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{Documenting Love}

Meet a few couples who worked with Love Notery to document their extraordinary love stories. 



Marika and Axel's wedding day
Rekindled Romance At The Oslo Train Station

There she was. A yellow platform beneath her and a digital sign noting the train’s next stop above, she twirled around with curiosity about the next few moments. A few railroad car lengths away, Axel spotted Marika’s flowing honey-blonde hair first, then her knitted dress and ballerina shoes. He had just flown into Oslo from London and promised to meet her at the station as she arrived by train. Before walking over to tap her on the shoulder, he halted for just one more glance without her knowing. After 13 years, Marika hadn’t changed a bit. She was still as stunning as how he recalled her from their days together at university in Manchester.


Visions flooded his mind about those times. They were no more than 21-years-old then. Both had joined the university’s Scandinavian society and ran in the same circle of friends. She was from Sweden and he hailed from Norway. They met in a near-campus pub one night in 1992 and they had immediate chemistry, but over their five years at university together, they only had a fling. If there was Facebook back then, their status would have been labeled “complicated” and upon graduation, their lives and careers pulled them in different directions.


London was the commerce mecca of Europe and Axel’s career demanded he be there. He eventually got married, but it didn’t last. When he was ready to open his heart again, Marika was the first person he thought of. He knew that she was the one who slipped away.


His flashback was interrupted by a woman’s voice.


“Hi…Axel!,” Marika said. She recognized him instantly. Although moments prior, she wasn’t sure what to expect since it had been so long since they last caught a glimpse of each other.


She couldn’t help but think how crazy, crazy romantic, this all seemed. Just a week earlier, she got a what would become life-changing phone call. The person on the other end seemed timid yet excited to speak with her. It was Axel, her friend from university, and he explained to her his mission to track her down.


Back then, there was no easy way to find someone. No email, no social media, no texting. Communication was still more or less done via phone or letter. Or word of mouth.


Axel expressed to his best friend, Carsten, his desire to reconnect with their mutual friend from university, Marika, but had no idea how he’d find her. Perplexed by the conundrum, both Axel and Carsten continued on with normal everyday life, which took Carsten to Gothenburg, Sweden a week later for a U2 concert. While trying to squeeze through the tight crowd, he thought he recognized someone in his periphery. He squinted to see more clearly. He couldn’t believe who was standing only meters away. It was Marika. They caught up from years of being out of touch and when their conversation neared the end, he asked for her phone number and immediately called Axel and said, “You’ll never believe who I ran into.”


Axel was timid during that initial phone call for good reason. He had no idea whatsoever what Marika’s life was like. He had so few answers but didn’t let that stop him from dialing her phone number. He learned that she had been married, but, like him, had recently gotten divorced. She had two children and was a working mom. At the end of the call, he asked if she’d be interested in meeting him for a first-date weekend in Oslo the following week.


It was the weekend of September 26, 2009, and Axel had planned a brilliant weekend full of great experiences and even better conversation. Both Axel and Marika explained that while they were together, it all seemed to click just like it had before.


That weekend began a whirlwind love affair – flying from Stockholm, Marika’s hometown, to London and back every weekend. By Christmas that same year, Marika was pregnant. Axel had always wanted children and couldn’t imagine a life without Marika in his close proximity any longer. He asked her, along with her two children, Ida and Hannes, to move in with him and embark on a new journey together in London.


Expecting trepidation, Marika spoke with her children about the idea of moving. Would they want to start over in London? To her surprise, however, both said yes enthusiastically. On Easter weekend of 2010, Marika and her two children moved all their belongings to Chelsea with Axel. Then came the birth of their first child together, Milla, in August of 2010. Their youngest daughter, Maya, was born in January of 2012.


After unbelievable life events that brought the two of them back together, Axel was ready to tie their lives together officially. In the Summer of 2015, he planned a romantic getaway to their vacation home in Marbella, Spain. While Axel was looking forward to proposing, Marika was planning something of her own. She had invited Carsten in for the weekend to surprise Axel. Axel was beyond surprised, but his proposal plan was compromised.


