by Estephanie Gomez
Most people don’t get to meet their soulmate in grade school, unless you’re Erin and Austin. Austin first met Erin in fourth grade, befriended her in sixth grade, developed a crush on her in seventh grade, and finally asked her out during their sophomore year of high school. After that, the rest was history.
Seven years later, Austin curated the perfect proposal for his high school sweetheart. The couple set out to the Grapevine Botanical Gardens on a bright, winter afternoon with Erin under the impression that they’d be taking Christmas card photos. But as they headed towards an unfamiliar and secluded pathway, Erin began to get suspicious. Then she saw the dozens of red rose petals lining the path. Austin couldn’t stop smiling at the look on her face, as he led her to where he had set up more bouquets of roses in vases, candles, photos of their favorite memories together, a Bible inscribed with “Erin Ansley,” and finally, the little black box.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Austin said as he picked up the box and got down on one knee. Nervous and excited, he asked her to marry him to which she responded “yes” at least 50 times. Seconds later, a photographer, their families, and best friends surprised them from the pathway, ready to celebrate and take photos to commemorate the special moment. Stuck in an elated daze, Erin was hardly paying attention when her family mentioned heading to Fireside Pies. She was shocked to find that friends and family had driven and flown in to fill up the restaurant and celebrate the couple’s engagement. Balloons that spelled out “engaged” hung over a table with their initials and a book filled with 60 pages of photos taken over the course of the couple’s seven beautiful years together. It was everything Erin could have dreamed of.
Erin went to Oklahoma State University where she studied sports media and strategic communications. She now works at D Magazine as a client operations manager. Austin went to Texas A&M where he studied supply chain management. He currently works at Heritage Bag Company in Roanoke as a production scheduler. They will marry on September 30, 2017, at Watermark Community Church.