Every couple has a love story, and one of our favorite parts of being wedding photographers is hearing new stories every day! Now we think it’s time for us to share ours. This is for you to get to know us – all about us – so that you can understand major milestones in our lives, and the impactful moments that have shaped us as people and as a team!
This is how it’s going to work: we will mutually agree on prompts, moments, or experiences to write about, and then we do it 100% separately. These are our totally unmitigated, non-agreed-upon perspectives on the various situations that have peppered our lives. We hope you enjoy!
not a goodbye, a see you later
AJ made me various mix CDs throughout high school, usually just music we liked or for a specific occasion. Around springtime he burned me the new Zac Brown Band album. There was a track that was just a violin intro and I swear, I’ll remember this til the end of time because it scared me half to death. He had recorded himself talking over the track asking me to prom!
Prom was the usual awkward high school dance as you would imagine. To be honest I don’t even remember dancing. It was the first time we ever dressed up and did something fancy like that, and we did have a ton of fun together. But I couldn’t help thinking about what would happen to us in August.
We went to Kerby Lane the morning before I left. My little red Civic was all packed up and we had to meet super early so I could leave in time. I had never felt so sad and scared of the future. We’d had the most amazing last year together and the future was completely uncharted. I had no idea what college was going to be like, living on my own and deciding my future. I was really only about an hour away, but how were we going to get past AJ still in high school and having curfews? I didn’t want to leave my family and Austin, but I especially didn’t want to leave him.
Driving away that morning was the hardest thing. This sounds totally dramatic, but I honestly wasn’t sure if I would see him again. There was no definitive proof that we would make it. Couples surviving long distance are the exception, not the rule. I felt completely hopeless. Later that day he told me, “it’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later.” There was a small shaky light at the end of that tunnel. That was enough to have faith and keep me going.
Holly was just a month from graduating. I don’t think it had truly set in for either of us. After spending roughly a consecutive year and a half together we were about to spend our first real time apart. So we needed a distraction. What’s a better distraction than PROM?!! If I remember correctly, neither of us were especially looking forward to it. I don’t know how most other people internalize the idea of prom, but it was pretty hyped up. It felt like there was a lot of pressure for it to be life changing. It was going to be a pretty typical experience; all 10 couples meeting up at one friend’s house, mostly our friends from choir and other art classes. Holly wore this beautiful white, ruffled, form-fitting dress. I remember just staring and staring at her. We’d never had to really get dressed up for anything. I’d seen her in nice dresses, date night outfits, etc, but this was really really something special. I remember feeling like I was meeting her for the first time.
To be honest, I don’t remember that much of the dancing or otherwise prom-related shenanigans. I remember being in the venue, running around, yelling. Holly pulling me onto the dancefloor. Some things never change – she still has dancing in her blood (literally every time the opportunity presents itself), and I still require a little prompting. Back at the house, I remember drinking a single beer (gasp!), I remember getting in an argument of high-school caliber, and I remember falling asleep wondering if we’d done the whole ‘prom’ thing wrong. Fortunately, we’d get another shot with my prom the following year.
The next part is a tough thing for me to think about. When Holly and I were prepping for her move down to San Marcos, even down to the week before, I don’t think I was doing a lot of processing. I knew that it was going to be difficult. But honestly, I bawled. I’m sure Holly will go into detail about where we were, what we talked about, what we did next. But I just remember the raw stress and anxiety of knowing that we had to separate. And knowing that we were walking into the unknown. Looking back on it, it was the hardest thing our relationship went through. It introduced a nuanced, complicated dynamic. It was hard. Really, absurdly, painfully hard. But it was an important part of who we are. We were capable of pushing through.