Love in the time of facial hair

I met Ben and Taylor of Ben Powell Photography at Ben’s sister Gretchen’s Harry-Potter themed birthday party, which means they really met me in my element (read Gretchen’s blog because it’s awesome, and then scroll down to the middle of the page where I’m dressed as a golden snitch and covered in glitter, and where I made Joanna buy a pack of tube socks so I could fashion her a belt for her Dobby costume).

My friendship with Gretchen is a true social-media love story. My twin sister Joanna roomed with Gretchen their freshman year at JMU and, since we were all freshmen, it was totally normal to FRIEND EVERY PERSON YOU MEET ON FACEBOOK BFFS FOREVER TTYL LYLAS. So when Gretchen started a blog a few years ago, I followed the Facebook links until I became creepy-stalker obsessed with her and then we went out for sushi and I bullied her into giving me advice about starting this blog, and then I hired her brother as my wedding photographer. And they all lived happily ever after.

Luckily, Ben and Taylor were able to cater to the literal one free day Jonathan and I had during block leave this summer to shoot our engagement photos.

Remember this picture of how awesome my highlights were when I first met Jonathan and didn’t have to spend all my money on plane tickets and hotel rooms, so I could afford to have great hair?

Jonathan has since lost those sunglasses.

We spent that day at Washington Monument Park—a state park in Maryland that boasts the first monument built in honor of George Washington (another of the most important men in my life), and also boasts a lot of open space and no crowds, where two people can go to break up with each other but fall in love instead. (I don’t think that last part is in the brochure.)

Ben and Taylor drove out through the Maryland farmland, where the humidity was at least 90% and the grass was still soppy from several days of rain, to ruin their flip flops and to take pictures of Jonathan and me being really, really nauseating.

If you can’t tell, those are the same sandals I had on in the previous picture and, yes, Jonathan is wearing cowboy boots. We’re almost more committed to our shoes than we are to each other.

You can tell when Jonathan is on leave by the state of his facial hair. When there’s no army to make him shave his face, there is no way in hell he is going to shave his face.

Beard at beginning of vacation and beard at end of vacation (with guest appearance by sleepy niece Bryleigh, who seems to respond well to the beard at all stages).

The night before our photo shoot, Jonathan asked if I wanted him to shave. Other than being the ultimate testament to his love, he thought the question was a fairly simple one. BUT HE WAS WRONG. After a lot of time on the phone with Jacki discussing the casualness versus formalness of the setting, versus our respective outfits, versus the time of day, versus the dew point, versus the astrological implications of me being a water sign and Jonathan being an earth sign combined with the position of Jupiter’s fifth moon, Jonathan had fallen asleep without shaving. Which just goes to prove how he is always helping me make difficult decisions, but never on purpose.

When we got our proofs and the official Ben Powell Photography blog post went up, I sent Jonathan the links with a lot of “LOOK HOW CUTE. THESE ARE SO CUTE. I’M GOING TO VOMIT EVERYWHERE,” and the only reaction I got from him was to the following photo:

His response:

“You are eyeing the beard.”

I probably was.

All of these photos were obviously taken by Ben Powell Photography. Except for the one I stole from Gretchen’s blog without asking (please don’t sue me) and those ones of Jonathan’s beard, which I took, and I’m sure he’ll be real excited to see his face so close up on the Internet.

0 thoughts on “Love in the time of facial hair

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