Stacey and Justin met through mutual friends while he was stationed in Texas. She was in her last year of college at Texas A&M and he was finishing up primary flight school in the Marine Corps. When I asked how Justin proposed to her, this is what she said:
While Justin was still deployed in Afghanistan he sought the help of my long term best bud Katie about rings and how to propose. He returned the day before Thanksgiving and we went to Texas to spend Christmas with my family (he had never been [to my family’s house]). Little did I know he was transporting the ring from CA to TX. I lived out in the country and wehn we go to my parents’ house he asked for me to take him out on the golf cart around the neighborhood and to our little pond to just mosy around. When we got to the pond the sun had set and there was this tree lit up with lights and decorated ornaments. Tea lights were leading up to 2 medium sized boxes. he asked me if people usually decorated trees and I told him not usually, but I hadn’t been home in a while so maybe a new neighbor had. He told me to open one of the boxes and I said, “I dont’ want to open someone else’s stuff!!” When he asked me again it finally started to dawn on me what was going on so I bent down to open the box and found a GORGEOUS diamond Solitaire inside. When I looked away from it I saw Justin on one knee and he asked me to marry him. I tearfully said, “YES!” and inside the other box my best friend has put a mini bottle of champagne and cups for us to celebrate. Everyone had known about it except for my mom. Needless to say she went very catatonic when I held my hand up for her to see. It was a wonderful proposal and so thoughtful. We got to celebrate with my family the rest of the weekend.
I’ve never met two people that were so in tuned with each other. It was like they knew each other better than they knew themselves. They got each other in a way that no one around them could understand. Their love was mysterious and magical. It was captivating and alluring. It was something that I very seldom get to be a part of and I LOVED it!!
Stacey and Justin were married at the beautiful Villa De Amore and their wedding was captured by Marcella Caldwell from The Studio by Leah Marie. The Studio by Leah Marie is a subset of my business that allows for my most trusted photographers to shoot weddings in my name. Each photographer at The Studio has been personally trained by me and their style is consistent with the Leah Marie Photography brand. I still retain all creative control over the images and manage each of the weddings from beginning to end. Marcella has been working side by side with me for several years and it was a natural progression for her to start shooting weddings for wedding on her own. If I had known her when I was getting married, I would have used her to shoot my wedding in a heartbeat.
The most touching part of the day was the fact that there was an empty seat at the bridal party table next to Justin. Justin had six groomsmen but only five were present. His best man, Captin Ryan K Iannelli was killed in action while they were deployed to Afghanistan. Even though he was not there, he was still Justin’s best man and to honor him Stacey’s maid of honor walked down the aisle alone and there was a seat saved for him at the head table. It was the most loving, kind and loyal gesture that I have ever seen.
Stacey & Justin, thank you all so much for having us be a part of your wedding day. Thank you for your service to our country and for sharing your love with us.