I first became acquainted with Owen in church. He had a ready smile and was a real charmer. He was also wearing a diaper as he sat in his crib in the nursery.The next time I saw him he was in his twenties and at his cousin's wedding, helping to load up the getaway car and joking with friends about who would be the next to stand at the end of the aisle, locking eyes, hands and hearts with some girl. If there were any wagers made that day Owen certainly came out the winner as he introduced me to Jillian, and when he does find himself hand-in-hand at the end of that aisle he'll be gazing into a pair of emerald eyes that are as close in color to his own to make one think they'd been made as part of a matched set
I'm heartbroken that I can't be there in Chicago to see the magic on the big day, but I was already booked to photograph another wedding (Be sure to tell your wedding photographer they'd better treat you right or they'll have to answer to me). I was overjoyed, though, when asked to take their engagement photos here in Fayetteville.
It was such a pleasure being with the two of them and seeing first hand how great they were together. Owen, the local boy, graduate of UT; and Jillian, from Chicago, as exciting and fun to be around as she is gorgeous. Owen says his first impression of her was to ask, "Who is the very good looking loud girl that I want to meet."
Jillian's roommate Katie introduced them at the Outback here in Fayetteville. Jillian remembers thinking he was nice. Things must have warmed up from there though. She also remembers how he gallantly shielded her and a group of her friends from being bowled over by some women who were getting into a fist fight. Gallant doesn't translate to grace though because he didn't make a big impression on Jillian as a dancer.I asked Jillian how Owen proposed and thought the story was so good I'd let her tell it in her own words: "Owen and I had planned a trip to Chicago for a long weekend to go and visit with my friends and family and he had asked me before we went if we could go running on the lakefront in the city. I told him that would be fine, so Thursday night we arrived and my friends picked us up from the airport and we went out to dinner that night. The next morning (Friday) we woke up and went running down on the lake front and Owen asked me if we could walk down to the water. We started to walk down to the water and Owen was complaining that his legs were hurting and i kind of got a little bit in front of him and all of sudden i heard a huge UGH! and Owen was down on the ground complaining that he had a leg cramp. At first i said what am i supposed to do, and then he laughed and came up with the ring and was down on one knee. It was very cute and special and no one was around. Perfect!
Anyone who knows Owen would recognize him with a golf club in his hands so we had to do some shots to help make him more "recognizable" to those folks.
Since the wedding is in Chicago and they're here in Fayetteville, Jillian and Owen have found that planning becomes quite a challenge. Fortunately Jillian's mom has been a great help in taking care of all the details that require someone to be present in the city.Another thing that has been challenging for them is the list for invitations. They finally decided just to go ahead and invite all of those that were closest to them. That figures. If you ask either of them what they admire most in the other they'll tell you, among other things, that they both loyally stand with friends and family no matter the situation. And if loyalty isn't a good enough character quality on which to start building a relationship I can't think of one that is.