There’s no better way to open up the tale of Daniel and Carissa than with their beginning, as told by the groom himself:
“It was the summer of 2007 and down in Olympia, Washington, the paths of two very different human beings were set on a collision course at Black Lake Bible Camp. The initial meeting would be marked by awkward eye contact, attempts at flirting, and the mocking of dark blue running shorts that were ‘too short’. Regardless of the precise details, the earliest interactions can be characterized by these things; she was cute and travelled in a pack, where there was safety in numbers. He was a gangly rogue, who resented the herd mentality. She noticed his mischievous smile and misplaced self-confidence. He noticed her face. The week ended, and he headed back to his home to a tree farm outside of Salem, Oregon, and she rode a bus back to Maple Valley, Washington.”
For the next three years, the only time Daniel and Carissa would see each other was during the same stretch of summer days, when “camp romance would threaten to blossom once more.” It took the intervention of a youth pastor to finally push Daniel and Carissa on along their path. For the first time, Daniel and Carissa’s interactions extended beyond Black Lake.
The groom continues: “Over the next year, he would share a lot of thoughts, hopes, feelings, and dreams with her, and she would listen. She would give up on any sort of relationship and delete her Facebook without letting him know. He would use his contact with Kim Lubenow to get her phone number, under the pretense of hiring for camp. One carefully edited text later, in February of 2013, pursuit was ignited in earnest.
Through that spring, frequency of communication increased. When it became clear that he intended to work at Black Lake again that summer, plans were made to actually get together in person. And so they did. The first meeting became a second. And a second became a third. He met her family. She began visiting camp. He was her ‘ambiguous guy friend from camp’. She was his ‘honey on the horizon’. After much thinking, waiting, praying, wishing, they decided to start dating while she was visiting him in Spokane on September 15th of 2013. In the midst of a thunderstorm, they kissed for the first time. He was thunderstruck.”
It took Carissa a little while longer to know that Daniel was the one (9 months of dating to be exact), but she found that she could no longer keep her heart’s desire contained. With love already in the air, she told Daniel that she loved him and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him at a friend’s wedding.
The proposal was nothing short of an adventure. It began at their beloved bar, Ballard Loft, where they shared a strategically slow meal(Daniel had told the waitress to stall so that he could propose at sunset.) They then took to Discovery Park and strolled along the water. It didn’t take long for Carissa’s suspicion to heighten, as she noticed bushes bustling with two photographers. Daniel proceeded to pull out their “adventure card,” which they made early in their relationship that to play back and forth with each other to help the other do fun, life-giving things. He told Carissa, “ I have an adventure for us. It’s going to be different than any other adventure we have gone on before. It will take us out of Discovery Park, and it will be challenging, but the most rewarding thing we have ever done.” After pulling the ring out of his pocket and getting down on one knee, he asked “Will you marry me?”
Their Maple Valley wedding took place at The Olson Mansion, and Olivia Strohm was there to catch all of the joy and laughter on film. The couple’s nature-inspired decor was a nod to all of their outdoor dates, and they made sure that their siblings were there to share in their altar experience. Now that they’ve tied the knot, Carissa says,”The best part about being married is waking up to my best friend every morning and having a partner to walk through life with to encourage me, challenge me and to laugh with and at me.” Here’s to their best adventure yet.