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(Image: Alexandra Celia / Seattle Refined)
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Documenting Love: Amanda & Bradley's Story

Photographer/blogger/genius Alexandra Celia has devoted her career to documenting love in its purest and most original form - which you'll see in her photos. Every now and then she will share her work with couples: their love story, their commitment, their passion....and of course, their photos. Think of her as our Love Guru. She loves love, and is here to share it with the rest of us. Next up, the story of Amanda & Bradley - living and loving life as an engaged couple in Seattle.

Amanda
Brad and I met in Tacoma at a country bar. The first time we met I was out with friends and we had a little too much to drink and I didn’t remember much of the encounter. I had walked by him and asked if he knew how to dance, he said no, but I thought he was too cute to not give him a shot on the dance floor. He had lied to me and we had a blast dancing but then went our separate ways without exchanging numbers. In my drunken state I had assumed he wasn’t into me. The second time we met was two weeks later at the same bar, and only my second time there ever! He remembered me but I had no recollection. I eventually asked him to dance again and he made sure to get my number that time!

Bradley
Amanda and I met on two separate occasions. I was new to the Washington area and didn’t know many people. I agreed to go out with a few work colleagues and found myself in a country bar in Tacoma. Needless to say, the night wasn’t turning out to be the best of times. Then, as I’m walking to get another drink, a spicy little redhead grabs my hand and says, “lets dance”. We must have danced for about an hour straight, and before I could ask for her number she vanished, as if I was in a horrible romance novel. A few weeks later, I agreed to go out with the same group of friends. Yet again, we found ourselves in the country bar. Half the night had gone by when out of nowhere I see the same redhead. I finally mustered up some courage to go over and talk with her to realize she had not “remembered me”. I quickly rejoined my friends only to be amazed a few songs later when she came over and asked me to dance again. As puzzled as I was, I agreed of course, and we hit the floor. Once we cleared up the “confusion” of her not remembering me (she apparently had too much to drink the last time we had met), I made sure to get her number before she left. The rest is history.

Amanda
I said it in my vows and I will continuously praise him for it. I have never known someone so courageous. And I am not talking about his sacrifices for our country, that is admirable, but what makes him so courageous to me is his willingness to outgrow the person he was yesterday. We all have flaws but I have never known someone so open to doing their best to change the things they didn’t like about themselves.

Brad
I’m so proud of Amanda’s independence and tenacious soul. She is the strongest person I know. There is nothing more refreshing to know she can handle everything this world throws at her. She is an amazing person, woman, and an even more amazing partner/wife.

Amanda
We had been together for a little over a month and I was keeping things close to my chest, being guarded and careful. Then he told me he was going to be gone for a couple weeks for work without the ability to text or call. I felt such an emptiness at the thought of not having him to confide in. That’s when I knew that I had found a best friend in Bradley and I wanted to put everything into making things work and developing the relationship.

Bradley
Amanda and I had been seeing one another for about a month, but we never really made it official. One day, she felt a little under the weather and I didn’t want her to have to drive all the way back home. I offered she stay with me until she felt better. We weathered the storm for a few days as she fought off her cold. Then, Sunday rolls around and I awoke to her being gone. I searched my spare bedroom and headed to the kitchen/front room. I found her standing on-top of my couch in a Seahawks hat and jersey yelling at the game. She looks over at me and smiles, steps down from the couch and asks how I slept. It was in that instance; I knew I really cared for her.

Quick disclaimer: I’m not a Seahawks fan, I’m from IL, so it wasn’t about the jersey or hat! Ha

Amanda
He accepts me and my difficult personality with love and understanding. With him by my side I am learning a new meaning to supportiveness. He never makes me feel like I embarrass him like other relationships I have had in the past. I am more spontaneous, allow my anxiety to take a back seat, welcome new people, places and adventures with less hesitation and self-doubt. I am learning to trust and love myself more all because of the confidence that he has in me as a person. I can be confident in my choices knowing he never judges my mistakes and has unwavering faith in my ability to grow from them. It’s refreshing.

Bradley
This relationship is so different from any others I have had in the past because of our commitment to communication! We are constantly working through dialogue for me to understand what she needs and wants and vice versa. This isn’t to say we don’t have our moments of disagreements or couple’s bickering (where I’m mostly wrong, or so she says). But most of the root causes can be traced to lack of/misunderstanding with regards to communication. We try to work on it constantly and keep open channels of discussion regularly.

Amanda
Besides his hair, it is the way he treats me that most attracts me to Bradley. He makes me feel loved and always laughs at my attempts at a joke, he has the most wonderful goofy laugh.

Bradley
The most attractive part of Amanda is her constant focus on us! Everything she does, everything she plans, says, questions is for the betterment of us as a couple. Her ability to put our goals and prospects ahead of her own is unbelievably beautiful. I strive everyday to model these attributes.

Amanda
We handle difficult situations in our relationship through our communication - we work at it constantly. He will probably say that he “just lets me win” and “gets over it” but I am mostly right so that would make sense.

Bradley
Every situation, whether difficult or exciting, is handled the same way. She tries to slow me down, take a step back, think through the process, and communicate ways forward. We try to give one another space when asked, while maintaining support through affection and understanding. Communication is the key.

Amanda
Bradley is always looking out for my every need, if I run out of water he is filling up my glass before I even notice or making sure my slippers are by the couch. It’s the small actions he takes before I can ask or do it myself that really show me he cares.

Bradley
Daily, Amanda helps me to decompress from the stressors of life. I recently changed jobs, I went back to school, we moved and of course we got married. There are a lot of nuances of everyday life I’m still trying to get in a rhythm with. She handles and removes a lot of potential stressors associated with most of the day-to-day living. She handles apartment, cat, travel, and pop-up dilemmas; allowing me an opportunity to calm down when I'm at home.

Amanda
After a long day we love to grab our favorite drinkable wine, take a glass in the shower and just talk about our day. The most important part to choosing any apartment we rent, is finding a shower we can both sit in and relax.

Bradley
There is nothing I love more than to explore new places and cultures with Amanda. She constantly gets me outside of my comfort zone, we have been very fortunate to visit several new countries together. I hope we continue to travel, experience, feast, drink and live in different nations and their food/wine practices. However, at the end of the day, I also love sharing a glass of wine on our rooftop or couch (can’t forget with the cats of course) while we unwind from a long day.

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