Hannah and Austin were married on October 22nd, with a ceremony and reception at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, MA.
Austin had gone to Navy boot camp with Hannah’s brother Brannon in Chicago in January of 2013. While they were there, Brannon had many of the recruits write letters to Hannah, just for fun—though she didn’t actually receive any of their letters until after she went to Chicago for their graduation from boot camp!
After the graduation, all the new sailors were allowed to spend the evening out with their families. Austin messaged Hannah on Facebook saying that he and Brannon had talked about going out to dinner with both of their families, but Brannon asked her to message him back and say that the plans had changed. Hannah messaged him back to let him know that Brannon just wanted to spend the night with his family, and the next day, Austin messaged her again, asking what their plans were for that day. Somewhere along the conversation, they exchanged phone numbers, and they spent the next few months or so randomly texting each other just to catch up.
A few months later, Austin mentioned via text that he was finishing up at his Navy A-School in Pensacola, FL, so that he could become an air traffic controller. He would be taking a few weeks off before transferring to his next duty station, so he was headed home to North Carolina at the end of July. He asked if she wanted to come down and actually meet him, and the next thing she knew, she was being picked up at the airport by a guy she’d never met in person! They spent a few days together on the beach and fell in love—all because of her spontaneous decision to seize an adventure in North Carolina!
When Austin decided to propose to Hannah, he knew that he wanted to do something completely unexpected, because he always had to work hard to surprise her. So, he got together with his mother, Shannon, and explained his plan: when they took their annual family pictures on the beach, he was going to propose. That way, the proposal would be captured forever on film!
The day of family pictures came, and they started out with individual families and all the small grandchildren together before they all congregated for the big family picture. Hannah had to be in the front because she was shorter, and everyone in the family was in on the plan as Austin slipped around behind Hannah, and they all parted in the middle. When Hannah turned around to see what was going on, there he was, down on one knee!
As they prepared for the wedding, Hannah’s brother Tyler booked an appointment for her at the famous Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. Of course, she wasn’t expecting to find anything there, since she wasn’t planning to be on Say Yes to the Dress, and she didn’t have an extravagant budget. But she did take the opportunity to go out with all her girlfriends for a ladies’ trip to NYC—with her mom, her aunts, Austin’s mom, her nanny, her maid of honor, her bridesmaid, and a couple friends!
After a night out on the town, they were all excited to go to the famous dress shop, though they were a little disappointed to find out that only four people could fit in a dressing room. But when Judith, the consultant, asked if they would mind squeezing, all of the ladies were quick to agree to sacrifice personal space to be there! With that, Judith and her assistant, Candice, brought in three dresses for Hannah to try on. When Hannah zipped up the third dress, she started to cry, and so did some of the other girls—sure that this was the one.
But . . . Hannah’s mother wasn’t so sure. She wanted a longer veil, but Candice insisted that a long veil wouldn’t work with the dress. The consultants, seeing that there was a slight disconnect, left the ladies alone for a moment and returned with one more dress, though they did note that it was a little over budget. But the moment Hannah put it on, they all forgot about the other dress when they saw her in the strapless Sareh Nouri dress!
Hannah then found out that the dress was part of a trunk show they had that day, when designers come to the stores with dresses they have out for the season and upcoming seasons. That meant Sareh Nouri was there—and she told Hannah that not only did she look stunning but she was the first bride to try on the dress after it walked the runway during Fashion Week! She was wearing the dress a whole year in advance, and the excitement was palpable!
Her mother called Tyler via FaceTime, since he was the one who made the appointment but couldn’t be there because he was deployed in Iraq, and they wanted him to be able to see the dress too. With everyone surrounding Hannah as they FaceTimed Tyler, the owner of Kleinfeld came over to introduce himself and see what all the excitement was about. When he saw that Tyler was on the phone, he made it a point to thank Tyler for his service.
Finally, the day of the wedding arrived. They were married late in the evening with a gorgeous fall sunset, so they wanted to make sure they had a first look and pictures of everyone before they lost the light. They both looked amazing—Hannah in her dress and Austin in his dress uniform—as they stood in the rain overlooking the mountainside at the log cabin. You could see the moment all the misery of the cold rain melted away when Hannah tapped on his shoulder and they saw each other for the first time that day!
The wedding was amazing, filled with family and friends who were all so excited to celebrate with these two, but at the end of the night, they were still able to find a moment to themselves. The rain had stopped by then, and the two of them curled up together next to the outdoor fireplace to take in the whole night—and get a few last-minute pictures in!
Hannah & Austin, thank you so much for allowing us to be part of your amazing love story! We hope that you will continue to have such amazing adventures in your new lives together!