Sam and Paul have an extra special story– a true testament to “right place, right time,” “love at first sight” kind of romance. They met in the Navy… and while they were in bootcamp together and wear uniforms and (now) live on a Navy base, they’re not exactly “in” the Navy like you would expect. They’re Navy Mass Communication Specialists, trained in photojournalism and writing and sent out on assignment with the Navy all over the world. Amazing.
Paul, a dear friend of John’s, met Sam on a flight from bootcamp to Washington, D.C., for a six month intensive journalism course in August. By January, they were engaged. Their engagement photos, shot by their friends, the super talented Jennifer and DJ Lebron, are stunning and I’m so honored to share them here!
Paul remembers their first meeting: “We met in the airport, waiting for our flight from bootcamp to what the Navy calls “A-school.” Alpha-school is specific training for your job in the Navy, whereas bootcamp is for everyone. We had graduated bootcamp at the same time, had the same job, were on the same flight to school, and we just hit it off.”
“There was no one specific moment when I thought he was “The One”– I knew that he was someone I wanted in my life,” says Sam. “I didn’t expect that he would propose within four months– that was a bonus.”
“We signed up [for the Navy] at a time when it was just us and we didn’t have to think about someone else,” explains Sam. “When I was single, my top pick [for assignment] would have been Naples, Italy or Spain. One day in class, we were on a break and talking about our relationship– we didn’t want to get too serious and then four months down the road, move halfway around the world and forget about the other person.
Paul said, ‘Just tell me there’s a chance you would pass up Italy to be with me.’ I’m so glad he asked that– I wanted to ask him that– and I said there was more than a chance I’d pass it up. We really did pass up Italy and Spain, Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, Japan– we both said the worst place on earth together was better than the best place alone.”
The proposal: It was January 3 and we went for an early morning run, like we had so many times before. He took me to this trail where we had had one of our first kisses and got down on one knee and pulled off his running glove (where the ring was on his pinky finger for safekeeping), and he proposed.
The most fun thing about planning a wedding: Not feeling chained at all to the typical commercial wedding pressure– the world says we should have a wedding with everyone there, a cocktail hour, and we don’t want that. I went wedding dress shopping by myself and I felt like a badass. – Sam
Paul chimes in: I was really proud of her for that– I thought that was cool, that she’s so independent… she’s totally cool.
images by LBRN FMLY