People keep asking me to share my love story with Sam on the blog and while I love being vulnerable in person, sometimes it’s hard on the internet. I used to be more open and as the years go on and I gain a little more of a following, I have tended towards sharing less. I don’t necessarily think that’s bad because when it’s not just you sharing about your own life anymore, it’s a little different. But this is a story I think is worth sharing and I’m going to trust that the Lord has something good in it!
Let’s go to the very beginning. Sam and I met briefly through friends not long after I moved to Charlottesville in 2016. But actually, before we ever even met, my old roommate’s boyfriend tried to set us up, thinking we would be a good fit because we’re in the same industry, and I just wrote it off. Silly me.
When we finally met in person, we didn’t get to talk much but I remember immediately having a little crush on him. One thing you’ll learn about me throughout this post is that I have always been a bit shy when it comes to guys so I don’t think I said much that day besides that I was a photographer. Well, Sam is a videographer and he does all kinds of films outside of weddings but he does shoot weddings frequently. A friend of his was getting married in July of 2017 and they hired Sam as the videographer. Sam knew I was a photographer and his couple still needed someone to capture their day so Sam referred me to them and they booked me.
We ended up shooting Kait and Ryan’s wedding in Sam’s hometown in Maryland on an excruciatingly hot July day in 2017 and that’s where it all began.
We shot that wedding together and the whole time, my second shooter Tara kept saying she thought Sam was interested in me and I just laughed it off and said, “No, he’s just being nice.”
Well, after the wedding was over, Sam and I started texting a bit and conversation was just so effortless. He eventually asked me if I wanted to go on a hike and I was so nervous to go on a date with him that I almost said no. But the fact that I said yes goes to show how interested in him I was. I didn’t tell anyone that I was going on a date with him and honestly at this point, I wasn’t sure if it was a date. I had to tell myself we were just going to be friends because otherwise I’d freak out. Haha.
We went on a hike to Humpback Rock and it was so much fun. I remember thinking to myself how natural our time was together, how easy Sam was to talk to, and how he asked me so many questions which made me feel cared for. After hiking, we went to Swannanoa which is a really gorgeous, old palace in the area. We hung out there and walked around for a while and eventually shared our first kiss, which was also my first kiss ever. I’m really surprised Sam didn’t notice that my heartbeat was probably very concerningly elevated. Haha!
We ended up hanging out a few more times after that and one of the questions I was waiting to ask him was about faith. I didn’t know where he stood on believing in God but anyone who knows me knows this is the most important thing to me. I needed to know he was also pursuing Jesus if I wanted to pursue him. I very nervously asked him one day and he didn’t say much. I remember being so disappointed that I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear and that fear caused me to walk away from him.
I shared with him how important faith was to me and he mentioned to me that he was in a hard place in life and was figuring some things out and while I wish I had asked more questions at the time, I felt like it wasn’t the right time for me to invest in someone I so deeply cared about if they weren’t sure what they believed.
I missed him every day over the next year and a half. I journaled about him so many times and was so sad that someone as amazing as him didn’t have the same beliefs as me. I prayed for him often and even put him on my prayer wall, praying that he would meet the Lord. I eventually let go of the fact that we would ever be together and began to move on.
Well, last September, I got a message from him out of nowhere saying that he was interested in going to church sometime and wanted to know where I went. I told him I went to Portico and invited him to come with me. Sam said he would love to get together with me before going to church to share what had been going on in his life, so we met up at Carter Mountain one evening.
It felt like no time at all had passed when I saw him. We talked about everything and towards the end of the conversation, I wanted to go a little deeper and get to the heart of why we were hanging out. I won’t go into too much detail here but I learned that Sam comes from a family that believes something very different than I do, when it comes to God. Sam was in a place in his life where he was walking away from that and things had gotten really difficult.
We ended up walking through the apple orchard at Carter Mountain that evening right as the sun was setting and I started asking Sam questions about God. I ended up sharing my faith with him and before I knew it, Sam was holding back tears. I didn’t know at the time what he was thinking but a few days later, I learned that he felt God’s love so powerfully in that moment that he decided to give Jesus a chance and believe.
We started hanging out again and while I was still a bit hesitant at first, I quickly learned that Sam wanted to follow God and that it was the most genuine desire.
As the months passed on, we formed a very deep bond. We eventually became girlfriend/boyfriend, said “I love you,” and after about ten months, Sam took it back where it all began at Carter Mountain and proposed to me. That’s a whole different story but it was a day I’ll never forget. It’s absolutely mind-blowing all that God has done in our relationship and continues to do. God is so good and I couldn’t be more grateful.
It brings me to tears sometimes when I think about how God gave us another chance. If you had told me even just a few months before Sam and I officially started dating that that’s what would have happened, I would have been shocked. To be completely honest, I genuinely didn’t think I would get married until I was older, not because I didn’t want to but because I was always terrified of dating. I watched so many of my friends effortlessly say yes to dates over the years while I just pretended it didn’t bother me. Less than a year before Sam and I started dating, my two best friends and roommates started dating their now husbands and I went through a really rough time. I felt like God didn’t see me and I wondered if I’d ever find my person. But just like that, God opened up the door and I learned to fearlessly walk through, trusting that he had a plan. I learned a lot about myself through all of this, one thing being that sometimes you have to walk through the door before you know what’s on the other side. Often times I think God is waiting for us to trust him before we know it’ll be okay. Because that’s faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Sam and I ended up planning our small wedding/elopement in about four weeks and got married in the most beautiful setting on November 5th with our absolute closest friends who walked with us through everything. Being in the wedding industry, I knew I wanted something small. Sam and I originally planned to elope just the two of us but at the last minute, after already booking our venue, we invited a few close friends to witness us say our personal vows and promise forever. It was so special and a day I will never forget. These beautiful photos below by our wonderful photographer Rachel May capture our day so well and I am SO excited to finally be sharing them!! Enjoy!