“The moment I met John was in an icy parking lot at a restaurant.  We happened to arrive at the same time and with vague descriptions  somewhat recognized each other.  He held my elbow to balance me on the ice to the restaurant’s door.  My thought was “He is a nice man”.”

Sylvia was right. John is a very nice man, and together, they make an amazing couple. They dated for eleven years before running off to Yosemite to elope like a couple of love-struck kids.

Their meeting is a interesting story. Sylvia made some new girlfriends and was invited to a girls’ night. She was chatting and drinking wine, and mentioned that she’d really like someone to go to dinner with so she could have adult conversation. Her friend exclaimed, “That is exactly what my ex-husband said to me just the other night, can I give him your number?”

The rest is history.

What does John love about Sylvia?

“Sylvia has a wonderful smile, which is very infectious.  At the time we met, that was exactly what I needed.  I had been on a run of weekly flight to Chicago, and needed some cheering up.  Her optimism remains what I love most about her.”

I was photographing Sylvia and John on these cool fallen trees, and Mari started saying, “Dawn! Dawn! Do you see this?! DO YOU SEE THIS?!” I looked up and a family of deer was casually strolling through the meadow. No big deal.

What does Sylvia love about John?

“From the beginning John has impressed me with his integrity, intelligence and generosity.   I love that I am still impressed by him.  I call him “a man”, my man, because he epitomizes for me everything I desire and in a life’s partner.   To this day I feel grateful to have him in my life.  (And yes, I am still friends with his former wife who match-made us.)”


Why Yosemite?

“Yosemite was one of our first destinations as a newly romantic couple.  The majesty of the valley still captures in my heart the awe I feel for having John in my life.  This was our third visit to Yosemite, it is simply a magical place and it is magic to us.  Thus it was a no-brainier destination to celebrate our commitment to each other!”

What challenges have they had to overcome?

“Between us we have six children.  They are now all adults and get  along.  The push and pull of their needs still can push and pull at our loyalties.  I think the biggest issue has been trust.  As survivors of previously failed marriages, there is baggage.  It is not trust issues of falling out of love or fidelity, but that our eyes are open to the fact that there is no guarantee that just because our love is strong right now that it can’t be tested in a myriad of unforeseen ways as we move forward.  I love that John is honest with me about everything and that I can be honest with him.  It is in that honesty that we do not hurt each other but to the contrary, strengthen and support each  other.  It is a belief system, that we believe in each other and this life we are building together.”

Flowers by The Enchanted Florist in Oakhurst, California!

Sylvia’s gorgeous cornflower blue wedding gown was custom made by a friend of hers. It’s one of a kind and amazing!

More gorgeousness!