How He Asked | Sarah + Sean

Sarah and Sean met at a brunch after Mass. At the time, Sarah was not expecting to meet the man she would marry, but was joyful to make the acquaintance of her handsome new friend!

The center of their relationship quickly became Christ present in the Eucharist. The adoration chapel and weekly hours of prayer together solidified the growing bond between them.

Jesus was present at the beginning and end of Sarah and Sean’s courtship, which eventually concluded with an engagement. Their contagious joy and gratitude for the Lord and the sacrament of marriage is evident even through their photographer, who walked away inspired by their Christ-like love.

In Sarah’s Words: When I first met Sean, I was looking for a seat--not love! But as is often the case, the Lord had other plans. So when I saw an empty seat next to a handsome, smiling man at brunch after Mass, the Holy Spirit nudged me to go make a new friend. Flash forward one month later, and we were on our way back from an evening trip to adoration when Sean asked me to go on a date with him.

By this point I knew where the Lord was guiding my heart, and I was able to say yes, joyfully. Four beautiful months of dating ensued, and as Sean and I grew closer and closer we found ourselves growing closer to Christ as well.

We played laser tag, went to concerts, and even witnessed the beatification ceremony of a distant relative of Sean's. We began a thirty day devotional and resolved to spend at least thirty minutes in adoration together each day to complete our journaling portion.

As the devotional drew to a close, Sean took me on a date to see Les Miserables. On our way home we stopped at our favorite adoration chapel, and as he led me in I noticed rose petals covering the floor. I rounded the corner, and Sean stopped, knelt down on one knee, and in front of the Blessed Sacrament asked me to be his bride.

Nine months of preparation flew by, and on September 29, Sean and I stood face to face in the same church where we met and exchanged vows during our nuptial Mass. The most amazing thing about our wedding, we both agreed, was from the moment our entrance hymn began, the only thing we saw was each other, and we felt the love of Jesus so clearly burning in our hearts that we smiled like fools the entire time.

It was such a blessed reminder of Christ's love for us and his position as the cornerstone of our marriage.

Our faith has been integral to our relationship--it is the soil to the seed of our love. I can't imagine how God could have formed a man more perfect than Sean to hold and cherish my heart for him while here on earth. And I can't wait to continue living my vocation with him for the rest of my life.

In Allison’s (the photographer’s) words: I first met Sarah after Mass one Sunday when my two-year-old was just a few months old. Sarah's bright and bubbly personality inspired my baby to reach for her even though she was a complete stranger. She quickly volunteered to babysit any time we needed, and she has been a wonderful friend to our family the past few years!

When Sarah and Sean met, they were clearly perfect for each other. They crossed paths at a Catholic social gathering and were inseparable soon after.

Their relationship and courtship was Christ-centered, and they even spent a holy hour together each week. It made sense for Sean to propose to Sarah in the adoration chapel with Jesus present.

When I shot their engagement session, I knew I wanted to incorporate their faith in a little way. Including the rosary in some of their photos was a nice homage to our Blessed Mother, whom I am certain had a role in bringing this beautiful couple together.

In a world that is so against sacramental marriage, it is such a joy to work with couples who are seeking Christ and his Church above all else. Even after spending just an hour with Sarah and Sean, I went home to my own husband with a renewed sense of joy and fervor for our marriage.

Seeing these young, faith-filled couples who are so eager to spread the Good News of Christ simply by their example is such an inspiration. It really is an amazing reminder of how their joy is contagious, and even more so how the joy of Christ is contagious!

Photography: Yellow Rose Photography | Church: West Bottoms, Kansas City, Missouri (engagement shoot location)

How He Asked | Johnna + Adam

A few months before her move to Kentucky, Johnna signed up for an online dating site. She didn’t want to put too much pressure on herself to find a husband, so she approached it instead as a way to meet new people in a city where she knew no one.

Looking back, Johnna thinks this must have been the best way to approach dating, because she went on a date with Adam her first week in town!

