A Garden Affair

by Ashley Johnson | Photo by Jason Flowers

Life doesn’t always turn out as planned. Sometimes, it’s even better.

“I always knew I would go to Texas A&M University-Commerce, but I always thought I’d transfer after a couple of years,” Orion Casper said. “I really found a home here, and I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t have met Audrey if I had transferred.”

In high school, Audrey was simply the little sister of Orion’s friend. Once they reconnected at A&M-Commerce, however, that all changed.

“I saw him across the room at a Kappa Alpha event, and since he was a familiar face from my high school, I went up to him and asked if he remembered me,” Audrey said.

While Orion remembered her from Greenville High School, he was stunned nonetheless when she approached him.

“It was one of those things that you can’t describe,” Orion said. “I wasn’t brave enough to ask her out at that point so we talked a little and hung out that night.”

A few weeks later, they had their first date at the old student center. The two were inseparable after just one date.

“I knew pretty quickly that Audrey was the one,” Orion said. “I was attracted to her from the beginning, and as I got to know her as a person I knew something was different about her. We got engaged nine months later, and got married a little more than a year after that.”

When it came time to select a wedding venue, Audrey and Orion knew the best choice would be on campus at A&M-Commerce, their home away from home.

Getting married on campus was a bit of an adventure, however, as Audrey and Orion were the first couple to get married in Heritage House’s rose garden. With the help of several staff members, chairs were reserved, access to buildings typically closed in the summer was granted, and the smallest details were finalized. On Orion and Audrey’s big day, they were able to stand back and enjoy the garden in full bloom as they said their “I do’s.”

“We wanted to get married in a place that meant something to both of us. We didn’t get married in some random venue; we got married on our campus,” Audrey said. “It will always be nice to come back to that spot. I’m sure the garden will be here as long if not longer than we will be.”

For Orion, getting married was his catalyst for life change, providing direction and motivation to succeed in school and in business.

“Before I met Audrey, I was focused on having fun,” Orion said. “Suddenly, I had someone more than myself to think about. I had to grow up. Since then, Audrey’s been a rock, my friend, a confidant, and a great mother to our three-year-old son.”