How did you two meet?
Austin: "I met Shelby on the morning of October 4, 2014. That was the day Auburn played LSU at home our freshman year, and Shelby was my date for the game. I had been set up with her earlier in the week by Cailyn Sandoval. It just so happens that the week before the LSU game, we had a swap with Chi Omega--which was Shelby and Cailyn’s sorority. Shelby and I did not meet each other then, but she enjoyed the swap so much that when she found out Cailyn was dating John, she told Cailyn that if any of his friends needed a date to anything to let her know. Coincidentally, that week I found myself in the extremely rare situation of not having a date. In my shock, I asked Cailyn if she could set me up with any of her friends, and luckily, she sent me Shelby’s phone number. That Saturday morning, a group of us drove to pick up our dates, and we pulled into Shelby’s apartment complex. Shelby walked out of her door, and I remember having to scrape my jaw off the asphalt of the parking lot to pull out my smooth line of 'Hellllooooo' and try my best not to be awkward as I gave her my best casual side hug. We had an awesome time tailgating and cheering Auburn on against LSU. It is always more fun when Auburn runs over the other team like we did to LSU that day. After the game, my friend Connor Koch and I were walking Shelby and his date home. I was actually hoping that when we got back to Shelby’s apartment we could keep hanging out because I just was not quite ready for our date to be over yet. She apparently had different plans though because as soon as we got to the door she thanked me for everything and walked inside and locked the door. Luckily, I have no shame and she mentioned during the day that we had the same chemistry professor and that she was doing well in the class. I was able to trick her into 'tutoring' me in chemistry that semester, and the rest is history."
Shelby: "Austin and I met in October of our freshman year at Auburn. My sorority, Chi Omega, had a swap at his fraternity and it was a blast! Though I did not meet Austin that day, one of my sorority sisters told us that she was dating a Theta Chi and that she would set us up on a gameday date. I gave her my number and a few days later Austin texted me asking me to the Auburn/LSU game. When Austin picked me up from my apartment and we met for the first time, my first thought what a gentleman he was! He opened all my doors and was so sweet, hilarious and polite the entire day. He was such a gentleman and gave me his coat during the game and bought me drinks from the concession stand without me asking. We laughed, talked and cheered on The Tigers the entire night, and I realized how much we both LOVE Auburn football! Austin and I hung out the next few months and started dating officially in December, and the rest was history! Auburn had a big win that day, but it was nothing compared to what I gained meeting Austin!"
How and when did Austin propose?
Austin: “I proposed on Star Wars day, May the Fourth, 2018. I had been sneaking around Shelby since November looking at rings and talking to her family. It was particularly difficult since we lived in the same apartment complex. There were times where I would tell her I was taking a nap and would be sneaking around in the parking lot when she would walk out of her apartment, so I would have to find something to hide behind until she left. As smart as Shelby is though, she was completely oblivious to everything. One time, I even accidentally pulled up a picture of a diamond ring on my phone when she was looking at it with me, and she didn’t even notice. I bought the ring right after Spring Break, which just so happens to be the week that I told her I wouldn’t be able to propose for at least another year. I felt bad for lying, but I knew she would appreciate it later. The week leading up to May 4 was finals week for me, and that weekend was graduation for most of our friends. I told her since I would not be able to hang out that week that we should go to dinner Friday night while our friends were with their families for graduation dinners. She thought that was a great idea, so on Friday we got ready to go eat and started driving to the spot I had picked out on Lake Martin. When she asked where we were going, I told her that everywhere in Auburn was booked up because of graduation and that I thought it would be nice to do a picnic on the lake. She bought it hook, line and sinker. We drove for the longest 45 minutes of my life to a park at Lake Martin. My mom and Shelby and mine’s best friends had been at that park for a couple hours beforehand setting up everything just like I had asked them to. When we pulled into the park, it was lined with mason jar candles leading to a table that had pictures of us, a letter to Shelby, a Bible, and a framed piece of paper that said, ‘Yes,’ from when she agreed to be my girlfriend freshman year. As I put the car in park, Shelby and I looked at each other, and she exhaled a long breath as I suppose why we were there was starting to hit her. We walked to the table, and I told her all the things that I had been rehearsing in my shower for weeks. I got down on a knee and pulled the ring out just like I had practiced. Shelby said, ‘yes’ several times and her left hand shot out faster than any human should be capable of. Her sister, Lauren, and best friends, Cailyn and Rachel, came out from various hiding spots after taking pictures and congratulated us. After taking more pictures, we drove a few houses down from the park to my Aunt Laura and Uncle Greg’s lake house where our family and friends were waiting to celebrate with us. We had Taco Mama catered because Mexican is Shelby’s favorite meal. The best part is that Shelby is so loved that we actually could not even fit everyone into the lake house and had to have another party in Auburn later that night for even more of our friends. In all the excitement, Shelby never actually ate anything though, so after it was all done, she and I went to Sonic to get her some tater tots. It was such a great time, and Shelby and I will always look back and talk about how great that night was.”