During their courtship, Adam was the strong and steady rock in a swirl of new experiences for Johnna: a new city, new job and, eventually, a new faith. As a recent convert to Christianity from Judaism, Johnna was intrigued by Adam’s Catholic faith.

From the beginning, they had many conversations about why Adam was Catholic and what that meant for their potential life together.

And so, as Johnna fell in love with Adam, she fell in love with the Church.

Eventually, she enrolled in RCIA and came home to Catholicism eight months after they began dating.

In Johnna’s Words: When Adam and I first started dating, I had just started a new job as a faith-based community organizer. This meant I was working with different volunteers from various denominations.

I was Episcopalian at the time, and had been for five years. But there weren’t many Episcopal churches involved in the organization I was working for. Instead, the first church I worked with was a Catholic one.

Right off the bat, I started having conversations with the Catholic parishioners of the church. I asked about their faith and the Church’s strong social justice doctrine, and I was amazed.

I grew up in Alabama, which I later learned has one of the lowest Catholic populations, so many things I had heard about Catholicism weren’t quite true. When I started talking to these incredibly faithful men and women, they revealed the beauty of the Church to me.

I have a close friend—now my matron of honor—who is also Catholic. I began asking her questions I didn’t feel comfortable asking strangers. And since I found out early in our relationship that Adam was Catholic too, I started asking him questions as well.

I appreciated my previous church homes for their ability to inspire joy and happy emotions in me. But from Adam and the Church, I learned the beauty of logic and stability.

Faith could be so much more than a Sunday morning high and a feel-good building. It could be history, learning, and deep understanding.

And as I began to appreciate the depths of the Church, I began to learn what it truly means to love another person. My past relationships had been emotionally exhausting--mainly because I had looked at love as an emotion or feeling. Adam helped me realize love was a choice.

Staying mentally, physically, and spiritually fit is important to us as a couple. So, many times, I began to think about our workouts in terms of our faith. He and I intentionally made time for fitness because we knew it was important, even if we didn’t “feel” like it. In the same way, we began to make time for Mass and prayer together even if we didn’t “feel” like it.

I finally realized love was the same. I decided each day that I wanted to learn more about Adam and continue to share a part of my life with him. And despite panic attacks and bouts of depression that were a result of my job, he made the same decision with me.

As time went on, I became confident that Adam would continue making the choice to stay by me no matter what was going on in our lives, in the same way Christ made the decision to offer himself on the cross for the Church.

So when I came home at the start of my Christmas break to find Adam down on one knee, holding out a ring, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

I remember a conversation with a woman, the RCIA teacher, right before my first date with Adam. We were talking about my desire for marriage and family. She suggested I read the book of Tobit and pray to St. Raphael. And of course, she also let me know I was welcome in RCIA class on Sundays before Mass. Just to drop in and check it out.

She even gave me a bible and a St. Raphael prayer card. I didn’t know how I felt about praying to saints yet, since it wasn’t something that was looked kindly upon in my Southern Baptist-filled hometown. But I decided to give it a shot.

I didn’t think about it on my first date with Adam. But a few months later, after I was officially enrolled in RCIA and was picking my patron saint, I asked Adam who his confirmation saint was.

Lo and behold, it was St. Raphael.

A Photographer's Encouragement for Engagement

SINIKKA ROHRER

 

Each day from January 13-20, Spoken Bride's distinctively Catholic wedding vendors will be featured through Instagram takeovers and written contributions on the blog.

Are you recently engaged? We invite you to learn more about the gifted wedding industry professionals who partner with us through the Spoken Bride Vendor Guide.


When he asked me to marry him, I started crying tears of excitement. I was ready to be united with the love of my life and believed that nothing could stand in the way. Little did I know that nine months of marriage preparation, wedding planning, and managing family expectations would present a journey of challenges before we could walk down the aisle.

Although wedding planning was one of the most materialistic and difficult times in my life, I chose to enter the wedding industry to bless couples as their photographer and as a source of encouragement. We offer both beautiful images and positive support; we remind couples to embrace the hustle and bustle of wedding planning tasks by slowing down and enjoying engagement.

