James & Melissa – A Roan Mountain Engagement Session

Melissa thought it was strange when James wanted to join her for her morning run. This former-collegiate-mid-distance-track-star-turned-long-distance-road-race star is no jogger. But her 7-8 minute mile pace for an easy 8 mile day is but a Sunday stroll for James, whose personal records and race victories are equally impressive. Unusual as it was for him to want to run 8 miles at her pace, Melissa welcomed his company that morning since it's a rare treat for them to get to train together.

Well lo and behold, James had some ulterior motives after all that morning. Melissa returned from that run with a shiny new ring on her finger and wedding plans in the works!

After the past year of getting to occasionally train with Melissa myself, I was beside myself with excitement when I learned the news and got to hear all the details of the proposal on my next run with her! And my husband and I, who share in common with them that we met and fell in love while running track together in college, were only more thrilled when James and Melissa asked us to photograph their wedding!

Having spent many hours with Melissa but very few with James, I have been loving getting to know these two as a couple. When James looks at Melissa, they both light up. His eyes take on a different kind of twinkle when he sees her; it's as if he knows Melissa completely yet only sees the very best of her as he gazes at her. And it's as if she sense that, and so it's all the very best of her that shines when they are together. These are two people who love each other purely, are not out to change one another but instead truly delight in walking hand in hand as they grow in life together. They are a beautiful couple, inside and out, and they are incredible friends to the people around them too. I am so thankful to know them, to call them friends, and to get to celebrate them in this wonderful season leading up to their life together! Congratulations James and Melissa! We can't wait until next June!