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Marriage Monday | Ordinary vs Extraordinary

“I need to love you better.”

This statement is something Chad and I say to each other a lot. Love, sacrificial love, needs to be stated, but mostly it needs to be displayed. I’ve been thinking about this a lot because most of the time, I don’t really know what I mean “love you better.” How do I know it’s better than it was before? What am I going to do to make it better?

Because I love categories and lists, I’ve simplified this concept for myself. I’ve broken down my loving actions into two categories. chad_ali_0001

Ordinary Love:
My definition of ordinary love are things you have to do, or are doing anyway. Like, keeping a clean house. If I were still single, I’d still want to keep a clean house. Making dinner – I’m doing it anyway, so the fact that I made an extra portion of what I was already going to make, is love, but it’s just ordinary. Yes, there is forethought and planning and the knowledge that he’ll probably be pleased and happy to have a meal ready when he gets home from work… but I didn’t necessarily go too far out of my way to do it. Washing and folding our laundry. To me, that’s love. But it’s only two extra loads of something I have to do anyway. See what I’m saying? Here is a list of a few ordinary love items:

Ordinary Love
picking up after yourself… or each other
taking our the trash
making lunch + dinner
washing and folding laundry
doing yard work

Extraordinary Love:
The things you don’t have to do, and wouldn’t do otherwise. I’m ashamed to say I had trouble thinking of examples of this in my own life. And so I’m challenging myself to find ways to love Chad in extraordinary ways. Because whether you’re a boy or girl, your dream isn’t to have ordinary love. You want to love and be loved in extraordinary ways. Am I right? I know Chad’s dream girl could not have been a girl who would do his laundry and make his dinner. Sure, those things are what a nice and loving wife does…

So, let’s +1 some of those Ordinary Love items to make them extraordinary and maybe add some as well…

Extraordinary Love
write a love note for the lunch box
take your spouse OUT to dinner… like, a DATE!
let your spouse decorate a room [probably more for the ladies...]
throw a surprise birthday party
forfeit your favorite show for a more intimate evening in the bedroom
bring home flowers
keep a “slurge for him/her” budget… perhaps a new dress or ping pong table?

What are some ways you extraordinarily love your spouse?

Emma + KJ | Richmond City Wedding

Emma sat in curlers and an amazing romper as her sisters shared the rap they’d written, “You’re so married…” to the melody of “I’m so fancy.” Downstairs, the guys were tying ties for each other and KJ was reminding himself to run by the apartment to get his belt he’d forgotten. This day was a long time coming, and the energy was fantastic. Planned so well, the two of them were able to just relax and trust their team of vendors to make everything happen without a hitch. From the unique church with a deconstructed feel to the reception with breakfast for dinner, this day couldn’t have been more perfect.  The combination of Emma’s style and artistic inclination, and KJ’s creative and ridiculous ideas made this day what it was. But the heartbeat of it all was their love for the Lord and their promise before Him to love and support and respect each other. What a day – I’m honored to have been a part of it!

Ceremony | Monumental Church
Reception | Virginia Historical Society
Planner | Events by Elizabeth Palmer
Hair & Makeup | FBJ Studios
Cake | Buttercream Bee
Catering | Defazios
Florals | Flowers by Zoie
Lighting | Lighting Professors
Linens | Classic Party Rentals + Glamour Linens
DJ | Chris Campbell, Perfect Fourth Entertainment
Gown | Saja

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As pretty, as pretty can be.

breakfast for dinner?! yum! and i bet that song they made up was awesome!!! love these shots! they’re fantastic!


Can’t get over how incredible these are and how well they tell the story of our wedding day. I can’t say THANK YOU enough (but I’ll try!) :)

Hailee + Bryce | Meadow Farm Engagement

These two were in town for 4 days. Hailee had to catch a plane back to Georgia the night we were shooting, but honestly, I really had a hard time stopping! I loved photographing these two – not just for the obvious reasons [how beautiful is this couple?!] – but because they were so mellow and up for just about anything! Like climbing fences in a dress and changing in public. These two are so perfect for each other and I’m so glad I was able to document their engagement.

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Gorgeous locations, & I love all of her outfits. Great work!

Rachael + Brad | Sunrise Ocean City Engagement

I don’t know if I’ve felt more honored than when Rachael asked me to be her photographer. Because Rachael herself is a great one – we went to CDIA together, and she has second shot for me several times. Rachael and Brad announced their engagement late November last year, and when they booked, they hesitantly mentioned they’d want to do their engagement session in Ocean City. I JUMP at any opportunity to shoot at the beach, and this shoot is why. I feel so inspired by the light and the beach vibes. It also didn’t hurt that these two are basically models. I loved how their clothes matched the scene without being too matchy… Her kimono is PERFECT with the glow of the rising sun! Needless to say, they rocked this shoot, and even introduced me to their adorable daughter, Nora. Enjoy!

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