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Before I Do

Jennifer + Brice

by Jennifer Mathis


photo | Leann Funk


Flyin’ High Proposal

Brice and I met at a summer camp in the middle of nowhere Arkansas after our freshmen year of college. I attended UT and he was 1,000 miles away at the University of South Carolina. Even through the distance and being broke college kids, we ended up dating all throughout college, planning weekends where we can fly back and forth to each other.

Our senior year rolled around and we knew we wanted to get married.­ We could not wait to spend the rest of our lives together! On March 6, 2016, Brice was in town. We went to church, lunch, and had plans afterwards to go to Zilker Park for the Kite Festival. We had packed a backpack with books and random things we may need to lounge around on a spring day at Zilker. We parked the car and we walked the trail, only for him to derail us past a fence that said “DO NOT TRESPASS.” I freaked out and said we weren’t supposed to be here. Brice being much stronger than me, dragged me by the hand around the fence, to where we found ourselves in front of wooden steps leading down to a dock on the lake. On the dock, there was a blanket with a vase full of sunflowers (my favorite). Turns out, my best friends had helped Brice scour a bunch of different places to find the perfect proposal spot, and got there early to set up.

Brice led me down the stairs and got down on one knee. Honestly, I think I blacked out and don’t remember anything he said to me, other than asking me to be a Richardson. I gladly said yes with tears streaming down my face. We got to sit down on this secluded dock – just us two, and he pulled out a leather journal from the backpack. He shared with me journal entries from the very beginning of our relationship, through our break­up and make­up, and us talking about engagement up to now. Once we got to have some time to ourselves, he called my friend Leeann (who was on standby) to come and take pictures of us. I loved getting to have an intimate moment together after he proposed, but loved that it could also be captured to live forever as photos too.

Afterwards, we went back to my college house where there was a party waiting for us. On top of all of this, he had bought me a flight to go back home with him to celebrate with his family and friends as well He took care of all my nanny duties for the week and class work and notes notes. It was so thoughtful! It was the second greatest day – behind our wedding day, seven months later in October.