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Jim + Laura – Love Story Contest Winners – Engagement Session

We were so honored to be able to give this amazing session to this kind-hearted and loving couple! Thank you to all of the awesome vendors involved!

Dickie Morris – just a little ditty

Brad Bennett – Shaking Hands Productions

Derek Shaw – Wallets by Waskerd

Ben Morris – Stonegate Event Rentals

Panorama Farms

We hope that you will enjoy this awesome video – by Shaking Hands Productions and of course their “love story” at the end of this post!

Laura & Jim’s Love Story
“One week after Jim and I met, I knew that he was the love of my life. I make decisions quickly, and there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that we were meant to be forever. I’m grateful that he is a slower mover, because I knew this, but I didn’t yet know why: I hadn’t yet seen how perfect he would be to kiss goodnight, raise children with, and grow old beside.
For a few years in my twenties, I wasn’t sure that this perfect love was out there for me. After college, I floated in the breeze for a few years, teaching, traveling and searching for something more. While fun, I missed my sister and best friend, who in 2006 was preparing to start graduate school at UVA. I packed my bags and dog and moved down to beautiful Charlottesville so Alison and I could be sister-roommates! Although I dated, it was clear to both of us that no one was quite right for me. I wondered if Alison and I were too co-dependent (we probably are), if she’s too good to me (she is), or if she just loved me too much to ever see anyone as good enough for me (thankfully disproven).
In 2009, a dear friend and fellow teacher talked of setting me up with the perfect guy who designed schools with her husband at a local architecture firm. I was planning a working travel sabbatical and not up for blind dating. Six months later, when I re-landed in Charlottesville, my friend again put the wheels in motion, and after a series of funny emails, we met for a drink at the start of the blizzard of 2010. I was smitten and convinced that Jim was the love of my life by our third date, when we my fearful rescue dog, Milo, immediately loved him. For the first time, my sister loved him, too!

Jim does not have my impulsive spirit: he listens, reflects, listens, questions, and finally comes to very thoughtful decisions, so he was not sure quite so quickly. I wasn’t in a hurry…. we had lots of fun and filled the months with activities. Always a believer that everything will unfold as it should, I quietly knew that Jim was it for me and waited patiently for him to figure it out.
In December of 2010, Alison decided to have a baby on her own. The prospect was scary and joyful at the same time, and I committed to being her partner on the journey. I never asked Jim how he felt about me playing such a major role in Alison’s pregnancy, birth, and child-raising—she is my sister and soul and it wasn’t negotiable—but he never batted an eye. If I was her support, he would be my support, he said and showed us.
When Alison’s water broke a month early, Jim, Milo, and I were picnicking on Carter Mountain. I panicked, but Jim drove me calmly to her before packing the happiest birth bag ever packed, filled with family photos, toys, and fun. On July 2, Georgine was born, more wonderful and lovable than any of us ever imagined.

In September, my shy, reserved Jim stood in front of my childhood church full of family and loved ones and promised with me to support and love Georgine and her mother for the rest of our lives. I felt so proud and happy to be making this commitment to my sister and niece with Jim and knew that there was no other person in the world who was meant to make that vow with me.
In the months since, our lives have been joyful and full. I feel settled and content in a way that I’ve never felt before. Jim fills our time with understated and unexpected hilarity, and I fall more in love with him every day as I watch him coach Georgine’s crawling efforts, make new baby signs for her, and handle every moment with light-hearted composure.

On February 2, Jim proposed on the front porch swing of his (now our!) sweet little cottage with his grandmother’s ring while Milo and I cried (Milo in fear of the front porch, me in surprise and joy). I assumed that he would stay true to his slow, deliberate form, and we would set a wedding date far in the future. He surprised me by wanting a short engagement and a wedding within a year.
We’ve agreed that we aren’t looking for anything elaborate, but want a special day to celebrate with everyone we love and would love engagement photos to forever remember this precious time in our lives. Because we’ll pay for our own wedding, we are working hard to cut every expense, but we both value good photography and would love a fun photo shoot around the town we love with Milo and our bicycles (mine, a birthday gift from Alison and Jim). We also love our 1950s cottage and have had fun furnishing it in mid-century style (with my love of antiques and Jim’s modern taste, we say that we met in the middle of the century as a compromise). Photos in the spirit of those 50s atomic life advertisements would also be so fun and perfect for our relationship. Jim has beautiful plans for growing with this precious home, so we hope to be here for many years. It is hard to justify huge wedding expenses when we have a lifetime to invest in this house we love so much.

Two years ago, I knew that I was meant to spend my life with Jim, but I didn’t know why. Since then, everything has unfolded just as it should to show me how perfect life together is.”

Their story came complete with pictures and a little video! They truly won our hearts!

Linda Richardson - These photos are so you two! Love them, Mom and Dad Richardson

Nancy Dewald - Wonderful! Wonderful!
Love, Mom & Dad Dewald

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