Before we can get to the story of our wedding day, we first need to establish how we met. DJ and I met in the locker room at Patrick County High School. He was a wrestler, and I ran cross country that fall. At the time, I was definitely *not* interested in the bad boy that was DJ Painter. I told him to clean up his act and try again in the future because I couldn’t deny how handsome he was.
Fast forward two years later, DJ and I had the same lunch and the same group of friends. This led to us sitting back to back every day for a whole semester. DJ would tap me on the shoulder every day and say the sweetest things like “you look really pretty today.” He was always super respectful, and I thought “hmm, maybe he really did clean himself up?” At the end of the school year, DJ asked me if my phone number was still the same from two years prior when he first tried to woo me and when I said “yes, but why do you still have my number?” He gave me a little wink and said “because you don’t get rid of a pretty girl’s number.”
So summer came and DJ and I began texting regularly and talking on the phone, but it wasn’t until I was at a family friend’s lake house for the Fourth of July that things started to get real. I had been complaining all day that we didn’t have any fireworks for the Fourth of July when guess who showed up to said lake house, fireworks in hand? I like to say that when I saw him pull into the driveway that day is when I fell in love with him. The night was perfect. We sat by the lake, enjoyed dinner with family and friends and watched fireworks shoot off into the night sky.
After that night, we were inseparable. We spent every day together that summer and the whole school year after that. DJ graduated from PCHS the following Spring and despite the typical “you won’t last after he graduates” comments we got regularly, we knew our relationship was different. What we had was real love. So, a whole two years later I graduated from PCHS and moved to NC State in Raleigh, NC – a whole 3 hours away from home.
I won’t say that things were easy for us then, but we knew that it was just temporary. Being together was far more important to us than any drive or distance could be, so we did just that – we drove. A lot. We spent every weekend together possible through terrible roommates and final exams until we finally decided that we weren’t going to be truly happy unless we were together. So, we got our first apartment halfway between my school and his job and made the 45 minute commute each way through my last year of college.
After college, we decided to move to Greensboro, NC, where DJ worked, and bought our first home after 8 long, heartbreaking months of searching for a house. A month later, DJ proposed in the prettiest spot of our brand new backyard we had worked so hard for. He had two of our best friends come over to take “housewarming photos” of us at our new home, but he had other plans. Our photographer friend had us pose back to back and when I turned around, there he was on one knee with a cute sign that said “will you marry me?” My sweet man couldn’t even utter a single word because he was so overcome by the moment that I just squealed “YES!” Also, he had the ring box upside down, and it was the perfect dysfunctional proposal, just like us. We were to excited to finally be engaged and well on our way to our perfect wedding day.
Follow along the wedding series to learn all about our wedding season and reminisce on the perfect day that it was.
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