“It’s a love story baby…just say yes.”
Oh if Taylor Swift could only hear this tale. Every love story is special because it belongs to two people and no one else. Every story is their own. However, some stories are simply more remarkable in the nature of the union of the two parties, be it distance, time or just the crazy road they had to take to get to each other.
She grew up in small town Oklahoma, reading books, playing soccer, working chemistry equations, writing award-winning essays and dreaming of how Mr. Darcy would come and sweep her off her feet. He’d come gallantly into her life and after an ardent love story he’d declare, “You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. And wish from this day forth never to be parted from you.” Really… he would say that. She was sure of it.
He grew up in the hills of Pittsburgh, PA, thrilled to work math problems, thinking in all things statistics, cooking amazing meatloaf and loving to seek out the deep things of God. He dreamt of a godly woman that he could sweep off her feet and care for like Christ cared for the church.
Both were hoping and praying for the man and woman that God would bring into their lives to join with for the rest of their story. Both were preparing and anxiously waiting. Both were patient. Calm. And both had no idea that their future life partner, the one they would grow old with, walk hand-in-hand with, was halfway across the country.
They met at the “Clash,” a worldview conference in Grantham, Pennsylvania for young adults, geared toward equipping them to be image-bearers of Christ in all spheres of life. Interesting that the “Clash” brought about the “collision” of their lives. My dad had been determined to send her and even joked about keeping an eye out for eligible young men. She traveled hundreds of miles. He was just a few hours from home. When they got put into the same small group….little did they know what was ahead.
Now, you are probably expecting a love at first sight story but that’s not what this was. After the conference they parted ways. He returned to Pittsburgh and her to Norman, OK. Both went on with their lives but he had taken notice of this special girl from Oklahoma. Keeping up with her and her insightful writings online, the interest that had started in that small town in PA began to grow. Finally, two and a half years after their ‘clash’ encounter, he acted. Facebook messages turned into phone calls. Phone calls turned into Skype. Skype turned into summer visits and summer visits quickly turned into plans to be closer together. On a hot August day, she packed up her things, letting go of the world she knew so well, and they made their way to PA. Sweet Pittsburgh families opened their home for her so that they could pursue their relationship in closer proximity and allow their love story to develop. Six months later he drove her to Grantham, PA, knelt down just a short ways from where they first met, and asked her to be his bride. “You have bewitched me body and soul,” he said, “and I love, I love, I love you. And wish from this day forth never to be parted from you.” No really…he said that. Just like she knew he would.
And that my friends is what you call a love story.
Emily and Stephen, thanks for letting me do your engagement session! Your love story is a great testament to the divine workings of our God. He brought you together despite miles and miles of unlikely odds which makes me believe that He has called this good. His plan for you together is greater than it would have been apart. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead and how He will continue to unfold your special story. Em, you are one special lady. I can’t believe we are here, preparing for your wedding! I still see the little sister with no fashion sense and whose greatest thrills came from working chemistry problems. That may not sound cool…but I think that you are the coolest. Thanks for being such a wonderful little sister to me…even if you always make me be the boy when we dance! Ha! Stephen, you are one cool dude and I’m so excited to welcome you into our crazy family! Thanks for pursuing my sister so fervently, even despite the miles. It gives me great confidence to know that you see how valuable she really is. Here’s to the establishment of the Stephen Schuch family!!
Enjoy my favorites of Emily and Stephen…yeah I know. There are a lot. Don’t act surprised.
Ok, to be noted: Emily has been my most faithful model over the years. You may remember her Christmas shoot that we did recently. She is the reason I have improved as I have and so you could say I was excited to have her actually have someone to model with! It was a fun change of events!
Over your mantle guys. For real.
Love this one.
What a beautiful couple!
Seriously…all those shoots we did over the years prepared you for this moment Em. Gorgeous.
My dad is convinced she should be an eye model. I can’t say I know if that’s a real profession but if it was I’d agree.
Ok so Stephen and I joked about his serious face before the shoot. He was not quite sure of how to make it work. I assured him he would be fine. Um…and then he busted this out on the first try. Yeah…easy as pie.
So editorial guys. Really.
Just stop it with the cuteness.
She has great legs. Not fair.
So they were pressed for time, having to catch a plane just a few hours after we started. It had rained a good amount that morning so we were pretty bummed that our original locations wouldn’t work. After church we went to this fun ‘homestyle cookin’ restaurant in this cute little downtown in North Dallas. It had so many fun little places around so we decided to come back to shoot that afternoon. It was perfect!
I love these doors!
Hand in hand til death do us part.
Love these colors against the wood.
Waiting on her man to pick her up.
Guess he got the memo.
I may be biased…but you are gorgeous.
I was determined to shoot in this tall grass. It’s been calling my name since spring made its debut. They were such troopers, traipsing into tall and very WET grass for me, the crazy photographer. The sun was still a little high in the sky but they had to catch a flight so we forged ahead!
AGHH!!! I love this shot. So candidly sweet.
She loves to read. So does he. Its a good match. Stephen has his masters in statistics. The slow learner part is definitely in sarcastic humor.
And of course we had to break out the Clash t-shirts in honor of what brought them together. Kind of ironic isn’t it. A clash that united instead of separated.
That bling is cause of the Clash!