An Adventurous Lifestyle Session | Alex & Brendan – California Bay Area


May 23, 2018

The first three seconds of that phone call and I knew. This girl was not just a friend of a friend, she was gonna be our friend, too. Her and her guy (who has an epic beard) in the San Francisco Bay Area + that golden, west coast light: it’s what dreams are made of, tbh.

We texted each other from Target’s aisles, just before bed, and again before we lost signal in the mountains.

Every detail was falling into place. We only had known of each other for four days but we knew one thing to be true: Always say yes to adventuring somewhere new.

Meet Alex & Brendan.

A couple obsessed with each other. A couple so joyful you can’t stop smiling yourself. A couple four years into marriage and flourishing.

Alex & Brendan wrote out their love story and wanted to share it with you all. Enjoy these too-many favorites from our time together last week in California!!

Also, a huge thank you to Tanya Gyani for the gorgeous floral crown!

Brendan and I met on a bus going to a mutual friend’s wedding in Kansas. It was 20 hours there and back with all of our best friends from high school and college. Brendan and I were two of the only people who didn’t know each other. We caught each other’s eye on the bus…I was skeptical and he was sold.

Throughout the weekend our friends started noticing Brendan was interested in me, so they all got in on it. Suddenly I found my friend sleeping in my seat and the only other seat on the bus was next to Brendan…hmm. So we talked for hours and then VERY awkwardly slept next to each other…

The next morning when we got off the bus Brendan pulled me aside and said he wanted to keep in touch. To which I replied, “Sure, sounds good” and walked away without giving him my number or anything. Side note: I had just gone through a bad break up and was feeling overwhelmed at this new prospect, so I just tried to curb my curiosity. He was bummed, but determined.

He got my number from my friends and called me within the week. I resisted for another week and then finally thought I’d give him a chance. We talked on the phone, started Skyping, he came to visit me at school and made sure I knew his intentions.  He said he’d be lucky if I went out with him. I hesitantly agreed to be his girlfriend.

Now, I’m pretty sure I’m the lucky one…

Side note: Throughout the entire session, Brendan kept surprising us all. At one point he whispered proudly, Mmmmm, I could hold you like this. Or like this! Or how about this?! Didn’t see that coming did you?”

We’ve been through a lot together –

Long distance dating (which is just a B. But we’re grateful it helped us learn good communication from the start…plus it’s kinda fun to miss each other), marrying young, moving from Virginia to San Francisco (without jobs/place to live), all the city stresses, 4 months of long distance during marriage while Brendan hiked the PCT, and now having a kid.

In everything we experience, I’m grateful for our depth.

We never shy away from hard conversations, dreaming together and facing the “what ifs.” We try to embrace changes in ourselves and our situations and, honestly just love loving each other.

Alex & Brendan – What can we even say?! Gosh. Spending the evening with you two was not only overwhelmingly fulfilling in a creative capacity, but also because we walked away feeling like genuine friends. Thank you for sharing your stories, your lives, and your city with us! Say the word and we’re back on the plane in a heartbeat! Thank you for being an example worth emulating. Marriage looks good on you two! Xoxo – Tara & Stephen


If you or you know someone who might be interested in a couple’s or anniversary session, share this post with them & hit me up! We’re always game for something new.

–Tara M

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As a young girl, I always kept a journal. Then when I got married, my husband & I wrote our vows in a journal we shared as a couple.

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