I personally LOVE reading stories about adorable couples and how their lives came together. Like literally, I could endlessly scroll and get 50 posts deep in the @howheasked Instagram account (it gets dangerous, so if you click that link I just provided you, be sure to have like 30-50minutes open to get lost in the most precious of love stories).
But anyway - one couple I had my eye on forever and just HAD to meet for myself lives over in Baltimore, Maryland...aka all the way on the complete opposite side of the country. If you don't know already, Madison Short is the cutest human being on the planet and I have been following her journey into the world of most influential wedding photographers (my own title for her, but whatevs) for the past few years. Every so often, she would share a casual photo of her with this guy, Joel, but there were not very many photos of them together and - oh my god, it was driving me crazy because I KNEW they were dating but he was so mysterious because I could only see one side of his face from these occasional photos...
So, typical me...I reached out to her and told her I was going to fly out to Maryland to meet her and Joel and take more pictures of them being cute together.
And guys, I can't tell you how excited I was when I opened her email and she had written, "OH MY GOSH!!! THIS IS THE BEST EMAIL EVER!!!" I died.
I even requested getting a photo of Madison and I together when we officially met because we all have to fan girl at least once in our lives, right?
But before sharing these adorable couple photos of Madison and Joel with you...you HAVE to read the full story of how they met. It is one for the books, and I am so glad Madison instantly said yes to writing the whole entire story out. I could literally envision the whole thing in my head, and it speaks so true to them and their personalities:)
Handing it over to the lovely Madison now!!
Joel and I met in 2014 when we were both working in the wedding industry. I was the assistant to a photographer in Annapolis, and Joel worked for a videography company. We were both the "newbies"! I was in a long term relationship, but the photographer I worked for (Natalie) had ALWAYS said, "ya know, you and Joel would be cute together!"
Fast forward to August 2016, my brother and I were debating which dating app was better--Bumble or Tinder. He convinced me to re-download Tinder and, I kid you not, in the first 5 minutes of swiping Joel's face popped up on my screen! Of course I screenshot it and sent it to all my friends, with the message "SOS what do I do". After staring at my screen for about 10 minutes, I finally decided to swipe right (for those of you that are not familiar with dating apps, swiping right is when you like someone). I made a game plan in my head that if he said something sarcastic about my right-swipe, I would just play it off. Well, to my surprise the "It's A Match!" screen popped up immediately, which meant he had already swiped right on me!!
Now for the tough part. What do I say?! The only funny thing I could think of was the guy from that movie We're The Millers with "no ragrets" tattooed on his chest. I have never seen the movie, but I've seen the memes and just hoped he knew what I was talking about or else I was about to look like an illiterate fool! So, "no ragrets" it was!
We started chatting about life, he asked if I was still in a relationship (why would I be on Tinder, Joel?!) and eventually we exchanged phone numbers. A few days later he was coming home from a work trip and needed a ride home from the airport. So, of course, I completely jumped all over the opportunity to pick up Joel from the airport 20 minutes away at midnight, drive him 30 minutes to his apartment, then 30 minutes back to my house. He paid me back the next day by helping me paint my whole entire room in my new apartment! He even picked out the shade of white that I painted it. It was called Night Blooming Jasmine, and that's now our wifi password, ha!!! Our first official date was at a pizza food truck event in Baltimore!
How he asked me to be his girlfriend...this took awhile (well....a month, but it seemed like a year). We had gone on so many fun adventures hiking, and seeing new things in the city...and still nothing. One day I was photographing a wedding with my best friend Brooke, and Joel was the videographer! So Brooke talked to him at the wedding and asked if he wanted to be in a relationship with me. Turns out he didn't know he had to actually ask....Brooke made sure to set him straight.
A few weeks later I was picking him up at the airport again, and I pull up to the terminal and he's standing there with a giant sign asking me to be his girlfriend! It sounds so cheesy, but now every time I go to the airport I think about it!
On the outside, we are COMPLETE opposites. It definitely shows in our Instagram feeds (@madisonrshort and @joelflora_)! But our personalities could not be more alike. We love adventure and traveling, trying new things, being loud, getting creative, and having fun. He supports my houseplant obsession, and I go with him to all the movies he wants to see. He brings out the best in me, and I'm forever thankful that I swiped right on that August day in 2016!
Photography by Sarah Harris Photography