It was on a mission trip to Rio De Janiero, Brazil that Hannah Gaunce first met Nicholas McQueen.
One year later, with both of their fathers officiating, the couple married at the historic Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tenn.
“I never believed in love at first sight until I met Nicholas,” said Hannah McQueen. “I knew he was special from the moment I met him there in the Miami airport.”
Hannah’s church in Nashville, Tenn., had partnered with a church-run medical clinic in Rio De Janiero that Nicholas’s church was also partnering with.
Nicholas began his journey to join up with the medical mission team in Miami flying from Atlanta, Ga. Hannah flew in to the Miami airport from Nashville, Tenn.
They met sitting across from each other in the Miami International Airport. “We didn’t even know each other existed,” Hannah recalled.
The duo spent the next week serving the Lord together in an inner city neighborhood in Brazil. “Our desks were located across from each other in the Rio clinic, so I was able to observe Nicholas,” Hannah recalled. “I was captivated by the way he lovingly and patiently interacted with his patients.
“He treated each patient with such kindness and listened in a way that made them feel as if they were the most important person in all the world as they relayed their problems and concerns to him,” Hannah said. “It was an hour long bus ride to and from the clinic everyday, so Nicholas and I spent our time on the bus getting to know each other.
“We hit it off immediately and found that our mutual interests included much more than just medicine,” Hannah said. “It didn’t take me long to realize that he was not only kind but also hilarious, smart and insightful.”
Nicholas remembers seeing a very pretty girl sitting across from him in the Miami airport. “I never imagined she was not only heading to the same place I was, but was going to be with our same mission group,” he said. “I had to contain my excitement when I found out we were heading for Río together.
“Over the course of the next week, I made sure I did what I could to get a seat beside her on the bus on our daily commute,” Nicholas said. “Day by day, we came to realize that our similarities were uncanny and even our unique senses of humor were the same.
“Day by day, I fell for her more and more. I knew she was the one my heart desired essentially from the moment I saw her, and prayed that the Lord would see fit that we should be together,” Nicholas said. “And in His goodness, He did.”
“By the end of our time in Brazil, I knew that Nicholas was the man I wanted to marry one day,” Hannah said. “He truly represents the Lord so well to everyone that he meets and encourages me daily in my walk with the Lord.”
The son of Michael and Pam McQueen of Enterprise and the grandson of Jimmy Henderson and the late Myra Henderson and the late Col. Jim and Diane McQueen, Nicholas graduated from Enterprise High School, the University of Alabama and UAB Medical School.
The daughter of Kevin and Jennifer Gaunce of Paducah, Ky., Hannah was homeschooled and attended nursing school at Murray State University in Murray, Ky. and then nurse practitioner school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Hannah is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Duke of Paducah, Ky., and Wayne Gaunce and the late Pat Gaunce of Glasgow, Ky.
“We met Sept. 1, 2017, got engaged March 24, 2018, and got married on Sept. 15 2018,” Hannah said. Nicholas proposed to Hannah at the Gaunce family lake house in Kentucky. “It’s where I have some of the best memories of my life,” she said. “He knew that it would be so meaningful for me to get engaged in a place that was so sentimental and special to me.”
The couple were walking down the path to the water when Nicholas suddenly stopped, turned Hannah to face him, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him. “It was so sweet and romantic,” Hannah recalled. “When we walked back up to the house, my family was there with decorations and dessert and ready to celebrate with us.”
The couple were married in Franklin, Tenn., at the historic Carnton Plantation on Sept. 15, 2018.
“I had grown up visiting Carnton with my family and had always dreamed about getting married there,” Hannah said. “It’s a beautiful historic home on gorgeous grounds that was used as a Confederate field hospital in the Civil War during the Battle of Franklin.
“When Nicholas came to visit me in Franklin for our first date a couple of weeks after we had gotten back from our trip to Brazil, we went on a tour of Carnton Plantation together,” Hannah said. “We are both fascinated by the Civil War and continued to connect on our love of history and medicine during our visit to Carnton.”
The couple currently live in Birmingham while Nicholas finishes his residency in internal medicine. This summer, they will move back to Enterprise where they will work together in the same primary care clinic.
Nicholas will serve as an internal medicine physician and Hannah will serve as a family nurse practitioner. “We are really excited about being in Enterprise and are so thankful for the opportunity to work together,” she said.