When Alaina reached out at the start of the year and asked if I would be available for a Halloween wedding I explained to her that I don't work on Halloween because the twins love to Trick-Or-Treat (obviously, this conversation was pre-COVID) and driving out to Nantahala on Halloween and back would be a four hour road trip even if it was a small wedding.
I was bummed, though, because Alaina and I have spent the last seven or so years laughing and crying about how our lives feel like soap operas sometimes. Alaina has been through the ringer - but you'd never know it unless she opened up to you.
She's always smiling and positive and energetic - and it's not a shock to me at all that this man fell in love with her and her kids, or that she fell in love with him and his.
So the compromise was to plan a photo shoot for before Halloween and just tell the little kids (and social media) it was for Halloween, but really it was their "formal" wedding photos. Their wedding was basically going to be just them and the officiant - so doing formals early was fun and gave Alaina and her girls an excuse to rock those dresses more than once.
Alaina is the queen of details (even though in these photos she's the queen of Victorian Goth) and I love that for her engagement ring they chose garnet (his birthstone) to stick with their non-traditional theme. The ring box was handmade and anyone who knows me knows I'm a sap for 1. a good quote and 2. handwritten anythings.
I don't know him well, but during the shoot we were driving to another location and came upon a fallen tree. I could just imagine how devastated Alaina must be because she was really excited about driving up the mountain and we came upon a literal road block.
He got out, took off his jacket, and in his suit he moved the giant tree. I will be honest - I totally tried to scootch said tree and it was like pushing a wall. I honestly didn't expect it to not even budge a tiny bit - it was so heavy. I remember thinking, there's no way we're going to get through this thing and back on the road.
But he wasn't easily deterred, and without complaining once he figured out how to drag it down the mountain and off the side of the road. Alaina was laughing and he was laughing and I kind of wanted to cry.
Because Alaina has hit more roadblocks on the path to Happily Ever After than she should have, and usually she's the one who has to figure out how to move them and how to get past them.
Until she met him - and he's clearing the path forward with her and for her with a smile on his face and I can't express adequately enough how much she deserves a partner like that. That's all I really need to know about him to be happy she found him, but I look forward to learning more about him as the years go on.
Especially since he was a good sport for photos (tossing leaves, lighting smoke bombs, wearing plague masks, etc) and made my job easier, ha. I hope you all enjoy some of my favorite photos from their "almost married" Halloween themed session. Does anyone else's kids want to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas all year? Because mine do - all of the time.