I met Haleigh years ago. She is the daughter of one of my former coworkers from my years working in the dental field. Who would’ve thought I would be her wedding photographer a few years down the road? I am so thrilled to be working with Miss Haleigh and Efrain during this season of their new life together. Their love story is one worth sharing – so buckle up and grab some popcorn (and maybe some tissues).
Haleigh and Efrain attended Seattle Baptist Church together for years. Fast forward to about a year ago, when they began working in the Children’s Ministry together at Seattle Baptist Church. They became friends and then one day something changed – Efrain saw something special in Haleigh. Efrain invited Haleigh to coffee at Starbucks, clueless – Haleigh agreed – thinking it was to have coffee and discuss Children’s Ministry. Little did she know that was opening the door to the beginning of their courtship: coffee at Starbucks became their first official date.
Now, if you’re not familiar with the difference between dating and courtship, that’s okay! I think this website says it best:
Courtship is a relationship between a man and a woman in which they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other. Under the protection, guidance, and blessing of parents or mentors, the couple concentrates on developing a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s timing for their marriage.
About eleven months after that first date over coffee at Starbucks, Efrain asked Haleigh to meet at their favorite park. She didn’t have a clue he was going to propose. He had a friend that she had not met approach her and ask her to take a picture of him to turn her around so she wouldn’t see Efrain. Efrain played their favorite song on his phone and snuck up to her with a huge bouquet of roses. He got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She said yes!
I always ask my couples what they love about each other as part of my engagement session planning questionnaire. Their answers are so sweet that I have to share!
What Efrain loves about Haleigh:
She is good at math. She is funny. She is sweet. She is caring. She is clumsy. The way she half smiles when she is thinking of something. She sings amazingly. She is beautiful. She is a wonderful Christian.
What Haleigh loves about Efrain:
I love that he can always make me laugh when I’m stressed out or worried. I love that he always is considerate to others and goes out of his way to help people. I love that he loves the Lord and always strives to lead our relationship in a way that would please Him. I love the way his eyes get dark when he tells me he loves me. I love I his loud yawns and his insane laugh and the way he makes me smile no matter what is happening.
What do I love about these two? Haleigh and Efrain’s courtship and relationship is so deeply rooted in their faith. So much so, that they have chosen to refrain from any physical contact before their wedding day. This means no hugging, no hand holding, no kissing… If you follow my work you know that these are often things that happen during my engagement sessions in preparation for wedding day portraits. Honoring their wishes and with deep respect for their faith, I accepted the challenge to capture the love that they have for each other throughout their engagement session without any physical touch whatsoever.
We started their engagement session at Starbucks, recreating their first date. They brought their Bibles and read together, even playing a few games. Then we visited North Creek Park where Efrain proposed. Something was definitely on our side throughout their engagement session – the light was absolutely beautiful and the love these two share absolutely shined in their smiles and laughs throughout the session.
Efrain and Miss Haleigh are getting married this July in front of everyone they love and will share their first kiss as husband and wife. Words can’t even explain how excited I am to be the one to capture their wedding day and help tell their story!