Before meeting each other, we attended the same church, but somehow, we had never crossed paths before. We had different friend groups and lived in different parts of Charlotte. We both wanted to step into Community Group leadership at our church because we knew there was a need for more leaders, but neither of us had a partner to lead with. At the time, Jess's good friend Cori was overseeing Community Groups at their church and was responsible for leading the trainings for future leaders and partnering people together to lead if they didn't have anyone to lead with. Nate went through group leader training and kept asking Cori who she had found for him to lead with, while Cori kept telling Nate it was his job to find someone! Jess went through group leader training at a different time than Nate, and when it came time for her to be partnered with someone, she didn't know of any single, eligible guys who wanted to lead a group, so she looked to Cori to find her a partner. Jess's one stipulation was that the guy needed to be someone who "wasn't her type because she didn't want to deal with falling in love with her co-leader." Cori assured Jessica that Nate was not close to her type and they would not be dating. Famous last words, right? So then Cori suggested we lead a group together and connected us via email. Nate reached out to schedule a dinner so we could get to know one another better and see if we got along well enough to lead a group. That dinner turned into a three-hour conversation, and Jess left thinking it went better than any first dates she had been on in the past year, even though it wasn't a date, and Nate thought, "Yeah, I can lead a group with this girl." As the weeks passed and we stepped into group leadership, we began to build a friendship that seemed like it was more than just two people leading a community group together. Y'all know how it goes! The texting, the waiting, the confusion, the dialoguing with our friends, the wondering what the other person was thinking, and again the confusion! Nate would stay late after each group and we continued to build our friendship. Finally, Nate stayed late one evening after group, and we decided to talk about what was going on between the two of us. Thus began the wild and wonderful season of figuring out if we wanted to actually go on a date, considering what would happen in our group if we didn't work out, and asking our friends for advice. This time built Nate’s confidence greatly, as Jess told him she “ was not interested at all” multiple times. But greatness persists… We (finally) went on a first date on New Year's Eve of 2021, and we've been navigating life together ever since! Throughout 2022 we learned more about each other, grew closer together, met each other's families, had lots of clarifying conversations, spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together with our families, and decided we wanted to do life together forever! Nate proposed to Jess on January 21, 2023, which is another amazing story for another time, but for now, we are so excited to invite you to celebrate our wedding day with us!