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(Image: Alexandra Celia / Seattle Refined).
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Documenting Love: Brittni & Brian's Story

Note from Seattle Refined: We could not be more excited that photographer/blogger/genius Alexandra Celia has joined our team here at Seattle Refined. She 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 Kelsey and David - living and loving life as an engaged couple in Seattle.

Brian
I met Brittni at a friend's house party. I remember seeing her walk into the party and being absolutely struck by how gorgeous she was. Later on in the night I sat down next to her, and introduced myself, still thinking I probably had no chance. She was just so kind and warm and genuinely interested in this conversation with someone who was still a complete stranger. I knew then that she was special and I wanted to get to know her.

Brittni
Brian and I have different accounts of our first meeting. He would say we met a party (a party that I remember being at but don't remember talking to him - whoops!). I would say we met through mutual friends later on. It was a slow burn to begin with because we started off as friends. At one point, we realized that we worked in the same building and started going out to the occasional lunch or happy hour together. It's hard to say when it turned from friendship to something more because it happened gradually, but there was an undeniable spark drawing us to one another. All we wanted to do was spend time together. I specifically remember him coming over to my apartment to watch a Seahawks game and we spent the entire afternoon laughing and talking, hardly watching the game at all. I think we both knew we liked each other but neither wanted to make the first move. It was sweet, innocent, and uncomplicated. Pure infatuation.

Brian
She is incredibly tough. She has faced a lot of hard things in her life that most people could never understand, but she has always pushed through with total grace and comes out a stronger person.

Brittni
Brian is a brilliant musician but his talents frequently take a back seat to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Over the past year, he has been inspired to begin writing and creating his own music. He shows dedication and commitment in pursuing his passions and that is something I am immensely proud of.

Brian
It's hard to put my finger on an exact moment when I knew I cared for Brittni. I think I honestly did from the very beginning, before we even dated. But I do remember the first time I told her I had feelings for her. We were out at a bar with friends and (once I was sufficiently not sober) I pulled her aside and told her that I wanted to be with her. Brittni said she liked me too but wasn't ready to totally "relay those same feelings yet." Nailed it.

Brittni
There was a moment early on when I was questioning what he saw in me to which he said, "you should just focus on being exactly who you are because you are amazing." Be still my heart! I knew right then that he was a keeper.

Brian
Spending time with Brittni was such a blast from the very beginning, even before we were actually dating. I felt that we could do absolutely anything together and we would make it a good time. I had never really experienced this before with someone I was still just getting to know. We have just always felt incredibly comfortable around each other, and that has really just developed into a profound respect and love for one another.

Brittni
Everything between Brian and I has flowed organically from the start. There was never a question about how we felt about each other and we've always had fun together. There is a maturity in our love that I had never experienced before.

Brian
I think the first thing that ever attracted me to Brittni is how independent she is, and I still admire that about her. She's completely self made - just a smart, driven, total badass of a woman. Oh yeah and she's beautiful, too.

Brittni
Our relationship started on the heels of the most trying experience of my life. Having lost my mom to cancer just a month before our first date, I can safely say that the beginning of our story was atypical. The butterflies and excitement of falling in love with someone was sometimes overshadowed by intense grief. The way that Brian supported and lifted me up during this time is something I'll always be grateful for and try to emulate.

Brian
Brittni always remembers when I have something important going on during my day at work and checks in every time to say "good luck" and then again to ask me how it went. Literally every time.

Brittni
Brian always goes out of his way to make me feel at ease, especially during the week when work weighs heavy on my stress levels. He's always quick to offer to make dinner or help out with caring for our dog. I think both of us have an innate ability to read each others' needs and pick up the slack without question.

Brian
One of my favorite memories I have of us is the first time we went out to dinner together and discovered that we both love adventurous foods. Trying a new restaurant with her always brings me back to that time because it's something that we still love so much to do together.

Brittni
Brian quickly learned that the way to my heart was through food. Whether we are cooking at home or trying a new restaurant, some of our deepest and most honest conversations have happened sitting across the table from one another. There are too many to count but a few my favorite memories have been our first anniversary at The Book Bindery, oysters and steak tartare at The Walrus & the Carpenter, hosting Thanksgiving dinner for eight people in our tiny apartment, and Chez Janou in Paris after our wedding. You could blame it on the wine, but I think we are simply at our best when we are savoring bites of extraordinary food together.

Brian
Cooking is definitely one of the rituals we have together. We both love food, and there is something therapeutic for us about making something and spending that time together just the two of us. We also share a passion for doting on our dog, George.

Brittni
One or both of us has lived in Ballard for the majority of our relationship so we often visit the Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday afternoons. We love wandering around with our pup George, collecting fresh ingredients to cook with during the week, and stopping by our favorite vendors - Foraged & Found, Tall Grass Bakery, Patty Pan Cooperative, and Pasteria Lucchese to name a few. The exuberant, Italian owner of Pasteria Lucchese is always a delight and has inspired us to start making pasta of our own. We love to create beautiful meals for our friends and family and the farmers market has become a cornerstone of those experiences.

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