When Laken met Taylor... It sounds like the title of a good romance movie doesn't it? But that's exactly how this story begins. Laken met Taylor!
You see, Laken was at a point in her life where the idea of a storybook romance and finding "the one" had slipped slowly out of her thinking. She'd dreamed about that perfect wedding and the gorgeous dress since she was a little girl. But somewhere along the way, she closed the book, folded up her heart and tucked it in between the pages. She filed it away on a shelf with all her childhood fairy take stories and left it there. Her mind resolved itself to rational and realistic and was ready to settle for less than.
Like all good stories there's a plot twist though and here's where the good stuff happens. While on a beach vacation with family, Laken and her sister decided to get on a dating app just for kicks because they were so terribly bored. They swiped left and swiped right amongst laughter that nearly left them breathless. As fate would have it, several states away Taylor had got on the same dating app for laughs with his friends and a couple of swipes in the right direction and there they were starring into the face of their destiny. A brief hello and then a conversation and then another and another. Hey, this guy wasn't just handsome, he was smart, funny, intellectual, interesting and the list goes on and on. So a friendship of sorts was formed. They had conversations for hours on end and seemed to never run out of things to talk about. Then the day came when Taylor thought they should meet face to face. Even though they had talked on FaceTime many times, Laken had watched enough Crime TV to still feel the need to be cautious. So their first meeting included about a half dozen or more friends. They went hiking, shopping, indulged in local cuisine and Laken basically showed him all around her town and all the little surrounding towns as well. It was a very impressionable first meeting. There were daily phone calls and constant texting and some time later he showed up on her birthday with his favorite book with notes for her in the margins. It wasn't the most costly gift but it was the most precious. So there it was, smack in her face, exactly what she had been looking for.
Somewhere between all the phone calls, texts and long distance visits they fell in love. She got the proverbial book down off the shelf and dusted it off. She found her wrinkled heart where she'd left it and love gently smoothed it back out. The weeks and months that passed were a whirlwind just like something out of a story book. That Fall he asked her to fly home to meet his parents in Idaho and it was on that trip that he asked her to be his wife and she most emphatically said yes! She came home and bought a dress and looked at the magazines and made the plans for a wedding for the next year but long distance is a rough. You see Laken lived in Virginia and Taylor was stationed in the United States Army in Georgia. Leave time was few and far between and absence surely does make the heart grow fonder. So in December of that year. Less than three months after the proposal they were married by the Army Chaplain.
That wedding she'd always wanted as a girl had never left her mind though and six months later she came home to Virginia in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains and a wedding was prepared on her Grandmother's land. Her Father dutifully walked her down a carpet of rose petals and gave her away to the man of her dreams. They exchanged vows surrounded by friends and family, mountains and uncut wheat fields as the barn that her great grandfather built stood watch over the entire affair. It was like a fairy tale. No really it was!
So the moral of the story is... Don't put your hopes and dreams on a shelf, don't settle for less, fairytales do exist and real love... Its most definitely worth waiting for.