I have the honor of capturing Mike & Victoria on their wedding day this June, the 13th. Their faith is strong, their humor is fantastic, and their connection is absolutely inspiring. Taking their engagement pictures came like second nature. I felt like we had been friends for years. I asked them to share a little bit about how they met, and after hearing the special moments that stuck out to each of them, it totally re-affirmed that God does some pretty cool things :).
"I knew very early on that I would marry Michael. I don't know how to explain it- call it fate, intuition, or God's plan (as I prefer to think about it)- but I knew Michael was my future husband the day he asked me out. We ran into each other 3 times over a span of 4 months - and this was before we knew each other. On May 5th, 2013, my sister signed up to volunteer at the OC Marathon for service hours. Rather than drop her off, drive home, and come back, I decided to volunteer with her. By a fortuitous turn of events, we were placed at the finish line rather than at her originally scheduled station. We'd been passing out goodie bags for a few hours when I suddenly recognized a sweaty and exhausted (though still wildly handsome) face amid the frenzy of the crowd. Much to my surprise, it was Michael. He was equally surprised and made his way over to me and began to chat and pass out bags with us (and really, who does that after running 13.1 miles?) 30 minutes later, a combination of excitement and disbelief contributed to my quick 'yes!' when Michael asked me out on a date. That afternoon, I texted two of my friends, letting them know I had found the person I was going to marry. One week later, we had our first date. The following week, we said 'i love you'- and meant it. Everything happened like a dream, in fact sometimes I still can't believe it turned out the way it did. 2 years later, here we are. Getting married. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else."
"We initially met in the spring of 2013 through my work. My Dad and I own & run an automotive repair shop in Fullerton. It was my day off but I swung by anyways to print out some charts for a flight lesson. That's the first time I met Victoria. She was a hot mess. Her car was in a minor fender bender at school and she was pretty devastated. I recall she was more worried about what her mom's reaction would be if she found out. We wrote her an estimate and told her it would take about 2 days to repair & paint. Standard procedure. She desperately pleaded for us to do it that day. I left for my lesson and my Dad stayed till 9 pm working on her car. God bless him.
It was several weeks later that I bumped into her again at my parish. She was randomly in the area with her family and decided to come to our evening mass. I was playing bass for the worship team and she came up to say hi afterwards. Of course I couldn't forget who she was! We chatted for bit as the band and I cleaned up our gear. It wasn't until I got into my car that I realized I didn't even get her number! So I spent several hours at work the next week looking through our old invoices trying to find her estimate, hoping she left some contact info. No luck. My CSI work wasn't getting me anywhere, but I didn't want to throw in the towel.
Fast forward to the next weekend! I ran the OC Half-Marathon with some friends and family. The 13.1 mile races are always more enjoyable than the full 26.2. You're also in much better shape when you finish and not a complete wreck. I felt great when I crossed the finish line. I received my medal, took some pictures and then walked to grab some post-race snacks. I went to the food bins and did a double-take. THERE SHE WAS in her volunteer shirt passing out oranges! What were the chances!? It was a sign. Had to be. Third time randomly running into each other? Totally a sign. We talked, laughed, and passed out oranges to other finishers for about 40 mins. I left with my family but got her number this time around. Coupled with the runner's high, it was the best feeling on earth. 2 years later and we're getting married. Life is awesome."