Relationships are all about growth and transformation: finding a way to thrive when the world around you changes, taking a little hardship and turning it into something beautiful! When life brought distance and a whole lot of heartache, Melissa & Brian took the hurtle and built themselves a beautiful love! So, when it came time to celebrate their engagement, what better way could they find than to do so in a place which made lovely adaptation manifest?
A word from photographer, Kera Photography:
“Brian and Melissa were the best couple to work with. Upon booking, Melissa mentioned wanting a nature filled engagement shoot, and if possible, Florida Oaks with hanging moss. I was ecstatic to say the least when I found Edward Medard Park in Plant City, Florida. This park is known for it’s amazing trees that survive with their roots exposed. If you ask me, this is very symbolic to relationships. To become vulnerable, adapt and survive.”
Love notes from the couple, Melissa & Brian:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Melissa: “Brian and I met on Spring Break in Key West, Florida. Read: true love can actually happen on SB2K10. Brian’s roommate was dating my best friend at the time and she would always tell me how I needed to meet, ‘Fitzy,’ and how ‘cute’ he was. When I finally met him on Spring Break, I agreed! Although a full fledge relationship didn’t blossom for us until a few years after we graduated, I always had a soft spot in my heart for this Fitzy character. To this day, I still crush on him like the day I met him — he is truly such a wonderful man (and super handsome).”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship.
Melissa: “We’ve had a few major hurdles in our relationship. Brian began re-courting me (or giving me the, ‘full court press,’ as he would phrase it.) long distance. I was finishing graduate school at Georgetown and he was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He would drive up on weekends just to take me out to dinner or to a baseball game. Upon graduating, I received a job in Austin, Texas and Brian received orders to deploy to Iraq. After almost half a year deployment — in which I was mostly a wreck — Brian was stationed in Tampa, FL. So, we were still long distance. The time apart was good in a sense because it solidified for me how much I truly could not live without him or apart from him — and shortly thereafter I moved to Tampa. We’ve had another short deployment to Kuwait during that time, but being together when we can be has made all of the challenges worth it. It has truly made me appreciate and value the little joys of a relationship and quality time together.”
What part of your wedding day is most important to you?
Brian: “The party.”
Melissa: “The most important part for me is our vows. I can’t wait to become one person and make these sacred promises! I am thrilled to become Mrs. Brian Fitzsimmons, I feel so honored to be becoming his wife. Also… I am equally excited for Brian’s reaction when I walk down the aisle!!”
What is your favorite part about planning your wedding?
“We can’t wait for cake tasting…! An unreasonable amount of excitement is centered around this activity. Also we want to take dance lessons together! And are super pumped about that.”
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
Brian: “It can put your whole life into perspective but you have to take the time to appreciate it. It is so easy to get caught up in the fast pace of day to day life, whether it’s work or wedding planning. You need to remind both yourself and your spouse of the love in your relationship as often as you can. Your love for each other is the one constant that overcomes the stress and frustration of life, and it’s a truly wonderful thing to have in this world.”
photographer: Kera Photography / venue: Edward Medard Park