rick pretty much played me for a fool (just the expression, not actually), the entire afternoon as we went down to South Congress, walked around, grabbed some of our favorite pizza and enjoyed the day. When we got back to the hotel we wandered into the bar and I noticed on the tv, that the Baylor vs. Texas game was on. Well hello idiot Alex, I then finally realized that he was pulling my chain the entire afternoon. Needless to say, we both got a pretty big kick out of how I reacted when he told me about taking me to the game.
We went upstairs to get ready for dinner, and when I tried to put on heels, Rick graciously told me that they wouldn’t be necessary. This totally threw me off, but he grabbed my flats and said these would be best.
We hopped into our Uber (a Tesla, which was super cool!) and headed downtown. Of course I know Austin like the back of my hand, so when we started to make our way towards Town Lake and Zilker Park I kind of didn’t really know what to say or how to act.Our car dropped us off and Rick asked me to walk with him down to the running/walking path. He, not so discreetly, had me look toward the lake multiple times, and at one point I heard a snap, like the noise of a ring box shutting. I’m not going to lie, I really thought he was going to get down on one knee in the middle of the path and have some runner or bike rider become part of our engagement.
We walked for what seemed like forever, I became super nervous, and out of habit, I usually play with my hair ends when that’s the case. As you can see I was captured doing just that! Rick somehow navigated me to an area that I did not recognize. I looked up and past a lookout was the Austin skyline and the lake below. It didn’t quite register what was going on until I looked even lower and saw candles all around and my favorite flowers, white hydrangeas, along the ledge.
Quite frankly, the rest of the events are quite a blur… Everyone has always told me that the details become blurry, and it’s so true! You’re just completely in the moment with the person you love and nothing else around you matters. What I do remember is saying yes when Rick got down on one knee and then he opened the ring box and I said yes again and started crying. Like I said, Rick had everything completely planned. With the help of Austin-based planner Chelsea Steffek and photographer Breanna McKendrick expertly hiding behind the bushes, every detail was absolutely perfect. Looking back on it now, I do remember when we got up to the lookout point, there were a lot of people loitering around. I didn’t really think much of it then, but after I said yes, and the tears began, people were cheering and clapping. Apparently a crowd started gathering as the planner was setting everything up. Breanna McKendrick photography
Rick absolutely blew me away with the ring. We had looked at rings once before a year or so ago, so he knew what style I liked, but that was it. With the help of Dubin’s Fine Jewelry here in Houston, Rick designed the ring all on his own, using his mom’s original engagement stone for the center. This brought me to tears even more, because it’s just so special to have a piece of her with me and us at all times!
To top everything off Rick had a dinner reservation planned at the restaurant we had our first date, Ranch 616, where a table was set almost exactly where we sat on that first night back in June of 2012.
Thinking back on it all, I still get goosebumps… Our engagement will be something I will remember for the rest of my life – Rick made me feel like such a princess that weekend and every time it registers that I get to be his wife, I get excited all over again.
This may be the longest post I’ve ever written for Adored by Alex, but if you made it all the way through, thank you from the bottom of my heart! It means the world to have people like you, all over the world, supporting our journey and engagement. We cannot wait for the months to come and I’m beyond excited to bring you engagement content for this new chapter in my life. Happy Monday, friends!