Quite a while back, I asked for stories from lovers who either follow or simply stumbled across my work. At the very depths of my heart and soul and persona, I am a storyteller above all else. I wanted to connect with couples who would share their story with me - lay it all on the line. A chance to work with someone who sees life similarly to me, and experiences all of its chaos and beauty with a fervor I could relate to at my very core.
The thought process behind this venture was multi-faceted without a doubt, and is something I’ll get into in the next couple of weeks. Regardless, this cry out to cyber-space and invitation to connect with me is how I met Jennie (although we are still yet to meet in ‘real life’)…which is what this post is all about.
This weekend I’m headed to St. Louis to shoot a wedding. You know, that city with the Arch, that claims to have invented fried ravioli, and hosts the Cardinals - whom our beloved Red Sox swept in the 2004 World Series to finally reverse the Curse Of The Bambino. That’s where we’ll be…to shoot Jennie and Jordan’s wedding…
Jennie and Jordan sent me their Save The Date via email…I was immediately intrigued:
Then I received the following from Jennie, which I’m sharing on this blog with her permission, and copied directly from her original submission:
STORY: Our story starts with a little bit of breaking the rules, a little bit of a tropical, hemorrhagic fever contracted in South East Asia, a few years of friends, a few months of more than friends, a break up, and a dramatic (or at least surprising) reunion, and now ending with the understanding that we will marry as best friends and lovers.
Jordan (the boy) was the staff person sent to pick me (the girl) up from the airport in Hawaii where I had flown to spend the better part of the year with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), a non-denominational international missions organization. I’ll go ahead and say here that I am not a romantic person. I mean, I’m far too practical and too independent to swoon. But, as long as I live, I’ll never forget the fact that as I walked out of the airport and shook hands with him, now only a stranger, the thought ran across my mind: You’re going to need to remember this moment. So, I did.
Jordan was the supporting staff on my missions team, and though dating between students and leaders was a no-no (and though I STILL insist I was not really interested in him romantically then), our relationship grew and not inconspicuously so. I began to notice his attention to me - and so did everyone else. (Note: He likes to pretend he wasn’t at all swooning at the point, but let’s just face it. He was.) While in Indonesia together, and with me still insisting we were “just friends,” but all the while noticing the sweet connection between us, there was a massive detour when I found myself hospitalized with Dengue Fever (*Fist shake at mosquitoes*) and then quickly flown across a sea and back to the States. Good bye, boy.
But, undaunted by rules and needless miles between us, Jordan found time and means to manage to be “just passing through” my city when he was back in the States as well. Little by little, we found ourselves as best friends who wanted so many similar things in life. We wanted to travel; we wanted to serve Jesus Christ in missions; we wanted to laugh at stupid YouTube videos like the Dramatic Chipmunk. And, the boy wanted to get married. But, the girl (aforementioned unromantic, practical, independent), wasn’t quite ready for that. So, more States and miles went between us when I decided to move to Texas, and he to stay in Iowa.
A few months of silence passed, with each moving on, moving past. But (in the most unromantic sense, of course), it seemed to me that there were these silly cords between us, tying us to one another still, and I found myself just missing that silly boy beyond what was reasonable. A few rogue, crazed texts sent from my phone to his resulted in us having a discussion about visiting one another after months of silence. Taking the infamous advice of his friends that “space is for aliens,” (once declared to him as he shared with friends that I had asked for “time and space”), I flew up to visit him and remove the space between us.
So, driving back from the airport with the copper beams of the Iowan sun falling over his stupid cute face, I thought to myself, I could marry this boy. The thought slightly alarmed me, but I went with it. He made me feel okay with myself and then like someone else entirely - someone more lovely, more valuable - at the same time. It was kinda like magic or something. Fast forward months of dating long distance (I’m in graduate school for counseling in Texas; He is finishing a 3-year commitment to a ministry organization in Iowa), he decided last December 30th that it was time to “do this thing.” We’re getting hitched this summer.
We’ve seen each other at our worst (me, near-death in hideous pajama pants in a hospital in Indonesia). We’ve traveled the world on crazy adventures. We’ve sat for hours quietly under a tree in a park reading Jane Austen. We’ve hurt one another terribly and had to learn to forgive quickly. We’ve laughed ourselves out of stupid fights about nonsense. This prim-lookin’ stargazer is ready to marry this blue-eyed rule-breaker sometime soon.
DEFINITION OF LOVE: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13).
Space is for aliens; togetherness is for lovers.
AND - there it was - I got this girl…on a lot of levels. END. OF. STORY.
So, what else do I have to share with you about this weekend? Well, these aren’t my typical clients. And I’m really excited to watch our creative interaction play out, build relationships, and grow as an artist while working with these two.
Here is their invitation:
It’s a booklet for all practical purposes ;) So that you can get a better idea of Jennie and Jordan, their personalities, and the aesthetic of their wedding, here is the invitation broken up and easier to view:
Coming soon to a blog near you? Random road trip with my partner in crime; ridiculous photoshoots from the middle of nowhere as we travel to St. Louis; St. Louis-y things galore; and plenty about this upcoming wedding.
I can’t wait to meet you both soon! Are you even ready for the rumble of awesomeness headed your way? ;)
I’ll be seeing you very very soon Jennie - and everyone else, just stay posted…