We had many wonderful entries into our “Free Wedding Photography” contest, and everyone was so deserving. The couples and the stories were so great and we thank you all that submitted!
Today we were supposed to announce the Top 3 finalists and then leave the voting to the public. However, there has been a slight change of plans. As we mentioned the entries would be narrowed down based on availability of dates that Tyler was still open. We had so many lovely couples but also so many date conflicts.
With that being said, we are VERY excited to announce the winner!
Meet Caitlin and Seth and see for yourself why we fell in love with them.
“My name is Caitlin and I am marrying a pretty cool dude named Seth.
Seth and I met on July 28th 2013 at Harry’s Bar and Tables in Westport. I was out with some friends celebrating a friends birthday. At one point in the evening I was chatting with my friend Jenny and her then-boyfriend Jeff (now fiancé) and I spotted a cute boy looking at me. Jeff saw this too and decided that I needed to speak with this fella. Well, I am a bit awkward to say the least, so when I refused to go over to talk to him, Jeff decided to turn his back so that I would have no one to talk to, giving The cute boy his opening to come say hello. Because Jeff had turned his back and I had no one to talk to (again I am awkward) I pulled out my phone and pretended to be doing something VERY important. “You’re phone is cracked in the exact same place mine is” was his super smooth opening line. I laughed and we started to chat. We had normal small talk conversations, nothing too interesting to begin with. He told me about how he was a musician and loved writing songs, I told him I had an addiction to the ID channel and would love to be a prison psychologist. The conversation flowed very naturally, which made my awkwardness fade. He told me how he used to have love straight hair (emo style) and how it was even dyed purple at one point. So I immediately gave him grief for this (well deserved). His response was “I was in a band! I thought I was cool!” So of course I wanted to know the name of this band that forced him to have such ridiculous hair. He said there was no way I would have ever heard of them, so wanting to sound cool I said, “try me”. “From Quiet Arms” he replied. Now, it’s a very rare thing in life to have a moment where you feel like a total badass, and this was my moment. I said to him “We were young, it was the 4th of July” which was a lyric from one of their songs. (Full disclosure so I don’t sound like some indie music snob because I am NOT. His band was a local band in Lawrence from about 2008-2011 ish. I happened to know the drummer in the band so I was familiar with the music.) His face lit up when I said it. He looked shocked and said, “wow I wrote that”. I suspect he also felt like a bit of a badass at that moment. The night went on and we talked and talked and talked. A little while later my friends had decided we were switching bars. In the bustle of the switch Seth and I were separated, we hadn’t exchanged phone numbers or anything, and to be honest I was more than a little disappointed. Shortly after getting to the second bar I realized it was way past my bedtime, but before I left I was on a mission to get back in contact with the cute boy from the bar. I asked my friend Emily to ask her friend Ben to ask Seth for his phone number (mutual friends). I was in the cab on the way home and finally got it from Emily (thank god). So I texted him, which if you knew me would know it is not my style, but there was something different about this one. After the text was sent I AGONIZED over every detail of what I had written and had convinced myself that there was no way he would text back. Good thing he did or I probably would have gone bonkers.
We texted non-stop for days and days. Talked about everything from work, to childhoods, to friend etc. We had our first date on a Thursday night at Kona Grill.
On our second date (the very next night) we are Mexican food and watched Inglorious Basterds. When the movie was over we sat on his couch and talked and talked even more, then I came up with this idea. I said, “do you know what we should do? Let’s just tell each other everything, air all the dirty laundry now and if we still like each other that’s awesome” I was tired of the “playing games” aspect of dating and figured I might as well get it all out there and if he doesn’t like it then we won’t waste each other’s time. I braced myself for him rejecting the idea swiftly, but instead he turned toward me and said “I love that idea”. So we did, we stayed up til 5 am and talked and were 100% honest with each other. It was liberating and created an incredible bond. That same night, Seth was showing me an app on his phone that shoots a video but makes it look like it was shot in 8mm which I thought was so much fun, I told him I wanted to play with it. He set it up so I was filming and he was sitting on the couch. He started to speak to the camera and said “hi kids, you’re mom and I are on our second date and I think it’s going well…” I was floored, surprised, but never did it freak me out or scare me off because I knew he was right. I knew we would show it to our kids someday. Throughout our relationship we have shot multiple of these little 30 second clips. It’s incredible to have a keepsake like this to show your kids.
I can honestly say I can’t remember what he did on our 3rd date, but I know he told me he loved me and I know I responded with an “I love you too”
Time went by and we crossed all the major milestones, met families, moved in together, and celebrated our one year anniversary. Then last November we decided to drive down to Austin, TX to visit two of our best friends Spencer and Laura Beth Walsh (our officiant and maid of honor respectively). We drove all night so we could get there in the morning and spend as much time as possible there. We arrived on a Thursday and on Friday morning around 7:30 am he proposed to me with his grandmothers ring, while our best friends looked on and took pictures/videos. Spoiler alert: I said yes.
I’m sure you’re reading this and thinking “GIVE ME A BREAK”. But don’t worry, our relationship has not been all loving video clips and song lyrics. There have been screaming matches, not speaking to each other, and even a 48 break up. We have fought about everything from staying out too late, to the temperature of the thermostat. From politics to who is taking our dog (his name is Kona, after our first date) out in the morning. We have gone to bed mad, and name called. But when it all boils down to it, we love each other. He is weird, and goofy, and hysterically clever. He has made me laugh every day, no matter what.
I wish I could say something more profound but alas I will not. Because it’s really that simple, we just love each other so dang much. I won’t say I can’t live without him, because I can. Just as he can live without me, but we CHOOSE not to. We continue to choose each other everyday. I don’t know what our future holds but I KNOW there will be hardships and I KNOW there will be times when we can’t stand each other. I also know that we will do our best to love each other the best way we know how every minute of everyday.
I will be honest, I haven’t really done anything to deserve winning this contest. I’m sure there are plenty of way more deserving people. That’s not to say I have done something to NOT deserve winning. It’s just that I am an ordinary girl down to my core. I have an ordinary job, ordinary apartment, ordinary car etc. However, I do have an extraordinary love with my cool dude Seth.
We can’t wait to get to know you two better!