Two less fish in the sea
A few years ago, Heather briefly created a dating profile on Plenty of Fish to test the waters. During that week, she got a bite – Matthew, a charming, handsome man with an adorable dimple.
After he asked her out several times, Heather reluctantly agreed to a date, officially meeting Matthew at iFratelli restaurante on a rainy Tuesday night in January 2013. Two years later, they tied the knot on March 7, 2015 at Cross Creek Ranch in Parker, Texas.
“I was so tired of losers and it being a waste of time, so before I even met Matthew, I spent a long time praying about it,” Heather said. “We are both Christians, and without knowing it, we were both each separately praying for this relationship. Matthew was running late [to our date], so I was already sitting at the table when he got there. He walked in, flashed his adorable dimple at me, prayed for our meal and I was overcome with peace.”
And although she admits it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, part of her knew right away that Matthew could be The One.
Matthew said he knew Heather was The One after spending a family vacation missing her.
“When I returned and saw her again, I realized how much I had missed her and that I never wanted to go a week without her again,” he said. “That was when I realized that I wanted to spend my life with her.”
Heather and Matthew had talked about getting engaged for months, with Heather admitting that it got to the point where she got frustrated with every perfect proposal opportunity that passed.
Fast forward to Heather’s 27th birthday, and the Alabama-born beauty spent the day lounging around the pool with her friends, who convinced her “tonight will be the night.”
While at dinner at Joe T Garcia’s in Fort Worth, Heather was disappointed that her beau wasn’t acting strange or nervous at all, even texting her friends to tell them it wasn’t going to happen that night.
“I was pretty bummed, but he isn’t very good at secrets, so I thought he’d be acting weird or nervous if it was going to happen,” she said.
But when Matthew suggested stopping at the Fort Worth Water Gardens after dinner, Heather’s heart skipped a beat –maybe she was wrong! Unable to find a parking spot, Matthew nonchalantly decided to head home, when fate intervened and a spot opened up.
“He wanted me to walk down into this area that has water cascading down and steps down to the bottom,” Heather recalled. “We got halfway down and I chickened out – I was terrified of slipping on those wet rocks in my shoes, so we headed back to the top.”
After sitting and talking for awhile, admiring the view, Matthew asked Heather if she wanted her birthday present.
“He hands me this tiny little bag. I reach in and feel a little box, then mentally start freaking out,” she said, laughing. “I open it, all excited … And it’s pearl earrings. … Which were beautiful, but I was so mad because it wasn’t a ring.”
Heather mumbled a “thank you” and tossed the box in her purse, officially giving up on the idea of being proposed to on her birthday. So when Matthew stoop up and asked her to stand up, hugging her and telling her how much he loved her, Heather thought it was because: “This idiot just realized that I thought that was going to be a ring, and now he feels bad because he knows I’m mad and he’s ruined my birthday so he’s trying to make up for it by saying all these nice things.”
Suddenly, Matthew leaned over, took something out of his pocket and got down on one knee, asking Heather to be his wife.
“Of course I said, ‘Yes!’” she said. “It was a roller coaster of a night, but so perfect.”
When two become one
Although the week leading up to the wedding was stressful due to family illnesses and unexpected snow storms in the South, everything turned out perfectly for the crafty couple, who used their talents to add tons of personal touches.
From canvases with meaningful quotes, to the monogrammed hoodies the bridesmaids got ready in and the painted Toms shoes with Heather and Matthew’s favorite Bible verse and personal information, every little detail was planned out and executed perfectly – Matthew even made the bridesmaids’ necklaces, the unity cross and the wooden ring box!
“One of my favorite things that we had was our guest book,” Heather said. “It was a quilt, and people signed it. My grandmother is a quilter, and made it to match our theme. That was really special to us because she wasn’t able to travel to be there, but it was like a piece of her was there still. Everyone loved all of the details at our wedding, and it helped to make the entire day just reflect us.”
Another special detail – the pastor who wed them was Heather’s pastor growing up in Alabama. He baptized Heather, and his wife became close friends with Heather’s mom. Before she passed away, Heather’s mom made him promise that he would perform her wedding someday, and he traveled from Arkansas to keep that promise.
“That was so special to me,” she said. “It was like having a little piece of my mom there, too.”
“They were all against it and were not shy about giving their opinion, but I really wanted to see Matthew before,” she said. “I wanted to talk to him, laugh with him and have some moments with just him. After all, this day was about us, so I wanted time for just us. I stuck to my guns about it and I’m so glad I did. It was such a sweet time to talk, laugh, share gifts, exchange notes and just be together, and I don’t think it took anything away from the walk down the aisle. He still cried, and I wasn’t nervous at all, so I was able to really take it all in. I think it made the walk down the aisle even more meaningful. I think all brides should really consider what THEY want concerning the first look or not, and don’t let someone else change your mind.”
Matthew said it took awhile for Heather to convince him to agree to a first look, but his compromise was that they wouldn’t kiss until the end of the ceremony.
“She looked so beautiful that it was so hard to keep from kissing her, but I somehow managed,” he said. “I thought she looked amazing and she took my breath away, and she still does every single day. My favorite memory from our wedding day was our first dance. We spent several nights pushing the furniture away in the living room in order to create a dance floor, and then practiced a lot to get the steps just right. Even though we had practiced, it was still like we were dancing for the first time.”
Looking back, Heather said one of the best pieces of advice she has for brides-to-be is to delegate tasks to other people on the wedding day – decorating duties, etc. – and to not wait until the last minute to get things done (even though some people thought she was crazy for getting certain things done so early).
After a relaxing week soaking up the sun, snorkeling and making memories at Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica, the newlyweds sold their individual houses and bought a new one, together.
“We love being married,” Heather said. “Our favorite part is that we get to see each other every day. We love cooking dinner and spending a lot of quality time together. It’s so fun to do life with each other.”
As Heather and Matthew settle into their new abode, Heather, a teacher, is spending the summer doing DIY projects to turn their house into a home. The newlyweds enjoy trying new Mexican restaurants, hosting friends at their house for parties, cuddling during Netflix binges on the couch and watching Alabama football games. ROLL TIDE!