I have photographed love stories for years, I’ve watched other people’s dreams come true my entire life, I’ve been obsessed with romance novels and movies ever since I could walk and I’ve dreamed of my very own fairytale since I was first called a princess when my daddy held me in his arms. I love love love Love. I am a sucker for the happily ever after and I will always think that love is the most powerful thing we have on this earth. I have waited for my prince charming for years. Years filled with hurt and broken hearts, years of God shaping me into the future wife I one day wanted to be, and years of searching and longing to meet the love of my life. And that day happened 6 months ago in Dallas, Tx.
I have tried and failed to find this man my entire life, and it started to feel like all I was doing was failing and hurting. So over a year ago I finally gave up. I was done. I was done searching for a love that only ended up hurting me in the end. I wanted to just accept that I would just photograph that type of love for others and never get that for myself. Deep down I knew I would long for it for the rest of my life, but my heart was tired and I was sick of choosing a man, so I chose myself. For years I chose relationships over myself and I was done. So I let go. I let Jesus have that part of my heart and I promised to Him that I wouldn’t give my heart away again unitl it was the man I would marry. And I meant that.
So for a year I focused on ME and God’s absolutely beautiful plan for me. I ran as hard as I could into the gift he had given me and wanted to pursue the dreams I had for my business. God had been the only reason I became a photographer after all. I traveled and shot the most beautiful weddings I could dream of. I visited places I once only dreamed of and learned from people I have admired and looked up to for years. I started booking things I didn’t even dream would come true and I ran headfirst into this beautiful blessing God had in my lap.
The only reason I hold a camera in my hand is because God’s plan has been better than mine from the beginning. If I had it my way I would’ve gotten married 5 years ago and never really found out who I was and what God had made me for. And if it wasn’t for that moment 5 years ago when I decided to click that camera, I never would’ve found my happily ever after..
I had a couple reach out to me 9 months ago about shooting their wedding this March. The bride was so excited to book me and we became friends in no time after just a couple of phone calls. I was in Kenya at the time so when I got home we met up at a Starbucks to plan their upcoming engagement session. By the end of the conversation I was SO excited to get to capture their day and I was completely focused on their story when Paulina caught me off guard and asked if I was single and if she could set me up on a date. At this point in my life I had nothing to lose and no one in my life and said I would think about it. But the next time I saw them, they would NOT drop it. Paulina would do anything in her power to get me on blind date. We drove 3 hours to Oklahoma for their shoot and they spent the ENTIRE time talking about this man they wanted to set me up with. At this point, I hadn’t had good luck with dating EVER, so I was hesitant, but I also had nothing to lose, so I said that if her and Nate would double with us I would do it. Blindly meet this man she was convinced I could marry.
Weeks went by and I didn’t really give this man a second thought until Paulina sent me a picture and told me to let her know when I wanted to meet him. SOMEHOW this girl KNEW we needed to meet so we set up the double date and I didn’t give it another thought.
Until I met him. & YALLLLLLLLLL – Aaron walked in and DAMN. Let me just tell you, this man’s heart was obvious. He loved Jesus with a passion that dictated everything He did. It was one of those moments that I felt in my gut that this was GOOD.
After we said goodbye and got in our cars Paulina looked at me and said, “You just had your first date with your Husband, how do you feel?”
And now 6 months later, after a rough month and the cancellation of our engagement photos (and his 1st proposal idea), in 24 hours this man put together an entire proposal that included both of our families in the first spot we went together in Greenville when we first started dating. On a rooftop in downtown he had blankets, flowers and more candles and lanterns than I knew any of us had and all my sisters hiding to capture it all on camera. He had my best friend and cousin taking pictures, my sisters setting up everything with mine and his mom’s help, my dad helped with logistics, my nieces were waiting downstairs for us and even his sister drove into town to celebrate with us after. Family is everything to me and he incorporated every one of them and it was the sweetest part. He changed his entire plan that he’s had for months in 24 hours and managed to make it even more special than the first one. I remember climbing up the ladder to the roof and then looking over at everything he had set up, and then watching the love of my life get down on one knee to ask me to spend forever with him. This moment I have waiting for my entire life, dreamed up in my head probably a million times and now it was here, and it was better than I ever imagined.
I cannot wait to choose you for the rest of my life Aaron Layman. I will love you forever and I cannot wait to marry you.