There isn’t a single thing I don’t love about this wedding. And when I say love, I mean head over heels, squeal-worthy adoration. As I was putting the post together I was genuinely bursting with excitement at how gorgeous everything is, how adorable Jill’s report is, and how fabulous the photography by Chrisman Studios is too. Honestly, I really had to stop myself from including every. single. image. I’m a big fan of Chrisman Studio’s work (I love how they tell a story), and it’s no surprise that I’ve featured their Jewish weddings on the blog many times before.
Jill is a professional photographer herself, and her work played its part in the way she met Mark. It’s a wonderful story and Jill tells it brilliantly. I literally had goosebumps. Although they met in the ‘new way’ (by which I mean over the internet), to me it feels like a truly romantic old-fashioned love story! Have a read and see…
These two married at a gorgeous rustic barn in California, complete with all sorts of travel-related elements (to reflect Jill’s travel photography career) including personalised passports for each guest with all the wedding details and a Jill and Mark crossword puzzle. Fabulous!
I must also single out Jill’s astonishing Vera Wang frock, and a Pop Art ketubah I am literally obsessed with. Indeed I featured it in this round-up of my favourite ketubah designs last year!
This is SUCH a lovely one, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
How we met
Jill, the Bride: In 2012, I received my first assignment from National Geographic. They sent me to Sydney, Australia for five weeks to photograph the National Geographic Traveler Guidebook: Sydney. When I got this amazing opportunity I had never been more excited about anything in my entire life.
About one week into my time in Sydney I got a message on OkCupid from Mark. Mark’s email made me laugh. He was thoughtful. His profile was witty and he looked very cute in his photos. He also took the time to find my photography website, stalk me, and tell me what he liked about my work. I appreciated that effort. Something just intrigued me about him.
I wrote him back telling him I would be gone for the next month and that maybe if he was still single when I returned we could go on a date. He did not seem phased by me being gone at all. He said, “Why don’t we talk on Skype and see if we have anything in common and go from there?”
We decided to start off on Skype with no video, just our voices. Our first conversation lasted hours, as did our second and third. Then we turned on the video, which actually was not as awkward as you may think it could be. Our conversations were very easy. I felt like I was myself from the beginning, probably because I felt like I had nothing to lose.
He started serenading me early on, playing his guitar and singing for me. He would ask me what my favourite songs were and within 24-hours he had taught himself how to play and sing them to me over Skype. I became a Skype groupie. I would send him my best photos of the day and we would talk about my solo adventures. We talked everyday while I was away. I would catch myself on the phone just smiling the whole time, and daydreaming about this mysterious Internet man.
We really had a chance to get to know each other, and by the time we had our first real in-person date it felt like we had been dating for a month. We thought our mothers would be proud that we really took the time to get to know each other before jumping into a relationship.
I never would have admitted it out loud, because it sounds crazy, but there was a part of me that knew he would be my husband before we even met. He says the same thing about me.
The day after I returned home from Australia we had our first date. He came over to my apartment (probably not the smartest idea for a first date with someone you met online – but I felt like a murderer wouldn’t have put in so much time talking to me just to kill me). I was jet-lagged, exhausted and wanted a night at home. We went food shopping and Mark made me dinner. The date was so fun – it just felt right.
That night, he asked me if I would be his girlfriend. I was shocked. I was used to men waiting as long as possible to commit to anything solid, and here we were on our first real date and Mark wanted to be my boyfriend. He said, ‘Here is my rationale – we have been talking for a month and I don’t want to see anyone else. If this does not work out, we break up, if it does then great!’
That made perfect sense to me, and I said ok…