When Megan Rae Donnalley met fellow Charleston native Matt Russell at Clemson University, she crushed hard and fast. Not one to dive head first into a relationship, however, she consulted with her father, who just so happened to be Matt’s former football coach when he played ball at Wando High School. After “Coach D” gave him two thumbs up, the pair embarked on a five-year courtship, during which Megan and Matt both graduated from Clemson and launched into their respective careers; ICU nurse Megan worked in Florence and at MUSC before attending graduate school at Duke University while Matt took a job working for BMW in Greenville, where he continues to work today. Despite the distance, the couple grew closer, and on a sunny Saturday afternoon in March, Matt proposed in Greenville’s Falls Park—a favorite spot of the couple’s—while a photographer snapped photos of the scene from a nearby hiding spot. Following a “Yes!” from Megan, a crowd that had gathered to watch it all unfold broke into cheers and applause. Later that day, the pair celebrated with their families, who had traveled to Greenville from Charleston to share in the special occasion. The happy couple will marry October 1, 2016, at Awendaw’s Pepper Plantation.
Image by Kate Timbers Photography