Their paths crossed in his hometown while she was on Spring Break. Jill openly admits she didn't think "either of us was initially interested in the other as anything more than friends but we always just had great conversations." Over the span of a summer and with the passing of time, Shawn and Jill managed to connect over their love of being in or around the water. However, "it wasn't really until I went back to Auburn for the fall semester that our relationship kind of shifted to us being a little more than friends."
Their love for one another grew stronger over time and it reinforced Jill's belief in the theory "when you know, you know." Jill tenderly expressed, "I loved that he was always comfortable with my ambition and independence- a lot of guys either get intimidated by that or don't take it seriously, but he did neither and that was so refreshing."
Even when faced with life's challenges, Jill and Shawn withstood the storms, together. Jill recalls, "there were... some hard times in our relationship (even before marriage) that could've been breaking points for us, but he has always stepped up. Seeing that he was willing to put work into the relationship was really attractive, and was one of the things that made me want to share my life with him."
When the time came for Shawn to make Jill a proposal she couldn't refuse, he planned to do so on a romantic, thoughtful trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee prior to their second anniversary. Shawn had considered every angle and even arranged to have a photographer in the park to capture the unforgettable moments. Shawn would not allow any obstacle to stand in his way from hearing Jill say that most coveted word, not even a closed park.
Standing atop Lookout Mountain at "the most beautiful spot" and completely taking Jill by surprise, " Shawn asked and Jill said "Yes!"
After months of planning, imaging and the extraordinary help of loving family members and friends, June 3, 2017, finally arrived! With nearly 250 of their nearest and dearest gathered at Anderson Gail Farms surrounded by a boho chic vibe, Jill and Shawn made a vow to be joined together, forever, as man and wife. "Seeing Shawnie's face as I walked down the aisle" was one of the most memorable moments of the day for Jill. "He insisted that he not see me until then and I was so glad we did it that way."
Although Jill and Shawn were saddened by the absence of friends and family members that had passed away, both were honored to acknowledge them by leaving "the first seat of the front row on each side empty, and during the ceremony, we laid roses on those seats. It was so special!"
Photographer- Todd Helzer | Videographer- Caleb Frith | Ceremony Musicians- Jacob Roop, Anna Thomas, Andre Taylor | Minister- Randall Higgins | Florist- Pinedale Gardens (Clanton, AL) | Cake- LaLa's Cakes and Events, LLC (Lacey Baker- Clanton, AL) | Catering- Bryon Rickard Catering, LLC | Dress- Cherry Tree Lane Bridal (Florence, AL) | Designer- Chic Nostalgia | Decorators- Cindy, Roger & Kelly Roberson | Coordinator- Christy Higgins | HMUA- Beth Russell | Venue- Anderson Gail Farms | Reception music- Rhino J Entertainment