Not many couples can say they met while playing a father and daughter in a high school play! But hey, the Holy Spirit. When Bridget, who blogs at Musings of a Queen B and is a Blessed Is She contributor, shared her love story with me, I loved hearing about the beautiful spirit of creativity that infuses her relationship with her fiancé, David. Read on for how their longtime friendship turned into romance and for some wonderfully practical wedding planning advice!
David and Bridget met in high school when they were 16 and 17 years old. They were both cast in the fall production of Little Women. David was swinging Bridget around the stage in their roles as Father March and Jo March. At the time, both didn’t quite know what they were looking for in relationships.
To Bridget, David was always her Gilbert Blythe. He was (and is), she says, always steady, and she knew she could ask him for advice or talk through a problem. He would offer insightful ways for Bridget to approach a situation or to think about something in a whole new way. David challenged Bridget to think differently and to grow, which she says has always been a huge gift.
To David, Bridget was always his Jo March. In Little Women, Jo is the sassy, hard-to-get older sister and always a leader in any situation… and it turns out she was cast perfectly. Bridget has a grace and quiet beauty that David says he was immediately captivated by. She was ever a source of firm reasoning and moral support for him in the midst of high school chaos.
David and Bridget were friends throughout the rest of high school after the play. Although David had expressed interest shortly after Little Women, he was always Bridget’s dearest and most true friend; she knew that she could rely on him as a constant, which she grew to appreciate in their relationship more and more. Bridget was always a refuge and understanding heart in David’s busyness and search for identity during high school. He remembers that anxiety and confusion would fall off him like a jacket when he saw her. Their attraction wasn't immediately romantic, though, and they both dated other people throughout high school and during Bridget’s first year of college, yet always remained the closest of friends.
As they matured, David became convicted that Bridget may not only be “a” friend, but “the” friend. At the beginning of Bridget’s sophomore year of college, they took a “mini roadtrip” to visit a friend up north. David gave Bridget an adorable, vintage mini-book on romance as they departed for the trip--it’s still displayed on her bookshelf today! After the trip, they were on a walk and David asked Bridget if she'd like to go on a date with him. Of course, she said yes, and their first date was October 6, 2012, at a sushi restaurant David had once loved eating at with the middle-school mentor who was like a grandfather.
Bridget and David's proposal story involves two more plays and a date filled with surprises. You can read it in full and see photos here on Bridget's blog!
Bridget and David both felt that the moment they became engaged, there was something so much deeper and permanent about their relationship. They both loved that there were no more “what ifs” or “this might happens” about their relationship moving forward.
They say they haven’t found wedding planning too strenuous yet, which they both credit to honesty; it is awesome, they say, having great family, friends, and a loving God to pray with and pray to when things become overwhelming. They spent the summer after their engagement working out some of the big details: confirming a church and priest, booking a venue, finding photographers, nailing down catering, and finalizing the wedding party.
David and Bridget want to include friends and family members into their wedding planning who can offer their talents in unique and fun ways. One of their friends is a graphic designer and will be designing invites and programs for the wedding. Another friend took their engagement photos, and they know others who work in worship ministry who have offered their services to play music for their wedding Mass.
In fact, there are so many of these good friends that Bridget and David say picking and choosing whom to include in the wedding party and whom to invite to the wedding has been a complication simply due to the size of their venue. Through trial and error, they've discovered and shared two tactics for deciding the invite list: 1) View their friends and family (and each other's opinions) not as two competing parties, but as one community that they will continue to participate in, and 2) Don't make hasty decisions. They advise letting conversations and choices sit for a time before pulling the trigger.
Another reality they face is maintaining a reasonable, cost-effective budget, yet fun for them and for their guests to celebrate the beautiful commitment and sacrament of marriage. They've already decided that throughout their planning, they'll make an effort to save money by getting creative with Save the Dates, flowers, and decorations.
Bridget and David have been surprised by the amount of searching they had to do in order to find opportunities for marriage preparation. They'd expected a treasure trove! It is totally worth it, they say, to send emails, use Google and call individuals involved in marriage prep to figure out what is available and identity a few different ways to can grow together during preparation and planning. Through an online search, Bridget found a local parish that holds monthly marriage preparation courses on Saturday morning that follows the Beloved curriculum from the Augustine Institute. This has been incredible, they say, as a way to intentionally set aside a morning each month to focus on marriage in light of Christ.
These two are amazing at creating rituals to grow together--towards each other--in their faith and prayer lives. They say they've found that prayer and scheduled date nights are a must! They recently went through their schedules for the fall semester and scheduled in at least one date per week to ensure that they weren’t just getting together to talk about wedding planning or going over details. With scheduled date nights, they say theyre' able to enjoy each other and talk about what’s going on in daily life while spending quality time together.
David and Bridget also schedule time each night at 10:00pm to say a set of prayers and read from a devotional book over the phone. Both have found that prayer is a beautiful way for them to grow as a couple and form a habit of intentional worship. Throughout their relationship, David and Bridget would pray together, often after dates, but didn’t specifically schedule in daily prayer. Since this year is so busy for both of them, they've found prayer to be an anchor to growth in holiness, faith, and trust in each other. They also go to Mass together on Sundays, and say it's been wonderful to taste married life in the form of worship together!
Two of their favorite quotes, including one that played a role in David's proposal:
“Alone man does not completely realize this essence [of being a person]. He realizes it only by existing ‘with someone’ – and even more deeply and completely – by existing ‘for someone’…The communion of persons means existing in a mutual ‘for,’ in a relationship of mutual gift.” - Pope St. JPII, TOB January 9, 1980
‘"The weight of these golden rings",
he said, "is not the weight of metal,
but the proper weight of man,
each of you separately
and both together.
Ah, man's own weight,
the proper weight of man!
Can it be at once heavier,
and more intangible?
It is the weight of constant gravity,
riveted to a short flight.
The flight has the shape of a spiral, an ellipse—and the shape of the heart …
Ah, the proper weight of man!
This rift, this tangle, this ultimate depth—
this clinging when it is so hard
to unstick heart and thought.
And in all this—freedom,
a freedom, and sometimes frenzy,
the frenzy of freedom trapped in this tangle.’” - Pope St. JPII, The Jeweler’s Shop
Join me in praying for Bridget and David as they prepare for their August 20th wedding! Want to see your love story featured on Captive the Heart (you don't have to be a blogger!)? Email me at email@example.com.