Jen’s first thoughts: “Who is this guy?! His afro hair; always going or doing something apart from the group like he’s in his own little world.”
Luke’s first thoughts: “This little world of mine is super sweet. Also, there’s a cute girl over there.”
Those were their first impressions in January of 2004 when they met in preparation for the 3-week journey to Baja as part of the 2004 Biola Baja Class. Traveling through Baja, having new adventures and studies at every stop, they got to know a little more about each other. Jen was intrigued. Luke was smitten.
When they crossed the border back into the US, Jen found herself stranded at Biola. Her boyfriend at the time was too busy to pick her up, confirming his status as not being worth Jen’s time. Luke came to the rescue, igniting an ongoing friendship that continued during their time at Biola, even while Jen dated other guy, and Luke involved himself in as many activities and social circles as he could. They kept in touch periodically when post-college plans took them in separate directions, but didn’t expect to see their relationship develop much further.
Fast-forward to September 2011
Jen is doing well in her photography business and Luke has pursued many various photography and media-related ventures. Jen has booked a wedding to photograph in Irvine, Ca at the Strawberry Farm and finds herself in need of a second photographer. Rather than paying to bring another photographer with her, she looks up Luke’s work and decides to give him a call. He checks his calendar —i.e. clears his calendar—i.e. doesn’t keep a calendar—and agrees to do it. Secretly, he’s hoping that this might be a little more than just a photography job. On the day before the wedding, they arrive separately at the venue for the wedding rehearsal. They’re each walking around the location and rounding a corner, almost run into each other.
Jen’s first thoughts after 7 years apart: “Dang! Oh, that’s Luke! Not bad!”
Luke’s first thoughts after 7 years: “Well hello. I see you’re still very cute.”
They spent a couple of hours catching up that evening and reconvened the next day, cameras in hand—which would become a theme for their romance. The wedding they photographed went well (i.e. Luke didn’t totally fail) and afterwards, they were forced to spend several more hours together waiting for Luke’s photos to download onto Jen’s computer, thus providing a perfect opportunity for a late-night movie together. But once again, Luke’s hopes were dashed because Jen was dating someone else… until she was dumped two weeks later. Luke was terribly heartbroken for her, and felt an urgent need to comfort her in her hardship. Thus, for the second time, he had a chance to pick up the slack left by Jen’s previous suitor, and this time, he was not about to let her slip through his fingers. Luke made it a point to get out to see Jen when he could, Facebook chats increased, Jen’s trips to Orange County for work or friends began to include time with Luke, and she began to hire Luke exclusively as her second photographer. Thus the work and romance relationship began.
Fast-forward to August 2015
It was 11 1/2 years later and Luke and Jen found themselves back in Baja, where it all began… Check out the next post coming soon to hear the proposal story.