Oh my word this post is going to be a long one – in photos and with words, so I am pre-warning you here. Grab a drink and maybe a snack, because you’ll be here awhile. This is a story that is truly magnificent, the kind which books are written and movies are made of – so we want to honor it well. We’ve told a lot of love stories – each one unique and heartfelt. But this one has something truly special and may just be my favorite one to date. We think you’ll quickly see why…
Evelyn is this incredible girl who is graceful and stunning, all the while having a humanitarian heart and wants to make an impact on the world. During her graduate program, she was interning with the CDC and had an opportunity to work in Haiti. The first day of work she showed up at the U.S. Embassy and went to the gate to check in. There was some sort of issue and they couldn’t find her name in the system. She was held there until they could figure out the problem, and before Evelyn knew it she was 45 minutes late for her first day. Although she was stressed out about being late, her tensions were eased a bit because of the extra time she was getting to spend with the handsome Marine who wasn’t allowing her in. Eventually the issue was solved and Evelyn was able to get past security, but the first order of business she needed to attend to was to find out the name of that cute Marine at the front gate – which she eventually discovered was Anthony. The second was to find out what had happened to cause her to be detained. After some investigating, it turned out that the person who entered her information into the system had put a space in front of her name knocking her out of alphabetical order. It sounds like a rather insignificant typo, however that split second error changed the entire course of Evelyn and Anthony’s life. Isn’t it funny how something so random led them to the right place? That’s the magic of fate.
Soon after, fate would come to the rescue again when Anthony had an unplanned schedule change and would be able to attend the Embassy’s 4th of July party. He found out from one of his roommates that one of the interns had been asking around about him. Anthony wasn’t sure who he was talking about, so when the roommate pointed out Evelyn at the party, Anthony immediately blew it off and thought maybe it was a trick. “There’s no way, that girl is way out of my league.” But the roommate persisted and after he had endured enough of the hounding, he saw Evelyn through the window and walked outside to her. It was as if no one else at the party existed besides the two of them. He grabbed her by the hand and said they needed to talk, and spent the entire evening doing just that. From that night on they knew there was something incredibly special between the two of them.
The beginning of Evelyn and Anthony’s story and all throughout is filled with magic. But it’s also filled with heartache due to separation. It was only a month into her internship, just as she was getting to really know Anthony and become a couple when Evelyn’s colleague had to be emergency med evaded out of the country and Evelyn had to go with her. After unexpectedly returning to the states, she ended up staying back in Atlanta to finish up her Masters while Anthony was still in Haiti guarding the US Embassy. Little did they know that the minute fact that they were in the same time zone would prove to be the easiest part of their dating journey.
They were able to take a few trips back and forth to see one another, but soon after Anthony was transferred to Burundi Africa. The two had actually planned for this move, knowing that after grad school Evelyn would be working with an NGO in the Democratic Republic of Congo which is a bordering country to Burundi. What they didn’t plan for was Burundi to experience turmoil and Anthony to be on lockdown for almost a year. They lived in neighboring countries yet didn’t see one another for 8 months!
Both Evelyn and Anthony were busy doing their part to make a difference in the world. Evelyn was deep in the rural part of the Congo on a field mission without water or electricity, and Anthony was working long hours every day in Burundi when he found out he was being sent to Okinawa Japan. He got a message to Evelyn, but didn’t know when she would receive it since she was so isolated from technology. The morning before he was set to leave, Evelyn happened to get to a city where she could check her email. Upon reading his message she immediately began shaking and became determined to find a way to see Anthony in Japan. One hour later she had a plane ticket on the same flight!
Her flight left out of Rwanda the next day, but when she arrived at the border the next morning the border guards wouldn’t let her cross. She begged, cried, pleaded, but nothing worked. Anthony boarded the plane without her, and she sat devastated at a travel office on the border. 5 miserable hours later she had a new flight, and would leave for Okinawa the next day. It was a full day of travel before she eventually landed, and when she did Anthony stood there in the crowd waiting for her. The moment she saw him she dropped her bags and ran to him. It was the best moment of both of their lives.
They spent the next few days wrapped up in one another – exploring together, eating sushi, riding on ferris wheels by the South China sea. On a walk on the beach one evening with no one else around, Anthony paused underneath a streetlight and got down on one knee and asked Evelyn to be his wife.
After their engagement, Anthony moved to his third post in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Evelyn stayed in Congo. They were back to being on different continents. They would do their best to meet up along the way when they could. Quick rendezvous in Paris and Switzerland that were intensely magical and romantic. Yet there were birthdays, holidays, and many lonely days spent apart. They endured political coups, and malaria. They couldn’t send one another a single card or love letter due to no postal system in the Congo. There were 10 total trips taken over the 1097 days they spent dating yet apart. There were a total of 65,820 long distance phone calls. They endured most of their time together – apart.
But it all led to here. This day. The day when they would finally come together and be able to promise that through everything life continues to put in their path, that they would make it though it all together. We are proud and honored to share a day as magical as their love story – Anthony and Evelyn’s wedding day.
