01 Oct Kaitlin & Allan | Engagement Session
Truth time: Sometimes we get these engagement sessions and straight-up envy the charmed Instagram-worthy lives the couples seem to live. And Kaitlin and Allan’s shots could do just that. But. Photographer Caroline Ro did us a favor by flagging these two’s e-sesh and telling us that we had to hear about their love story. Love at first sight; a gut-wrenching life and death struggle; and a happily ever after (with one heck of a cute dog)–their tale has it all. Yep, we’re running a little longer with our usual word count here, but trust us, this is one to soak up. Long live love, Kaitlin and Allan!
TWR: How did you meet?
Bride Kaitlin: If you’re one to believe in love at first sight, this was it. We met as baby college freshmen at the College of Charleston. We were instantly drawn to each other. It was like we came alive in each other’s presence. Fast forward and we were postgrads navigating real life: we moved in (finally) together; became parents to the best dog/bear in the entire world, and basically took on the world together. The foundation of us as a couple has always been a mutual zest for life, hope for the future, unwavering belief in the other, and a whole lot of unconditional love. Then almost exactly two years ago, everything changed. Allan suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and came dangerously close to losing his life.
Photographer Caroline: Allan ended up in a weeks-long coma at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Bride Kaitlin: We truly believe to this day that our love was the single most powerful force in allowing the many miracles to unfold from that day on. Allan literally clung to life while I clung to his seemingly lifeless hand hanging over that hospital bed, never doubting the future we had together. There were countless beeping monitors (and tubes seemingly coming out of his every body part), and he looked like a stranger. But with every fiber of my being, I would sit next to him and close my eyes and just pray for our miracle. Pray he would wake up and come back.
Photographer Caroline: A neurosurgical resident operated on Allan after other doctors didn’t think he’d survive, and he woke up 10 hours later. Kaitlin then quit her job to move to with Allan to Atlanta where one of the best rehab facilities in the country is. He re-learned how to walk, talk, everything.
Bride Kaitlin: Despite the most daunting of odds (he had had a less than a 20 percent chance of survival), he worked harder than any human I have ever know to stand up at the altar for our wedding.
Photographer Caroline: And now? Allan volunteers full-time at that same rehab facility.
Bride Kaitlin: I know that we are just at the beginning, but I also know that we are living a miracle. We may be a little (or a lot) less lovely and naive than we were on that day we met as college freshmen, but we are more in love, wiser and braver than we have ever been. Even after all this time and all the trials, our 18-year-old selves would still choose the other. Every time. For the rest of our days. The end.
Images by Caroline Ro