Hannah and Tanner

Our Story

Hannah and I met December 1, 2015. On January 11, 2016 we were dating. You may be thinking to yourself "Whew...that was fast"! All our friends said that too. But hey, you are reading this on our wedding website, so hush! We met when we were 18 and we've spent the past 1400+ days growing up together. It's been awesome.

We met at AOII Tacky Christmas. Han took one of my best friends, and I was invited by another AOII. I remember walking up to Alex (the aforementioned best friend) at dinner and being introduced to Hannah. From the start, I realized Hannah was unashamedly herself. I thought this was awesome and I wanted to know her more. The next day we had dinner together at the long tables of Bolton (classic). Well, of course, we weren’t alone, but neither of us remember who else was there. Hannah left that conversation and told Rachel she was going to marry me (WHAT)!

From that day on, talking with Hannah has been so life-giving and refreshing. As I look back on those last few weeks before Christmas break, I can remember excitement surrounding all our interactions. I guess this is what you call a crush. We spent some time together over the next week, but then the break was upon us (dun, dun, dun). *Read in a dramatic voice*: Would this spark last over the break or would it burn out before the new year?

Fortunately, I had the foresight to host a Christmas party and invite all of our new college friends to my house in the middle of our month off. Of course, Hannah was invited. I remember feeling really anxious leading up to the party because she was going to be there. We'd really hit it off before the break, but would those feelings still be there?? Spoiler alert, the party sealed the deal. Hannah and I spent most of the night together (she can give you the play-by-play if you'd like) and we went into the rest of the break with expectation and excitement for whatever was to come.

Things really sped up from there. We texted (cringe, I know) while I was in Wisconsin visiting my family, brought in the New Year together at the Phi Slam party, spent some sessions at Passion Conference sitting together, and went to Panera on my Grandma’s dime before returning to UGA. I remember coming back to school head over heals for Hannah. In just a month Hannah went from being a stranger to someone I wanted to pursue wholeheartedly. We decided to officially start dating on January 11th, the first day of second semester...to the shock and awe of people who didn't even know we knew each other ;)

We spent the rest of college together, growing and learning and being challenged and supported by one another. We started our relationship full of confidence that the Lord had something special for us if we were willing to trust Him and each other. That confidence, I think, has created the richness Hannah and I have found in our relationship. From the exciting anticipation of freshman year dorm room hangs to the joy of truly knowing and supporting someone through transition and change, we've determined we really love sharing our lives with each other.

Over the years I’ve seen the depth of Hannah’s heart for the Lord, for her friends, and for life. She is so beautiful, strong, kind, loving, supportive, and patient. She really is everything I could ever want in a partner. So last spring I took the next (BIG) step and asked Hannah to marry me and spend forever together! Here's how that went down...

Athens has been our home for the last four years, it's a place that feels like "ours," so I knew I wanted to do it there. I drove around with my sisters on the backroads between Milledge Ave and West Lake Drive looking for a prime location when we stumbled upon the perfect place. On our right side the woods opened up to a backyard with a small creek and an arched wooden bridge. On one side was an old brick fireplace and on the other was a beautiful wooden gazebo. It was like a fairytale meadow in a stranger's backyard!

I brought Rachel there the next week, and she loved it (tested and approved). With that confirmation I walked up to the front door, knocked, and talked to a sweet woman who was totally on board with me using her backyard to stage an elaborate proposal! Now all I had to do was pick a date! Hannah and I had talked about getting engaged around the end of the school year, but I still wanted to make it a surprise..so I had to throw Hannah off the scent. My ingenious plan of action was to take her on weekly dates starting in April to keep her on her toes.

The weekend before was probably when I should have proposed. The weather was beautiful, it was 70 degrees and Hannah was wearing her "I think we're getting engaged tonight" outfit. I showed up with flowers, we went to Donna Chang's, bought a slice of cake from Big City Bread to go, and ate it by the railroad tracks. Perfect chance to propose. But my mission for the date was to see how far I could get Hannah to walk in high heels. I made us walk a few minutes before we sat down to eat our cake and determined if Hannah thought she was going to be proposed to, she was not going to complain which was great news.

On the REAL big day, I had a plan to take her to the Expat and then ask her to go on a walk before heading back to her house. The bad news is it was 55 degrees and windy, Hannah had woken up from a nap about 5 minutes before we left and right before she walked out of the door she told her friends "I hope I don't get engaged tonight, I hate my outfit." But I digress. Dinner was amazing. I was nervous, but just getting to talk with Han and eat yummy food calmed my nerves. We walked out of the restaurant and I asked Hannah to go on a walk before heading back. She was a little resistant because she had boiled 2 dozen eggs earlier in the day to decorate with her roommates. Two dozen eggs which I knew would be going to waste. I said I just wanted a little more time with her. She said "but the eggs..." and then agreed.

Since it was cold, I threw out the idea of driving down the backstreets and walking somewhere we hadn't before. She hesitantly agreed and before long we were parking just down the road from the spot I'd scoped out months before. That's when making small talk got hard. I said things like, "The houses here are beautiful" right as we went past this overgrown shabby looking house (face palm). We got right to the side of the house, the entrance to the backyard, and I told Hannah I had been running here the other day and she had to see the backyard of this house. I cannot stress enough how much she did not want to go in this stranger's backyard...I had not prepared for this much resistance! But after a little more assurance and some tugging in the direction of the house, I think she realized what was about to happen and agreed to walk with me. The place was beautiful, the decorations were perfect, Hannah kept saying she was going to throw up, it was a dream. Thankfully, she said yes and we were engaged. And engagement has been the best.

We are so excited to start this next chapter together. And we thank YOU for being a part of our journey. A lot of you have only ever known us as Tanner&Hannah. And we really love that. Thank you for building us up, encouraging us, and delighting in this season with us. We would especially like to thank our families, 120 A & B, Gran Ellen, Fort Mort, and Russell 931 for shaping us, championing us, and being the most FUN people in the world. We absolutely cannot wait to celebrate with you on August 23!
Kristie Kern