Natacha and Jared wed after 10 years (yes, a whole decade!) of dating in Traverse City, Michigan. We started the day at Hotel Indigo and then the reception was at Visions at Centerpointe right on the harbor.

Their story is one of perseverance, dedication, growth and most importantly, laughter.  Looking at these photos, you'll see why. Natacha's smile is absolutely contagious.  Its hard not to just keep staring at her (& Jared can't stop either.)  I love being around people who make me remember how light hearted life can be even when its complicated.  Their wedding was one for the books.  I had so much fun being around them and their vivacious families.  

And now a little note about that decade they spent together as told by the beautiful bride: (it seriously makes my heart throb}

Jared and I met at the end of high school at a bonfire. I had apparently gone to school with some of his cousins and did not know they were all related until I showed up at the first Anderson Christmas party at his grandparents! It was great. Jared and I have committed to each other from the beginning to reach our goals professionally and personally, sacrificing a lot along the way, including the long-distance that is, and will be, forever in our lives (at least until Jared is retired from sailing as a ship engineer!) We have spent months apart, written countless letters during Jared's boot camp, spent countless of dollars and miles to visit each other, made road trips to and from Baltimore, spent summers together, had endless phone calls, sent many a text message, and lots of care packages. 

We remember the gratitude we felt when Skype came out...then Iphones...then FaceTime...then being able to finally be together for a couple of years when I started grad school in Chicago and he received honorary discharge from the Coast Guard. Jared and I have been able to grow up together but apart since we were 18. With everything that's come our way since then, we never stopped choosing to commit to each other and build each other up. We believe in choices and never holding each other back from anything that is going to better ourselves as individuals and as a couple. We've been together 10 years; 7 years engaged (people ask why we waited so long; honestly, although we were committed to each other, we were so young at 21! We also wanted to pursue our educational and career goals before getting married).

 It is true that distance makes the heart grow fonder (trust me, we have the many miles to prove it too!) and we appreciate every minute we get to spend together. We still continue on our venture as newlyweds and long distance still (Jared is in Traverse City finishing his Maritime Science Degree and I am in Chicago working as a psychotherapist). We do what we have to in order to make our dreams happen. For right now, that includes him being in Traverse City till December, and me working away in Chicago and taking my LCPC soon (to be a fully licensed clinician)We love our little family that is Jared, myself, and Bear, and can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead for us. It only gets better from here on out :)