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I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Clever Hashtag huh? One of my artsy bridesmaids (with the help of her creative husband) helped me coin that hashtag WAY before I even knew I was getting engaged in December (so I’ve been dying to FINALLY use that hashtag proudly) EEEEE!!!!
Preface: Ty told me that he had decided he was going to propose to me at Bicentennial Park (Specifically the TN State Capitol building) after we had spent time there for our 6 month anniversary (plus it also was the setting in which Ty had asked me to be his girlfriend in January of 2015)// so this location had a special place for our relationship!
December 19th: We started the day off by going to eat Brunch at The Perch (Downtown Nashville) (Ty purposefully chose this place because The Perch, in my opinion, has the most delicious Waffles EVER, I am in love with Waffles and all things Brunch, it was near Bicentennial Park AND… he literally buttered me up before the day began!) Here’s a few precious photos of us at The Perch (keep in mind, I had no idea what was coming, I just was excited about eating Waffles/Brunch with my love, Ty!)
So after a VERY FILLING Brunch, Ty suggested that we walk around Bicentennial Mall since it was less than a mile away, PLUS BONUS…we could ‘walk off’ that breakfast (which ten minutes after eating, I was feeling quite sickly and too full because my body cannot handle too much gluten/soy/dairy, pretty much anything that is ‘fun’).
*(Don’t worry, Ty gave me some peppermint gum to chew, and after walking around for 10-15 minutes I felt better immediately! YAY!)
ANYWAY…While we were walking around this 2-mile loop, we just talked about random things (so I didn’t suspect anything at first) EXCEPT Ty kept stopping at different points of Bicentennial Park that were “sentimental” to our relationship (i.e. he stopped at the end of the loop where the giant amphitheater is, and also stopped at the bench where he had asked me to be his girlfriend in January) so at two points during that long walk my heart started fluttering thinking “HE’S GOING TO ASK! HOW DOES MY HAIR LOOK? IS THERE ANYTHING IN MY TEETH???!!!!????” But, of course, he didn’t ask, so I had to quickly remind myself to be satisfied in the moment with him and not get too emotionally worked up//carried away (ladies…we have all been there, admit it)!
Once we had walked the majority of the Bicentennial Loop, Ty somehow talked me into making the giant walk up towards the TN State Capital building (which involved at least 1/2 mile of just stairs). We both were pretty breathless by the time we got all the way to the top where the State Capital building is. I was pretty exhausted and sweating profusely (even Ty said “wow Dolly, your body is emitting a lot of heat right now!”-how romantic!!!!). Plus in my defense, since I didn’t know that Ty was going to propose, I wore wedge heels and was super tired after having had an intense morning workout at OTF (Orange Theory Fitness), and I didn’t realize that I would be walking over 2 miles with Ty later that morning (seriously, my walking app on my iPhone logged me as walking 2+ miles already, so that waffle was def burned off for sure, right?!) So in complete exhaustion after walking so many stairs + miles in heels + having had an intense workout that morning, I decided to sit down on the wall overlooking Bicentennial State Park (because the wall felt cool and I love the view of Nashville from the Capitol). Ty, on the other hand, stood and wouldn’t sit next to me. I tried getting him to sit down, but as I was turning to talk to him I noticed that there was a photographer sitting on the stairwell of the capital building directly behind us. Out of observation of that photographer I turned to Ty and said “Ty, look! There’s a photographer right there!” (I obviously still had no clue what was going on at that point because like I said earlier, I had decided not to get my hopes up about an engagement just because we were at Bicentennial Park and I didn’t want to read too much into anything)!
Right when I told Ty “Look there’s a Photographer!” Ty just looked at me and strangely said “Yeah, that’s Weird!” (but his facial expression kinda looked a bit freaked out at this point//even a little washed out like he was scared). YET…even after having seen that photographer, & seeing Ty’s facial expressions, I still tried to make Ty sit down next to me, but he wouldn’t. Instead he kept asking me to stand up next to him because he wanted to give me a hug. I finally decided to stand up because 1) he was acting strange 2) I like hugs as well & 3) Ty is just super adorable to me, so I def wanted to give him a hug! When I stood up he gave me the sweetest hug and then started talking about how important I am to him, how much of a blessing I am to him, and how this year has been a blessing for him because he has gotten to know me more. As he was talking to me (while we were hugging) I then TOTALLY knew what was going on and I started laughing and crying (alternating between the two). Even when he got down on his knee to ask the question, Ty was laughing uncontrollably as well (So it ended up being one giant moment of emotions that involved mostly laughter and a few tears). AND…even after he had asked me, I kept on laughing and crying and I didn’t even put the ring on at first because I just stared at it in the box and kissed him instead (don’t worry, I eventually put on the ring and then proceeded to laugh even more while exclaiming “OH MY GOSH! WHY DID I EVEN WEAR GLASSES TODAY?”)
After the shock of the proposal, I found out that Ty’s good friend, Jesse, was the photographer and that both Jesse and Christopher (another one of our friends from church) had been photographing the engagement the entire time! So because of them, I can share some pictures of me and Ty’s engagement!
Honestly, I cannot believe I even remember this much because I am still processing that I am engaged, and not just engaged to any guy, but engaged to marry the sweetest most godly man on this planet…. TY DELONG!!!!!! Seriously you all, Ty did such an amazing job planning out this very special day. And let me add, December 19th, 2014 was the EXACT day when he nervously called me up on the phone to ask me out on a date, so a year later (December 19th, 2015) was the PERFECT day to ask me to be his wife! (AHHHHHHH!!!! I CAN’T EVEN!!!!!!!!!)
Okay, now that you all have suffered through so many grammatical errors and too many overused exclamation points (I never claimed to have my Masters in English), I just want to thank you all for the texts, calls, emails, and messages you have sent to me and Ty over the past 48 hours-your love and support means THE WORLD to us! We are seriously so blessed to have a great community of friends and family who constantly surround us with so much love and support! God’s joy is so evident through you all!
I cannot wait to begin this new adventure with the love of my life, Ty DeLong! Until then, here is an awkwardly awesome photo of me trying to be cool with my engagement ring!
For those of you who are wondering, we have set our wedding date for June 18th, 2016 (6 months from now) and it is going to be in Nashville at The Ruby Venue (near Vanderbilt)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!