Your time as an engaged couple can seem extremely long and difficult due to a multitude of new situations, pressures, and circumstances. But there are many reasons why it's one of the most formative times in your marriage. As a bride and a photographer, I have journeyed through many engagements with couples. I pray that my perspective may help you experience your season of waiting with intention and a grateful heart.

Engagement is a precious time when you are able to communicate, discern points of conflict, and problem-solve prior to married intimacy.

It's during this time you are making some of the biggest foundational decisions in your relationship, like where you will live, where you will work, and how you will celebrate the holidays. Take time to dive into every conversation and seriously begin working through obstacles as you prepare for marriage.

Engagement gives you the ability to slowly unite as one.

In other words, engagement offers a buffer of time to release old, selfish habits and to develop new routines for new life circumstances. Marriage is a vocation that immediately strips you of the ability to be selfish; engagement is a time to prepare your mind, body, and spirit for that kind of sacrificial love. It is important to consider how daily routines and household responsibilities will change after your wedding.

Engagement allows you time to focus on Christ.

It is this time of waiting that gives you space to communicate about your faith and pray together. Use this time to create a vision for a shared spiritual life and goals for your new family’s foundation of values.

Engagement can be a challenging time to balance physical temptation, external pressures, emotional distress, and deadlines for key wedding planning decisions. But this time won't last forever.

Years from now you will look back on this season and it will be a small dot on the timeline of your marriage. With this in mind, utilize this season to its fullest by discerning issues, growing in selflessness, and focusing on Christ. After taking this time to build your foundation, you may even find the first year of your marriage will be easier than you expect!


About the Author: Sinikka Rohrer is the founder of Soul Creations Photography. She is a go-getter and dream-chaser who loves to serve others well. She loves all things healthy and early morning spiritual reads. Most days you can find her walking hand in hand beside the love of her life, Alan, with their baby John David in her arms. On any given day, you'll find them taking hikes and planning vacations out West.

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How He Asked | Melissa + AJ

We are honored by the opportunity to walk alongside you in this marriage ministry, from Yes to I Do and beyond, and we love returning to our couples' stories as they continue to unfold. If we've featured your love story in our How He Asked engagement series and you now feel called to share your wedding with us, as well, submission details can be found here.

Read more here for the story of Melissa and AJ’s wedding, a tale of devotion to the Lord and his Blessed Mother, and a wedding day completely enveloped by peace. 

Melissa and AJ met at church through a mutual friend in 2016, and they were married less than two years later in 2018. Their love story is a whirlwind of romance, faith, and Marian devotion.

Even AJ’s proposal, which didn’t unfold completely as planned, was filled with intentionality--from the ring he had custom-designed to the final love letter he presented to his future bride.

Through the intercession of Mary and the Blessed Virgin’s parents, Sts. Joachim and Anne, AJ and Melissa were graced with the strength to promise the rest of their lives to each other.

In Melissa’s words: A good friend who knew both of us well introduced me to AJ one night at church. That was July 19, 2016. A few weeks later on the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary,  after a Latin Mass at the oldest and most beautiful Catholic church in Miami, AJ asked me on our first date. Two months later we had already begun talking about marriage and the good things in store for our future.

On the days leading up to the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, we made our first consecration to Jesus through Mary by finishing 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley. We would later renew our consecration on our wedding day, April 21, 2018, at the very same church where he began pursuing me less than two years earlier.

Looking back, he had been planning the proposal for a long time.

I only knew it was coming because he could not contain his excitement, which was the sweetest thing.

The summer after I finished grad school, AJ asked me to leave one particular Wednesday unplanned. I tried not to be suspicious, but that was the moment I really knew. I really thought I had it all figured out.

Even though I was going to be hiking all day in the sun, I decided I needed to look my best since I strongly suspected he was planning to propose! I woke up early that Wednesday and got myself ready. This was in Moab, Utah, and he came to take me hiking at Arches National Park in the morning. The rest would be revealed as the day went on.

