Joella and Madeline

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How We Met

Jo and I were first introduced to one another by a mutual friend of ours, in hopes that we would be roommates. I had just moved into a large home with Beau, my Bernese Mountain Dog; and Joella was looking for a place with Buddha, her Australian Kelpie, but because it was summer and we were both really busy, we never connected. We talk often about how funny it is that several months later she ended up moving in with me at that same house and now we will be “roommates” forever! How lucky am I? Truth be told, I was convinced I’d marry Joella before we had ever been on a date. We shared a lot of mutual friends and in the late summer of 2019, we found ourselves around one another more and more often. I was absolutely captivated by her and joked to our friends that I was going to marry her one day. I eventually worked up enough courage to ask her out for a drink and when she said yes I was thrilled! I don’t remember much from that night, probably because I was trying so hard to not say anything weird, make too many dad jokes or otherwise scare her off. What I do remember is that she was going to a yoga retreat the next weekend and needed someone to watch her dog, Buddha. I jumped at the opportunity because I knew it would give me an excuse to see her a couple of more times. It worked and after that yoga retreat, Buddha never left my house again. Jo wasn’t far behind. We started dating and she moved in shortly after. From blizzards that had us trapped in our house for three days, traveling all over the country, living in two different houses, adopting another dog (because we are crazy), and living through a pandemic, it feels like we’ve done a lot of life together already. Tying the knot in Wilmington, NC means the world to me as I spent most of my life there. Having Joella and her friends and family be there is very special to me and I am looking forward to sharing that with them.

How They Asked

In June of 2019, Madeline got down on one knee and told me how she wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. The entire proposal was so beautiful. She took me to our favorite place to look for Agates, nothing out of the normal. We talked about how much we wanted to move to Wilmington, how we wanted children, where we wanted them to grow up, and how beautiful Lake Superior was. Madeline asked me if I wanted to walk around a steep corner and see the spot where she used to come by herself before we started dating.

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A strange request, I thought, but of course, I joined her, barefoot and all. While looking down into the crystal clear water Madeline grabbed my hand. I turned around, and for some odd reason immediately asked her, “What are you doing?”, as if I had no idea what was about to come.

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To this day, we still giggle about that one. Madeline proceeded to tell me all of the reasons why she loved me and how special I am. I remember being taken back by her beauty and her way with words that when I told her “yes” I didn’t even grab the ring, I leaped into her arms and told her how much I loved her.

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Quickly after Madeline looked over my shoulder and cheered. It turned out she had hired photographer Max Mcgruder (@kidnorth) to capture this unforgettable moment. We snapped some more engagement photos and then made our way to Cady Shack, a local bar in Duluth, MN where most of our favorite people were waiting to cheer and celebrate our love for one another.

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I am so excited to marry this woman. And forever grateful for how persistent she was in getting to know me. We can’t wait to see what life throws at us next and to begin our life together as wives! Thank you all for being part of our story and support system! We truly feel like the luckiest gals on the planet!

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Special Thanks

Max Mcgruder
 | Photographer