And here was this pretty red head, poised to take my job right out from under me, and I was hesitant to introduce myself to anyone. [These are not friends! These are job snatchers!] But we ended up at a table together for one of the games, some sort of Hunger Games style these-are-your-tools-how-do-you-survive type. She introduced herself as, "Jen Randow, like Rainbow." She was nice to everyone, and a little disarming for me considering I had the same mindset as Wolverine, and I liked her instantly.
Luckily, we both got one of the coveted CA positions and spent the next school year planning activities, dating the wrong guys, bailing on a school camping trip gone awry, and stealing [more like...relocating] a beer pong table to the downstairs storage room after a few haphazard residents left it blocking the fire exit. Rules, people! Rules! And apparently Jen liked me so much, she switched her major to spend more time with me. I kid, I kid!
After graduation, we stayed in touch for a little bit, but as life carries on and things get busy...well, you know how these things go. I was totally psyched to get a message from Jen last summer telling me she was engaged and if I might be able to photograph her wedding. OKAY YES. I had so many questions about this new man, Evan, since it was not the same guy from college. My Facebook snooping told me he was from Arkansas, but that's a long way from Maryland, and I had to know the story.
Turns out, Jen met Evan at a campground outside Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Although neither one of them is a true racing fan, they are family fans and wouldn't miss a vacation. Evan was driving through the campground on a golf cart (as shining knights tend to do) when he spotted Jen's parents struggling to get a cooler the mud. He pulled over (as only a hero would do) and offered to help. On the way back to the campsite, Jen's father dropped a few words to Evan about his lovely, red-headed daughter waiting back at the campsite, and maybe he might like to meet her? Evan was feeling a little bit sheepish about the whole thing until he met her and promptly decided he must have this woman for his very own. Okay, I might be making that last part up, but they did talk all night long, exchanged information before leaving the campground, and the rest is history.
I usually ask my couples to fill out a short sheet about each other, to help me get to know them better and for them to take a minute and love on each other. I absolutely love what Evan says about Jen:
She is beautiful, supportive, and full of life. She's fond of saying, "My Mama didn't name me Grace!" She has believed in me through so many obstacles and continues to make me feel like the only man on earth.
And, of course, what Jen says about Evan:
Evan is kind, caring, and compassionate. He is so handsome. I love his passion to help others. I enjoy his sense of humor, he always knows how to make me smile, and he is just truly a gentleman. (Brittany's note: Shout-out to the deep South!)
Just in case you thought it wouldn't get any better, Evan proposed in New Orleans on New Year's Eve, just before midnight at a black-tie party. He stopped the band, grabbed the mic, and proposed in front of the entire crowd. There were cheers, fireworks, dancing, and beignets at Café du Monde. They're living the fairtytale, people. They're livin' it.
Jen + Evan's wedding was absolutely delightful. They were married in a gorgeous backyard ceremony, chock full of Dr. Seuss and so many happy tears. We were lucky enough to snag permission to do their portraits at a vineyard across the street, and it certainly didn't hurt to have two vintage cars. [One of which I got to jump into post-ceremony, it was so Dukes of Hazzard.] It was an incredibly fun day, full of joy and friends and oh-so-much love.
I am so incredibly happy for both of you, I hope you enjoy growing old together, I hope you have red-headed children, and I hope Jen picks up a Southern accent. Enjoy your tropical honeymoon and the sneak peek!