Annie and I met Kate earlier this year at a bridal show and within a few days got a call to set up a one on one meeting to talk details for the wedding. I was beyond THRILLED when Kate and Josh mentioned at the consult that they wanted to do an engagement session and beyond anything, it simply MUST be at ECU. They both graduated from ECU. Josh in 2010 and Kate in 2011. They were hoping to get into Dowdy-Ficklen stadium which for those of you that may not know anything about ECU, Dowdy-Ficklen is where the powerhouse that is ECU Football plays their home games.
I am well versed with Dowdy-Ficklen. Many moons ago, I marched on that field. That is right, folks! I SAID MARCHED! Yes, I am a self proclaimed band geek as my sister dubbed me when I was in High School. I marched with the pride of the ECU Marching Pirates in the percussion (aka drum line) from 1998-2000 at which time I figured I should get serious about that nursing school thing. Mom was starting to wonder if I was EVER going to graduate so then I didn’t have the time available for the multiple practices, events, and performances we had.
I loved my time with the ECU Marching Pirates! I made a lot of friends that I still keep in touch with, it helped me adapt to the college lifestyle, and it kept me occupied from being homesick. But enough about that.
Dowdy-Ficklen is an amazing sight. If you have never been able to be in it at a field level, it should be on your bucket list if your blood is purple and gold. Specifically, this session has been on my bucket list ever since the day I learned what an f-stop was.
I called the ECU athletics office and of course with the utmost of southern hospitality, the date we requested was available. I was not prepared for the day of though.
A what I can only assume was a college student (although I feel like he must have been in high school; am I getting THAT old?) came to greet us precisely at the agreed upon time. Two chained metal gates opened up by the high school er and he says to me “feel free to go anywhere you like.”
This was MY holy grail. The sun beamed down, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and God was telling me THIS is where YOU are supposed to be. I still have moments in this career when I realized that I am doing EXACTLY what I am supposed to be. And, yes you can LOVE your job!
I think Kate, Josh and the family that was tagging along with us that day were just as in awe of the site as I was. The sight was only sweetened for me in the fact that this was the very first time I had been on the field when one of the end zones had been enclosed. The bone yard was new since the last time I had been on the field.
We spent about an hour in Dowdy-Ficklen and then we looked over our shoulder for one last time and set our sights on main campus.
ECU does have a very pretty campus. That was one of the bonuses about ECU is that as you are hauling your cookies all the way to the library or late for a chemistry class, as you are walking briskly or running for the attendance sheet you can take in the sights!
Wright Auditorium, The Cupola, Joyner Library were all our list. It was a longer than normal engagement session but we did a lot of walking and it was a great thrill to spend more time with Kate, Josh and the family. That is what I love about engagement sessions, I get time with the bride and groom before the wedding. We learn so much about each other in that time we spend.
ALSO, huge thanks to the ECU Athletics department specifically Patrick. You, your guys and gals are awesome. Kate’s dad for driving us around. Josh for being oh so patient with me! It was a long session but just you wait for wedding day! And ECU grounds services for keeping the campus beautiful!
It was great to go back to my Alma Mater if even for a small part of a day. I hope to be back real soon for another engagement, wedding or maybe even a football game. Too bad homecoming is always smack dab in the middle of Fall wedding season. Until next time East Carolina, GO PIRATES!!!!! ARGGGGGGGGGG
East Carolina University Alma Mater
Praise to your name so fair,
Dear old East Car’lina,
your joys we’ll all share, and your friends we’ll ever be.
We pledge our loyalty, and our heart’s devotion,
To thee, our Alma Mater,
love and praise.