Love Stories: Lizzi + Tyler

TL 7For Tyler Benton, a youth pastor, and Lizzi Judge, a full-time student at the University of Alabama, love is a special word and a sacred feeling. What started out as a simple “hello” has since blossomed into a fairytale romance leading these two down the aisle. This is their love story.

Photos by Grant Benton, Erica Lepore, and Krystle Sommers


How did you two meet?

Lizzi: I had seen Tyler at our church’s college service before, and I always thought he was super attractive. One day he said “hello” to me at church service and then walked away– I knew that I had to keep talking to him.

Tyler: I remember thinking she was super cute, and somehow we kept ending up at the same places and flirting with each other. Little did I know her friend and my brother were actually setting us up!


Where is your favorite spot in Birmingham to spend time together?

T: The LightRails. That’s the place I took her to on our first “official” date after I asked her to be my girlfriend.

L: We love to explore coffee shops together. We love Octane, and we even took some of our engagement pictures at Seeds Coffee Co.


TL 3What makes your relationship unique?

L: From the moment we started talking, Tyler told me that he was waiting to say “I love you” until he proposed. So many people take that word for granted, but Tyler kept it sacred in our relationship.


When did you realize you had met “the one”?

T: I went into our relationship knowing Lizzi had what I was looking for in a wife. I knew she was the one when I met her family in Orlando; I wanted to be a part of her family, and I wanted her to be a part of mine.

L: We were apart during the summer, and one day I was journaling out by the pool. I wrote Tyler a letter saying how much I loved him. I dated it, sealed it, and put it in my Bible. The day after he proposed I gave it to him–it was crazy to see that little letter come true.


Tell us about the proposal.

T: I told Lizzi that I was coming into town to surprise my parents and siblings. Once we arrived, I told her to go through the front, while I would go around back to surprise everyone. Little did she know that the back porch was lined with rose petals and candles and that both of our families were there waiting for her.

L: There were rose petals covering the ground and pictures of us covering the walls; I was bawling like a baby. I think I hugged every person out there before I even got to Tyler. For the first time Tyler told me that he loved me, which was the sweetest moment of my life. He then got down on one knee and proposed.


What was your experience like shopping for the ring at Diamonds Direct?TL 8

T: I had no clue what to expect or what to do, but Mary at Diamonds Direct walked me through the whole process. She worked with me and my budget to find the exact ring that I loved and knew Lizzi would love as well.


What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given about love?

T: Make everything an adventure. Treat her like the princess that she is. You don’t just marry a person, you marry a family as well.

L: Enjoy each other’s company. Put the phones away and just hang out with each other. Don’t date to date, date to marry.


What are you most looking forward to for your future?

T: Spending the rest of our lives together. I am looking forward to all of the adventures and laughs we have ahead of us.

L: I have been looking forward to marriage my entire life, and now I’ll get to be married to my best friend. We get to conquer this crazy thing called life together.

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