Have a look at this charming Charleston anniversary session as Jeannene and Michael strolled the downtown Charleston streets, all captured so beautifully on film. They chose bright outfits and incorporated a beautiful bouquet into the session, adding such fun and captivating elements!
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another? We met as we both attended Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania for Grad School. Michael was a first year and Jeannene was a second year in the program. It took a while for us to really connect and get to know each other. The catalyst was when Jeannene heard that Michael had brought a bottle of Tequila to a professional conference. Jeannene also being a tequila drinker, was finally intrigued enough to break the ice and from then on it was a friendship neither could deny.
Tell us a funny story relating to your relationship! We spent a good bit of time early in our relationship watching hockey together. During a trip to California, the Pittsburgh Penguins had made it to the Stanley Cup Finals and neither of us wanted to miss the chance to watch the final games of the season. Jeannene found a local Pittsburgh Steelers bar that seems like the perfect place to catch the game. Upon entering, Jeannene spotted 2 seats at the bar, and we settled in and placed our order. As is typical for Jeannene, she got to talking to one of the people at the bar beside us. Upon learning that we were in from Pittsburgh he bought us a round of drinks and we all enjoyed the game. Well, the Penguins won and many of the locals claimed that us being there was good luck and insisted that we return 2 nights later to watch the final game. When we arrived the night of the game there had been 2 seats held for us beside the same gentleman from before. The Penguins ended up winning the Championship that night. In celebration, the bar passed around a miniature replica of the Stanley Cup and poured champagne in the top for each patron to drink from. Had Jeannene not made a random friend that first night, we would have missed out on the most fun sports celebration of our lives.
What is your favorite thing about each other? My favorite thing about Jeannene is how loving and accepting she is of me. There is not a single moment when we are together that I second guess anything that comes through my head. I can be as serious or as goofy as I feel and she is never going to make me feel bad or like I should be embarrassed. She truly loves every part of me.
My favorite thing about Michael is his patience. He is like the rock in our relationship. No matter what we are navigating together he is able to remain level-headed and logical. He never gets too high in the highs or too low in the lows. When we are in a stressful situation Michael always finds a way to reassure me that things are going to be okay.
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning. The biggest hurdle we had to overcome in our wedding planning was the decision for us to elope and push back the celebration we had planned with our family. We knew that we wanted to celebrate our love and with all the questions about COVID it was hard to have a clear picture of what the future might hold. Finally making the call to alter what we had originally been envisioning was really difficult.
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another? Jeannene has taught me how to love and embrace myself as I am. She has helped me recognize and appreciate the best parts of myself as well as the little parts of me that I sometimes overlook
Michael has taught me how love is not just in the big grand gestures. It is in the little notes he hides to surprise me. It’s in each snack he fetches me and it is in those moments where so much can be communicated in just a smile and a squeeze of my hand.
What is the most important thing in your marriage? The most important thing in our marriage is our communication. It has been that way since the start of our relationship. Our ability to connect, discuss, and process all the many things happening in our lives helps us to understand each other more fully and therefore support each other how we each need to be supported. No matter if it is a conflict at work, with a friend, or within our relationship, we both know that we can work through it together.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be? If we could offer one piece of advice to other couples it would be to remember that you are a team. Always lead with kindness, patience, and love.
What is the most honest thing you can say about love? Don’t worry about what other people say love is. Love is too big to be shaped and defined by others. You know love when you feel it. You know love as you share it. As long as you are expressing love in a way that your partner appreciates, there is no wrong way to love your partner
Photographer: Kailee DiMeglio Photography
Venue: Downtown Charleston
Stylist / Planner / Designer: Jeannene Lillie Events
Floral Designer: Salt & Stem
Makeup Artist: TERESA
Hair Stylist: TERESA
Film Lab: Photovision Prints