A few weeks ago, I received a sweet email from a girl named Laura that pulled on my heartstrings. While volunteering at an orphanage in Ghana, Laura heard that her best friend Gaby was engaged to her sweetheart of seven years, Dave. I’ll share a little bit of her email here:
“My best friend from college introduced me to your blog over 2 years ago and ever since then we have been obsessed! We are such romantics and, in all honesty, sometimes your wedding posts bring us to tears! I love the way you relay each couple’s story – it’s as if we’ve all known them a long time! Gaby, my friend that showed me your blog, has been dating her boyfriend Dave for 7 years (they first got together Halloween of sophomore year of high school).
I truly believe they are the perfect couple – perfect for each other in every way possible… They complete each other in a way that I hope to find with a guy one day. They survived a long distance relationship in college – Gaby was at the University of Rochester, in Western New York, with me and Dave was at the Naval Academy. Immediately after graduation Dave moved to San Diego to start his SEALs training and Gaby stayed in Rochester for her job. Last week Gaby got into her dream med school, Western University in Pomona, CA and is moving there in the fall so she can be near Dave. This past weekend Dave proposed, and besides freaking out and jumping for joy, I knew I had to email you.”
Little did I think that my words, my images, could inspire someone to reach out and share their life with me. I remember reading the email, feeling my heart beat quicken and with a tear in my eye realizing that when Laura’s best friend got engaged… she felt this connection and need to email me!
Amidst all of the days and nights of questioning whether my work and words found the audience that I hoped to reach or had the impact that I desired to make… Laura gave me a reminder of what it’s all about… LOVE. Laura’s email meant so much more to me than she will ever understand. And hearing Gaby’s story – a story unique yet so familiar to my ears, stood as the reminder of why I work as a wedding photographer.
Gaby and Dave share a love story seven years in the making. They fell in love as high school sweethearts and went out into the world with dreams that brought miles of distance between them. Little did they know how strong their love could be… That it would endure so much time apart and yet remain so unbreakably strong.
I want to tell Gaby and Dave’s story. I want to document how a love so strong, a friendship so true, can survive the distance, finding a way to overcome any challenges that stand in their way. I love capturing the laughter, the smiles, the excitement that comes with being engaged to your best friend.
I want to share the sacrifice and courage that it takes for Dave to serve his country, for Gaby to follow her dreams in med school, and for both of them to hold on to a love that they know is true. Being on separate coasts, living with different schedules, working in separate fields… No matter how difficult things become in our lives, there is nothing stronger than love.
Life comes with no guarantees except that smiling will brighten your face, laughing will enhance your eyes, and falling in love will change your life.
Laura shared this quote with me because it is one of Gaby’s favorites and I knew that I needed to include it in today’s post. Love will change your life. It has changed my life in more ways than I could ever explain. And when you open your heart to the possibility of falling in love, when you refuse to give up on love regardless of the struggle or the distance, you step into a world that is more beautiful than anything you could ever imagine.
I want to congratulate Gaby and Dave on their engagement! And I want to thank Laura for reminding me what it’s all about!