There was no cell service in the park, and we both took advantage of it to unplug and enjoy nature. He drove me to Delicate Arch, our first stop. Unbeknownst to me, this was also where he planned on meeting a photographer to capture our special moment.

We immediately spotted some park rangers, cones, and a roped off section of the park. I caught AJ desperately trying to cover up his look of, “this was not the plan!” Apparently, there had been flooding due to rain the day before, and the trail was closed.

There was a local woman and her daughter who pulled up at the same time also asking about the trail. They explained that Delicate Arch was their favorite, so it was too bad it was closed.  However, they had another favorite trail called Double Arch, and we could follow them over there if we wanted.

While all this was happening, I had no idea that this stranger was actually our engagement photographer trying to help AJ come up with a last minute backup plan!

As we hiked up Double Arch, I took pictures of beautiful rock formations. AJ took my hand, and led me to the center directly under the main arch. He began to say a lot of lovely things that I would never have been able to remember, because I was so giddy and nervous and excited. But he had written them down beforehand.

In short, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

AJ proposed on July 26, the feast day of Sts. Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are also the patrons of marriage, among other things, and such an incredible example of marriage and family life. During the days leading up to his proposal, AJ prayed a novena to these two holy saints asking for their intercession in our future marriage.

And the ring was beautiful. We had already gone to look at rings together two times. He knew exactly what I liked best.

I had no idea that his mother had given him a diamond that she bought on a necklace when she was my age. He had taken her diamond to a jeweler and had the rest of my engagement ring custom designed based on what he knew I liked. It is the most special thing I own.

To add to the special moment, July 26 was exactly three months after the day I received his first love letter in the mail. I received fourteen more letters during that time frame. He handed me the last one right after he put the ring on my finger.

He showed me how each letter began with a word, and the first letter of that first word was enlarged just a little bit more than the rest. When all 14 letters were lined up next to one another, together they spelled out, “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

He had been asking me to marry him since April that year, and he finished his question on the best day, the day I said yes.

I am so thankful that God made this man for me, who seeks the Lord with his whole heart and goes to God first before coming to me. I cherish our love story so much because it is rooted in faith and prayer, individually and together.

Photography: Richards Photography | Location: Arches National Park |  Ring: Albert's Fine Jewelers

How He Asked | Olivia + Kyle

Olivia and Kyle met at Franciscan University. Their chance encounter came after a powerful period of grace-filled healing for Olivia, who discovered it was possible to find complete satisfaction in the Lord’s love for her.

She met Kyle a few months into school, not realizing their paths would cross again later.

Then, a friendship that started at a Halloween party and several more coincidental meetings quickly blossomed into something much deeper. Within three months of dating, Kyle proposed to Olivia.

In Olivia’s words: I transferred to Franciscan University in the fall of 2017 to study theology. Up to this point, I never thought I would be a student studying under the great Dr. Scott Hahn, and I certainly never thought I would meet my future husband only a couple months later.

Then again, God does amazing things, especially when you give him everything.

At the very beginning of my first semester, I met Kyle. It was a very brief and less-than-impressive introduction. The two things I really noticed were his tall height and intense expression. Unlike myself, he didn’t seem like a very energetic person.

We wouldn’t see each other again until two months later. During these months, I experienced more spiritual and emotional growth than ever before in my life.

It was a profound time of reflection. I grew up Catholic, and ever since I was a little girl, all I wanted was be a wife and mother. I wanted to get married young and have twenty kids.

Unfortunately, a previous bad relationship had left me feeling lonely, insecure, and absolutely desperate for a fulfilling one. I wanted it to happen now. I didn’t want to wait, and had always ignored the nagging thought that maybe I wasn’t ready to meet “Mister Right” yet. Maybe I still had some work to do.

I had never considered that perhaps God had not yet fulfilled this desire because I was the one who wasn’t ready.

I was right. I started seeing a spiritual director who became a real father to me. He pushed me and helped me work on myself and my spiritual life. For the first time, I began to build a strong relationship with the Lord.

