Josie and Alex

Image 1 of Josie and Alex

How We Met

Alex and I only started dating last July, but this year together has felt like a lifetime, and it’s been the best year of our lives. Since the day we met, everything felt right. Nothing happened in a traditional way, but it all felt perfect for our love story. We knew, right from the start, our lives could not exist separately for much longer.

We met in a non-traditional way: online dating (I give credit to my mom’s idea and the lack of a smartphone!). Our first date was also non-traditional: 12 WHOLE HOURS of dates wrapped into one.

He was thrown in to meeting ALL of my family at a funeral and a wedding within the very first month, getting the hard hitting questions by everyone.

Image 2 of Josie and Alex

The timing of becoming engaged was, yet again, non-traditional: a week before we moved 2,000 miles apart.

And then I made the situation unbearably difficult and moved across the country from west Michigan to teach in Phoenix. I’ve known this is what I was supposed to do with my life even before we met, and he was understanding from the start.

His selflessness is something I will never cease to appreciate. It’s been the hardest thing we’ve had to go through, but it’s made our relationship stronger. From there – we started planning a wedding long-distance and deciding when it would be the perfect, non-traditional time for us to begin our beautiful life together.

how they asked

Alex and I talked about getting married very early on. When we are together, we are home; we are partners.

My Alexander’s proposal was absolutely perfect – he wanted to re-create that first date. Originally, when he picked me up for the first time, I suggested we go to the local coffee shop in my town.

After a few hours there, it could have just ended – but we both wanted to spend more time together. So, we collectively decided the beach on Lake Michigan. After that, we both mentioned being hungry, so we had a fancy dinner, then we ended the night with a movie. It was magical, to say the least, and 12 hours still wasn’t even enough time for us!

For the “revised” first date (the night he asked!!!), he did things a little out of order to not be so obvious – and to strategically end with the beach.

After lunch, a movie, and coffee at our spot, we were on the landing where we first opened up to each other – and now he was opening up his heart fully to me, asking the most important question he ever could.

Image 3 of Josie and Alex

I didn’t even know he had a friend of my mom’s hiding up on the deck taking photos (I’m a sucker for those memories) and some spectators on the beach cheered.I said yes, of course, and he grabbed me in his arms!

Image 4 of Josie and Alex

No matter how he did it, I would promise my life to him without any hesitation.

Image 5 of Josie and Alex

Special Thanks

Sam Vandermolen
 | Photography
Beny Martinez
 | Photography
Lori Vandermolen
 | Photography