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I am so excited to be introducing y’all to Elissa and Brent. Elissa is another bride/friend that I met through my time at the University of Georgia. We’ve kept in touch over the years but became close friends again the year after I lost my momma. Elissa, as you’ll see below, is a world traveler, and she invited me on a trip to Barcelona almost exactly 2 years ago. I didn’t even have a passport, but I rush-ordered one and hopped on a plane with her, her boss, and her boss’ family (crazy, but fun, trust me!). This trip was such a healing moment for me and to have a wise friend like Elissa right by my side is something I’ll never stop thanking God for.

She met Brent literally right after I left Atlanta, but I have so enjoyed getting to know him on my trips back down and at other friend’s weddings and little trips in between. I love them together so much and am so excited for their wedding day!

Mountain EngagMountain Engagement Photos | Georiga | Tinsley Co Photography | Katharine Marie Weddingsement Photos | Engagement Ring | Georiga | Tinsley Co Photography | Katharine Marie Weddings.

How did you meet?

We met in May of 2018 at the Spring Retreat for the church we both attend, Trinity Anglican Church. The first year I went on the retreat was pretty painful and awkward, and I walked away from it not really having met a single new person. This year, I had a goal of meeting three people. Just three.

Brent was one of those people.

A few folks were hanging out around the fire pit making s’mores on Saturday evening. I walked up in my eighth grade overalls to Brent–who had spent most of the day behind a camera filming the retreat video and not talking to anyone–and introduced myself.

Two months later, he asked me out on date on the same day as a joint birthday party with some friends from Trinity. I invited him to come to that instead, hoping that he wouldn’t think I was trying to get out of a date. He was pretty convinced that’s exactly what I was doing. But he bought a bottle of Rosé and drove up GA 400 anyways, telling himself that he would stay for about 30 minutes and if he got to talk to me for five minutes then it was okay.

In the end, he stayed the entire time and after helping clean up, we sat out on the rocking chairs on the porch and talked until later than I’ll admit.

When was your first date?

We had talked pretty early on about how much we both love Christmas, and in particular, the movie White Christmas. You know, the one with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye and all the fantastic musical numbers? So, for one of our first dates (July 8, 2018), Brent proposed the idea that we celebrate Christmas in July, complete with tacky Christmas sweaters and a film screening. That’s why we think it’s only appropriate that come November, we will officially be Mr. & Mrs. Clouse!

 

When was your first date?

We had talked pretty early on about how much we both love Christmas, and in particular, the movie White Christmas. You know, the one with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye and all the fantastic musical numbers? So, for one of our first dates (July 8, 2018), Brent proposed the idea that we celebrate Christmas in July, complete with tacky Christmas sweaters and a film screening. That’s why we think it’s only appropriate that come November, we will officially be Mr. & Mrs. Clouse!

When did you know each other was the one you wanted to marry?

We don’t believe in the “one.” We’ve had many conversations about the fact that we could’ve probably chosen to marry other people and be perfectly happy. Love is a choice. What was most important to each of us in finding the person we wanted to marry was that we both shared our same beliefs. We know that having Christ as the foundation of our relationship is vital to our success as a couple and the impact we can have together for the sake of the kingdom of God. Once we knew that we shared this in common, it was more about whether or not God was calling us to be married to one another. We, obviously, believe that he is. Brent knew this before I did, but I realized it when we went to Kenya this past year. Kenya has been a huge part of my own personal story–the hardest parts and the best–and it was part of the way through that trip that I realized “Yeah…I would much rather do life with him than without him. I would choose that again and again.”
As for the sappy parts, the added bonuses are that I think he’s pretty darn cute, I love that he is a nerd with me, and we have fun doing just about anything together.


What is your favorite thing about each other?

Elissa: Oh man. I’m terrible at favorites. I love that he is a good, intentional communicator. And I love that he brings a feeling of peace and acceptance wherever he goes. I love that he seeks spiritual and emotional health and is willing to put in the work to grow. I love that his whole face lights up when he starts talking about video games and world building in fantasy. I could go on a while, but I will stop.
Brent: I love how you like to go on adventures and also be homebodies.


What was your favorite date?

I think ONE of my favorites has to be during our trip to Joshua Tree last year. One night, we cooked some ravioli from Trader Joes at our Airbnb, packed it up in tin foil, bought a bottle of sauvignon blanc at a gas station, and drove out into the park to eat dinner on a boulder while watching the sunset. We saw coyotes and danced to Coachella by Brooke Fraser. It was so much fun I thought “this couldn’t possibly be real life.” It was this trip when Brent knew he wanted to marry me.

 

What is your favorite thing to do on a regular day together?

We love walking through Atlanta and brunch. Usually, we are either walking through East Atlanta Village to go to Emerald City Bagels to get grav lox, on a rosemary and sea salt bagel, with dill cream cheese. Or we are going towards the Beltline to get a golden latte and salmon toast at Muchacho.
And we also love cooking meals together. We are currently working our way through the Everyday Dorie cookbook by Dorie Greenspan, so if you need a really great steak or stuffed peppers recipe, we’ve gotcha covered ??
Photographer: The Tinsley Co | Instagram