Back in London near the Thames River, with the engagement ring in his pocket, he found a secluded spot to get down on one knee and ask Marika to marry him. They wed in an intimate ceremony which gathered 40 of their closest friends and family on the coast of Spain on September 26, 2015, six years to the day after reuniting at the Oslo train station.


Documented by Kristen Rocco

Staci and Joe's love story
Clueless to Convinced
(an excerpt)

She confessed that she usually tells a little white lie when people ask her to name her favorite movie, but in reality, it would be something like… “Clueless,” he guessed. Stunned, she nodded her head favorably in disbelief that he knew exactly what she was thinking.


They had been talking for hours now at Dos Taquitos in Raleigh, North Carolina. Even the waitress commented that they made a cute couple. But this was only their first date. Several hours before, Staci put on her first date attire, a sun dress with parrots on it, and headed out to meet her date for the evening, a podiatrist in the Navy named Joe. 


They had officially met on several weeks prior, but Joe noticed Staci a full six months before they began talking. He "winked" at her in the Fall of 2013, but she ignored his initial gesture. He decided to give it another try that spring and this time, he caught Staci’s eye.


“He was very cute and looked fun,” she said. “He had goofy pictures and liked some of the same music I did, but there were red flags too. He was in the Navy, politically we weren’t on the same page and he lived in Fayetteville, a 45-minute drive from my home in Raleigh.”


Despite her uneasiness, they began conversing, first on Match through email and then on the phone. Admittedly, Staci isn’t a big phone talker, but to her surprise, three hours passed in no time and they had cemented a commitment for their first date....


Documented by Kristen Rocco






Kristen and Greg's wedding day

An Answered Prayer From Above

Julie McDonald gave a sigh of relief as she swiftly pulled open the door to Rose Bud, a popular restaurant nestled in the quaint Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta, on January 7, 2015. It was the coldest day of the year and temperatures

that evening plummeted well below zero from the blustery wind. She was glad to be inside, protected from the winter’s air, and hoped this date would be worth her time.


About a month and a half prior, she had sparked an online connection with Kenny Crawford, a Georgia native, who happened to be on just as Julie was looking to get back into the dating pool. She had set her profile to private so she could scope out the scene before anyone could contact her and that’s when she noticed Kenny’s profile. “We didn’t really have any commonalities in our profiles, but his smile got me,” Julie said.


Kenny remembers seeing Julie’s message to him for the very first time. “She was wearing a Saint’s football jersey in her profile picture,” Kenny said. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘She’s cute! What’s she doing being proactive?”


He came up with a witty response, one that Julie remembers well. He said, “How are we going to reconcile your being a Saints’ fan with my being a Falcons’ fan?”


Julie got a positive feeling from their text and phone conversations over the first few weeks. She reserved further judgment on
the status of their relationship though until they could meet in person. It took almost two months before they had their first date. They initially met online in November, but with a busy work schedule coupled with spending time over the holidays with their families, it wasn’t until early January when their schedules finally aligned.


Kenny was patiently waiting for Julie in the restaurant when she rushed in. She gave him a warm embrace, which pleasantly surprised him, and they ordered a round of drinks. An hour passed by in minutes and Julie suggested they order dinner. Internally, Kenny was excited to know that he had made it to round two. When he had asked Julie out, she agreed to drinks with him, but wouldn’t commit to dinner. The fact that she was ordering food could only mean that he clinched a second date.


Kenny was taken by Julie’s geniality from the moment she gave him a hug. To him, the hug symbolized that she could be trusted and that was something he didn’t do easily. They spent three hours that night getting to know one another and sharing many of their life experiences up to that point. Their connection felt natural and comfortable. Julie recalls their conversation that evening being interesting, deep, and personal. They parted ways both having a good feeling that their chance at love could very well be looking back at them.


Julie thought about Kenny more that night as she was getting ready for bed. She felt so good about the ease of their connection that she knew she wanted Kenny in her life, whether that was as her lover or otherwise. She remembers telling him during one of their first phone calls that she could see his heart, see him for who he was, and that she wanted him in her life no matter what happened. That small action meant the world to Kenny. It allowed him to put down his guard. He knew that this was a woman with whom he could be vulnerable.