I learned how to trust him, I gained insights into myself that I never saw before, and I realized following his will meant giving everything to him—100% everything. I didn’t have to go searching for a guy, because I trusted that t God would orchestrate everything in the right time and manner.

Every single day, I prayed the same prayer: “Be Satisfied with Me,” attributed to St. Anthony of Padua, which I highly recommend. There’s a line that reads,

“Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you.”

This was such a wonderful discovery for me, because it was the truth I needed to hear in that moment. It reminded me every day to be patient and content with God, to remember he would surprise me with a great love of his own creation.

With God, I finally had the fruitful and fulfilling relationship my heart was longing for. I had discovered peace, contentment, and joy like I had never felt before, and my soul rejoiced!

Then I went to a party.

It was a Halloween party that I attended with three roommates. That night, I met Kyle for the second time. To my shock, he was the life of the party: playing music, dancing, and encouraging everyone else to dance as well! He was not shy and so did not resemble the Kyle I had met earlier that semester.

As I sat on the couch watching everyone dance, I noticed how seriously handsome he was. And then he pulled me up to dance with him. I was so glad he did. Dancing and talking with Kyle, I enjoyed myself immensely.

In spite of this, I left that night still convinced that I would make it at least six months single, unless God made it absolutely clear that he had a different idea for me. He sure did.

What better time to surprise someone with the love of their life than when they least expect it?

The cool part is that Kyle and I happened to run into each other on campus every day for the next ten days. During these meetings he made me laugh hysterically, we shared great conversations, and a genuine friendship began to form.

When you build a friendship with someone, there’s no emotional or physical aspect to cloud your judgment. Kyle and I got to know each other in an authentic way, and for us, that’s how I felt it should have been.

But we were almost always with other people while hanging out, going to shows, and attending Mass. At the end of these ten days, I naively thought, “Is God trying to tell me something?” I’m sure he wanted to shake me and ask, could I make it any more obvious?! Because looking back, it is clear as day.

And so our friendship continued. Over the course of five weeks, it slowly began to progress, because we both knew there was something there.

Kyle is a very blunt man. At one point he mentioned something about us dating, and I was struck with the most bizarre mixture of excitement and nervousness. I began babbling and at one point exclaimed, “Yeah…I like football!” Which I don’t. But he does. So I said it.

I’ve never been one to get nervous, but that was the first time we’d said anything about dating, and the feelings I had for him couldn’t compare to anything I had felt before. I already knew I wanted to marry him.

Kyle and I both felt we were called to marry each other, but this went completely unspoken until December 3rd, 2017.

That night, we officially started dating. We stayed up for hours, declaring our feelings and intentions. We knew we loved each other. We knew we wanted to get married, and we finally got to say it.

We knew from the beginning that we both wanted a lot of kids and wanted to homeschool. We knew our Catholic faith was the most important part of our lives, and that we both wanted to strive towards sainthood. We didn’t have to compromise on the most important things, and no one ever should, because God doesn’t want you to.

Believe me, I never thought in a million years I would get married within one year of meeting someone. But God does amazing things when you align your will with his. He took my plans and exchanged them for something so much greater.

On December 3rd we started dating. On March 3rd we got engaged and were betrothed. On November 3rd of this year, we got married.

Kyle once wrote in a letter to me, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” But I don’t think God laughs at our plans because of how wrong they are. Our plans make him laugh because they are so small. He must think, why ask for so little when I have prepared so much?

So trust in God. Trust that he knows the perfect who, when, where, and how.

I found out later that Kyle had sought advice from Kimberly Hahn, who advised him to pray for “the presentation of your future spouse.” This happened only two weeks before the Halloween night when we met for the second time.

Pray for the grace to follow God’s will for you, because he already knows you and your future spouse so perfectly.

Never compromise and never settle, because the Lord wants more for you than that.

Let him fulfill the unflawed plan he has for you. A plan to ensure your utmost joy and journey towards sainthood.

