Courtney and Robbie have a love story fit for the movies. They met in high school during a six-week intensive summer camp for theatre, music, dance and art. They became inseparable during that summer, but had to say goodbye when camp ended and didn’t think they’d see each other again. As fate would have it they ran into each other four years later at a sandwich shop and it wasn’t long before they knew they were meant to be together forever. Courtney & Robbie love the outdoors and are planning a tree themed wedding so they celebrated their engagement with an outdoorsy photo shoot at Long Hunter State Park in Mount Juliet, TN. The light and the love was captured beautifully by Erin of The Collection. Read their full story below.
Before the Ring (from the Bride):
Robbie and I met in 2006 at Governor’s School for the Arts, a six-week intensive summer camp for theatre, music, dance and art. The minute I saw him, I thought he was so handsome. Apparently, he liked me too. All of our friends knew we liked each other, but we were too shy to tell each other. On July 4th at Governor’s School, they had a huge celebration with music and fireworks on the practice football field. When the fireworks went off, one of our friends said “Oh just kiss already!” and pushed us together. That was our first kiss. For the rest of camp, we were always together. However, we knew after camp we would probably never see each other again since we lived on opposite sides of the state. He was from East Tennessee, and I was from West Tennessee. We said our sad goodbyes at the end of camp and that was the end of it, or so we thought.
Four years later, I was standing at Which Wich in Murfreesboro, Tennessee waiting for my sandwich. I had decided to go to Middle Tennessee State University to get my degree and had been living there since I graduated high school. As I turned to leave, I heard “Courtney Johnson, is that you?” There he was. Robbie stood up and gave me a big hug. He had just gotten back from studying abroad in Australia and was going to school at MTSU. We decided that we should hang out and catch up since it had been over four years since Governor’s School. Needless to say, the rest is history. He showed up at my doorstep a week later and we talked until the sun came up. I knew at that moment that he was the one.
The Proposal (from the Bride):
I’m not a girly girl…at all. I never wanted some big cheesy display when someone proposed to me. I wanted it to be private and special. But most of all, I wanted to be surprised. I’m very nosy. I was the girl that went through Christmas presents before Christmas. Needless to say, I was very surprised when Robbie proposed!
Robbie and I graduated from MTSU in December of 2011 and we knew we wanted to get married soon, but had no clue when. We had a ski trip planned for the following Christmas, so I thought that he would propose then. That summer, we took a quick trip down to Sarasota, Florida to spend time with his family on vacation. They have been going to the same beach and the same resort since the 1960s! His father proposed to his mother on this beach, and his parents named Robbie on this beach. We were celebrating his cousin’s birthday at the resort when Robbie said, “Hey, this will probably be the only good sunset we see before we leave. Let’s go down to the beach and take a walk.” So we went down to the beach. The sunset was breathtaking. Bright oranges, pinks, purples and reds painted the sky. As the sun began to set, Robbie and I found a stranded lounge chair that someone had left on the beach. “Let’s sit here and enjoy this,” I said. I sat on the lounge chair, and he sat behind me with his arms around me. After a few minutes, he reached his arm in front of me and said “Look what I found in the sand.” Immediately, my heart started racing and tears started flowing. A beautiful marquis cut diamond ring hugged by swirling diamonds was staring at me. I was completely and totally surprised! He dropped to his knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes! Before we ran to tell our family, I insisted that we sit and enjoy this special moment together as the sun finished setting. That was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Photography: The Collection / Venue: Long Hunter State Park, Mount Juliet, TN