A first look with her besties!Evelyn. I can’t say I’ve ever met someone that I admired so much instantly. You are so special. You can see it in the faces of everyone who knows you – you are adored. You are admired. You are considerate and kind, graceful and elegant yet unpretentious and sincere. And you are the definition of beautiful inside and out. You are everything young girl should aspire to be and I am absolutely HONORED to know you.Speaking of being someone little girls should aspire to be – pretty sure this little one already does! The way she looked at Evelyn – the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.And then there is Anthony. Anthony is completely charming, and you can see how he completely swept Evelyn off her feet. But there’s more depth to Anthony than just a handsome, charming Marine. He has true character, fortitude, and is thoughtful. He’s humble and so caring towards others. Anthony is truly one-of-a-kind and made for Evelyn.How about these cute kids? This day was just an overload of beautiful!That sign though…I’m telling you – the anticipation at this moment was electrifying. Every single person could feel it.We’ve been to a few weddings. I still shed a tear from time to time. But during Evelyn and Anthony’s vows I could not even breathe. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing to be honest. They were the most beautiful words I’ve heard two people say to one another, and the power in which they were said… I’ve never even seen a movie this good. I looked over at Roger who was staring at me because he knew how much it would resonate with me. He mouthed “Are you O.K.?” because I was having trouble composing myself, and I just smiled through the tears and shook my head yes. In all the weddings we’ve done, it was my personal favorite moment ever.
I wish I could share this in their voices, with their conviction and strength – but enjoy an excerpt of what these two promised to one another…
“Anthony, It is absolutely crazy to think about all the things that had to happen so that we could find each other.
I look back and realize that every choice that seemed like a mistake, every bit of bad luck, each moment of heartache, they all had to happen so that I would show up at your doorstep in Haiti.
It hasn’t been easy being apart from you these last three years, but I have never doubted that we would make it to this point; and I have no doubts today about promising the rest of my life to you.
I promise to stand by your side through all the adventures to come, both the ones that we’ve planned and especially the ones that we haven’t.
I promise to be faithful to you and to support you as we work together to balance our many hopes, dreams, and ambitions.
I promise to put in the work that it will take to sustain a healthy marriage.
I promise you that sometimes I will fail, but that I will keep trying.
Most importantly, I promise that I will love you everyday for the rest of my life.” “I vow to you that I will openly communicate so that we can continue to overcome life’s challenges.
I vow to support you with all your dreams and goals so that you can make the positive impact on this world that I know you are capable of.
I vow to open my heart to charity so that we can give kindness to those that are in need.
I vow that if we are fortunate enough to have children I will teach them to respect all the people in this world.
I vow travel the world with you so that we can continue to gain cultural lenses in which to see out of and influence our family with.
I will love you through good and bad, through joy and sorrow. I will be understanding and trust in you completely.
As teammates we will face life’s experiences and grow together. I will be your equal partner in a loving, honest relationship, for as long as we both shall live.
With all my love Evelyn, I take you to be my wife.”Girls are always pros at laughing with one another…but I have to say – these groomsmen gave them a run for their money. We had basically 20 minutes with the bride and groom for photographs, so I was in panic mode. I mean, when you have a couple this gorgeous, in a setting this beautiful, with the sunlight this perfect – but are under the gun to make it all come together in a matter of minutes – that’s some pressure. But wow did Evelyn and Anthony make our job easy. There are very few times that I can remember a couple so flawlessly interacting together. There is no other way to describe what these two have other than magical. Maybe it’s because these two had so few moments together along the way that they cherished every second wholeheartedly and learned how to drown out the noise and just be fully present in the arms of one another. The next few images feel like a dream. It just doesn’t get any better.It was a race against time, but we were lucky enough to finish out our time with these two in the grapevines at Chandler Hill Winery.The perfect day turned into the perfect evening as the sunset over the vineyards and the two celebrated becoming husband and wife.
There was no doubt listening to the toasts given how much these two are adored. I so identify with this feeling you can see in this photo. Dressed like a princess, flowers in your hair, a beautiful evening – and a cupcake. Life doesn’t get much better. (Roger agrees with the feeling btw – but he’d like to specify – just the cupcake part)
Evelyn and Anthony, we’ll admit it if you can’t already tell – we have a crush on you. It’s couples like you that make photographing a wedding feel like an honor. You so clearly embody all the things a marriage should be. Faithful, honest, steadfast, everlasting, true. Your perseverance and commitment got you to this day, and will continue to get you through life together. You two were so clearly destined to be together. Thank you for allowing us to capture this magnificent day for you, and for letting us be part of your legacy that will be treasured for generations. You have a love so remarkable that it gives others hope. We cherish your love and although we will see many more weddings and couples, yours is one we will never forget.
Now I know you think that surely there’s no more that we could share about this day, but there is actually so much that I cut out in order to not overwhelm the world wide web!! So enjoy a bit more of Evelyn and Anthony’s outstandingly perfect day in the slideshow below! We picked a song that is personally one of Roger and I’s favorites that reminded us so much of their love. (Grab a tissue or ten)
Special thanks to Molly Mae Events (a former bride of ours who we ADORE!) for connecting us with Evelyn and Anthony!! It was SUCH a joy to work with you!!!)