Brides is dedicated to supporting ALL couples not only while they plan their wedding but also throughout they experience the highs and lows of their relationship. There is no relationship that looks the same; every love story is lovely, has its own unique past, and faces its own struggles. For our newest feature, “Love Looks Like This,” we’re encouraging couples to share their love stories in order to celebrate that uniqueness. Lunden Stallings tells her love tale below.
Though words fall short in expressing the true love we have for one another, we’ll try our best! Olivia contacted me a little more than two years ago and inquired about the availability of puppies from the breeder of my golden dog Willow. Olivia wanted a golden retriever of her own. I casually replied to her DM with the message “no,” but I would keep an eye out for her. and I was intending to give my mother one of these puppies for her birthday after getting in touch with a breeder in Tennessee who had a surprise litter. also, I returned to that DM a few months later and informed Olivia that I knew of someone selling a golden. Several months later, we discovered that her golden (Howie) and my mother’s golden (Rosie), which she ultimately adopted, were siblings. After then, we lost contact and didn’t get back in touch until…
I received a work promotion opportunity in May 2021 that would allow me to relocate from Austin, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia, where Olivia was also residing. similarly, I took the promotion, traveled to Atlanta to hunt for a place to rent, and visited without knowing Olivia was there.because I told Olivia I was in town. When we first met, we knew we would never be separated again, and we didn’t! After that, history was written.
When Olivia and I first met each other’s families, our connection really started to blossom. Due to the fact that we are both highly family-oriented, their support meant the world to us! One of my favorite memories is the first time I took Olivia back to Arkansas. At this point, I was certain that she would one day become my wife. It meant everything to me to see her interacting with my mother and sister as if they had known one other for years. I had hoped and desired that full week in Arkansas my entire life. It doesn’t get any better than having all of my people together and loving on each other!
Fast forward to Christmas 2021, when I told my family I intended to ask Olivia to marry me and watched their amazing responses, I sat them down. My family’s support, along with tons of joyful tears and hugs, was all I needed to get through. I then went to Olivia’s family and received their love and support, which made me incredibly happy. I certainly had no idea Olivia was doing the exact same thing as me, but little did I know! Then, our families realized that we were preparing the SAME proposal!
We had a trip planned to Charleston, South Carolina for the beginning of summer since January. I quickly began looking for Charleston photographers after I decided to pop the question in May while we were traveling. Funny thing is, a month later (and on the SAME day), Olivia contacted the photographer she hired, Chelsea Paige, and told her the same sailboat plan! I was fortunate to find Clay Austin, with whom I immediately connected and who shared my vision. We shared the same cues we would use before popping the question with both of our photographers because everything was so coordinated.
What You Should Know About Engagement Pictures
I knew I wanted to surprise Olivia with one last item after our proposal while all the Charleston preparations were underway. When we returned to Atlanta from our trip, I began to organize an engagement party for all of our relatives and friends who had traveled or flown in from all over the country to meet us. I had no idea that I would also be returning home with a ring!
Engagement bands for Lunden Stalling and Oliva Bennett
The finest day of our life was actually on May 19th, a Thursday. As soon as we both woke up, we experienced butterflies. I had no idea Olivia was feeling exactly the same way I was, but all I could think about was our sailboat ride at sunset at seven o’clock. One of the funniest things was when, because I was so anxious, I would leave the hotel room and tell the receptionist I was going to the car to get something before heading outside to phone my mother. She didn’t respond, though, because Olivia called her right away to say that she needed to be calmed down because she was equally anxious. Without a single inkling that it was abnormal, we were physically experiencing the same feelings.
Later, we discovered that Olivia’s photographer, Chelsea, was the first to arrive and claimed to be there for the Stallings wedding. After informing the captain that he was also there for the Stallings engagement, Clay then arrived. That is not possible, as the captain informed Clay that there was already another photographer waiting for us on the boat. So when Clay approached Chelsea, she immediately grinned and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh. There are two proposals here. The captain then introduced Chelsea and Clay as crew trainees while having them both dressed in sailing shirts. I clearly knew who Clay was, but I honestly believed that Chelsea was just a member of the crew. Olivia had the exact opposite perspective. She was certain that Clay was on the crew since at one time he was really sailing the boat.
After around 30 minutes
I gave Clay his cue and asked Olivia to be my forever. She looks at me and says, “Lunden wait,” while sobbing and giving me hugs and kisses. At this point, I am utterly perplexed. I genuinely believed that Olivia wasn’t even wearing my ring at the time. Two, during my family’s vacation in August, I was certain she was going to propose. NOPE! I immediately fell on the boat’s floor as she took my ideal ring from her dress pocket (see picture).
Engagement boat for Olivia Bennett and Lunden Stalling
We had never experienced anything quite like it in our entire lives. At the same time, we both managed to pull off the most sincere surprise. The remainder of the cruise was spent taking pictures and drinking champagne.
Champagne is held by Olivia Bennet and Lunden Stalling.
I had reserved a special supper, which I had been planning for months. But as soon as we stepped off the boat, we made the decision to take our heels off, buy a slice of pizza for $4, and then run through downtown Charleston, savoring every moment of that night. It was undoubtedly a complete dream!
Lunden Stalling and Olivia Bennet share a kiss
Olivia and I have always had a “easy” relationship, if I were to sum it up in one word. Simply said, our interactions have always been so natural and effortless, as though we had known each other for our whole lives. She was everything and more that I had looked for in a relationship, and I knew it the moment I met her. We are honestly the happiest we have ever been and are over the moon. We appreciate all of the love and support from our family and friends. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are today. Regardless of how our expressions of love may differ from yours, each and every one of us deserves to be loved. Love will always triumph, no matter who you are or who you choose to love.
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