“…until you are both satisfied exclusively with me and the life I prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the love that exemplified your relationship with Me. And this is the perfect love.” -Be Satisfied with Me, St. Anthony of Padua

Photography: Andria Zutich

How He Asked | Ana + Sam

The Father can flood even the darkest, most hidden corners of the human heart with light.

Ana and Sam met at the University of Wisconsin in Madison; he was the new intern at the Newman Center on campus, and she was the student joining his retreat-planning team. The desire they both felt to serve the Church led them to one another.

After a few months of emails, Sam asked Ana out. Their first date was to a botanical garden on Easter Sunday. Many dates followed over the next few weeks as the clock ticked down: Sam’s internship would be over in a month, and he was preparing to move back home.

In Ana’s words: We talked about deciding at the end of those weeks if we could do a long-distance relationship, but it quickly became a no-brainer. We dated from a distance for six months, where we both used the time apart to seriously discern our relationship. I was incredibly happy—the summer was full of adventure and young love, though also shadowed by a period of extreme darkness in my own spiritual life.

We both realized around three months of dating that the other was, hopefully, the person God had planned for us. I knew in my heart and gut that if given the opportunity, I would marry Sam. Sam was a gift from God I truly could not believe I had received.

Strangely enough, this realization threw me into a torrent of worry and anxiety for months, as I began believing this gift was too good to be true. Even more devastating, I started doubting that God loves to bless us with beautiful things.

Hear me out. There was nothing wrong with our relationship. It was pure, good, and holy; at least, we were striving for that. The devil had taken control of my head and heart, trying to convince me I didn’t deserve the Lord’s goodness; that God was somehow tricking me, and his will was impossible to figure out, let alone follow.

During this time, Sam and I did a nine-day novena to St. Joseph for our relationship and for my anxiety, where we agreed to no contact at all. It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done.

It was during this time that I realized just how much love I had accumulated in my little, broken heart for this incredible man. I told God that if he blessed me with the opportunity to marry Sam, I would.

I prayed that God would be pleased with that decision. Looking back, I now realize that God wants to hear our raw, broken prayers. Believing a situation is “too good to be true” is like believing God is too good to be true. And that, I now know, is a lie.

Sam, being the sure and steady man he is, kept me focused on trusting Christ and myself during my period of darkness. In my desolation, I experienced the kind of man that Sam is. I am most grateful for his steadiness and faith. We were fortunate that Sam landed a job that brought him back to Madison, where he has been ever since. This allowed us to grow much closer than we otherwise could have apart.

Nine months after our first date, Sam proposed in the campus chapel, St. Paul’s, on New Years Eve, the Feast of the Holy Family! St. Paul’s is the community that had brought us together, and it is where we will be married next July. God is so good, and he loves to give us good things! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Trusting in him doesn’t mean putting a blindfold on while turning the boat in the opposite direction—it means staying the course of truth, eyes wide open, enjoying the views, all the while knowing and trusting that Christ is steering the boat. He leads us beside still waters, and he blesses us abundantly there. Let him.

In Sam’s words: I am not exaggerating when I say Ana was everything I was looking for in a girl: Catholic, faithful, pretty, funny, and more. I finally got the nerve to ask her out after almost four months. Although I still didn't know her well--our interactions had been pretty limited--I was incredibly excited to become friends. And we did become friends, fast.

After the whirlwind four weeks leading to the end of my temporary job, the decision to make a long-distance relationship work was the easiest decision. We were four hours away, so we were only able to see each other every so often. Despite our distance, we grew very close that summer. The time we spent together was obviously precious to each of us. By the end of that summer I knew I could--and wanted to--marry this girl, if that's what God wanted of me.

I was fortunate to land a job in the fall that brought me right back to Ana. I knew it was only a matter of time before we got engaged at this point. We were beginning to rely on each other and care for each other in ways that really only made sense within an engaged relationship. I got a ring in late November. Both of us had a strong connection to this chapel where I asked her, and I felt there was no better place. Ana has continued to be the greatest joy in my life, and I thank God every day she said yes!

Photography: Pete Creamer (family)

How He Asked | Katie + Jared

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