How We Met
I have never once seen a candidate for office post the story of how they met their spouse and fell in love. However, our story is very unique, and we get asked about it ALL the time. So, for those of you who want to know us better, here is our story:
On May 25th, 2016, I stepped onto a tour bus in Rome, Italy. As I climbed up the stairs I looked up and saw an absolutely gorgeous girl sitting there looking down at me. I thought to myself, “This trip just got a whole lot more interesting!” and I sat in the seat in front of her. She overheard my conversation about politics with the tour director and struck up a conversation with me after he walked away. We talked for almost 4 hours on the bus that day and I was immediately hooked.
Turns out, she knew my sister from college, so I immediately messaged her to get her opinion on Hannah (which was good!) We toured all over Italy and I spent the majority of my time talking to Hannah. I sat by her at meals and always walked by her as we toured. Five days into the tour we went to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. It was pouring rain! I bought an umbrella from a street vendor and offered to share it with Hannah. She happened to be wearing flip-flops that day and she was slipping and sliding all over the marble walkways outside and inside the buildings. She ended up hanging onto my arm for several hours and actually fell once when she had let go.
The tour guide at Pisa asked if we were a couple. I joked that we were engaged, before admitting that I had just met her a few days earlier. The tour guide embarrassed us in front of the whole group by saying that we obviously went together well and that we should become a couple. Little did I know that his comments prompted Hannah to consider a relationship with me. I quickly figured out I had found the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I also knew I only had 17 days to make her fall in love with me.
At the Trevi Fountain in Rome, I threw two coins in and wished that Hannah and I would one day get married. I made sure I sat by her on the gondola ride in Venice, and sharing an umbrella became second nature to us as it rained on and off for the next few days. One morning I asked to sit by her on the bus and virtually from that moment on we were always together. In Germany I told her how I felt about her and a couple days later she told me she felt the same way. We finally arrived in Paris. We split off from the rest of the group and found some space by ourselves on top of the Eiffel Tower, and it was there I told her how beautiful she was for the first time. I asked a tourist to take some photos of us and I secretly bought an Eiffel Tower picture frame, put that picture in it, and gave it to her at the end of the trip when we parted ways at the airport.
A few days later in London I took the subway until I found a flower shop. I bought her some long-stemmed roses and wrote her a note asking for her phone number. I left those items outside of her hotel room door a few minutes before she was heading down to supper. As you probably already guessed…I got the phone number!
As we said goodbye at the airport, Hannah was worried that I would forget about her when we returned to the United States. We lived 7 hours apart, from Muscle Shoals, AL to Greenville, SC. I assured her that my feelings were real and that I would come see her and meet her family the first weekend we were back in America. Over the course of one year, I made 35 weekend trips to South Carolina to spend time with Hannah. She was able to visit Alabama 5 times during that year as well, and she quickly fell in love with the area and the people who live here.
On October 29th, 2016, I rented an airplane in Greenville, SC and flew Hannah back to Alabama. I had secretly bought a ring and scheduled a photographer to be at the TVA Rockpile to capture the moment. There, in front of the waterfall, I asked Hannah to be my wife. Hannah finished out her teaching contract at Hidden Treasure Christian School in May 2017. We were married on June 30th, 2017, at her home church in Greenville, SC. For our honeymoon, we returned to Venice, Italy and then cruised the Baltic Sea.