I met Tanner in 6th grade math class and boy, was I smitten! I even wrote about “the cute boy named Tanner Cox” in one of my old diaries. Flash forward to our sophomore year of high school and he officially asked me to be his girlfriend. In total, we have gone to 5 school dances together, have been dating for over 6 years, and have had countless dates to Panda Express (we even chose them to cater our wedding)!

Tanner proposed in March, 2019 under the pavilion at Orchards Park in Bentonville. He chose that place because when we were dating, one of our go-to date nights was to eat at Panda Express and then walk around Orchards Park and look at the stars. Tanner and I designed my engagement ring together based off of our promise ring and we used my mother’s old diamonds. Family is very important to both of us, so to be able to incorporate her diamonds meant the world to us!

Tanner and I were originally supposed to have our wedding on May 9th, but with the uncertainty of Covid, we postponed. However, we still eloped on May 6th, hence our wedding koozies that say “quarantine partners for life” with the two dates! The courthouse was not open to the public at the time, so the officiant met us outside and married us in the parking lot….Super romantic.

Now, for what I like to call, the perfect day, July 26th. Tanner and I originally planned for a guest count of 180 but after everything with Covid, it dropped to around 50. Luckily, all of the vendors we worked with were flexible with all of our changes. Meredith Corning, our wedding planner, was on top of all of the Covid regulations regarding weddings (i.e. tables 6 ft apart, hiring servers, etc.) and Laila made sure the guests stuck to the guidelines while still having fun!

A few things that made our wedding special was having Panda Express cater dinner, my step-father officiating, and I SMASHED OUR ENTIRE WEDDING CAKE IN TANNER’S FACE! (Don’t worry, I had this planned so there was extra cake hidden in the back!) We opted to do a glow stick dance floor and grand exit, and it was a hit!

Overall, our wedding did change and wasn’t what we originally planned, I was still able to marry the boy I had a crush on at 12 years old despite the pandemic, and honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing.