After The Aisle

"Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it".
~ Toni Morrison, Jazz

Marriage

After the Aisle: Elizabeth & Sheldon's Anniversary Session!

June 22, 2016

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By Black Bride / Senior Editor / C.K. Alexander

Elizabeth and Sheldon, who have been married for three years, recently celebrated their anniversary with a fun photo shoot. They met in college while enrolled at Drexel University and The University of Pennsylvania. They decided to shoot their anniversary session where they fell in love, on campus! Check out their fun and flirty anniversary photo shoot, captured by John Allen Photography. 

How they met: 

Sheldon: Our story is actually a good example of our relationship: a blend of two different styles that can find ways to complement each other. I first caught a glance of Elizabeth on Facebook. I was absolutely drawn to her smile. However, I didn't officially meet her until we met serendipitously at a party. I'll let you decide whether her eyes lit up when she saw me (for the record, they did). Her beauty, intelligence and tenacity hooked me from the start. Every idea I had of whether or not my heart was for the taking went out the door from there. It is one of many examples of how God laughs at our plans. I definitely planned on never attending that party, but my life changed forever because of God's plan to bring us together.

Elizabeth: There are definitely two versions of this story. For the record, I did not make “googly eyes” at him upon entering the party. I did notice him early on, though. To me, he was the life of the party and when we danced later that night I felt sparks. I suspected he was the guy who messaged me on Facebook to ask if he could have my smile, but I didn’t say anything until even later when his friend bumped into me and he came over. I remember leaning on my heels after the party because my feet were hurting and I saw him coming over from across the way so I immediately straightened up. He got my number and the rest, as they say, is history. I love telling our story and the fact that there are two very different perspectives. That’s us. It’s why we work as a couple. We fill in the gaps to create a complete picture.

 

Inspiration for the photo shoot: 

Elizabeth: Even though we got married in Maryland, we met while we were both in school in Philadelphia. We decided to do the shoot on both of our campuses (UPenn and Drexel) because we have so many memories and stories there. It’s also where we did our engagement photo shoot. Plus, the campus is beautiful so it was the perfect backdrop. I purposefully wore the same shoes I wore on the day of my wedding to commemorate our 3rd anniversary in my own way. It’s like having a piece of our wedding in the pictures.

Details about your wedding and love story and life how life has been as a married couple: 

Sheldon: Our wedding was a great example of our personalities. We chose our own traditions and rules, from the "Tasting of the Elements" representing the elements of marriage to picking a day and time that worked for us. That's marriage, though. You've got to be able to find what works for you and your spouse, rather than worry about "doing it right". Practically speaking, if you're going to spend that much on a single day in your life, it better be to your liking rather than whoever may have their own opinion. Marriage transcends cohabitation or simple monogamy. It is something that takes a level of commitment, optimism, and vulnerability that you won't find in other relationships. Every day presents another lesson in how I can do each of these better.

Elizabeth:

Our wedding was beautiful! It was great weather for an outdoors wedding and one of our family members said God was really smiling down upon us. It was the perfect day for the start of our marriage. We were surrounded by the people we love, we had great food, and we danced. It was fun. Doing brunch for a wedding on a Friday is very unconventional, but Sheldon and I have never shied away from doing things our own way, even if it’s not what people are expecting. It was on Friday because I insisted on having 10.12.12. Marriage is like accepting the ultimate challenge to love in a way you never have before. Marriage is committing to that First Corinthians 13 love in a very real way. Patience, kindness, forgiveness…those things sound really great but to live them day after day is a challenge. Sometimes you fail and fall short, sometimes you succeed. It’s a journey that is not possible without God. I try to be very honest with other people about what it takes to get up every day and to love your spouse God’s way – it takes a lot.
How you both feel about being married for 3 years: 

Sheldon: The "four elements" we tasted at our wedding are a perfect analogy: sourness, bitterness, spiciness, and sweetness. Intellectually you know that marriage isn't always rainbows, butterflies, and Luther Vandross ballads. Yet, it takes living it to have the wisdom to understand what it really means. I've seen marriages that have had to survive the death of a child, infidelity, and troubling life-changes. The thing about marriage is that you're tasked with navigating all of that while simply trying to an adult. A phrase we came upon in pre-marital classes that we frequently laugh about is "But, God!" Though we’ve not had to face those things, after three years it becomes increasingly clear how much Ecclesiastes was right about that "three-stranded cord". If you try to face everything life throws at you by yourself, it just won't work. Issues can't be only theirs or yours. The problems that arise must be your shared problems. Elizabeth and I have very strong personalities and different approaches to many things. The beauty of that is she ensures that my world can never just be "my world". The times of sourness and bitterness only make the joy of when we "click" that much sweeter and the passion that much stronger. I look back at those two people who met in Philadelphia, skim through all the ups and downs and I smile. I pray that I'll have the opportunity to look back after 10, 20 and even 50 years and say smile even brighter.

Elizabeth: Three years is definitely a blessing. We have experienced a lot, done a lot, and grown a lot in so many ways. It’s important to have someone to have your back no matter what, to lift you up when you’re down, to encourage you and support you. I believe that’s what we have in each other and what we’ve done these past three years. I have memories of Sheldon encouraging me to keep up with running and meeting me at finish lines. Sheldon has taken care of me when I’m sick, making me follow the doctor’s orders when I wouldn’t for whatever reason. And he’s listened to me complain, cry, celebrate, or just run my mouth when I get excited about something. He’s there. Our journey through life is something that is enhanced by the other person’s presence and support. I try to be there for him in the way he needs me to be. We don’t always get it right, but I trust that the future holds something great.

Congrats Elizabeth and Sheldon! We wish you many more years of wedded bliss! 

 

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