Olivia & Bryan
I've never met two people more genuine and head-over-heels in love than Bryan and Olivia. From email one, I knew Olivia was one of a kind, and after our Skype date with Bryan I knew these were the type of people that would forever be in my life. They are completely open, honest, and such incredibly friendly people, you just want to say, "did we just become best friends?"
There are always a few questions I ask before writing these blogs - you know, just to make sure I don't get any of the details wrong. I am in love with telling stories with photographs, but they are only complete with the words of the past. When I got back Olivia + Bryan's responses, they blew me away yet again with being so dang wonderful. It was actually so wonderful that I couldn't change a single word they wrote. Their voices are so strong and his and her's responses so unique, I had to keep it exactly as they intended. There is just no way that I could ever reflect their feelings from a third point of view. There's a first time for everything, right?
Olivia: In January 2015, I was on my way to Colorado Springs to visit my friend Rachel. After my flight getting delayed 11 times, I arrived at 2 am. The last thing I ever expected was to meet my future hubby.
Bryan: I distinctly remember Rachel talking about her friend that was coming out in January one time when the two of us grabbed some coffee. After that, I day, I didn't think about it until that fateful night.
Rachel took me to her church group a few nights later and introduced me to many of her friends. It was there that she led me up to a tall, dark, handsome man; wearing a neon yellow bro tank. Despite his attire (apparently the washing machine was broken), I was immediately drawn to how genuine he was. Oh oh, this guy was cute!
What I didn't expect was the beauty I met that night. She was tall and had this beautiful, curly head of dark hair. We played some random group games together but ended up talking to each other for a long time about our passions, future plans, and what we thought God had in store for us.
Bryan and I ended up talking for about two hours that evening. I distinctly recall how sparkly his blue eyes were as he talked about God's goodness. Okay, now he was really, really cute!
What blew me away about Olivia was her love for God and that she was so passionate about photography and film! She was so genuine and loving!
When it came time to say goodbye, Bryan gave me a quick hug and I thought that would be the last of him.
I didn't know what God had planned for Livi and myself, but I just knew I needed to keep this woman in my life.
The next morning, my phone dinged loudly notifying me of a facebook message from none other than Bryan McCracken. He wrote me a note saying how much he enjoyed meeting me the night before and that he could tell God had big plans for me.
I wanted to play it cool and seem nice but not too forward. I thought I wouldn't get a response other than, "ah, thanks" and not speak another word to her. What I got back was just as genuine as the beauty I met the night before. I could tell she was so different than anyone else I'd ever met!
One message turned into lots more. After weeks of messaging back and forth, Bryan asked me to Skype. After weeks of Skyping, Bryan asked to see me in person. In April, I flew out to Colorado Springs again and was greeted by this handsome guy at the airport. After grabbing all of my bags, he took my hand, bought me dinner, and asked me to be his girlfriend. Whoa, I really liked this guy.
Messaging Livi was all well and good. I remember when I messaged her to ask if we could skype. Once I hit send, I felt my palms start to sweat and my heart was racing until I heard her reply! Part of me thought she was gonna say "umm no, that's weird" but she was so open to it! After lots of skyping, I knew that I really liked this chick, so I had to see her in person and see how it went. Spoiler alert, it went well!
In July, I moved out to Colorado and the adventures began. We hiked mountains, shared giant cookies, and even dressed up as Kristof and Anna. All the while I was thinking, "I think I love this guy."
I was so excited to have Olivia in the same state, and it was nice to be able to plan actual dates and not just skype dates! I love all of our little or big adventures! Livi introduced me to so much, whether it be here in Colorado or back in her home state of Wisconsin!
Fast forward over the months filled with adventures, and I am absolutely 100% head over heels for Bryan.
I remember the first time I realized how much I loved Olivia. I was hanging out with my friend Scott, and I mentioned it to him. I recall his response was something along the lines of, "Ummm, I coulda told you that like two months ago, bro." Each and every day I fall more and more in love with this woman.
I knew something was there when Bryan messaged me the day after I met. I was completely caught off guard. And if I'm being honest, my heart totally jumped when I saw it was him.
I think I was in denial for a little bit about Olivia. I was like, nahhh, she's just a cool girl from Wisconsin that I'm getting to know better at a distance. Then the messages became longer and more questions and then BOOM! Feelings, good ones that freaked me out for a little bit but I'm glad I started talking to her and pursuing her.
