Today's engagement session by Jordan Weiland Photography is one of those that transports you to another place. In this case, to the gorgeous Lake Parker Park in Lakeland, to witness the sweet love that a beautiful couple has for each other... along with some seriously gorgeous light!
From Jordan: Libby and John have been dating for three years and are getting married this June in Lakeland. They've spent the last year of their relationship apart, her in Nepal for the summer and him in California at Bethel this past Fall and Spring. Their relationship has involved travel, letters, maps and long distances and they can't wait to get married and have their intimate ceremony this summer to celebrate their love with family and friends.
John grew up in Lakeland, and Libby moved there for school; they met in college. We asked Libby how they met: We met in an apartment that I shared with a friend named Ali. John knew her from school, but I had no idea who he was. John and Ali were going to go to dinner with other friends, but she wanted to shower and change. I sat there at the dining room table with a pile of twizzler wrappers on one side of my computer, and an unopened pile on the other side. I was in sweats, glasses, and told John I was taken because I didn't want to deal with it. He thought about me all through dinner, and said my name out loud on accident. Second time, I had grandma curlers in my hair. The third time, we were inseparable.
The couple built a strong bond through their shared faith, their belief in each other as "powerful" and independent people, and their ability to communicate well with each other. Says Libby, John does what he says he will, plays soccer amazingly well, and has nice calves (spoken like a true fiancée right?). He is mellow, and continually amazes me with his strength, stability, and joy. Everywhere he goes, leadership follows him, and his heart is to continually change the cultures around him for good. Meanwhile, I grew up all over the place, and moved to Lakeland to go to school (and a lot of family was here). I did dance, messed around with volleyball, and eventually decided that my heart was for traveling. I embarked on mission trips to Africa and Nepal, and have taught the last year at All Saints' Academy in Winter Haven while John is in California at Bethel School of Ministry. John and I mesh. The extremes of who we are have ended up in a perfect balance that continually works together, and occasionally pushes the other outside of their comfort zone. I like travel, he never felt the urge. Suddenly, we are ending up in California. I like hideously bright colors, he is more a neutral guy, and ba-bam, suddenly I appreciate and go after hues other then florescent.
Libby also told us the story of their engagement: We have an odd engagement story. We really prayed about marriage, but weren't really getting a lot of go ahead from my family. Eventually, out of frustration, I said "Baby! Can't we just ask God for a date??". We asked, he answered. June 9th. We didn't have an engagement ring, John was in Cali, but we went for it. I kept reassuring John I didn't need a ring, but when he came home for a quick break, he got down on one knee in the Maitland Art Center courtyard and proposed... with a ring that he had had for almost 2.5 years!! (We have been dating 3.5). So romantic *swoon*
And we asked how the wedding planning was coming along: The coolest thing about our wedding, is the fact that we have really been patient, trying to see where the "right" places are, and the "right" dresses. Things that people said couldn't happen, have. I was told that cancellations never happen at Lake Parker (where we wanted to get married), lo and behold, four weeks out, it's available. The dress wasn't supposed to come in until June 6th. It's already arrived. Our honeymoon spot is ideal.
We are going for a metal, wood, stone look, accompanied with bright fabrics, and burlap. The girls are carrying metal flowers, I am carrying a bouquet of dried flowers that John has given me over the years up the aisle, then replacing it with brand new flowers on the way back down. We are having worship at our ceremony, and a nontraditional feel mixed with the norms of any wedding. We have Jones sodas as our favors, personalized. And who knows what else! We are having a wonderful friend and coordinator, Trisha Weinrich help us, and she has helped capture that vision. Not only that, but we have the best photographer that a couple could ask for - one who helped us relax, and show love to each other as naturally as possible for lasting pics!
Congratulations and best wishes to you both! And our thanks to Jordan Weiland for sharing this lovely session and story with us.