What’s life and love without a little adventurous spirit? It keeps things interesting, and — more often than not — it invites a level of beauty into existence that cannot be contrived. Yolandi and Shawn are masters of whim, so it was only fitting that their engagement session reflect that very thing!
A word from the photographer, Foxtail Photography:
“These two are all about spontaneity. Whether it be taking a trip to the beach on a whim with no where to stay, sleeping in the back of their jeep in the mountains, or even planning their engagement session with us a total of 4 hours before it happened.
They knew they wanted their photos to be taken in a rocky river bed, specifically the one the groom and Blake of Foxtail Photography grew up playing in for countless hours. The couple decided to include their beloved dog Airlie in the session as well.
The five of us had the best time together on that Sunday afternoon strolling up the river bed stopping to take their photographs along the way. After all of the formal photos the couple, Shawn and Yolandi, decided to go for a swim. They stripped down to their skivvies and hopped right in closely followed by Airlie, and us with our cameras to capture the fun. It was the perfect end to a perfect day!”
Love notes from the couple, Yolandi & Shawn:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Shawn: “We first met on the first day of public speaking class at UNCW. Yolandi sat down in front of me and I knew I was in trouble. The next day, the teacher moved us to opposite sides of the classroom.
The first thing I noticed about her (aside from how beautiful she is) was the tattoo on the back of her neck that reads ‘Made in South Africa’.”
Yolandi: “The first thing I noticed about Shawn was that he was talking to me and I’m pretty sure he asked me a question but I couldn’t hear anything past his smile.”
Tell us a funny story relating to your relationship!
Shawn: “Every year we throw a green bean off a balcony on July 23rd. On our ‘unofficial’ first date, we went to a downtown bar called Raleigh Times, and sat out on the rooftop. Landi ordered a Bloody Mary to drink, and it came complete with an entire salad on top of it. Somehow, I ended up daring her to throw the green bean off the edge of the rooftop — but was very surprised when she chucked it without hesitation. It may or may not have landed on someone.
A year later I proposed on that rooftop, and we make a silly tradition out of ordering a Bloody Mary and throwing a green bean for good luck!”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship.
“Multi-tasking was a big one for us. We had to juggle a full time job, internship, grad school, and wedding planning — all while back and forth between two cities. However we learned that intentional dates, laughing, and communication was important in order to remember the main goal at the end of the day, which is to have a happy and healthy relationship.”
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Shawn: “Definitely her sense of humor. She can make me belly laugh when I least expect it. I swear that girl could be a stand up comedian.”
Yolandi: “In my profession (counseling), there is this motto that states ‘behind every counselor there is a hundred more’. Shawn is my rock. In my life I have always felt that I was always everybody’s ‘person’ but was waiting for someone who could be mine. Shawn is a home, my safe place.”
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
Yolandi: “The best thing that I have learned from Shawn is the importance of slowing down and self-care (you would think as counselors we would be good at this). He will literally throw me in a bubble bath if I am stressed, or throw on a rom-com to get me laughing.”
Shawn: “Landi teaches me every day the importance of caring for others. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful things about her to me. She reminds me to look for people’s story behind their actions, and show mercy and grace any chance that I have.”
What is the most important thing in your marriage?
“Our marriage is founded in our belief in a God who loves us beyond any mistake that we could ever make. We believe that one of the main components of love is forgiveness. It’s so easy to love each other on our good days, but the love that our marriage is based on is one that means we love each other even on our bad days and through the hard times.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
“COMMUNICATE. Communicate your plans. Communicate your feelings. Communicate your thoughts. DEFINITELY your expectations.
Continuous communication is the lifeblood of a healthy marriage. We’ve found that most of our arguments are because we’re only communicating at a surface level.”
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
“Love is NOT something you get it is something you give — without expectation.”
photographer: Foxtail Photography / venue: Neuse River Dam / dress boutique: Altar’d State / menswear: J. Crew / ring: Diamonds Direct / film lab: The FIND Lab / dog’s collar and leash: Bond & Co. / intimates: Aerie