I met Lindsay and Mitch through another lovely Peoria wedding couple of mine.
Lindsay contacted me via email. I knew immediately that I wanted to work with her because her fabulous sense of humor was so clear in every bit of correspondence we shared.
We met at a modest little restaurant in Peoria. I remember Lindsay and Mitch shared a mint chocolate chip brownie as we discussed the details of their big day. The wedding would be held at the stunning East Port Marina.
Soon after, the engagement session day arrived. In brilliant Lindsay fashion, she suggested we take them down at the marina. After all, that’s where the wedding would be held and this would give me an opportunity to see the venue. In addition, it would serve as a gorgeous backdrop for their engagement pictures…and it did!
Other than the meeting when we signed the contract, I didn’t really know them very well and since most people aren’t used to being in front of the camera, I tend to ask a couple of questions as I fire off the first of a series of frames.
The purpose is to get to know them, but more important, it helps them to relax.
I usually ask things like: “What do you do for work?” “When did you two meet?” “What sort of things/activities do the two of you enjoy doing together?” Finally, I ask, “So, how did you meet each other?”
As I asked this, I had my face firmly planted behind the camera as I clicked away.
That’s when Lindsay said in a cheerful voice, “We met on eHarmony.”
I quickly pulled the camera down and replied, “Really??”
She said, “Yes. Mitch and I were both new to the area so we didn’t really know anyone here and we didn’t want to rely on meeting someone in a bar.”
Right then and there, they confirmed what I’ve always thought about professional internet meeting/dating website/companies.
Online dating services have the ability to connect adults with other adults who have similar interests, backgrounds, or values. What a great venue to get to know someone BEFORE you begin a relationship rather than getting involved with someone and eventually finding out that you were never compatible all along.
Mitch and Lindsay are indicative of many couples who choose this route in order to meet other single professionals. Mitch is an electrical engineer and works for a prominent engineering firm and Lindsay is an OB nurse.
When they told me how they met, there was no tone of embarrassment nor should there have been. However, there often is when it comes to online dating services.
From the moment I heard about internet dating and the methods used by professional services, I firmly believed that this was a pioneering idea worthy of sincere acclaim…especially during a time when divorce was so prominent.
From the eHarmony website: “In 1997, after 35 years practicing as a clinical psychologist and counseling thousands of married couples, Dr. Neil Clark Warren had come to believe that there was a better way to find love than leaving it up to chance. He knew from his experience in clinical work that although some American marriages were ending in divorce, many others were deeply satisfying unions of two fulfilled individuals. He observed that, in many cases, the marriages that endured were composed of compatible people, while marriages that deteriorated often did so because the differences between the individuals became harder to resolve over time. What if he could define the traits most likely to lead to relationship success? Could certain characteristics predict compatibility and lead to more satisfying relationships?”
Indeed there could! Of course, there are other resources that offer services similar to eHarmony. I just chose to highlight this particular service as it was the method by which my clients were introduced.
I’m happy to say that the reputation of online dating services has come a VERY long way in a relatively short about of time. It takes time to change the perception that a culture has of something as important as dating, relationships, and especially marriage.
My hunch is that people are starting come around and respect the professional organizations that use experience, science, and continued rigorous testing to help foster long lasting, committed relationships.
If you made it this far in my blog post, I want to reward you with 2 things: 1. These images from Mitch and Lindsay’s STUNNING East Port Marina wedding in Peoria, Illinois and this HYSTERICAL SNL spoof on internet dating. The fact that a major television network airs a skit like this says a lot.
It’s clear that professional internet dating services are here to stay and in the words of Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing.”
To my lovely wedding couple, Mitch and Lindsay, thank you for SO SO SO much, but most of all, thank you for being the fabulous clients that you are. I wish you both many many happy years together.