Updated: Oct 19
They say that you will find your partner when you're least expecting it, and I can honestly say that is exactly my story of how I met Trevor. Read here about our own love story, and how it all began.
A little background about me- I have a giant heart, and nothing gives me the warm fuzzies like love. I honor all love stories as their own, and whole heartedly support the LGBTQ+ community. As a wedding photographer, I feel as though knowing how each couple has met, interacts with one another, things they love to do for fun, the quiet moments they love to share together- THOSE are all the things that make your relationship so special, and are extremely important for me to know so I can properly photograph your day. It tells me what details may hold more significance than it may seem, what will feel effortless to you both when posing, and what elements will totally elevate your engagement session, and reek (in a good way) the "you"ness.
Every now and again I get asked my own love story, and I thought sharing this is in a blog will give you a deeper understanding for me - your wedding photographer- and what my life looks like when I am not behind the camera.
Let me paint the scene for you- It's 2016, hula hooping is all the rage and my best friend, Codi and I bought hoops to practice before our favorite festival- Electric Forest. At this time, I was living alone with my dog, Onyx and two cats in St Clair Shores, and would hoop every night usually inside (because, well I wasn't that great and I had fear of judgement from my neighbors).
One night, I finished up editing, and noticed the moon was out. I thought for a change, I would practice in the backyard to get some fresh air and do some tricks that are a little more challenging and would cause the hoop to go flying- afterall, I did not need to break my TV 2 weeks before Forest. It felt so good- so much in fact I made a post about it on Facebook. It went something like "Hooping under the moon tonight while waiting for the wedding album to upload. 11 days until forest, gotta keep practicing — feeling excited!"
In comes the cosmos. I was my friend Emily's wedding photographer, and we recently had her engagement session. She was in the process of putting together her seating chart, and saw her fiance's best man, Trevor, was not bringing a date and had an open seat at his table. Not knowing what table is best to put her photog (common thing!), she thought about putting me at their table. She then saw the post about hula hooping, and Electric Forest. Emily knew Trevor had been to Forest before, and he goes to the festival, Movement every year. What started as a seating plan turned into something more- two of her friends who love music and have never met before would certainly have something to talk about. Maybe they should meet!
Emily promptly texted me and asked if she could send my number to Rory's best friend, Trevor. She told me he was going to forest, too and maybe we could meet up while we were there so we weren't complete strangers at the wedding. I told her that was totally fine and to go for it. Days passed, and I quickly forgot she asked and sent my number to him.
On a Thursday night, just 5 days before leaving for the festival, I received a text from an unknown number. All it said was, "hey!"
I read it, I didn't respond- I thought- who has my number but isn't saved in my phone? I couldn't come up with any idea, so I waited a little bit. A second text came in- "Oh sorry, This is Trevor"
Light bulb went off- OH! Rory's best friend. Oh yeah! I forgot!
We started chit chatting back and forth for about 30 or so minutes. Little things about the festival, me packing for it, so forth. Then he sprung this question on me, "What are you doing tomorrow?"
I told him I was working and then maybe a little bit of editing, but that's about it.
The next thing he said I swear was the most perfect wording ever.
"Well everyone has to eat at some point, so do you want to go to dinner with me?"
Literally, how could I say no? I told him that would be great! I'd love to!
"Cool! I will text you tomorrow with the plan. Say around 7?"
It's a date.
The next day, I was a ball of nerves- excited, unsure- all the feels. I told a few of the guys I worked with (I was working at Brickworks at the time, so no girlfriends to chat with) about how I kind of wanted to cancel because I was nervous. They told me to not be a wimp and go. I got home, cleaned up a bit, put on my favorite green crop top and black maxi skirt. Then took a quick selfie with Onyx, told her to be a good girl (it's a reflex), and headed out. This next part was insane.
I pulled up to Atwater in the Park in Grosse Pointe Park, and took a deep breath in my car. Grabbed my purse and as I closed my car door, something inside told me I was about to meet my future husband. WELL if I wasn't nervous then, the pressure really was put on! I shook it off, told myself nothing is permanent and it's just a date. I walked in and scanned the room, and there Trevor was, looking at me with the biggest, prettiest green eyes as though I was the most beautiful thing in the room. I was overcome with comfort and ease, and headed over to his table.