The next three dates all carried the same ease as they discussed their deepest desires and unveiled their souls to each other. Julie had longed for a life partner, but though she desired someone to share her life with, she also wasn’t willing to compromise her expectations of love. On the day of her dad’s passing, she leaned over and whispered a request in his ear. She asked him to bring her someone just like him. Six months later, Kenny was upon her.


Prior to meeting Julie, Kenny had done significant self-reflection and he found the recipe for his best self. He was open to casually dating but was steadfast about not getting married.


Over nine months of dating, Kenny and Julie fell deeper and deeper in love. Both had enough prior experiences to know that the type of relationship they were building — one that was vulnerable, authentic, and trusting — was the lasting kind.


It was on their date to see a Led Zeppelin cover band when Kenny told Julie he was resigning his membership on Match. He turned to her with passion in his eyes and lovingly said, “We have a really good time together and we’ve got to protect this.” That phrase, “Protect us,” became their motto. “We look at our relationship as this thing that’s so precious and fragile that we have to do everything we can to protect it,” Julie said.


Little actions along the way further reinforced their commitment to each other. Two months in, Kenny asked Julie to come with him to Dallas for his best friend’s 50th birthday party. “I wanted her to understand who I am and what’s important to me,” Kenny said.


The trip was the defining point in their relationship. Julie, for the first time, understood what it meant to act selflessly in a relationship. “I was coming out of the bathroom and I saw Kenny videotaping Manny, and I smiled while thinking, ‘I’m so happy that he’s happy!”


All the while, bursting inside of her were those three special words she desperately wanted to say, but she had never been the first to say them, so she held back. That night, around two o’clock in the morning, Julie undoubtedly was having a bad dream when she screamed in her sleep. Kenny woke her up and assured her that she was ok.


“I had an overwhelming feeling and I just started bawling,” Julie recalled. “I eventually asked if I could turn the light on and then said to Kenny, ‘I don't want you to say anything after I say this, I just need you to let me talk.’” Kenny nodded in agreement, and Julie laid out her heart, “I love you.” Kenny kept his promise and on the plane ride home the next day, he reciprocated her feelings.


Despite his deep-seeded belief that he’d never get married again, meeting Julie changed everything for Kenny. “I visualized us as older people together,” Kenny shared. “When I see older couples now, I think of us.” He credits Julie with reigniting his desire to be in a committed relationship. “I respect her, I trust her, I love her family. She loves dogs as much as I do,” he expressed. “It just works.”


On October 14, 2015, while Julie slipped into the bathroom, Kenny quietly tip-toed to get the engagement ring he had hidden in his drawer. He had just gotten back from an annual trip with his friend Manny to an Alabama football game and he and Julie were taking some pillow time to reconnect as they do each day. He felt especially close to her because of the kindness she displayed when Manny called her to make sure the weekend was clear of plans for Kenny to meet him at the game. Julie had bought tickets for Jersey Boys at the Fox Theater that same weekend, but she responded gracefully and said it would be fine for Kenny to join him. She even booked a hotel room for the two of them. Kenny was so blown away by her kindness, he knew it was the perfect time to ask a very important question.


Julie sat back down on the bed and Kenny reached under the pillow, pulling out a square-shaped box as he said, “I don’t want this to change anything. We can be exactly how we are right now after this.” He held the ring out in front of her now, and proposed, “Julie, will you marry me?”


“Wait, what?” Julie replied. “I remember thinking that this couldn’t be real. He wouldn’t be doing this in bed. Then he said, ‘Julie look,’ and shows me the ring.”


“Are you going to answer?” Kenny asked.“Yes!” she finally said after the initial shock wore off.


As they prepared for their wedding day, Julie and Kenny met with their officiant to discuss the true meaning of the vows they were about to pledge to one another. What he said left an indelible impression on them: “It’s obvious you two love each other, but a marriage is not always downhill. Marriage is about the commitment you make to each other regardless of feeling.” They looked into each other’s eyes knowing in the depths of their souls that their commitment to one another could last many lifetimes.


Documented by Kristen Rocco

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