Jackie and Andy met in high school. The same one as us, in fact. They sat under the same Friday night lights that we did. We swayed on the same prom dance floor as them. And we threw our green caps into the same sky on graduation night. We were all high school sweethearts, from the same high school, and the same graduating class. So even though we all went our separate ways during our college years, that connection always bound us together.
After high school and then college, we got married and started teaching elementary school in next-door classrooms. Amy started second shooting weddings with her mentor, and we were slowly building what seemed like a far-off dream to take photography full-time one day.
That’s when Jackie called. To say that she and Andy were getting married. And they wanted us to be their photographers. Amy’d been shooting for a little while, but we’d never photographed a wedding together before — and we couldn’t have asked or hoped or prayed for a better bride and groom. She was an #ajbride before hashtags even existed. Before we even had Instagram.
That was five years ago this March.
This January, Amy was a bridesmaid in a close friend’s wedding and we photographed it, too. Jackie stood alongside Amy as a bridesmaid that day, and we were able to re-connect with both of them. We talked under the string lights, swayed side-by-side on the dance floor, and even threw our party hats into the air during “Don’t Stop Believing!” just like we’d done on graduation night a decade before. In the course of the wedding celebration, Jackie mentioned that she and Andy were getting ready to celebrate their five-year wedding anniversary. Then, she said something that shouldn’t have surprised us, but did: I guess it’s really like YOUR five-year anniversary, too!
She wasn’t talking about our marriage. She was talking about the start of our business. The very first wedging we shot together. Theirs. In March 2016, we all get to celebrate five years.
Instinctively and immediately, we knew there was only one thing to do: a joint anniversary session. For them. And for us. A long overdue thank you to two dear, sweet, special friends, who made one of the earliest investments in us, our life, and our future when we were just two elementary school teachers fighting for a dream.
For that, Jackie and Andy, we’ll never be able to thank you enough. For trusting and believing in us then, and sticking with us and supporting us ever since. We could’ve never predicted the twists and turns our life would take over the past 1,800 days; but, knowing what we know now, if we could go back and do it all over again, knowing each twist and every turn, we’d want you first again.
Because before we ever knew what made AJ Brides (and guys) so special, you were.
Thank you, from the bottom of our heart. For everything. We love you you two. From the high school bleachers, to your wedding dance floor, to now… and back again.