Jared was working as the youth minister at Katie’s home parish. She was working at Jared’s sister’s medical practice. Yet it wasn’t until their parish priest introduced them that they met for the first time. Soon after, three additional friends nudged them to consider dating. “There were so many signs leading to our dating,” Katie says, “giving us so much validation that God desired we date.”
In Katie’s words: Our four years of courtship and three years of long-distance dating have always been faith-centered. Jared and I share a deep passion for our Church and for serving her people. Some of the most meaningful times in our relationship have been service trips that we’ve participated in together, including a mission to Nicaragua. We try to carve out time weekly to pray together and attend daily Mass. We love praying night prayer before we say goodbye at the end of an evening.
This past February, we explored Arizona and the Grand Canyon. We love seeing new places and, especially, visiting new churches. We made it a priority on our trip to find daily Mass in every place we stopped: Phoenix, Sedona, and even a small church by the Grand Canyon!
We walked out on the edge of the Grand Canyon as the sun was setting. It was so peaceful, the sunset’s red glow lighting up all the crevices on the depths that stretched for miles. Jared knelt, and asked me to marry him.
Jared’s proposal was such a beautiful moment. We were already awe-filled from the vistas surrounding us, and at that moment, there was so much radiant grace overflowing for us. One of the evening’s most wonderful blessings was that we had no cell phone service or WiFi, allowing us to spend time enjoying or blossoming engagement without all the fuss of being on the phone and telling the world just yet.
We are getting married this fall in my home church, where Jared is still the youth minister. We are very blessed that the priest who introduced us will be one of the celebrants! We have many patron saints, including Blessed Stanley Rother, whose beatification we were able to attend. We also have a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, as we often serve the immigrant population. If we had saints’ personalities, we imagine Jared would be Saint Peter and I would be Saint Paul.
Planning a wedding can be difficult, but if you keep in mind what's important, everything falls into place. For us, our relationship with God comes first. We are trying to spend much more time planning our marriage, realizing that our wedding is just one day. We know our job will be to get each other to heaven.
Photography: W the Studio | Engagement Location: Grand Canyon