The Story of Us

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Hi friends!

I usually only use my blog to share my photography work, but I thought it might be fun to get to know me a little more through occasional personal posts. And what better time to start than on our two year swipe-iversary!

We swiped right on Bumble two years ago today - I complimented his tattoos and was secretly crushing on his muscles from the gym selfies in his profile.

On our first date we met up for drinks at a bar in Burnsville and both ordered whiskey - the first sign that this thing was going to happen ;) he had told two of his best friends about me already, and they kept asking how the date was going and wanted a photo of me - so we snapped a selfie! Haha - the first and only first date selfie I have taken! We also ran into a former pastor mine from high school and I introduced him to Jay, which was funny since we barely knew each other. Little did we know this would be the pastor officiating our wedding just a year and a half later!! They shut the lights off on us because we stayed so late and then Jay walked me to my car and gave me a single red rose and asked for a second date - such a romantic. :)

On our second date, I had a big work deadline that night and he hung out with me at Perkins until midnight to get it finished. It was a huge project and even though he hadn’t known me long, he knew it was a big deal. We walked out to his car to bring me home, and he had brought a bottle of whiskey and two glasses to toast to the completion of my work project. I was floored! This guy was SO thoughtful!! So many moments like that happened in our early weeks and months of dating, which just indicated to me what a quality dude he was :)

After about a month of going on dates, having deep conversations and bonding over our shared love of whiskey, country music and sarcasm, we made it official and became “boyfriend/girlfriend” on St. Patrick’s Day. I couldn’t believe how quickly this “stranger from the Internet” was feeling like I had known him my whole life.

The next few months we attended weddings together, went hiking, met each other’s friends and family, and even flew to California for one of his best friend’s weddings! He was a groomsman and I caught the bouquet, with a spectacular view of the Pacific ocean. It was dreamy and the first time I really started to think Jay could be the man I marry. That summer we also drove to Colorado together - I absolutely love the mountains and had a trip with a friend fall through - so being the sweet guy he is, he made it happen and went on the trip with me instead :) it was so fun to travel together so much!

Jay says he knew from our third date that he was going to marry me - I took a little longer to get there ;) but after 11 months of dating, he popped the question! We had gone ring shopping together, so I knew it was coming, but he still managed to surprise me and proposed at sunset at a beautiful gazebo at my favorite park and a place I spent so much time growing up. For my birthday and Christmas, he had made me small photo albums with some of his favorite photos of us and the sweetest cards. When he proposed, he made me a GIANT photo album about halfway full, full of photos and cards with memories and inside jokes. He told me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life filling up photo albums with me (cue the ugly tears). I basically tackled him with a hug and then remembered there was a shiny diamond, too ;)

After we got engaged we flew out to Portland to visit my cousin, who also took our engagement photos for us on Mount Hood! Of course we ended up in the middle of a blizzard, so you really can’t even tell we’re in the mountains - looks more like Minnesota, ironically ;) After a crazy 8 months of wedding planning, we got married on September 28th, 2018! It was a beautiful day and we were so thankful for the family and friends who traveled from all over to be there to support us.

Two years doesn’t feel nearly long enough - he knows me better than anyone and I never thought I would be loved so deeply by someone who is intimately acquainted with all of my flaws and selfishness 😬 these haven’t been the “happiest years” of my life - hard stuff has still happened, I’ve struggled and grown and we’ve hurt each other, we’ve had dumb fights and struggled to understand each other - but having him as my partner in life has emboldened me with so much strength and peace to face the difficulties of life. He’s my calm and steady in the storm. I can’t imagine being married to someone more loving or patient with me. Love you babe. Cheers to forever 🍻

Wedding photography by Paige Mercer Photography.

Natalie Werness