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Before I Do


by Jennifer Mathis


photo | Kimberly Harrell Photography


4th of July engagement

We go to my family’s lake house for the 4th of July every year, so it wasn’t unusual when Austin suggested we go there for the 4th this year, too. Little did I know, Austin had been planning for months to make this one of the most special days of our lives. While my mom, sisters and I went into town to pick up some fireworks, Austin and my family (dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) were back at the lake setting up the perfect proposal scene. Austin built a gazebo that he strung with hundreds of lights and placed flowers all around. When we returned to the house, my dad escorted me down to the water, where I saw Austin standing under the gazebo. He popped the question, and I sobbed a big “YES!” When we turned around, I noticed that Austin arranged for both of our families to be there to enjoy the moment with us, and they were all sitting behind the trees watching. We ended the night popping off fireworks in celebration!