The sun quickly sank behind the field’s treeline, which was thick and acted like a sponge, absorbing all of the light from the horizon. A new, golden light was spreading across the field. The cool evening breeze was refreshing on our skin, though mosquitoes occasionally bit us. We started down the path, hidden beneath the trees, to our cars. The walk wasn’t too far, and we knew it would be easier with some light remaining in the sky. As we reached the end of the canopied trail, the landscape began to open. On our right was a small, hidden valley. The light was divine. Typically we’d stop at a location like this to take a few more photos, but not this time. As that golden-lit valley faded into the distance behind us, we listened as Luke spoke.
For backstory, Luke and Mandy met when they were in middle school. Back then they would ride a dirt bike or four-wheeler across acres and acres of land to hang out. It was a fun and playful start to their fun and playful relationship. Being in middle school, their relationship wasn’t very serious and didn’t last long. However, years later they ran into each other while at the same bar and learned that their interest in one another went beyond just a middle-school crush. Fast forward twelve years and we’re preparing to celebrate their marriage in July! As we walked the path from the field to our cars, Luke told us about their journey home to the Catholic Church. Bringing his kids to religious-education classes, sacrament preparation, and Sunday Mass—even sitting in the front row so they’d be able to see everything as it happened. As he continued to share their story, we were more and more amazed by them. Their relationship started so innocent and carefree all those years ago, and they’ve maintained so much of that joy throughout the years. Youthfulness is still very much alive in them!
Mandy and Luke, we can’t wait to celebrate your marriage with you! God has already helped you write a beautiful story, and we know that once you’ve received the Sacrament of Matrimony things will only get better! We are so inspired by your story. Mandy, you are amazingly present to and aware of those around you, making us feel heard and loved while we spent time with you. Luke, you have a gift for making people laugh and smile, especially Mandy. We’re so happy for you two and want to say thanks for showing us a great time away from DC in your little corner of MD.