Alison and Tom will be tying the knot in just a few short months, however to celebrate the upcoming moment of newlywed bliss, we had an absolutely adorable engagement session in a local Florida orange grove.
Fate definitely had a part in bring in Alison and Tom together. When Tom was 15 and working at his first “glamorous” job of table bussing at the local coffee shop, Coffee Club, Alison and her friend would often come in for a coffee and to check out the “Hot Coffee Club Guy,” as they nicknamed him. The girls would always laugh at their little inside nickname for Tom, but Alison and Tom never actually connected at the coffee shop. Many years later though, Alison was invited to a Christmas Eve party in 1999 that just so happened to be at his home, unbeknownst to her!
Arriving with her mom and her mom’s new boyfriend, who just so happened to be the uncle of Tom. While the “Hot Coffee Club Guy” tried to take a stab at a little flirtation with Alison, she didn’t pick up on it and their connection was missed again. Tom headed off to Switzerland to travel for four months, which led to the two not running into each other for a while and slowly drifting to the back of their minds. Fortunately though, twelve years later they would meet again.
A birthday celebration for Tom brought his uncle back over for a family and friend’s little shindig, which led to an invite for his uncle’s girlfriend, Alison’s mom. Remembering Alison’s mom from many years back, and of course remembering Alison, Tom asked her mom how she was doing. Single, but doing amazing her mom said, Tom was excited to have found out that Alison was back on the dating market. Friending her on Facebook, the two connected and found out that they had so much in common. Three weeks later, after many late night chats and phone calls, Alison took a leap of faith an flew out to DC where Tom was living at the time.
Sparks flew and over the next two and a half years a long distance relationship between DC to Orlando followed by DC to New York City ensued. Upon graduation in 2014 from grad school, Tom took the ‘long distance’ out of their ‘long distance relationship,’ by moving to Orlando to be with Alison and the rest is history!
Warmth, compassion, and innocence are the qualities that drew Tom in to Alison. As he explained, “I love that she’s always there to listen, stand by me, and giggle at my goofy jokes. Her depth and insight keeps me humble and on my toes. I’m honored to be marrying her.” For Alison, it is the “beautiful mix of opposites” the drew her in to Tom. Alison who is a little less goofy, loves how Tom brings out the biggest smile and her laughter to the surface with all of his goofy jokes. His dedication to life in itself from volunteering with the Peach Corps to checking on their elderly neighbor is only a small part of how selfless he is in helping others. It is the all encompassing warmth of protection and love that Tom gives Alison, where as she explains it, “I love that we can talk about anything, but also be perfect happy being silent.” They truly just ‘get one another.’
After several years of dating, moving, graduating, and so many more milestones, the two started shopping for rings to mark off their next big milestone moment together. Tom had been asking about the style of ring she wanted, of course wanting to make sure she got exactly what she loved, and Alison even created a Pinterest page called “Tom Look Here”… just a little clue of where her favorite inspiration pictures might be found.
Taking a little time to themselves for a mini-vaca weekend getaway, Tom and Alison traveled to the west coast to stay and enjoy Siesta Key, might I add one of my favorite little beach cities. While taking a romantic walk along the beach, Tom attempted to propose, or was well about to attempt, but the weather had a different idea and the downpour had them running back inside. The next day’s travel events included a trip to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. The grounds of the CaD’Zan mansion and beauty of the waterside along it was the perfect spot for Tom to make his move. Holding Alison’s hand as they walked along, Tom turned to her and bent down on one knee. Asking for her hand in marriage and to be his wife, Alison of course said, “yes!” Later that day, Tom told Alison that he had had the ring for over a month and was trying to find the most perfect time to propose and knew that it was the moment they were together, on the beautiful grounds of the Ringing, walking hand in hand and just enjoying one another’s company that was that “perfect moment.”
I love asking my sweethearts about newlywed advice that they have for other newlyweds planning for their big day. Alison and Tom couldn’t have captured it more beautifully, “don’t sweat the small stuff (and its all small stuff!). In the end, the wedding is just one day; what really matters is how you live the rest of your lives together and how you treat one another for every day going forward.”
Looking forward to capturing these two tie the knot this November!