Sara and Jonathan
how we met
I was a freshman in high school and he was a senior. We knew each other somewhat through mutual friends before we actually knew each other. He was the catcher for our high school baseball team. I always had a crush on him, so I would wait outside of the locker rooms after school, because I knew he’d be coming out for practice, looking all fine in his baseball pants and catcher’s gear. I made my best friend wait around with me, so I wouldn’t look like a lonely girl just trying to slip in a shy “hello” as he headed to practice. My heart would start to race as I heard the click-clack of baseball cleats begin to come out of the locker room hall. We’d exchange a quick “Hello, how are ya?” before he ran off to practice. After several weeks of this, we exchanged numbers. I didn’t have texting on my phone at the time, so I used my best friend’s phone to text back and forth with him all the time, especially on the weekends. The text flirting turned into real flirting, which then turned into a first date. After that we were pretty much inseparable.
We’d spend hours on the phone. We spent every weekend together, going out to eat, to the movies, meeting each other’s families. I’d sit in the bleachers at every one of his baseball games, my best friend by my side, of course. Looking back, I realize just how vital my best friend was in the growth of this budding relationship. Not only did she let me rack up the text bill on her phone to kick-start my relationship with Jonathan, but it was also on her living room couch that we had our first kiss. We’d just been hanging out watching tv, eating junk food. Then, at an all-too-early hour, she announced that she was off to bed, and with a wink, she left Jonathan and I to ourselves on the couch. With butterflies in my stomach, we finished watching the movie. My best friend had picked the movie; It was “The Notebook”, the most romantic of all movies at that time. She really was a great wingman. Then as he was getting ready to leave, he leaned in and kissed me. It was just as natural as can be. And, I guess you can say we’ve been kissing ever since. That was 10 years ago!
how he asked
In March of 2014, we had plans to get away for the weekend to Louisville, KY. My family had planned the spring break getaway, so Jonathan and I left Friday afternoon so that we could spend some time together before my family joined us there the next day. We had rented the cutest little cottage house tucked into the hills of Kentucky to stay in for the weekend. Since it was our only night alone that weekend, we made plans to go to a nice restaurant in downtown. This restaurant, called Rivue, sits on top of one of the highest buildings in Louisville with revolving floors that offer guests 360 degree views of downtown and the Ohio River. We got all dressed up and as we were leaving for the restaurant, Jonathan casually asked if I’d like to walk the riverfront before our dinner reservation. A sunset riverfront stroll with my honey?! Of course!
We arrived at the riverfront park and walked the winding path hand in hand, talking casually about our day and the weekend plans my family had made. Then the path took a turn, leading us away from the sunset. I remember complaining to him about the beautiful sunset view being behind us and that we should turn around and walk back the other direction so that we could see it. He pushed on, saying we should walk just a little further and then turn back around. Reluctantly, I agreed. We found a bench in the bend of the path and he pulled me to it, asking if we could sit for a little bit. Except for us, the park was empty so we sat on the bench for a moment listening to the sounds of the river in silence. Then Jonathan began with, “You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about us…” From there, it’s a blur.
He got down on one knee, pulled out the most dazzling ring I’d ever seen, and popped the question. Instant tears and excited laughter. A squealed “YES!” We were on our feet all wrapped in one another, so it took me a few minutes before I heard the “click, click” of Joni’s camera. Turns out we weren’t the only ones in the park after all. Joni had been hiding in the trees ahead of us, capturing every moment of the surprise on camera. So that’s why we had to walk so far down on the path!
Little did I know Jonathan and Joni had made a sneaky trip to Louisville the previous week to scout out the perfect spot for this photo-op. They chose that very bench because of the awesome sunset view of the river behind it. The rest of that night was one of the best of my life. I was on cloud nine. I remember waking up throughout the night just to sneak a sleepy-eyed peek at my ring.
When we woke up the next morning, Jonathan called me into the kitchen where he asked me to sign some papers that were laying on the table. Upon first glance all I read was “waiver” and “hot air balloon.” He’d booked a private hot-air balloon for the two of us for the day! I mean, come on! I was still reeling for the surprise of the night before! The hot air balloon ride, complete with cuddles and champagne, was an adventure I’ll never forget! My family arrived in Louisville later that day, and from there the surprises just kept coming. There were more adventures (zip lining in underground caverns, wine tasting, delicious food), more surprise visits from family, and engagement gifts and celebrations.
The fairytale engagement was followed by an out-of-this-world wedding the following May. We soaked up every second of our wedding day. After all, we’d waited 7 years for it at the point! We’ve been married for almost 2 years now and it’s been an adventure the whole time. Our life together has been so exciting and fulfilling. Joni has photographed many of our life events since that weekend in Louisville: our fall engagement session, my boudoir shoot, our wedding. But those sunset photos will always be some of our favorites. She captured so perfectly the love and joy we felt in that moment, knowing our life together was about to begin.