Coeur d'Alene Engagement: John & Renae

I met John for the first time in 8th grade. There is no doubt he has been, and is, one of my best friends. We've been friends through life when things were simple, when they got complicated, and when they were amazing. And today, things are amazing.

Renae is one of those amazing things. And while I've known john since 8th grade, I've actually known Renae since 7th grade. She has always been easy to get along with, always ready with a quick smile and kind word.

So it is a great thing to see these two people together - again. You see, John and Renae didn't just become John and Renae, no, I've heard about this since 8th grade, when they started "dating". And for any of you who have also had a relationship in 8th grade, you know why dating is in quotes there. Renae told me that when she first saw John our 8th grade year, she had a crush. He was "tall, dark and handsome" and an athlete. And it didn't take long for that crush to become something real as these two became boyfriend and girlfriend. They told me of their first (awkward) kiss out back behind the school. John talks about how he'd always be looking for Renae at our basketball games (of which, I was a part, and seriously, let's focus on the game, yeah?). And it was on Valentines day our freshman year of high school that John would buy Renae a dozen roses, and she would break up with him (and then immediately regret it).

Renae would save those Roses, even though they would never (well, never say never) get back together.

Over the course of the next 15 years or so, these two would go in and out of different relationships. Some good, some bad. They would actually never really lose contact. They would stop talking every once in a while (after all, they were in relationships) but it would never truly drop off. A text here, a phone call there, a bite to eat every so often, their friendship was just that. Then a year or two ago things started to align. John was coming out of a relationship and so was Renae - pretty much the first time they would both be single again, at the same time, since 9th grade. So while they had been keeping in contact, John and her started to see each other more often. It would start as a quick drink at Crafted once every couple weeks. But then it would be more often, and they would find time when Renae got off work early and things like that. It would turn into less formal things, such as the time they decided to just do "one loop" in Pokemon Go - but it turned into a two and a half hour walk downtown, as they caught (a lot) of Pokemon, and shared life together.

A lot of it would come down to little "dates" like that, and I have to put them in quotes because they weren't really dates in the traditional sense, we're talking about friends who have been friends since 8th grade, almost 20 years. That's a long time. One of dates they would end up on the Independence Point steps, just talking about life. But they would be there for three hours. This is where John told Renae he loved her (she didn't say it back). This is also where he realized he wanted to marry her.

Renae wanted to say it back. And it wasn't long before she would, making john's night, and confirming to her that John was the man she wanted to marry - something she's known for almost 20 years. The names "John and Renae" have gone together for almost 20 years, and now they are tying them together forever, and I could not be happier for them. Not only am I so happy for two friends, but the privilege it is to be able to capture them on such an amazing day is something beyond description.