The idea of marrying your high school sweetheart seems both romantic and impossible at the same time. With so many students going to college immediately post-graduation, couples are often hours or even states away from one another, making it harder to work as they are meeting so many new people and starting down different paths. So, being a Washington, DC wedding photographer, when I do meet a couple who is getting married that started dating in high school, it just seems even more special to know how much work they put in to get to this point.
Brittany and Stephen are two of the lucky ones who have this bond. They met in middle school and started dating a year later, 9th grade to be exact, while they attended rival high schools. Their romance carried them through the years, all the way to college, where Brittany attended James Madison (a girl after my own heart!) and Stephen headed to Old Dominion. ODU wasn’t a good fit at the time, and Stephen ended up with the US Coast Guard where he was almost immediately shipped out to sea. Distance is hard on any couple, but try pairing that with barely even being able talk during a deployment and it’s nearly impossible to keep a connection. They decided, together, to take some time apart to focus on their new paths.
A few years later, during Brittany’s junior year of college, they happened to be back home at the same time and decided to catch up with one another. As soon as their eyes met, they knew that spark was still there! This time, they made a promise that when they had to part ways in a few weeks, they were going to make it work. They emailed each other every single day and Stephen called whenever service was available in port. Through an incredible amount of time, effort, and commitment, in January of 2016, they finally found themselves in the same place – and I can’t think of two people more deserving after all they have been through. These two moved into their first apartment together in Alexandria, VA and began planning their wedding that will take place this November in Richmond, VA where they will be surrounded by friends and family who have helped support them on their journey.
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