We had the best conversation, I had a great Ruben, and we talked about festivals, music, and art for most of the night. He let me know he was not going to Forest that year, and hasn't been in a few years but he loved it back in 2014. We finished dinner, and a band started to play in the Biergarten so we went outside to listen for a bit. Trevor told me his dad was in a band, and I thought that was so freakin' cool! We kept chatting, but it was hard to hear over the music, so we decided to walk the neighborhood for a little bit. Weaving up and down the neighborhood streets was amazing. Trevor would comment on the houses he liked- something I would always do. He didn't try to hold my hand (I thought it was super respectful), we just observed and talked about homes, our parent's homes and about life. It was just so easy and felt so natural. We got closer to our cars, and talked about what we should do next, go somewhere else, or call it a night?
It was almost 11p, I wanted to keep hanging but I knew Onyx would probably be so mad at me for being gone legit all day. She had a dog door, so I knew no accidents would happen- but the girl is a corgi, and she's sassy. So I said let's call it a night, but let's go out again next week. Trevor agreed- he was going to Grand Rapids for Father's day in the morning, so getting home was probably the best option. He said, Tuesday? Ice Cream? How does that sound?" Easiest yes I had- I love ice cream. So it was a plan. He walked me to my car- conveniently parked next to his, and gave me a little peck on my forehead.
We had started to follow each other on socials, and texted on Saturday morning- just a little "good morning" greeting and "have a great day!" I saw on FB Trev had brought his hammock to his parents and was hanging out in their park-like backyard. I thought that was pretty cool to say the least! Then, I saw his post on Facebook. "The closer and closer Electric Forest gets, the more I wish I got a wristband."
I felt it in my gut and my heart- say what's on your mind! I wrote out, "You only regret the chances you didn't take" I sat with it- should I push send? Should I say nothing? Is it pushy?
My head was telling me no, but my heart spoke louder. SEND IT! So I did! I felt giggly and excited and all around euphoric.
A few hours later, I got a text message. It was a photo. "Got one!"
Trevor sent me a picture of his wristband! He actually did it! He's going!! Oh god, now what-
He said "I guess we should cancel that date for Tuesday since I now have to pack." I said "Probably. Let's hang out on Wednesday when we get to Forest, but before the festival actually starts. We can get ice cream another time." He agreed that was a good idea. That was the plan- cruise around and meet each other's friends for a bit, and call it good.
Wednesday comes, my group (Team HD) gets to our site, we set-up camp and Trevor sends me his location so I can find him. If you've never been to Electric Forest, or really any big festival, let me tell you- it can be impossible to find someone, especially when the cell service is terrible. I really didn't have any way to contact him so I just had to trust I would be able to find him. Codi walked with me to help find him, made sure I was okay to have her leave, and headed out.
I felt a little awkward at first- here I am totally not dressed up and sweaty- a total 180 from what he saw me as a few days ago. But we both knew festival self was the truest form of a person. We hung out all day, separated for a little bit to eat, and then met back up for the late night shows in the RV camping. (Here is where we had our first kiss- I made the moves)
What we thought was only going to be one day of seeing each other turned into the entire duration of the festival.
We just meshed so well together, with one another's friends, and just felt... well, comfortable. It was so bizarre- we would be at a stage and I would think IN MY HEAD hmmm, I wonder what else is going on, and as I turned to ask Trevor if he wanted to wander, he would beat me to the punch- "Want to check out the other stages?"
It happened time and time again. "Want to check out some vendors?" yes. "Wanna go look at the installations?" absolutely. "Let's grab a drink and chat" Literally reading my mind.
At one point, we spent an hour or so just talking about our childhood. I remember the bright sun pouring through the trees, the wood chips all around us, and just vibing with every word. I felt as though we were the only 2 people in that area- so intuned. Our souls were connecting. On the last day of the festival, I was laying on Trevor's chest. At this point
we had only known each other for- what? Maybe 10 days but it felt like months. We were both sad to be leaving, but knew we weren't leaving the magic there. As soon as we got back to "reality," we met up again, and a few days later, Trevor asked what he should introduce me as. I had no fear in saying, "this might be the last time someone asks me out so you should try that again."
He said, "Erika, will you be my girlfriend?" How could I say no?
Our individual lives and our relationship have a rock solid foundation based on connection, music, art, and being in outside. Ya know- festivals are vulnerable if you think about it- you're covered in dirt each day, no make-up on for days, you're using porta potties most of the time, and you unapologetically want to see the artists that light you up. It is the place where you get to know someone, and know them QUICK. It is something that isn't for everyone. It certainly could of been an end-all moment for both of us, but we felt like we walked away that year from forest with our life partner. Is it traditional? No, not really. But was it totally and authentically "us?" Yes. Hands down- it was.
Part 2 coming about our proposal soon! I hope you enjoyed hearing about our story of how we met. If this resonated with you, please tell us about it on Instagram, and tag @itclicksphoto so we can see it! Until next time!