To say these two are in love is a complete understatement. Smitten, enamored, impassioned, captivated, entranced… I don’t quite think any of these words adequately describe the feelings Marshall and Valerie have for each other.
I first met Valerie a few years ago when I did her senior portraits. I gave her some outfit ideas for her session and she did not disappoint. I remember her black jumper with a long train and how fabulous it looked with her black and white mare who she wanted featured in her portraits. She rocked that session. She was game for all of the suggestions and poses I had and was a complete natural in front of my camera. When I saw that she had recently been engaged, I crossed my fingers that her message would find my inbox searching for a wedding photographer.
I may have squealed when I got it.
When she hopped out of Marshall’s big lifted truck in her gorgeous burgundy dress the vision I had for their engagement session really came to life. His smart blueish gray shirt complimented her dress perfectly. But more than that, HE complimented HER perfectly.
Throughout their entire session they were just so comfortable with each other. There was no awkwardness, no hesitation in their movements. I’d recommend a pose and they naturally fell into it. They way he held her was so warm and tender, any outside observer would be fooled into thinking they had been made for each other. The way they looked at each other made it obvious that they were exactly where they were meant to be, there in each other’s arms.
After the session I asked Valerie how she knew Marshall was the one for her. She told me the ease of their relationship was the biggest factor. She told me they always getting along, even when they have their differences. They don’t fight or argue, if they meet a road block they discuss it and work out a solution together. Valerie told me her dogs had a big part in bringing them together in their relationship, especially her older dog Blue who does everything with the couple.
Not long into their relationship they bought a house and combined their family of animals. Five dogs, Five horses, and the two of them live together happily in Benson, North Carolina.
When I asked Valerie for a piece of advice she would give to people looking for the kind of love she found, she said: “Stop looking!!!! And don’t waste your time on the wrong one because you will never find the right one when you’re with the wrong one. And when you find the right one you will know because you will no longer have to question if they are the person you are supposed to be with. You will know when it’s right. And once you do find it do not let anything come before that person.”
I didn’t leave Marshall out of the questioning either. I asked him some of the same questions I asked Valerie, and his responses blew me away.
Marshall says about Valerie:
“I knew she was the one the first time I met her because from the moment I laid eyes on her, she lit up the entire room and had my full and utmost attention. I knew I had to make her mine. It might have been a while after we first met, but I knew if I didn’t try one day, I’d regret it forever.
Little does she know, Val is such a special and important person. It’s hard to find a decent person these days, let alone one to love and spend your life with. And let me tell you, there are more reasons than I could put into words as to why I know she’s the one. Everywhere she goes she brings an energy that just amplifies your every sense. She carries herself in a way that other young women should strive to. She’s tough as nails, but has a soft, golden heart that’ll give you the shirt off her back as long as you felt warmth. She’s humble, kind, and she loves with all her heart. She’s the dream I thought would never come true, but so thankful it did. I look forward to every morning waking up beside her, and every night laying down next to her. Not only do we have true love, but we also have a true friendship.
I believe that a marriage between two people should be full of love, understanding, joy, and an everlasting commitment. And I’ve never once doubted any of that for a second of our time together. She makes me hopeful for the future. Because I know as long as I take every step in life with her by my side, it’ll be a life spent well.
Any one that is still looking for their forever, in my opinion, should wait until they are certain. As I said before, a marriage should also be a friendship. Never settle, and let your heart lead you.
As for when I was about to propose, well, that’s a funny story. I had been looking at engagement rings, and finally found the one I knew was the one. So I bought it, had to get it resized of course. So a couple weeks later they call me, and my phone rings 10000 times a day and I normally answer on speaker, but one day it just happened to be Kay Jewelers calling to say the ring was ready and of course, she was standing right there beside me and heard them say that it was ready! So I’m certain she knew I had bought a ring, just didn’t know when I was going to propose. But Christmas morning, I woke up and knew it was the day to ask. As we walked up to the place where I asked her, I was a nervous wreck, not that she would say no, but nervous in a way in hopes that I wouldn’t pass out! But all in all, I was very excited about asking her. It was a dream come true.”
I am so, so excited that they have chosen me to capture their wedding day. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when his beautiful bride is walking down the aisle towards him. I can’t wait to see two young loves full of hopes and dreams sharing their vows with one another, promising their lives to each other, and becoming one together. These two are meant to be with each other, and I wish them nothing but happiness in their future.