Courtney was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, and I am from Sumner, Washington. After living across the country from each other for 22 years, somehow, life brought us together when we needed it most. We met in Cheney, WA, where I went to college. Courtney was visiting her best friend Bethany over the holidays, and she is the one who brought us together.
We instantly clicked.
Courtney, to this day, still talks about the first time she saw Taylor and was starstruck. That night, she told Bethany about how she thought I was so cute and wanted to hang out again. So we made plans to get margaritas two days later, and that night turned into an endless conversation and laughs and more plans to hang out. The next day I went with Courtney to the mall to get her septum pierced and instantly shot up when the piercer said she needed someone to hold her hand.
After that day, I went home for Christmas, and Courtney went back to FL, but that didn’t stop us. We Snapchatted and texted each other non-stop and pretty soon were FaceTiming for 8+ hours every day. It wasn’t long before we knew even though we lived 2,988 miles apart, we were committed to making a relationship work. For about a year, we were making trips back and forth from WA and FL to visit each other whenever we could.
That next fall, we made a leap of faith and moved to Pensacola, Florida together. A little less than a year after our move on July 31st, I tricked Courtney into thinking we were headed to dinner for a friend’s birthday. In reality, I had some friends set up a picnic for us on the beach where I proposed to her with a book of 14 reasons why I love her, with each reason starting with a letter in “Will you marry me?” This is one of my favorite memories, and I love to joke with Courtney because she had spent a long time doing her hair and makeup that day that she almost refused to walk along the beach. She knew she was being a pain because once she realized what was happening through her tears, she said, “I’m sorry for being an asshole.”
Cut to 9 months later, right before the start of COVID. Court and I were headed to Leavenworth, WA, to take our engagement photos. We spent a day at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle on this trip. One of my happy places that carry so many unforgettable childhood memories and a very special place in my heart. On that day at the zoo, Courtney wanted to make sure I got the same experience and surprised me by proposing by the gorillas (my favorite encounter at this zoo). She got down on one knee, and out of either nerves or excitement, the only words that came to mind that she could spit out were, “Will you be my forever sweet cinnamon apple?” After, of course, saying yes, our amazing photographers popped out of the bushes and took some pictures so we would never forget that day.
Over the next year and a half of COVID, we planned our wedding in Hawaii. We kept trucking along, assuming that by October 2021, COVID would be a thing of the past. With 30 days until our wedding, everything booked and confirmed, we got a call from our wedding venue, Papa Kona. They advised us that we may want to consider our options and possibly cancel. We decided to go with our gut and keep the wedding going as planned. BEST DECISION EVER!!
We celebrated our day with about 30 of our close friends and family. It was the most relaxing and beautiful day we could have ever imagined. We drank our favorite drink, lilikoi margaritas, and danced the night away.
Deciding that one night in our gorgeous gowns while being in one of nature’s most extraordinary places wasn’t enough, we booked an adventure shoot with our photographers. This was such a unique and joyful way to end our wedding adventure. We drove 2 hours and met them at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Where we spent a couple of hours trotting across a few different trails taking pictures, and having a blast. Our final stop was Mauna Kea. It was 40 degrees and dark as could be, but this was where we got the most amazing pictures. We had the most incredible time hiking around and stargazing with each other. That night, we could soak in married life and all of our adventures over our wedding week in Kona, HI.
Photography by Forthright Photography
Accessories Bliss Bridal, Pueo Boutique, Tiffany & Co
Catering, Stylist & Venue Papa Kona
Dress Boutiques Bliss Bridal, Something Blue Bridal
Dress Designers Lillian West Taylors, Essence of Australia
Engagement & Wedding Rings Etsy- HelloRings, Olive Ave Jewelry
Florist Grace Flowers
H&MU Beauty Lux Wedding, Big Island Hawaii Makeup
Officiant Friend- Kelly Jimenez
Shoes A New Day- Target
Signage Blooming Anchor
Wedding Party Outfits Lulus