I loved getting to know this amazing couple. I seem to be better at describing people using my camera than with nouns and adjectives. In light of that, here are Betsy + Mike, in their own words.
Where did you meet your fiancé?
Mike: We met online! What are the chances?!
Betsy: FarmersOnly.com. (just kidding.)
Was it love at first sight?
Mike: Yep. Although Betsy is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, for me, it’s not all about looks. I’d say it was more like “love at first 6-hour conversation.” I’d say I started seriously thinking I might want to marry her within a week. For real.
Betsy: Pretty much. I don’t know if I would have verbalized it at the time, but there was a part of me that was like “Yyyyyyep. He’s my person.”
Favorite thing about the South?
Mike: I grew up in South Florida, which is geographically south, but nothing like the actual south. I love the people, the food, the values, and the weather. What I know about the real south is what I have learned from Betsy. Apparently, everyone is gorgeous, funny, smart, talented, and a great cook.
Betsy: I was born in the South, and I kind of hate, but also love, that fact that even if you really really want to escape it, you cannot. You will always be called home, even if you resist. You will always want to defend it to people who aren’t from there, but you are also it’s harshest critic. There is magic in the South that doesn’t exist anywhere else. It has a wonderful history and a terrible history, and being Southern means recognizing and reconciling with this, and that is hard. Also, the food: it’s how we convert people. “Here is a biscuit. Here are some grits. Would you like some gravy? Love us.”
Favorite part of a wedding day?
Mike: Exchange of vows. I can’t wait to make it official and marry this woman.
Betsy: Definitely saying our vows and making this thing official. I don’t care if anything else happens the entire day.
Mike: Chicken. Grilled, fried, marinated, baked, smoked, pulled…live?
Betsy: Any combination of carbs and cheese.
Where do you call home?
Mike: Chicago, but I’ve lived in New York, Florida, and Rhode Island before ending up here. Nowadays, I call home wherever I can lay my head next to my love.
Betsy: Chicago, Illinois. (By way of Alabama. By way of northwestern New Mexico. By way of Boston. From Tennessee. In some ways they’re all a little bit of home to me.)
What are two of your favorite qualities about each other?
Mike: Betsy is someone who loves with her whole heart. In addition to her kindness, she is so thoughtful–brings me dinner when I have to work overnight, leaves me encouraging notes and cards when I have difficult days or important events, is incredibly supportive of everything I undertake, and has an uncanny ability to make me feel comfortable in my own skin. She cares deeply about–and would do anything for–her family, her friends, and her dog. She loves me for me, and I am absolutely crazy about her. We make one another better people….and probably weirder people.
Betsy: Mike works harder than any person I’ve met in my entire life. He is incredibly smart and talented, but is deeply humble. He’s also one of the most thoughtful – I’m talking pancakes on a week day, flowers for no-good-reason, and he always puts a dry towel within reach so I don’t have to freeze getting out of the shower. I love that he always laughs at my jokes, and appreciates my weirdness. Total keeper.
I don’t often do animated gif’s, but this is a rare exception. It also needs a small preface: in our conversations as we photographed, Mike + Betsy mentioned something about Finnish Wife-Carrying. Before I could utter, “what in the world is that?” (despite the obvious contextual clues) she was already upside-down on his back. Since Mike is an IronMan triathlete, the nearest summit looked like the best opportunity to truly illustrate their talents. There are real competitions… I’d say that this couple has a shot at the World Championships!