ENGAGED!!! (And All My Liv-like Reflections)

You are rewriting my history with love.
— Amanda Cook
 All photos taken by the talented Jessica Lauren.

All photos taken by the talented Jessica Lauren.

On May 21st, my best friend asked me to marry him.

And I said, "YEP!"

It was a beautiful, rainy day with Lake Superior waves crashing against the shore. I was in post-wedding day mode with messy hair, no makeup, and a cozy flannel that matched his. His proposal was perfect - simple and sweet with my grandma's ring, exactly what I'd always wanted, but better than I could have imagined. 

We walked down to the shoreline and adventured among the rocks and as I watched my new Fiance hop across large rocks, looking onward towards the city of Duluth, God struck my heart with awe of His faithfulness.

I love this man I'm marrying so much, but what really leaves me undone is the love of God - so steady and so true. There were some dark seasons in my life the last few years as I processed through the failure of my parents' marriage and fought to believe in a love that could make life sweeter. I could write you novels about the tears and the mourning, yet more than that, I can look back now and say with confidence that God was in every moment with me. He held me and wept in the darkest places, full well knowing that someday I'd stand on the shore with the love of my life and joy would be restored.

I felt God delighting and celebrating over me. I heard the words, “I am rewriting your history with love” and I knew, once again, that this whole thing is bigger than me. This is a redemption story. This is a beautiful declaration to the world that God is faithful. God is good. God does not leave us in our pain. God does not ignore the desires of our hearts.

First a foremost, God has taken me on a journey of healing the last three years for the sake of my wholeness and God's glory. Yet I've also seen how God has healed and prepared my heart for such a time as this and such a man as Caleb. He carefully gave me hints along the journey, like scavenger hunt clues leading me towards an even greater adventure.

Caleb is the man that I’ve prayed for my whole life. This is the man who I’ve loved long before I ever met the blue-eyed latte boy. This is the man. This is the man that God spoke to me about. This is the man that is going to help me chase after Jesus with total abandon for the rest of my days.

Together, we will build a life centered around the goodness of God and His wild love for this world. While I'm excited to plan a wedding and see how the process will grow me as a wedding photographer, it's the life beyond that fills me with giddy joy. Together, we will build businesses and raise babies. We will open our home to those needing a safe space and leave comfort to serve the world's most vulnerable. We will smile + giggle a whole lot and hold each other as we cry.

This October, we get to start that life together and spend the rest of our days making Jesus known to the world through our marriage.

My heart is full of thankfulness.

And friends, I'm really excited to invite you into the wedding planning process and all that I learn along the way! As a wedding photographer, I've been a part of dozens and DOZENS of weddings in the last 5 years and so am excited to plan from that place. Our biggest goals are that it feels like us, is low stress, and is as ethical + give back centered as possible. So if that sounds like your kind of wedding, then I'd love to share some tips and what we're learning!