May 17, 2018
It was the summer of 2012, and Justin’s voice teacher in Charleston encouraged him to attend a summer program at The Performing Arts Institute… in Pennsylvania. Kelly, living in Pennsylvania, applied for a scholarship to that same summer program… and won.
And so, they met in Pennsylvania while auditioning for West Side Story. That’s where it all began… Justin as Tony and Kelly as Maria. :) Through rehearsal upon rehearsal, they built a friendship that grew stronger as they found more and more commonality between them.
Justin likes to joke that “he chased Kelly until she got tired of running” and so, after the summer program was over, he came to Pennsylvania (Kelly’s home state) to audition at Sight & Sound Theatre. Ask him what originally drew him to pursue a permanent job in Pennsylvania and he’ll likely point to the girl standing by his side.
Years of friendship/dating passed, but a few months into Kelly’s first year studying in Boston was when they realized life wasn’t the same without each other and they’ve been surviving long distance since. Through breaks, summers together, birthdays, holidays, and openings of new shows – they travel the miles to make it work and support each other’s dreams.
One December evening *disguised as Kelly’s birthday celebrations* Justin got her to the theater where they’d played Tony & Maria so many years before. Thinking it was very sweet that Justin was taking her to the place where they fell in love for her birthday, Kelly was completely oblivious to what was *actually* in store. As they walked in, photos of them lined the theater and the song “Maria“ from West Side Story was softly playing throughout the building. He led her all the way up to the balcony, where a picture of them doing the balcony scene in 2012 was, and there, he got down on one knee and asked Kelly to be his wife!
Justin & Kelly!! I’m counting down with you until October 6th, 2019 (still love the fact that it’s your parents’ 30th anniversary, Kelly <3) but for now, enjoy a few of my faves from your engagement session! Xo