Hi there!  I'm Caiti and I am a wedding & portrait photographer living in Prince George, Virginia.  I am a music loving, doughtnut eating, coffee drinking, mama of 2.  This is the place where you can come to see my latest work with my beautiful clients and learn more about me, my husband, and our sweet babies.  Take a look around and enjoy! 

explore

welcome to the

blog

Weddings

Portraits

Engagements

personal

Personal, Photography, Portraits

February 14, 2019

Our Love Story | Happy Valentine’s Day

Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George PhotographerThis right here is the very first photo we took together, as a couple (10 years ago).  It was a big deal.  And yet, we were a little nervous for it to go on Facebook.  We had spent years…I’m talking YEEEEEAAARRRRSSSSSS being “just friends”.  I felt like we probably had to say the phrase “no, we are just friends” roughly 374 times in our youth (the fact that I just said “our youth” makes me feel old).  But this photo was just the start.  Little did Anthony know, I would make him take countless more photos with me!

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to tell the story of us.  How Anthony & I came to be a couple.  If you are going off of the amount of time that we actually dated, this would be a very short story.  But, if we are going from when we met, this story is 30 years old.  I promise I won’t make it too long though.  Some of these photos are pretty hysterical though so have fun with that.
Anthony and I met when we were babies….like, newborn babies.  We were in nursery together at church for years, sitting at those tiny tables eating the butter cookies that you put on your finger, you remember those?  Our families were friends before we were born so we quickly became friends as well. There are photos of us together at church, at birthday parties, even eating ice cream at a 4th of July party in a hammock – but I can’t lay my hands on them right now so you can just use your imagination.  We were cute!

Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

A few years went by where we didn’t really see each other, but something very important brought us together around age 11.  My sister married Anthony’s first cousin.  That’s right!  My sister, Jenny, started dating Anthony’s cousin, Steven, when they were super young (14, I think).  They would babysit the two of us and let us tag along places with them.  They were getting MARRIED and the two of us were in the wedding party.  We even had to walk down the aisle together.  Foreshadowing….

We lost touch again for awhile.  We randomly saw each other but would just say hi and go about our business.  It wasn’t until our sophomore year of high school that things really began.  I remember the exact moment that I walked into the youth ministry room at my church and saw this boy standing on the stage playing guitar.  I was one of the singers in the youth band and I had shown up to practice to find no other than Anthony Garter standing there.  He saw me and we both just stood there like “don’t I know you?”  He wasn’t a little kid with a bowl cut anymore!

It was as if we became best friends in an instant.  I don’t even remember how it all happened so fast but suddenly we were together all the time!  We became a part of the same friend group & we were in the youth praise band together so we were together multiple times a week.  We made many trips to the tasty hut for milkshakes and rode four-wheelers around his mom’s yard.  Being a couple never crossed our minds, or so we said.  Years later though, when I was cleaning out my room before getting married, I found my stack of journals from high school and…I am dead serious…I wrote in there, “I will marry Anthony Garter one day”.  Why?  I have no clue!  Maybe I just knew it would happen eventually, even though neither of us were at that point.  We were so close, we had so many of the same interests, and we always had fun together.  It made sense!!  We would go above and beyond for each other whenever the other needed anything, yet we still didn’t see it.  It just never happened back then.

Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

We stayed close but didn’t see each other as often once college started.  I was away at school but hung out with him & our other friends when I could on the weekends I was home or we would text each other randomly.  We were living two totally different lives though.  I did take him with me when I bought my first Taylor acoustic guitar and we made our random Krispy Kreme runs (bonding over donuts…some things don’t change).  It wasn’t until my junior year of college that things started to change.  We were still just friends but had started talking more frequently.  One day, my best friend Alyssa finally said to me, “you know you are meant to be with Anthony, right?”  I looked at her like she was crazy and then I said “you’re right.”  So now what?!
That same week, Anthony texted me while I was in physics class.  This wasn’t anything new, we talked often, but he seemed kind of flirty.  I texted Alyssa about what he said and she agreed with me, so I got a little flirty back.  You know how strange it is to all the sudden get flirty with the guy who has been your best friend for so long?  It was a little weird at first.

Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

It only took a couple of days before we knew things had changed between us.  This was right when Christmas break was starting.  Anthony came to my house in his big pickup truck and told me he wanted to talk to me.  He told me we were going to date and he was going to marry me.  He KNEW he was supposed to marry me.  I knew too, of course, but I didn’t know he felt that way, too!  We were only 20 years old!  Just little babes!  So you know what he did?  He went & asked my parents (without me knowing) if he could date me.  And they said “it took you long enough”!  {crying!}

So it began…
December of 2008: We started dating.
December 31, 2008: He told me he loved me.
March 14, 2009: He asked me to be his wife.
January 2, 2010: We got married!

It was a whirlwind, people!!!  I think everyone’s heads were spinning.  We walked into a dinner with all of our friends from church, together, as a couple, and their reactions were more of a “thank goodness, finally”!  Which made it all pretty easy.  The dating process was quick, fast, and in a hurry because…we didn’t need to get to know each other!  We already knew each other better than most people!  Anthony said “I don’t need to find out your favorite color because it’s green.”  Sounds silly, but it was so funny at the time and it was his way of saying, “we already know each other!”Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

These four photos were from the dating days.
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

I couldn’t wait to marry him.  He had always been my person and always will be.  This guy is always so caring, selfless, and patient with me.  I have never seen a guy be the way he is in a relationship.  He is always courting me.  He is always making me feel loved, special, and beautiful, even when I think I’m the complete opposite.  He has never told me one of my dreams is silly or unreachable…he dreams with me.  Anthony is forever sweeping me off my feet.  If you are close to us, then you know it’s true.  You have seen how much he takes care of me and I don’t deserve it.

Anthony is the best example for our kids.  I know that our daughter is learning exactly what type of man she needs.  Our son is learning what type of man he needs to be, and he is definitely learning from the best.

We have only been together for 10 years (married for 9) and we have grown and changed so much!  Our marriage just gets stronger and we completely credit that to our love for Jesus.  We know for certain that our marriage wouldn’t last without him.  We have faced a miscarriage, loss of loved ones, financial struggles, multiple moves, and plenty of every day issues but we love Christ and love each other, so we make it through stronger!

There is no one else in the world I would want to love, do life with, parent with, laugh until I cry with, or wake up next to…than Anthony.

Happy Valentine’s Day, love!

{keep scrolling for more sappy photos of us}

Then we got married and got pregnant.  A pregnant s’more and her camper for Halloween. haha
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer
We are living our best life! 
Caiti Garter Photography, Love Story, Valentine's Day Blog, Blogger, Our Love Story, Lifelong love, Hallmark Love Story, Prince George Virginia, Prince George Photographer

XOXO

Caiti

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *