We just love it when a bride and groom-to-be perfectly play the roles of narrator for their great love stories. And because there’s always two sides to every love story, hearing the interpretations from the bride and her guy – make it all the more sweet. Michelle & Joel are headed down the aisle this month and they’ve shared their engagement session, captured by photographer, Christopher Charles of Creative Silence that flawlessly highlights aspects of their love and style, while a scenic Downtown Durham plays the perfect backdrop.
Read on for more visuals and commentary from the couple below;
Tell us about how you met!
Michelle’s Version: Joel and I attended the same church and served in different ministries. I was a greeter and worked at the coffee shop. Joel served in youth ministry and the first-time guest ministry. One day, Joel came to the coffee shop with a mutual friend, and I complimented him on his tie. It really was just a compliment, but Joel will tell you it was more than that. Joel returned to the coffee shop several Sunday’s later with $40 to buy coffee for people in line behind him. Most Sunday’s, he would sit across from the coffee shop before the service began, and every now and then, I would catch him looking at me from his seat. I like to think he was stalking me. We would casually speak to each other and chat.
One Sunday, my twin sister, Tammy joined me for worship. Joel mistook Tammy for me and greeted her with a hug. She returned the hug and did not tell him that she was not me. A mutual friend saw him and said, “Joel, that’s not Michelle.” He says that moment gave him the courage to ask me to tea to get to know me. From there many more tea dates were to follow, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
Joel’s Version: Michelle and I met at church in Durham. One day, I stopped by the coffee shop at church, and Michelle could not wait to compliment my tie. She loved my style from the start and could not wait to see me again at church. She noticed my heart to serve and worship God and my ability to be consistent. In a church full of women, I noticed Michelle because of how she quietly served and how she presented herself with humility. I started asking people about who Michelle was and who she was connected to at the church. They told me that Michelle had a genuine heart.
One day, Michelle’s twin sister came to church. I saw her and gave her a hug thinking she was Michelle. Tammy didn’t say a thing. As I was walking away, one of Michelle’s friends told me that it wasn’t Michelle. I decided that this confirmed that Michelle had to be as nice as she looked. I decided to ask Michelle for her number, in an attempt to get to know her and build a friendship.
We met for tea and talked about our lives, passions and values. I learned that we shared so many things in common. I learned that she was intelligent, compassionate, loyal, graceful, non-judgmental, humble, simple, and had a big heart for people and to serve. Quickly, Michelle’s sister and best friends became my sisters. I’m looking forward to doing life with my best friend and building a family together. #LawsonsUnited.
Bride-to-Be: Michelle Allean Greene
Groom-to-Be: Boevi Joel Lawson
Wedding date: 7/16/2016
Wedding location: Adaumont Farm, Trinity in North Carolina
Engagement shoot location: Downtown Durham, North Carolina
Tell us about the proposal!
Joel mentioned during the week that we would be going to Durham to visit a friend and later added that we would be stopping to see my parents on our way to Durham before 9:30 a.m.and meeting his former classmates on campus. We jumped in the car around 7:30 a.m. and arrived at my parents at 9:00 a.m. My mom and I headed to the back of house to chat, and when we returned to the front only a short time later she said, “alright guys, we have to go.”
We hopped in the car, and I remember Joel was extra talkative. When we were back on Highway 40, I asked Joel about the plan for the day. He responded, “I thought we could go to DSW or Marshall’s to kill time before we have to be back in Chapel Hill.” Joel then asked if I would play a game with him once we got to Chapel Hill. Initially, I was hesitant, but after some persuasion, I agreed and we headed to Chapel Hill.
Once we arrived at UNC, we walked towards to Old Well, an enduring symbol on UNC’s campus. When we got close the well, Joel asked if we could play the game. He put on the blindfold and told me that I had to follow the sound of his voice. Once we were in front of the well, he took off the blindfold and showed me the well, which was decorated with flowers and pictures of us. He then turned me around to see my friends and family. He then turned me back to him to declare his love for me and ask me to marry him. Joel is a very private and low key person, so all of his planning was just for me. It was quite the surprise for me, plus it was a beautiful day with perfect Carolina Blue skies.
Describe your engagement session! Did you have a theme?
Our engagement shoot did not have a theme, per say, but we wanted to incorporate the things that were most important to us. We decided to return to Durham, where our courtship began. Michelle and I met at a church in Durham and spent the early part of our courtship at coffee shops on “tea dates,” where we would talk for hours about ourselves, our dreams and God. It was fun returning to the city where our love began.
What did you do on your first date?
Our first courtship date was a “tea date” at Barnes & Nobles to get to know each other. We talked for hours and enjoyed each other’s company. For our first official date, Joel asked me to a basketball game to see our Tar Heels play.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
Joel and I enjoy doing everything together. We love doing ministry, working out, hanging out and watching sports together.
How has wedding planning been so far?
Wedding planning so far has been exciting and fun. We are excited to have our friends and family helping with our big day.
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day?
We are looking forward to sharing and celebrating our union with family and friends.