Erin and John | A Bright and Beautiful Piedmont Park Wedding

I talk often about witnessing a certain light that radiates from my couples.  I describe it as a warmth that bathes the two when they are at their most joyous. That light that allows my camera’s lens to capture them with the same authenticity and affection that they see when they look at one another. I call this the Love Light.  

When John and Erin asked me to help them capture their  special day, I was overjoyed. I was so happy to have been asked to witness such a beautiful occasion and to play such an important part in their big day.  But after seeing them together, watching them celebrate with such joy, tenderness and respect for the future that they will share-- I am overjoyed to have been in the presence of a Love Light that burns so bright, it fills the room.

John and Erin met in 2014, after spending a few days getting to know one another online. One of the things about their story that gives me absolute goosebumps is the first twist of fate that brought them together: they both decided, on a whim, to sign up for an online dating service-- on the same day.  They instantly found one another and connected.

The pair bonded over their mutual appreciation for travel, craft beer, and laughter.  They spent time working on their to-do list early on, carving out a spot for each memory to be made: visiting breweries and restaurants, catching a Tigers game, seeing the Red Wings, going to John’s first Michigan hockey game, seeing a sitting president, and so on.  The two crossed off every one of those items, and fell more and more in love along the way.

Soon their Love Light stretched across the country, as John relocated to Portland for work.  The pair were committed to closing the gap between them and made it a point to beat the time difference and miles with regular FaceTime calls and visits.

John: Being far away from family and friends is extremely difficult. The time change is much more difficult than you may ever think. By the time you work, deal with Portland traffic, and cook dinner it may be 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm for all those back home. She made it work.


Erin: In December of 2016, I started to consider proposing to John.  I didn't want to pressure him into marriage so I dropped that idea.   With hindsight being 20/20, if I knew what I know now back then - I would probably have proposed.

Later on that year, John returned home for a wedding.  At that celebration, he received so many light hearted, but spot on, comments about it being their turn.

John: People were busting my chops left and right (deservingly) over it being our turn, and me needing to propose, quit putting it off, etc. All while, the ring was in my pocket... Erin hac picked me up from the airport a couple hours before the wedding, and I had not had time to ask before coming in. I dare not ask at the wedding, so the ring was burning a hole in my pocket!  

After the wedding, we returned to Rossford, and Erin started getting ready to go to bed.  She had to return to Ann Arbor and work in the morning.

I asked her to come sit down with me in the living room, and her response was something along the lines of “In a little bit I need to get ready for work in the morning and to go to bed” and she walked away leaving me there with the ring on fire.

I wanted to be more romantic, I wanted to plan something special, I wanted to ask her a long time prior to that moment –  but I had to do it right then.

John proposed to Erin right there-- the ring’s LED box shining through the dimly lit hallway.  Erin, of course, said yes.

Erin: I am so grateful for him.  There were times in my life that i thought that I would never get married-- that it just wasn't what life had in store for me.  I still sometimes have those "I can't believe this is actually happening" moments.


It was a once in a lifetime experience to capture such love and joy.  For Erin and John, I want to remind you to never stop shining. Let your Love Light drive out any darkness, and illuminate the things that matter most.  Here’s to a life time of travel, laughter, love, and to-do lists!



Darian Brown