Great love stories seldom start with fireworks and epic music scores - the leading man sweeping his lady love off her feet, and riding off into the sunset. Great love stories grow because of unwaveringly steadfast hearts.
Addie and Dakota met while she was a nurse and he was a security officer at a local hospital. Addie was intrigued by Dakota - who was shy and awkward around her. She just had to get to know this handsome and mysterious man, and with her charm and beauty, she soon cracked through his serious shell, and discovered that he could make her laugh unlike anyone she had ever met. She also discovered a young man of noble character, whose loyalty and strength would help carry her through the months ahead.
The day after she and Dakota officially started dating, Addie's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Dakota stepped up big time - staying after his shift at the hospital to bring Addie breakfast and sitting with her as her mom went through her surgeries. He was there for her every day, without fail. Totally committed. That's when Addie knew that God had sent her future husband, at exactly the right time.
There would be more trials - Addie recently faced emergency surgery and a diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Dakota was with her, every day. Taking care of her, being with her, making her laugh. And then a few weeks ago, he proposed, with the most stunningly gorgeous pear-shaped diamond you can imagine. This is the truest of loves - love in action. Every day.
Addie brings out the best in Dakota - you can see how comfortable he is with her - how her laugh brightens the light in his eyes, and how his hand slips into hers easily and often. You can see how much she adores him - because of the person he is. Even though pictures aren't necessarily the most enjoyable thing in the world for Dakota, he did them for Addie - for their love. I get the feeling he would do anything in the world for Addie, and she would do the same.
As we wrapped up our session at the Plaza, amidst the twinkling Christmas lights, cars whizzed past on 47th street, honking and waving, wishing this beautiful couple all the best. I can't wait to be there on their wedding day, because I know theirs will be the beginning of a lifelong journey. While they are young now, in 50 years Dakota and Addie will be celebrating their Golden Anniversary, just as in love as they are today because their kind of love - tested, tried, and true -will be a love that lasts.