Victoria and Austin's Love Story in their Own Words
Victoria moved across the country to Tennessee in January 2013. This critical decision was made by narrowing down the absolute best forensic anthropology schools in the country down to just a few, and thankfully, she chose Tennessee over many others. Enrolling in Spring 2013 classes, she would have no idea what life in Knoxville would look like, let alone what the people would be like. However, encouragement from her family to pursue her dreams of studying at The Body Farm at UT pushed Victoria to live in Knoxville despite not knowing anyone in the city, or the state of Tennessee.
Austin's family decided that life after some twenty years in the Air Force warranted some peace and quiet in the foothills of Appalachia. The Martin family left Tampa Bay and arrived in Tennessee almost a decade ago. After receiving a full Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship to the university of Tennessee for a Civil Engineering degree, Austin came to Knoxville in Fall of 2011.
The Spring 2013 semester saw both of our travelling hearts enrolled at the same university, a university of 27,410 students that is. The University of Tennessee is by no means, a small school. With Victoria in Anthropology, ankle deep in cadavers, and Austin's similarly busy with concrete forming, the odds of two students running into each other is small.
Enter Bill Dean's Geology 101 course. Somehow it panned out that Austin and Victoria would both register for this GenEd course and also the required lab class. As the first few weeks passed they began talking and walking to and from class together. Before long they had their first date at a little coffee shop nearby.
(Although Austin has no recollection of this, Victoria remembers actually meeting Austin even earlier in the semester. She was on the phone with her sister, Kristin, discussing how her first week of school was going on her walk home from class one day when she saw a guy holding a puppy. She told Kristin to hold on a second and she said hello to the puppy and the cute guy -who was actually Austin. He told her that he had just found this dog roaming around and was trying to establish who it belonged to. Victoria wished him good luck and walked away telling Kristin how cute both the puppy and the guy were. When they met later in Geology, Victoria couldn't tell if Austin had been the guy with the puppy or not. She ended up asking him if he ever found a lost dog on campus on one of their early dates. Turns out it had been him all along.)
We chose the Knoxville Botanical Gardens because we wanted a venue outside and in Knoxville. We looked at other places but the Botanical Gardens had more to offer us for our money: gorgeous scenery outside, a brand new elegant building for the reception, plus lots of chairs and tables (and even some decorations) included in the package! We couldn’t believe we could afford such a beautiful venue.
The most emotional moment of my wedding day was when I was walking down the aisle. Obviously that’s not something I do on a regular basis so it was very nerve racking. But as I walked, I made eye contact with all of our family and friends and they had such happy faces that I stopped worrying about all the trivial things like if my steps were in time with the music and how sweaty my hands were. I just focused on them and and felt at awe to have so many people’s love and support. Then I walked past the front row where my mom and sister were sitting and they had happy tears welling up in their eyes and I totally almost lost it. I wanted to stop and hug them but I had to steel myself and walk a few more steps. Luckily, Austin's eyes caught mine and I knew I had made it.
I think my favorite moment was when we finally shared our vows with each other. We had been working on them for a while and Austin was dead-set on not sharing them with each other until the ceremony. I, on the other hand, desperately wanted to know what his said. Then, the night before the wedding, we put them in the same book and it took everything in me not to peek. It was worth the wait though. They were so beautifully written they took my breath away.