The First Date
Our first date was April 8, 2015. I flew all the way out from Wisconsin to re-meet Bryan in person. As I deboarded the plane, I was all butterflies. As soon as I saw his smiling face and sparkling eyes, all of my worries melted away. Bryan wrapped his arms around me, and I instantly felt like I was home.
The rest of the evening was filled with egg rolls, fried rice, and sesame chicken. At a hole in the wall Chinese restaurant, Bryan took my hand in his, looked me in the eye, and asked me to be his girlfriend.
Picking up Olivia at the airport was awesome. I don't think I've ever been more nervous (except when I proposed!). I had this super irrational fear that I would somehow miss this beauty from Wisconsin coming up the stairs at DIA, but when that moment came, I knew there was no way I could ever miss this gorgeous woman in a million years. Her face lit up when she saw me and I absolutely loved having her in my arms. Taking her to dinner on the way back was excellent and I couldn't help but ask her to be my girlfriend! I didn't want to miss a single thing or miss out on such an incredible woman!
After the overwhelming ooey gooey feelings of falling for each other, we hopped on his trampoline underneath the mountain air and starry sky. He planted a kiss on me, and the rest is history.
On a warm day in June, Bryan took me out for a quick sip of coffee at Starbucks. He asked if I wanted to go on an adventure. Um, heck yes! And so the days adventure began.
This day was THE Day. I was so nervous about everything I had set up, yet at the same time so excited to ask the love of my life to be my wife!
He was dressed up quite nice, and kept smiling to himself on the drive to our different stops around Colorado Springs. At each stop, he pulled a little piece of paper out of his pocket to ask me a question (what is my favorite thing about my family, what is my favorite thing about God, etc) or read me a bible verse.
I could tell that Livi had some idea of what was happening, so I tried to be sneaky and keep her on her toes of when exactly I was going to pop the question.
By the last stop of the day, Bryan stopped talking. In fact, he was absolutely silent. If you have ever met Bryan, you know that he talks as much as he breathes. For Bryan to be silent - no small talk, no random facts - is almost unfathomable. So we walked side by side, with him silently smiling to himself every so often in the Garden of the Gods. Eventually he said, "oh wow, look at those neat signs!" Wondering why he was so excited to point out the keep on the path signs, I took a closer look. To my surprise, there were pictures of me on these signs. Each one had a different place I had visited (Greece, Alaska, Colorado, Wisconsin). And at every one of these, my sweet Bryan stopped to read me a little something romantic.
I wanted everything to be as perfect as I could make it. I was so nervous that I knew it would be difficult for me to remember everything I wanted to say. So I wrote down what to say at each of the signs and moved on once I was done. I thought I could keep a straight face, but I definitely had tears at each of the signs.
We approached the final sign, which had a compass on it and "what's next?" Bryan had led me past it and to a stand that had our Adventure Book that we had been working on during the year, and my camera on a tripod. The book was opened to a page with June 14th, 2016 written on it. Bryan took me up to my camera and asked if I could help him take a picture. Placing my eye to the viewfinder, I focused the lens on a sign that read, "Olivia Lauren Locascio, will you marry me?" In complete shock, I turned towards Bryan, only to find him down on one knee. In his hands, he held a small globe that was cut in half. IN that globe lay the most beautiful, sparkly ring I had ever seen. With tears in his eyes, Bryan asked if I would marry him.
The moments seem to pass by in a blur, but I knew I was saying stuff and being all romantic. But I barely recall what I said and the next thing I knew, I was down on one knee asking the most important question anyone could ask!
It's all kind of a blur, but I remember him eventually saying, "So, is that a yes?" Apparently, I was so stunned that I forgot to say yes! But I eventually found my voice and exclaimed, "YEA!"
She was so beautiful and so happy when I got back up, we hugged and kissed, and all the people that helped me set up the whole deal came out cheering!
If you think his proposal was sweet, you should see how he treats me like a princess every day. I have never met a kinder, more gentle, or more loving man than Bryan McCracken. I get to marry this man, and I am SO excited to spend all my days with him.
Olivia is the most incredible woman I've ever known and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with my beautiful, quirky, wonderful, Godly, and loving woman. She is so thoughtful and everyone she meets knows they're valued because of how Livi treats them!
See what I mean? They wrote a love letter to each other via email. I couldn't change a single word.
Cheers to faith, fate, and love letters via email,