Brianna + Travis | Radnor Lake Proposal | Nashville Wedding Photographer
This is the story of the day Travis proposed to Brianna, one of my best friends. I hid behind a tree and watched with tears in my eyes. It's now been over a month since the proposal, but I am so so happy to finally share their story.
Travis had asked me to be part of the proposal weeks before it happened. I was so excited that I had nerves in my stomach all the way leading up to the actual proposal. I know my nerves were nothing compared to Travis'. I was more worried about logistics, like where they would stand where I would shoot from, etc. I just wanted to capture the moment perfectly, because I knew it was so important for Brianna to have photos of. During the morning of, Travis snuck me a text that said they were about to head to lunch. With probably the biggest grin on my face and happy music blasting, I headed to Radnor.
I was super anxious and just a little nervous once Travis texted me that they were on their way to Radnor after lunch. I found the spot and staked out behind a tree for at least 10 minutes before they made it to the spot. I got some really strange looks as people passed me on the trail, peaking out behind a tree. I thought that every single couple who walked up the hill on that part of the trail had to be Travis and Brianna. My heart beat SO fast every single time I saw a couple walk around the corner.
Travis and Brianna made their way around the bend to the little look off area that he picked as the spot for the proposal to happen. At this point I started tearing up. This was the moment Brianna and I had been talking about for what seems like forever. This was the moment she would say yes to life with Travis. They talked for a few minutes in that spot and I giggled behind the tree. People on the trail started to slow down and watch as soon as they realized what was about to happen. And then Travis pulled the box out of his backpack and got down on one knee. The moment finally happened!
After they shared in a super sweet moment of lots of hugs and tears, I popped out and Brianna waved over to me. There was so much joy and excitement in this moment, it really is hard to put words to. I ran over to them and we hugged, laughed and soaked in the sweet moment with just a few more photos. And they are the sweetest photos I have ever taken, simply because they are of two really dear people to me. These two make me smile, because I know just how happy Brianna is because Travis is in her life. They are both so talented, passionate and devoted to their life's mission and I cannot wait to see what journey marriage will take them on.
What was racing through your mind on this day?
From Travis: Lunch was the easy part. It only took a three course meal at the Cheesecake Factory to butter her up right before we went to Radnor! During the whole day it was just so easy to talk to her, even though I knew what was about to happen, because she’s my best friend, and I could talk with her about anything.
During the proposal was a totally different story. I didn’t sound as barbaric as I did when I asked her to be my girl on our first date, but the nerves were definitely there. We did everything different from what we normally do at the places we went. A three course meal at Cheesecake instead of just cheesecake, walking the opposite direction at Radnor, and insisting to sit at the bench because, “we always do, and it’s the prettiest side of the lake.”
But as I sat there I started to reminisce about all the memories we had in that spot. I told her I was tired of her being just my girlfriend. I actually told her that I hated that she was. I was repulsed by the idea. I told her I wanted her to be my wife, and then I got down on one knee and pretended to know what the heck I was doing, and asked her if she’d be my wife. This is where the nerves almost took over because I couldn’t remember which hand to put the ring on!
I was just so excited and happy. I felt such peace in the situation, though. I knew what happened was just so good. So good, in fact, that I had to tell the two strangers that were walking by she said yes! If I could explain my emotions in one sentence I’d say I was so excited, and happy, yet I had such great peace.
From Brianna: When we got to Radnor-- the lake that we've gone to countless times-- he suggested that we take the trail the opposite way that we normally do. At that point, I was just waiting for it to happen. As we began walking, I remembered that the patio overlooking the beautiful view of the water and tree-line was closer on this side of the path. I knew that would be the place. Sure enough, just a few minutes into our walk he suggested that we stop to sit there.
Even though we've sat there so many times before, this time felt different. Everything he said sounded different, and I knew that we were both so excited and nervous for what was about to happen. It was so funny, because as soon as we sat down, he started small-talking and reached for his backpack a couple of times, but immediately pulled his hand away. I can chuckle about it now, but in the moment, my mind was racing. I kept thinking, "Is this it? This has to be it. He's stalling. I bet he's nervous. I'm nervous too. Oh my goodness. Is this real life? What if it doesn't happen? But I just really wish he would do it already! Ahhh!" Finally, our conversation shifted.
He asked me if I remembered the night he asked me to be his girlfriend. My heart stopped, and I knew this was our moment. That was the moment he reached for his backpack, and didn't pull his hand away. He told me he wasn't content with me just being his girlfriend, and he wanted me to be his wife. He pulled the ring out of backpack, got on his knee and asked me to marry him.
What was the walk like after you got engaged?
From Brianna: Another thing no one prepares you for is what happens after you say yes! Instantly, your entire relationship dynamic changes. All of a sudden, it doesn't feel crazy to talk about your future together. Although Travis and I have been dreaming about our life together for some time now, the rest of our hike around the lake were our first moments of realizing that our dreams are becoming a reality now. And it. Was. Awesome.
Our conversation was full of an eagerness to begin our life together. We talked about everything from how we would call our families after leaving the lake, to the wedding venues we wanted to begin looking at, to the places our work could take us many years from now. That hike was precious, because it was the same trail we've walked so many times but this time stands out among the others. It was a reminder of the faithfulness of God in our relationship, and the goodness He has consistently shown us.
I never would have imagined, on our first walk around the lake over a year ago, that it would be the same place that we would begin making plans for forever with each other. Our conversation reminded me that the best stories truly can't be predicted, and I think that walk made us both so excited to see what happens next in our story. That walk reminded me a lot of what marriage looks like. You know, because it's the same lake, the same trail, the same person. But we were both choosing to love the conversation and plans with each other. It was a reminder that no matter how many season we walk together, there will always be something new to learn and discover together. Not to mention... we kept stopping to look at the ring and take random pictures of it.
What are you looking forward to most in marriage?
From Travis: Never having to say goodbye at the end of the day. They say everything is good in moderation, but not her. I can never spend too much time with her. Only too little, and that’s what I’m tired of doing. Saying goodbye at the end of the day means I’m not seeing her enough. Marrying her does away with that.
My other favorite part is getting to worship with her in a more deep and profound way. She makes me run to the Father, and I’ve fallen so much more for her because of that. My favorite part about her is the way she loves people no matter what they look like, act like, or pretend to be. Her love is more unconditional than any toe I’ve ever met aside from Jesus Christ himself.
From Brianna: Travis is the most kind person I've ever met. I don't mean he's a "nice" person, that just does things for his own benefit and when he feels like it. I mean, he is genuinely kind in everything he does. I realized at some point in my Christian walk that Jesus loves me even when I feel unlovable. His love for me isn't dependent on my mood and behavior. Right around that time, I realized Travis has that same place in my life too. Whether I'm having a good day or a bad day, his love for me is always kind-- unconditionally, unchangingly kind.
He loves me even when I feel unlovable. He is kind to me even when I'm not being nice to him. He is patient even when I'm anxious about what's to come. He is calm even when I'm worried. He models so many things that I yearn to be more like, and because I get to marry him, I get to spend the rest of our life learning from him. Although he'll tell you that he's learned so much from me, I don't think he realizes how much I've learned from him even just in our dating relationship. Knowing that I get to continue learning from him and about him for the rest of our days is thrilling, and I'm so eager for that. He's grown in tremendous ways with me, and I think that's the most beautiful opportunity marriage has to offer.
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