January 7, 2019
I met Matt + Hannah through serving together at Athens Church. We all lead small groups of high school students through InsideOut, so we’ve seen each other around but never really got to know each other until recently. Matt reached out for me to photograph his proposal to Hannah and when he said it would be at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, I was so thrilled! It’s such a beautiful location full of lots of greenery no matter the time of year, so it’s one of my favorite hidden gems in Athens. Matt planned everything perfectly and even planned for an impromptu engagement shoot for the two of them right after he proposed. He brought clothes, makeup, etc. for Hannah, but we ended up rescheduling because it happened to be the most humid day of the entire year and we were all a little ready to get inside!
They shared a little bit of their story with me and it’s so sweet that I have to share it with you all!
Hannah: It all started with our roommates. They were in the same orientation group and on our first day living in the dorms my roommate Lizzy was going to a Phi Slam party and just happened to run into Matt’s roommate outside Brumby Hall. She invited him to go with her and they became friends. At the end of our first week of college, Grant texted Lizzy and invited her and me to come to his dorm room, just two floors above ours, to watch movies and eat ice cream.
Matt: As soon as she walked into the room, I thought there was something different about her. I immediately tried talking to her and she wasn’t about it.
Hannah: I thought he was a little forward. But sweet!
Matt: And that’s when her putting me in the friend zone started.
Hannah: So after that night Matt and I didn’t speak again for a month or so.
Matt: Flash forward to the middle of September.Hannah: Me and Lizzy were hungry so we texted the first person we thought of who might bring us a pizza. It just happened to be Matt.
Matt: If I can give a tip to any single guys out there, the best way to a woman’s heart is through food.
Hannah: We hung out, ate an entire pepperoni pizza, and laughed about life. After he left, I remember texting him and saying “You’re pretty cool. We should be friends.
Matt: Still pretty cool, despite how much you want to discredit my coolness.
Hannah: You make a lot of dad jokes, Matt.
Matt: They’re just called jokes, and they’re high quality. ANYWAYS, then I asked her on my first ever fraternity date night but she had a test the next day so she couldn’t go.
Hannah: In a class I ended up dropping like a week later, whoops. Pre-calculus was not my friend.
Matt: I almost convinced her. She was very back and forth on it. Our first actual date was in October – a taco 12 pack from Taco Bell and a scary movie…for 20 minutes until I got too scared and put on Pirates of the Caribbean. And she fell asleep.
Hannah: His freshman dorm futon was very comfy. I didn’t fully decide that I liked Matt until midway through the month of October when he spent the weekend in Alabama with his sister and I realized that I missed him being around. When he got back from Tuscaloosa he ran a half marathon and I braved the freezing cold morning to wait for him at the finish line and ate a mountain of pancakes after. And invited him on my sorority’s semiformal.
Matt: That same day she finally decided she liked me was the first time I went to Athens Church to see her – I went for the wrong reason but I guess but stayed for the right reason.
Hannah: On my freshman semiformal Matt asked me to be his girlfriend.
Matt: I knew after dating her for a short time that I could see a future with her, which is why I gave her a promise ring during our sophomore year, the same one my father gave to my mother when they were college students.
Hannah: I wasn’t sure I liked it at first.
Matt: She thought it was too serious, I almost took it back but she was like “no!”
Hannah: I was ready for the commitment. I wore it every day until the day he proposed on October 5th, 2018.
Matt: Despite having dated for 4 years, I’ve never been more nervous about anything. My hands were shaking as I removed my mom’s promise ring and replaced it with the engagement ring I had bought her.
Hannah: It’s the most perfect thing. I told him I liked the classic and simple round solitaire diamond, but I never imagined it could fit me so well. He picked it out with his mom and dad and designed it special for me.
Matt: Back on that freshman semiformal I called my dad to help me pick out a tie to wear the night I was asking her to be my girlfriend. It only seemed fitting I have him help pick out the ring I used to propose to her.
Hannah: He took my parents out to dinner at the neighborhood Italian restaurant they took me my whole growing up and asked for my dad’s blessing. That was really important to me. When he actually proposed I knew he was about to do it right before and I was concerned because I looked sweaty and gross (we were hiking).
Matt: She looked beautiful. I told her I didn’t want to marry the made-up version of her, I wanted to marry the real her. When I got down on one knee I forgot all the words I was going to say and all I could get out is “will you marry me?”
Hannah: I paused before saying yes because I thought “Wait, isn’t he supposed to say more things?” But then I was like “yes!”
Matt: But I said everything I wanted to say after the fact, don’t worry.
Hannah: & we lived happily ever after…
Matt: …with our dog.
Don’t you just adore these two?! Check out their photos below and enjoy!
I’m so pumped to photograph their engagement session soon and their wedding later this year! Getting to know this couple is so fun and I can’t wait to capture so much of 2019 for them.