Monday, July 21, 2008

joining the brides-to-be!

forgive me for the long post - this one's pretty important.

can this be real? i've spent so much time with brides-to-be over the last year that it's been hard not to think about the possibility that i might get to actually be one someday...still, not wanting to jinx it, i've done a pretty good job at keeping my mouth shut and my mind on everyone else's weddings! well guess what - it's MY turn. :)

i met alan a little over 6 years ago at hanes mall in greensboro. neither of us remember many details. i was 17 and spending a week with girls from all across the state to prepare for the north carolina junior miss program. one of those girls happened to be from roxboro and as she and i quickly realized that we had more small town north carolina in our blood than concern for our fitness routine, we became inseperable. on a quick break from rehearsals and interviews, the girls hit the mall. half the town of roxboro had already arrived to watch their very own junior miss - stacey - hit the stage that night, and alan was right there to cheer her on...with an airhorn. airhorns are now banned from the junior miss program.

over the next few years of college i made countless trips to roxboro with stacey to visit her hometown. alan never failed to show up when i was around. after years of playing hard-to-get, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks that i had no choice - he was "it." one year ago yesterday, july 20, 2007, alan and i ended up at the same concert in raleigh. brad paisley. that's where i told him that i quit. and i did...i quit pretending that he was not absolutely made for me - cut-off sleeves, pick-up truck, and all.

we had no choice but to celebrate our anniversary at the brad paisley concert. because this time around i'm a wedding photographer, and would be working cara & martin's big day (photos coming soon) on saturday during the raleigh show, we headed to charlotte friday night.

i'm a smart girl, and i expected that something would happen sooner or later. still, i believed him when he couldn't eat much at dinner because "the food was too spicy and that energy drink made him feel funny." when he rushed me to get to the concert waaay before it started, i considered the possibility, but convinced myself that those backstage passes that he picked up (courtesy of mr. andy griffith, brad paisley's hero and a frequent customer at my family's butcher shop in nags head) were the one and only reason he was so worked up.

the concert was just as awesome as it was last year. when brad sang about how "it's time to put a ring on the finger i'm wrapped around" followed directly by my favorite - everything, and NOTHING happened, every suspicion i had disappeared and i knew i'd be waiting for another day.

after the show, we lined up with 68 other fans at the backstage gate for the meet and greet. since i knew where the passes came from, i recognized the initials "ag" on the bottom corner of our passes. the guard noticed those initials too and asked us to step to the side, we would be going in to meet brad last...after the crowd was gone. 20 minutes later, we were standing face to face with brad paisley (who knew the plan all along). after a little small talk and a quick photo, alan proceeded to stutter through our story. before i knew it he was on his knee, my brain stopped working, and thank GOODNESS that photographer kept snapping.

visit the tour blog at for their (much shorter) version of the night. this photo is courtesy of the tour blog.

thanks mr. griffith and mr. paisley for helping to make this the most special night of our lives. now we just need to know if brad wants to sing at the ceremony or the reception. :)


Melody said...

Your writing always gives me chills... especially this time! Congrats again and again and again and again!!! WE ARE ENGAGED TOGETHER!!! Imagine that. Loooooove you!

Anonymous said...

Congratlutions "doodle-bug" and yes, you too Alan. Allison, you will always be Daddy's girl and the love of my life, but I'm willing to share. I wish you and Alan as much happiness as Michelle and I share. You've made me proud again, and FINALLY picked one I can live with. I can't wait for you to get home. We love you!


Carol Hedspeth Lowe said...

Congratulations, Allison. In case you didn't already suspect the truth, the news of your engagement is sweeping the circuit in Conway. It's nice to know that you've found in Alan a guy who will appreciate the fact that your entire hometown not only knows you but is SO-O-O happy for you! Hope to see you soon and am looking forward to meeting Alan.
Your fellow photog,

Kate Catlin said...

I am so happy for you and can't wait to sit down and catch up. I love ya tons!

Jill said...

What an amazing blog! I am so happy for you and Alan - I can't wait to catch up!

Jenni :-) said...

all i can say is WOW! thanks for the running mascara...

to my other little sister - can you believe it? words cannot describe how happy i am for you. i could not have picked a better bride for my brother or should i say "sister." i am so excited that after all these years things worked out the way they did. the two of you are a perfect match. okay march at my "big weekend" we were wondering who would be next...i believe you said, "not me!" we know! you are going to be a gorgeous bride.

to my brother aka my sister - YAY for you. i am totally impressed. i knew you had it in you. i am so proud of you...and so glad that you finally "got her." good for you for never managing to give up! :-) you are going to make a wonderful, loving husband.

to the both of you - congrats! you both are very special to me and you deserve the best...i believe you have found that in each other. can't wait till the big day. love ya'll tons!

Peggy said...

Congratulations Allison. We are so happy for you and Alan. What a great love story and thanks for sharing it with us. The Blog is so special and we are so proud of all you have acomplished with your career in such a short time and got engaged too! Best wishes.
Billy and Peggy

Kristi said...

Your story actually made me cry! lol I am so happy for you. The picture is adorable too. Just the right moment of happiness and shock! lol I know that you are going to be so extremely happy together. Please feel free to call me anytime. I left my number on your facebook posting. I would love to still help you organize if you need it.

Congratulations Again,

Anonymous said...

Alli Cat!! Oh my goodness! I am so happy for you. That is such a sweet story. CONGRATS! I miss you! Love you!

Love Jess

One Chantoosie Doosie said...

I just love good cry...

The tears were hovering on the rims of my eyes until I read your Daddy's post. The perfect love that he has for you always comes shining through in his comments.

Congratulations on your engagement!

p.s. Good job on the proposal Alan ;)

Anonymous said...


ok, so clearly, God was working in this from the beginning. this is all his handy work. I know that and I love that. But I do enjoy taking a little credit in one union that was clearly meant to be. so, throw a pizza, let's go get a sandwich, and let's continuing have the time of our lives in ROXBORO!

love, love, love,

Anonymous said...

So welcome to the crazy but lovable
Clayton family! I am so happy for
you and Alan. I have told Alan that
but I havent seen you yet to tell
you so. Alan may not know this
but I have kind always considered
him my favorite of Terry's nephews.
I know you will be very happy together and I am very proud of you both. And if you need to know
what your future kids will look
like look at Tyler.Only if Tyler
turns out at good as Alan did I
couldn't be any prouder

Sheila said...

This is really random, but I was browsing photographers randomly (I'm a wannabe) and saw your engagement pics on Jameka's site... I live in Roxboro so I thought it was neat that you took them here. Then I clicked to your blog and I live next to "Junior Miss Stacey". I'm her next door neighbor! Random, huh?

Well, congrats and happy wedding planning!