August 30, 2018
Natasha and Dylan are my first featured couple for this blog series and I couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce them to you!! I met Natasha while I attended Radford and we shared a couple of classes together. I remember her talking about going to Virginia Tech to visit Dylan what seemed like every weekend! They’ve known each other since they were children but their story is so much more than that. Natasha has shared their story with me and ya’ll don’t want to skip this one, there’s even a destination proposal involved!!!
HOW WE MET
Dylan and I were those kids that went through school together as friends, but never knew what could come of something between us. Starting in middle school we created a friendship, not extremely close, but hung out with the same group of people and had some inside jokes here and there. Of course with any awkward middle schooler (I was the worst), there were always thoughts like “he is really cute” or “maybe I do like him?”, but obviously I never acted on any of that. High school was the same for the most part, although we did go out a few times throughout those 4 years, nothing serious ever came of it. Then college came along, I went to Radford University and he was at Virginia Tech. It wasn’t until late into our Junior year that we really started showing more interest in each other and were hanging out almost every chance we could. We finished up our last year of college and celebrated each other at both graduations. Of course, it took us miles away from home and two different towns to really find out we liked each other and wanted to continue this little journey of ours. My “what if” thought back in middle school always stuck around in the back of my head. I couldn’t be more thankful that it did, because God works in mysterious ways.
From the start, the summer of 2016 was one I knew I would never forget. College graduation, my brothers high school graduation, a Cruise to Mexico – (besides a few more mimosas and better quality Instagram pics) what more could I have wanted? Dylan’s family had already planned on taking their vacation in New York City. I had never been so I never knew what to expect, but once Dylan asked me to go with him I was thrilled to be in this magical city with the love of my life. Even looking at pictures, there was just something about NYC that intrigued me. The day finally came to travel to Charlotte, NC and jump on a plane to The Big Apple.
August 2, 2016 – Our first day came early- a 6am flight and arriving in the city by 9am. That day consisted of touring Times Square, the Met, and mostly Central Park. I wanted to cover every inch possible of that park to see as many Gossip Girl spots I could find. We came upon this fountain that we later found out was the “Friends” fountain, so of course we had to get a pic in the water! Dylan hadn’t even watched Friends until we started dating, so for both of us to see that together was cool and special to me. (Plus, who doesn’t love Friends?!)
After getting back to the hotel (and taking a much-needed quick nap), we headed out to dinner at the New York Yankees Steakhouse. At dinner we talked about our favorite spots so far and I mentioned the Friends fountain was mine, (not having a clue that everyone was so invested as to what I had to say). We finished a fabulous dinner and headed out to see the city lights. Dylan’s mom mentioned she wanted to go see Central Park at night to see some of the buildings all lit up, so off we went. In my head I was thinking “this is a pretty far walk but I’m keeping my mouth shut.” We took some pictures in the park and “stumbled” upon the fountain again. We all walked up to it and I noticed Dylan’s family kind of staying behind. Then he grabbed my hand, told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to see me smile the rest of our lives. He got down on a knee in front that fountain, asked me to marry him, and after saying “oh my god what are you doing” 100 times, I said YES! We celebrated that night and the rest of the trip with champagne, a Lion King Broadway show, a Yankees game, and even more champagne. I never ever imagined I would get engaged in Central Park and start another chapter of our lives in New York City.
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
July 22, 2017
I always wanted a summer wedding, but brides, take notice: If you want your wedding to be scorching hot, have it in late July. The weather was perfect, but I was so glad we didn’t have an outside venue! It was high 80’s and low 90’s all day, but nothing that mimosas couldn’t fix! As I got ready with my bridesmaids I started feeling more calm knowing that my girls had my back that day. We got all dolled up, took our pictures, had another drink, and headed to the venue! (As for the boys, I know they played poker and tequila was involved.) Our ceremony was at my Church in Tazewell, VA, and both mine and Dylan’s pastors did the ceremony. Our colors were blush and navy with gold accents while we did a mix of different flowers both white and pale pink. Decorating for the ceremony and reception was so stressful to me since I’m such a perfectionist, but it turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined.
Our traditional church ceremony went so smoothly, and although I was anxious to get to the reception, I took in every ounce and minute of that ceremony I could. To this day I still remember little things that make me smile like the last picture my parents and I took before I walked down the aisle, my flower girl tossing petals at the altar instead, and my pastor talking about how cool the name “Dylan Crouse” was to him. The one thing that will always stand out to me was the calmness I had come over me about an hour before the wedding started. I had been so nervous that whole week and prayed so hard about it. God truly helped me realize how ridiculous I was being and answered my prayer – there’s no doubt he had his hand over me the rest of that day. My best friend Hannah even said, “You’re freaking me out because you’re so calm”.
I’ve always heard that when you start that long walk down the aisle that you’ll only see your fiancé, and I always believed that to be so cliché, but until you experience it you will have no idea what that feeling is like. I have always hated to feel like everyone is watching me, but during that walk I didn’t have any recollection that anyone else was in the room. I locked eyes with Dylan and the rest was history. He calmed me even more and knowing that I was marrying him made all the eyes watching us so worth it. It was the beginning of our lives as Mr. and Mrs. Crouse.
After taking what seemed like a million pictures, we finally made our way to the reception and was announced Mr. and Mrs. The night started out with food and drinks while visiting our family and friends. We cut the cake, popped the champagne, and the rest of the night was history. Everyone was on the dance floor and it had quickly turned into the reception I always wanted. After the sparkler send off we jumped in the car and were on our way to our house, (we literally closed on it the day before our wedding), and ready for a week-long vacation in Jamaica. From start to finish it was the best week of my life and I couldn’t be more blessed.
Enjoy some photos from their wedding day taken by Rachel Wells