When I first met Jen & Austin I was blown away… by their chemistry… by their love … by how extremely comfortable they were together… They fit. After I heard their sweet story… (which is far better told by them) I knew why I adored them.
When Jen and Austin were teenagers… they had a special place… a gazebo they called their own… They would retreat there night after night and spend time together… often singing their own renditions of 311 songs. One night without realizing… Jen’s charm on her necklace fell between the slats of the gazebo floor…and when she sat up… her necklace snapped… In a single moment, her charm was lost…
That gazebo also left its mark of them… when their relationship grew to be miles apart… they would end each phone call with…”I’ll meet you at the gazebo tonight”…
On March 13, 2010, their high school anniversary… they headed to Houston for a trip to visit family and see her brother in law’s band play… They grabbed lunch and stopped by the Gazebo for an impromptu picnic where Austin proposed… It was the perfect place… for the perfect moment… However, this time they weren’t singing their own renditions of 311 sons… This time their eyes were full of tears, hearts full of laughter… and heads full of happily ever after!
Internet: Meet Jen & Austin!
(The story below is written by Jen… I could not come anywhere close to telling their story the way they can!… This will give some insight to the story these pictures tell!)
“Love is a friendship set to music.” –Joseph Campbell
When we found that quote printed on a tiny scrap of paper while attending a friend’s wedding in January 2009, we both knew that it perfectly summed up the metaphorical and literal essence of our relationship.
We met in November of 1995, at The Abyss, an all-ages club in Houston, while a nameless bar band rumbled on in the background. After a few exchanged glances from across the venue, Austin used his band’s upcoming show as an excuse to hand me a flyer and to introduce himself (I still have the flyer to prove it). It wasn’t long before we were spending every moment we could spare together, lost in the scores of LP’s that my disc jockey parents had amassed over the years, or poring over the lyrics of the latest album we had adopted for that given week. We covered our textbook covers and bedroom walls in enthusiastic displays of our mutual love for bands such as Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Hagfish, and our shared favorite, 311. Even some of my first photos ever published adorned the CD that Austin’s band released in the summer of 1996.
Despite our boundless love for one another, our relationship came to an end a year and a half after we first met, and the lines of communication all but ceased. High school faded into college, CDs became mp3s, and Y2K came and went without much fanfare. Although Austin spent the better part of the next four years eluding any chance at a friendship with me, I nonetheless persisted and finally succeeded in getting him to let his guard down in college when I called him during his weekly DJ shift at KTSW, Southwest Texas’s radio station (for those who remember when it was Southwest Texas and not Texas State).
And with that cautious greeting, our friendship swiftly resumed. We easily set aside all differences and spent the summer months of 2001 catching up and rebuilding the bonds that lay dormant for far too long. From that summer on, we stubbornly maintained our label as ‘friends,’ perhaps as a result of us both having too much pride to admit the shared feelings swelling beneath the surface.
As iPods replaced Discmans, I remained a proud Austinite after college while Austin moved to California to attend law school in 2003. Long distance can impede the growth of any relationship, yet we maintained our friendship half a country apart, punctuated by the occasional mix CD that would work its way through the postal service from one set of hands to another. Then there were the catchy song choruses with the hidden meanings in its lyrics that would be assigned as each other’s ringtones. And no nine-hour marathon phone call would be complete without the guitar-toned lullabies that would welcome the new day’s rising sun.
Fortunately, three years of California (and a little prodding from me) were enough to convince Austin to return to Texas in 2006, and for the first time ever in the course of our relationship, we lived in the same city as one another. But we gradually realized that the mix CDs didn’t sound as good and the punk rock shows weren’t as fun when we spent those times apart. I guess after all the years of love, friendship, and music, it comes as no surprise that Austin finally professed his love to me in February of 2008, minutes before we left my apartment to attend a G. Love and Special Sauce concert. And ever since that night, we haven’t looked back.
Our entire experience spent visiting every spot on the friendship spectrum has created the timeless quality that I love about our relationship. In the same conversation, or trip to the grocery store, or ride in the car, we are awkward teens and established adults all at once. We are each other’s past, present, and future, and we both regularly express gratitude, with tears of laughter streaming down our cheeks, that we are each other’s best friends.
So now, fifteen years since our first meeting, our wedding day draws near, and we increasingly fret about last-minute details and feel overwhelmed about the enormity of the impending big day. Yet we never lose sight of what matters most as we prepare to embark on our journey to the happily-ever-after: no matter what we do, no matter where we go, our relationship is a love song, and we never want it to end.
Austin is not only a talented musician… he is a talented writer.. This is a synopsis of their story… told by him… and this was their unique Save the Date… designed by: Allyson Maxey