Shelby: “Austin proposed on May 4, 2018 at Lake Martin. As our relationship progressed through college, I knew that I could see myself marrying Austin and knew that he would make an incredible husband one day. In the Spring of 2018, Austin and I had a conversation about marriage and, though he confirmed that it was the next step for us, he told me that we would have to wait a year because of his grad school. Little did I know, Austin was already looking at rings!! A few months later, Austin told me that we should plan a date the Friday of Auburn’s graduation weekend. This wasn’t unusual for him at all. With pharmacy school and being college students in general, when we have time to go on a nice date together, Austin typically plans it ahead of time and keeps it a surprise from me. We spent most of the day together hanging out in Auburn, and when Austin came to pick me up for our date, he told me we were going to the lake to have a picnic because all of the restaurants were booked for graduation! However, when we got to the lake, we didn’t pull into his family’s lake house like I expected, but a small park with mason jars lining a walkway to the spot that he proposed! I was in such shock that I barely remember what he said at the time, but he knew that would happen, so he wrote me a letter with everything that he had rehearsed to say in it! Asking me to marry him was the easiest question I have ever had to answer! After I said yes, and got the most beautiful ring in the WORLD, my sister and two best friends came out from taking pictures to congratulate us! After, he had all of our family and friends come to the lake to celebrate with my favorite meal and even more friends waiting on us at my apartment back at Auburn! It was a day of pure joy and I could not be more thankful or more excited to be his wife! “
Shelby—describe Austin in three words.
“Joyful– Austin is the happiest person I have ever met! He is always laughing and joking around and always has a positive perspective in any situation. Even when life gets hard, Austin is always the bright side to my day because he finds the good in every situation and every person.
Constant– Austin is constant in so many different ways! He is so reliable, and I know that I can always count on him. Whether it is running over to my apartment to kill a bug (it happens, a lot) or knowing that he can always make me laugh, he is 100% himself all the time. Most importantly though, he is constant in showing me the love our Heavenly Father has for us and leads me in that truth daily.
Servant-hearted– This by far describes Austin more than any other word. He amazes me the way that he not only loves serving others, but is ALWAYS looking for opportunities to serve me, his friends, his family or anyone! He does so joyfully and works so hard to help others.”
What are some things you two enjoy doing together?
Shelby: “We love to dance together. We love weddings and formals because it is just hours of dancing. We love cooking together. We both really like to travel. We love Auburn football. We love the beach and lake. We love watching movies and The Office. We love our friends and anytime that we get to spend with them!”
Austin—describe Shelby in three words.
“Godly– Above everything else, Shelby loves God. She is very involved in our church, and she loves people like Jesus does. She always points me back to God, and there is no better word to describe her.
Passionate– Anyone that knows Shelby knows that when she is in, she is all in. Whether it is her faith, becoming a pharmacist, or kettlebell class, Shelby will put everything she has into it.
Efficient– I have to include this one because this is always what Shelby says is the one word that describes her best. She always gives me a hard time because I move pretty slowly unless there’s a good reason to speed up. From the moment Shelby wakes up, she is productive and getting stuff done and done quickly. It is something I really do respect about her.”
What was each yall's favorite part of the day?
Shelby: "My favorite part of the day was our first look. It was the moment that I had been most excited about from the beginning. I had so much fun that morning getting ready with all of my bridesmaids, but all I could think about all was how ready I was to see Austin and start spending our wedding day together. I remember waiting inside before walking to out to him, and I was so nervous that it was going to start pouring rain. Instead, the moment I walked outside the sun was shining brightly and it could not have been a more beautiful. Seeing him immediately made all the nervousness disappear as we laughed and smiled and took in such a special moment together!"
Austin: "Easily, my favorite part of the day was watching Shelby walk down the aisle. After years of dating and over a year of engagement, that was the moment where all the (im)patience had paid off. It was finally happening. We had spent a lot of time during our pre-marital counseling discussing how marriage is symbolic of God’s love for us. For that moment specifically, we talked about how me waiting at the altar for Shelby was representative of how Christ will be waiting for us as we walk into Heaven. All the anticipation, pride, and joy that I felt watching those doors open and seeing her in all her beauty was just a small glimpse of what will happen as we walk through the doors of Heaven. It gave me a whole new perspective that would be hard to grasp otherwise, and it’s a moment I will never forget."
What's next for you two?
Shelby: "Austin and I will be in Auburn for the next couple of years as I finish my pharmacy degree while he is working on a master’s in mechanical engineering. We love our community, church and everything about Auburn and could see ourselves here forever. However, we are excited to see the plans the Lord has for our future as husband and wife and plan to go wherever His sovereign hand leads us."
Ceremony: Rainbow Presbyterian Church
Reception: Otter Creek Farmstead and Distillery
Planning/coordinating: Melanie Grace Weddings
Hair and makeup: Danielle Ivy Chiepalich
Dress: Ivory and White
Bridesmaid dresses: Azazie
Flowers: Attalla Florist
Cakes: Cakes by Lee
Invitations: LCM Design
Catering: The Happy Catering Company
Band: Big Night Dynamite/Music Garden
Videography: Aly Hughes
Groom and groomsmen suits: Jos A. Banks