Sometimes you hear a couple’s story and you just know they’re extra special. Katie and Marc’s story is one of those stories. Fully Alive Photography, an Elite Circle photographer who seems to have a knack for bringing out the most natural and pure beauty in people, photographed the couple for their outdoor engagement session in Arizona and we love it!
For today’s post, we’re mostly going to let the couple tell their story because we wouldn’t do it justice.
How did you meet? We met working at Starbucks at Rural and Baseline in Tempe in 2002…there weren’t any sparks at that point. I wasn’t interested in a relationship (much less Marc) because I had my heart set on going overseas to serve people living in poverty and do humanitarian work. As for Marc, he was really content as a single. And while he may have had some interest in me, he knew I wanted to go overseas and he certainly didn’t want to get in the way of that. Before I left the US, Marc gave me his email address so I could send him my newsletters. So for years, our only communication was me sending out mass email newsletters from the Middle East and West Africa.
I returned to the US in 2013. I knew it would be a difficult transition coming back to the US, but I thought I’d be fine. I had already spent years traveling the world and living in other countries as a single woman. How hard would America be? But I had no idea what I was in for. Marc, on the other hand, knew. He had seen how other people struggled when they came back from serving overseas. So he committed to pray for me—even though we hadn’t seen each other in nearly a decade.
So as I navigated the traumatic terrain of reverse culture shock, heartbreak, and loss over the next year, Marc faithfully prayed for me and emailed me encouragement in the form of written prayers, stories from his life, Bible verses, and links to songs. I can’t tell you how many times I would read one of Marc‘s emails in which he shared just the thing I needed to hear or confirmed just what I was sensing from God. I could tell Marc was special, and that he had a really close relationship with God. And that was attractive. I eventually got up the nerve to email and tell him I was interested in him—romantically—and that if it was mutually, he should do something about it!
What is your favorite thing about each other? Katie: For me, it’s what I first found attractive in him: his obedience and faithfulness to God. Marc: I most like her capacity to feel deeply.
Katie and Marc’s Outdoor Engagement Session in Arizona took place at Tempe Center for the Arts and Tempe Town Lake- the couple says the locations represent many things about us: our love for Tempe, music, and modern architecture.
The Proposal: The couple went out for a fancy meal to celebrate their 2 year anniversary but ended up being stuck for hours on the freeway due to an accident and eating at Chipotle instead (they are having Chipotle cater their wedding as a nod to this special anniversary!) . So, the next day, we met up to walk through a large city park. Marc was determined to find the perfect spot. So for the next two hours, we wandered the park as he insisted we needed to find the right spot to sit down so he could stretch. It was a legitimate excuse. He was recovering from a mild running injury, and I knew he’d been instructed to stretch multiple times a day.
Did I know that a proposal was coming? Well, I did think, Maybe he’ll propose. I knew it was bound to come at some point over the next few months. But honestly, I didn’t think this was the day. So I took his insistence on finding THE right spot as a challenge. After all, my guy is really particular when he knows what he’s looking for. We would most certainly find it. And we did find it. Well, nearly. We sat down in front of a parking lot underneath a dying arbor and he started telling me how thankful he is for me and about how much we had grown over the past two years, and I thought, “Oh, he’s being so sweet for our 2 year anniversary!”
Then, after a pause, he said, “Nope, this isn’t the right spot.” It was true. I was kind of afraid that spiders might start falling from the dead vine above us. So we backtracked about 50 yards to a nearby fountain in the sunshine and THAT was the perfect spot where he simply said, “You want to marry me, right?” “Are you asking me to marry you?” I asked. And he had the biggest smile on his face as he said, “Yes!” and got down on one kneed and formally asked.
Later, he said, “It may not have been very romantic, but I hope it was memorable.” Memorable, yes. And it WAS romantic!
How did you choose Fully Alive Photography for your outdoor engagement session in Arizona? Choosing Fully Alive Photography was one of our very first decisions in the whole wedding planning process (technically, our first decision was cupcakes; second was deciding on Fully Alive Photography). We had seen a lot of Tracy’s work and we loved her style and artistry. As we’ve gotten to know her, we’ve also seen how naturally she creates beauty and fun all around her. We knew we were hiring the best photographer who would help us relax and have fun during our photo sessions, as well as really capture our personalities as individuals and as a couple.
Ideal Date Night: Sunset on the patio of Postino’s Annex—me drinking a white wine and Marc eating a bowl of fresh potato chips while listening to a retro playlist.
We love the quiet strength Katie and Marc exude. There’s no frills, no fuss. Just a closeness and love that is sort of…ethereal (the gorgeous glowing sun that Tracy expertly captured doesn’t hurt either!).
Katie and Marc, our hearts are full- we thank you for sharing your story and photos with us and we wish you much love and happiness on your wedding day (and every day thereafter)!
Outdoor engagement session in Arizona photos taken by: Fully Alive Photography
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