I hail from a crazy, big family. Like a couple hundred cousin’s just on my Father’s side kinda big. You see my Dad was the youngest living child from a brood of 13 children. We all know the Catholic prolific families of yesteryear. That is my family.
There are so many cousins, I have not met even half of them. Which brings me to this amazing couple right here.
Kimberly is my 2nd cousin and I had never had the opportunity to meet her prior to this engagement session. She lives in Ohio where the Gazda clan hails from, and I grew up in Michigan where half of the siblings relocated back in the early 20’s when the Auto industry began and they were in search of work and stability, far from the coal mine’s of the Western Ohio Valley.
When I was heading North to document a wedding, I had the pleasure of meeting her and her fiance Bryan and capturing their engagement session in the beautiful rolling hills of Lancaster, Ohio. Where wood covered bridges from years gone by span waterways and roads, their weathered beams bleached from exposure to the elements. Where small town fairs stop traffic and miles and miles of green rise and fall as far as the eye can see. The quintessential small town america. Where hundred year old homes still stand on family land and neighbors stop and say hello or offer a friendly wave. As I drove through the twisting roads, it was as if I were travelling back in time. Back to the time my Father spoke of as a child.
Getting to photograph Kimberly & Bryan’s Engagement was an honor as Kimberly is a spectacular photographer in her own right and well, you know, family.
For Kimberly and Bryan this is their second chance at Love. They met on Match.com and are proof on-line matches and dating do work. Bryan reached out, and Kim being skeptical took a few days to answer him. Their first date found them high above the ground on a Fire Watch Tower in beautiful Hocking Hills.
The following are Kim’s own words regarding their first date:
Bryan and I only had 2 dates, as far as I’m concerned, our first, mentioned above and our second date when he came to my house about a week later and I showed him around Lancaster. We went to Rockmill Brewery and I started falling in love with him. We found a little alcove in this old horse stable turned cozy tap room and we talked and talked. We had so much in common and we both felt the connection. There’s a little chapel on the grounds that we went into and Bryan found a piece of paper with the name Byron on it. Now I tell you that, so I can tell you this…. On our first date, I took Bryan to a fire tower near Ash Cave in Hocking Hills. We climbed up several flights of stairs and stood at the top and took in the view. It was chilly and windy which made it perfect for cuddles and a first kiss. Onto the paint, many climbers have carved their initials. We thought it would be cute to add ours as well. So I hand Bryan my keys, and he begins with his… BLW + J… and I said, “ummm, who’s J?” and he stops, looks at me with bewilderment and confusion on his face… He says, “Jenn?” Obviously, that’s not even close. For some reason, this man thought my name was Jennifer. And we’ve been laughing about it ever since. When we give our names at restaurants, I usually give the name Jenn, and we smile at each other. I had fun telling my close friends about this mishap and everyone finds it entertaining, especially one of my brothers, who started calling him Byron… And when he picked up that piece of paper that was tucked inside the Bible in that little chapel, and all it said was Byron… my heart stopped. What are the chances?
They both attended BGSU and swear their paths never crossed while in college. Kim has a degree in Visual Communication Technology and works as a Graphic Designer for a food service company. Bryan holds a degree in Criminal Justice and works as an Administrator for the Social Security Administration located in West Virginia.
With a love for the outdoors, they spend their time exploring new places, hiking or attending music festivals. Bryan also has a love for hunting and sports. They share a passion for long, leisurely rides on Bryan’s custom Harley Davidson Motorcycle.
They say love is sweeter the second time around and for these two love birds it could not be more true! When you meet them you can feel the electricity sizzle through the air. I joking say its like getting hit by lightning. It’s just boom. Right there!
Being their second marriage they have created a beautiful blended family and together share their love with 4 sweet children between the ages of 9 and 2. Add in Kim’s 5 year Cattle Mix pup and I’d say they have a house full.
When Bryan decided to propose to Kim he knew how to melt her heart. She had just returned from an out of town trip and she was greeted by a trail of rose petals leading up to her bedroom door. A hand written note asking “Will you be mine forever? Yes or No” was taped to the door. Of course she circled YES and opened the door. Bryan was standing inside a rose petal heart on the floor holding a single long stem rose. Isn’t he romantic?
I am so honored to have been able to capture their engagement session and to finally meet family I had not met before. We may live miles apart, but I know we will stay in contact. I am thinking a good ole’ Gazda clan family reunion needs to happen. Cause well, life is short and family is everything,
I hope you enjoy some images from Kimberly & Bryan’s Engagement Session in Lancaster, Ohio.
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