Ready for another love story? If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen glimpses of this day, and you already know that this story got me right in the feels.
Michelle and Chris met when Chris became friends (first) with Michelle’s sister, Mary, when they were just kids. Despite Chris already having 2 amazing parents, Michelle and Mary’s mom quickly grew to love Chris like her own. Chris had moved around a lot growing up, so being that he was a friend of Michelle and her sister since childhood, their family home became the home he has known the longest. Eventually, while Chris was deployed in Afghanistan, Michelle wrote him a letter. Then Chris wrote back, and the rest is history – they have been together for 10 years now and are more in love than ever.
Chris: “I’d considered it [proposing] for years. We’ve talked about it for a long time. I’m finally starting the career I set out for YEARS ago and am in a much better mental space. The timing was just right. [When I proposed] I’d had the ring for months, sitting in plain view of her. We had a yurt trip booked and I figured when better than a 10 year anniversary?”
Michelle: “My gut told me he was going to propose on this trip, but my gut had told me that every trip since forever so my gut was a bit biased. So I finally took our dog out, quite honestly pep talking myself and trying to shake off any hints of disappointment it didn’t happen.”
Chris: “I had the ring in my jacket pocket just waiting for her to step out of the yurt. Finally she did and I set it on the entry table and just waited and filmed. She came back in, walked around a bit and then finally the headlamp caught a glint and that was it.”
Michelle: “I walked in, and walked right past the open ring box apparently. I turned around and my headlamp caught a twinkle right where I went to put my gloves down. Chris was on the futon just staring at me. I could barely breathe. My jaw hung open. I asked him “What is that?!” My brain was going a million miles a minute. Had I not just spent a good five minutes in the snow taking deep breaths to try and hide my disappointment this was definitely not happening? IT’S REALLY HAPPENING?! I truly could not believe what I was seeing. After standing frozen, jaw open, I mumbled to ask if there was something he wanted to ask me. He gave me his classic grin as he walked up. He got down on one knee and said “10 years was way too long. It shouldn’t have taken me that long to ask this… will you marry me?” And, my cheeks about to fall off my face, I nodded and finally wore the ring of my dreams from the man of my dreams. We hugged for what felt like forever and I’ll never forget the feeling of his smile pressed against my neck and shoulder.”
These two decided to tie the knot in Michelle’s mom’s back yard on the 9 year anniversary of Chris’s return home from deployment. This day has so much meaning for them, and the fact that everything came together for them to be able to elope on 5/15 made it that much more special.
Chris: “My favorite memory with Michelle was my first day back from deployment. We hadn’t even had much real time together, it was all long distance. She made sure to be there in person and we stayed up the ENTIRE night just happy to be back together.”
Michelle and Chris invited only immediate family to witness their elopement. Even with such a small group, people were flying from all over: Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia… And each of them were thrilled to be there.
I drove down to North Yarmouth on Michelle and Chris’s wedding day in the most beautiful weather. The sun was shining, the birds were out; it really felt like summer was right around the corner. As soon as I arrived, I met Michelle’s mom, sister, and sister-in-law. Everyone was so kind and welcoming, and the home was just buzzing as everyone moved about prepping for the day and doing whatever they could to support the couple.
Michelle and Chris tying the knot was a symbol of all they had walked through together to get to this moment; from the very first letters, to their first home together, rescuing their pup (child) Bentley, tackling new jobs, and facing every challenge in between. It all brought them to this moment.
Michelle copied her vows into her vow book while sitting in the window of her childhood bedroom, listening to her nephews playing in the yard.
“There was always something so special and different about being around Chris, for as long as I can remember, even as a friend. Since I was little, he was the person I pictured marrying. He’s so good, to his core. I laugh harder with him than anyone else. Days on end together and I still want more. In the 10 years we’ve been dating, I’ve just had these epiphany moments that served as confirmation that yes in fact he’s everything I imagined and more. “
Most of us cried as they read their vows, and family members held hands tightly as they watched the ceremony.
I HAD to include these personality pictures below. Michelle bought what she called “our snack ponchos” so she and Chris could protect the dress and tux when eating their appetizers while I drove us to the yurts.
The “Zen Den” yurt at Maine Forest Yurts is the exact place where Chris proposed, so of course we had to photograph the newlyweds here!
Michelle and Chris had a little surprise. When Michelle’s brother, John, got married in Germany, he and their mom, Barbara, hadn’t had a chance to have their mother-son dance. Michelle and Chris wanted to give them that opportunity at their wedding. The mother-son dance turned into a family affair and everyone got on the dance floor to celebrate together. It was so sweet.
“People meet Chris and tell me how great he is like I’m supposed to be surprised! He is so incredibly intelligent, whitty, lovable, loving, and obviously handsome. When describing what my “type” is to someone, my best friend once said “Chris Bible… Chris Bible is her type. That’s it. Nothing else. Ever. Her whole life.””
“One example [of when I knew I would marry Chris] is when our puppy Bentley needed emergency surgery. He was heavily sedated as they stabilized him to be ready, and so he couldn’t move or keep himself warm. I could barely look at Bentley I was so worried we might lose him. Chris laid on the floor nose to nose with Bentley for hours because Bentley couldn’t lift his head. Chris didn’t want him to be scared, he wanted him to know he was right there and stayed petting him and talking to him, wrapped in his jacket until they took him back for surgery. Having a partner who loves as big as you love, and knows what you need even when you can’t say it or describe it… The daily belly laughs and constant adventures are wonderful, but when life hits hard there is no one else I would want at my side. I’ve known I’ve wanted to marry him practically forever, and I’ve found new reasons why every day for the last 10 years.”
Elopement Venue: Private property
Portrait Venue: Maine Forest Yurts
Florals and Planning: Cassandra Marie Events
Videography: Rising Moon Films
Hair and Makeup: Flawless Professionals On-Site Hair and Makeup
Tent and Equipment Rental: One Stop Event Rentals
Wedding Dress: Blush Bridal & Formal
Michelle’s Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes
Chris’s Tux and Shoes: Men’s Wearhouse
Robe: LeRose Gifts