April 29, 2019
Hearing love stories is one of my favorite parts about being a wedding photographer, and I don’t think I will ever get tired of them! Each story is so unique, and a couple’s love story always tells me so much about their personality. Some are super romantic, some seem like they’re straight out of a movie, and others are actually hilarious! I was thinking the other day about all the different stories I’ve ever heard, and I realized something: I am so excited to hear about my couples, how they first met, what they like to do together, how he proposed, etc. that I FORGET to ever tell them about the story of my husband and I!
So here it goes…the story of us…!
Lavon is one of those people that it feels like it was just yesterday that he asked me out for our first date, but at the same time it feels like I’ve known him my entire life. I’m sitting here trying to figure out exactly how to tell a story that is so close and dear to me. There are so many tiny details that I believe only God could have planned that it’s hard to know where to begin! It’s so easy for me to remember back on all the memories of meeting, talking, and starting to date, but putting it into words is a different story.
With both of us coming from big families, growing up in such a similar lifestyle is something we love talking about together now! We both grew up in a small town in southeast Iowa and though we only lived about 10 minutes from each other, we didn’t go to the same church or school. It wasn’t until after my freshman year at University of Northwestern in Minnesota that we first met in the summer of 2016. I had just turned 19 and he had just turned 26.
However, in order to explain the wedding day, I need to backup a few steps!
Our friend group is realllllllllly close, but over the years, we went from just friends to family. Literally! Four of my dearest friends from high school, Elaine, Rosina, Laura, and Lauren, are still my dearest friends now! Elaine married my older brother, Rosina married my first cousin, and Laura and Lauren married two of Lavon’s brothers!!!! Oh and one more thing…the two that married my brother and my cousin…are sisters. AND those two sisters are my husband’s first cousins! Still following?! You can imagine family get togethers now…they’re always a blast! Our friend group has evolved a little bit over the years: because Lavon was much older than me, our friend groups never really hung out until, one by one, my friends started dating his brothers! Back when I was in high school, I knew of him and we had maybe seen each other in passing, but we had never officially met or talked until 2016.
Our friend group does a lot of things together, and one of those things was a summer slow-pitch league. Most of the guys would play a couple nights a week, so the rest of us would come to watch, then we would usually walk to Yotty’s to get ice cream! It was July 14, 2016 (keep that date in mind!). Lauren and Lee’s (my friend from high school and Lavon’s brother) wedding was coming up that weekend on the 16th, but that Thursday night, we were all at the ball field. Rosina and I were watching Lavon play and run around with his nieces, and she leans over and whispers in my ear “You should date him!” I look at her like she’s crazy, giggled, then said, “What?! No! That’s never even crossed my mind!”
I didn’t know this until about a month or two later, but that exact same week, Lavon’s parents were also saying the same thing. I had never met or talked to them, but coming from a small community, they knew my parents and they knew who I was! They said “You know who would be so good for Lavon? Summer!” The week after that, Elaine and Rosina’s mom said the same thing!
At this point, so many people were telling me that we’d be perfect together and we hadn’t even talked…AT ALL!
Fast forward to Saturday at Lee and Lauren’s wedding, and I was helping photograph their day! This is the day where it all began and thoughts of “maybe” and “he’s so nice!” started entering my mind. He was a groomsmen, so with me being the photographer, we spent most of the day together, AND I actually have a lot of photos of this day as everything continued to fall into place!
They had trouble getting their suspenders to fit….ha!
They hate this photo, but I love it!
Lavon with his youngest niece, Adrianna!
Elaine is a dear friend from high school and now sister-in-law!
“Babe, it looks like you didn’t try very hard to catch the garter!”
First and second attempt to get a photo with Rosina…he’s hilarious!
Our friend group had planned a bonfire at Levi and Elaine’s house after the wedding send-off. That night I couldn’t help but notice that he seemed to be giving me more attention than normal. For not ever hanging out before, I didn’t know what to think of it. We went to the bonfire with everyone, but for a July evening, it was colder than I expected it to be. I had a thin sweater on, but I was obviously still cold because I had my arms wrapped around tight to try to keep warm. Everyone that knows Lavon knows that he is the coldest guy on earth…he’s almost always cold! Someone offered to get their extra sweatshirt for me out of their car, but Lavon quickly jumped in and offered me his even though he didn’t have any extra! That left him cold and shaky, but he told me later he didn’t care at all, as long as I was the one wearing it…LOL! However, this is what everyone else noticed that night: coldest guy on earth offers a girl his sweatshirt…hmmmmm…
Part two coming soon!