Our Story


One question we heard a lot from J. B.'s family at the reunion was, "How did you two meet?"  Believe it or not, the answer is "Match.com!"  Yes, we both gave the Internet dating world a shot back in the summer of 2006.  It all started with a "wink" from Melissa and an email reply from J. B.  We emailed back and forth for a week before we first met in person on July 21st.  Our first date was in Buckhead--we had dinner at a great Mexican restaurant, Casa Grande, followed by coffee and hot chocolate at Apres Diem.  We talked and talked non-stop... for 6+ hours!!! 

Going against the usual "rules" of dating, that very night we planned our second date for the following Friday's Braves game vs. the New York Mets.  How could we pass up a match-up like that?  On that date, while we were eating dinner in front of the Clubhouse Store, one of the photographers stopped and asked to take our picture.  We figured, why not?!  Our very first picture together :-) (Which you can see at the top right.)

By the 4th date, which was our first time out together for sushi and miniature golf, we knew we had something pretty special and decided to make it official.  Both of us had already removed our profiles from Match.com, as it was! 

We continued to hang out together as much as we could on weekends.  Miraculously, we managed to make it through our first college football season together as rival fans: J. B. is a die-hard UGA Dawg supporter and Melissa grew up the daughter of a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket.  We decided that if we could survive the UGA-GT game together in Athens that year we could survive just about anything!  To the right and up just a bit you can see  a picture of us tailgating in a parking lot before the game.  Some girls stopped by to take our picture because they thought it was cute that we were a "divided" couple, so we got them to take one with our camera, too!

The Christmas season of 2006 was a lot of fun for us.  We took a trip to Stone Mountain to take part in their month-long Christmas festivities. Neither of us had been in a long time, so it was fun to be able to share that time together.  The end of the month also gave us the opportunity for J. B. to meet Melissa's family.  Dinner at the Winchester Woodfire Grill and dessert afterward was the perfect chance to break the ice.  (In December, our first discussion of the possibility of marriage occurred--another important event!)

Not long after that, we had the opportunity to celebrate the New Year, which we decided to do at a Brazilian Steakhouse in Buckhead, Fogo de Chao.  We also had our back-to-back birthdays right around the corner.  J. B. was born on January 7th and Melissa followed 3 years and a day later on the 8th!  Clearly we were meant to be! 

We enjoyed a lot of "firsts" during this time together in 2007.  Valentine's Day was the first one of any significance for either of us!  Melissa had just moved into her townhouse and decided to cook a special dinner in celebration.  We also enjoyed exploring new restaurants in and around Atlanta together--we are always up for good Mexican, good barbecue, and just good food in general!  Trying new things and going new places was important to us and remains that way today.

We also had fun meeting and getting to know each other's friends.  A group of current and former employees from Melissa's office at Russell Athletic frequently got together for trivia nights or karaoke, and we enjoyed hanging out with them. The picture above is from March 2007, at one of our Trivia Nights at Blue Moon Pizza in Smyrna.  We also made plans to get together with J. B.'s friends that month so that Melissa could finally meet them.  She experienced her first NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on this occasion.  As she says, it will probably also be her last race--she prefers turning them on TV at home when she wants to take a nap, as J. B. always likes to tease her.

Finally the time came to celebrate our 1-year anniversary arrived.  We decided to re-create our first date (minus the 6 hour length part)!  So, we got dressed up (probably TOO dressed up) and went out for an evening of nostalgia, romance and good food.  By now, the marriage talks were pretty serious and it was just a matter of a few months before we would get engaged.


Fall brought with it another football season (of course!), as well as a weekend trip with Melissa's family to their vacation house in Burnsville, NC--way up in the mountains.  We all enjoyed our first visit to Grandfather Mountain and its nature reserve that weekend, as well as plenty of relaxation, board games, card games and conversation.  The picture below is at the Grandfather Mountain Visitors' Center near the summit of the mountain and just before we reached the mile high swinging bridge.  For more pictures from our trip to Grandfather Mountain, please visit our photo albums page!  The day was clear and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking--we came back with a lot of amazing photos!

A few of weeks after that long weekend in North Carolina, we took a trip together to The Shane Company in Kennesaw to scope out rings and a month later there was a "surprise" proposal on our way to a Falcons game at the Georgia Dome!  We had a fan sitting near us take our picture (shown below) so we would always have that memory.  My parents also came over that night to celebrate and get their own pictures of the two of us by my Christmas tree.

Finally... it was time to REALLY get into planning our wedding!  (Though Melissa had actually already found the location and picked out her colors, of course!)  Below are two pictures from our engagement photo session with Carol Cole.  The one on the right was our "official" photo that we used in our engagement announcement in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


We hope you enjoyed reading more about us and how we got to where we are today.  For more details about our amazing wedding and the planning that went into it, please visit our Wedding page.
Our 2nd date: Braves vs. Mets 7/28/06
GT vs. UGA: November 2006.
On the sky tram up to the top of Stone Mountain.
At the Winchester Woodfire Grill.
At Blue Moon Pizza for Trivia Night.
Our first dating anniversary.
Near the top of Grandfather Mountain.
At the Falcons game after getting engaged.
One of our engagement photos.
Our official engagement photo.