Before the rose,
Let's revisit the journey up to this point. I didn't do any video production for this project, but if you could imagine with me a montage of these next images fading in and out with some cheesy, over the top, romantic music... that would be epic.
Let Love Take Flight
Liv got to go to Sweet Aviation and was swept off on in a romantic photoshoot. Even though they physically never took off, their chemistry showed us they were on Cloud 9. Even though they were complete strangers, it felt like I was photographing life-long partners. After, they were whisked away to a coffee shop date at Kanela Coffee, for a little privacy and conversation.
Love is War
Lynsey isn't into shotgunning weddings, but a Natty is another story! After their fun drink of choice, Combat Ops Entertainment was where their photoshoot also led to competitive and all around fun sides were really showcased through axe throwing and laser tag. Then it was tacos and another brew to further connect at the Hoppy Gnome. I'm not sure which was stronger the brew or their potential love connection?
For Richer or Poorer?
Bri let her personality shine radiantly on her luxurious date at Country Heritage Winery where they toured the facility and dined privately. Not to overshadow the other girls experiences, their final photoshoot was also a fun date challenge... $5, 5minutes, and the Dollar Tree gave us a fun way to highlight dating on a budget! Both settings left for the couple to both imagine what life could look like together realistically.
Second Chance Ceremony...
To make sure no one felt left out, I made sure every girl got a rose for participating. Yellow Roses are the symbol for friendship, so I chose to create a distinction between the girls Ben felt a budding friendship with and someone there was a spark of love with. During the Second Chance Ceremony, Ben handed out the first two yellow roses and asked two ladies if they would accept his friendship.. The third and final rose he asked a special lady if she would do the honors of giving him a second chance and a second date.
Who did you choose to receive the rose?
After a long day of dating and photoshoots, the ladies were ready to see who Ben wanted a second chance with, AND after 5 weeks of following along, I'm sure you all are as well... So YELLOW ROSE NUMBER ONE GOES TO....
Even though their adventurous date was fun and exciting, there was something about one of the other girls that had no competition winning Ben's undivided attention...
Another Look Back...
These dates were all so spectacular, and I couldn't choose just 1 favorite image from each of them, so here are a few more and a couple of never before seen outtakes from the events of the day....
If you haven't been surprised or shocked up to this point, then I did this entire project a disservice to the amount of emotion and tension that circulated through this entire day/process. With 3 incredibly amazing women, it was actually extremely hard for Ben to choose who he would wanted to ask for a second chance. We had a moment before the ceremony and I asked him who he was going to choose and I was SHOCKED and so very EXCITED! The funny thing is he thought he had given it away to all of us based on the amount of time he spent with this particular woman.
Before we get to her, see for yourself how surprised we all were at this SHOCKING FINALE...
Rose #2 goes to...
The 24 Hour Rose Went To...
From the beginning of their date, Liv committed to being 100% herself. She didn't hold back in her conversations with Ben. This even included her sharing the fact that she was a single mom to 3 precious kiddos as well as the details of some of that relationship. Opening up about what she wanted in her future from farmhouse living to pets and what her ideal family situation looks like. They are both extremely connected with their respective families and I think that's another reason Ben fell for Liv.
Even though she can come on strong, there is a special humility in Liv that shone through her character with Ben. Besides being unapologetically authentic, she also cared to learn about him. She wanted to know what his strengths were, and what his goals were in life. None of their conversations were forced or overly uncomfortable even though the topics were so deep. This was because they both love to laugh and are genuinely joyful people. They could do the most random things together and enjoy each other's company.
Ben had the option to extend the dates with all of the women. Liv was the first date, and I'm sure her concern was being forgotten by Ben. As the saying goes... "absence makes the heart grow fonder..." And that fondness has lead to several dates since!
So did love actually take flight?...
Anyone dating in this day and age knows that 5 weeks can change a lot of things... I've been keeping up with our adorable couple, and I'm happy to report things are seemingly going well. But don't just take my word for it...
Ben & Liv,
Thank you for taking this journey with me! For saying yes to a crazy wild ride and then yes to each other!
I wish you both joy like what you found in the beginning, as well as grace to take on the challenges of each day, extravagant dates as well as frugal fun when things are difficult. While you may not be in love with each other (yet, **fingers crossed**) I most importantly wish you patience. It's easy to fall for someone quickly, but gift yourselves the time to invest individually yourselves as well as each other for a season. Life is incredibly full and each person has a perspective that is unique their life experiences, so also gift yourselves the grace to find favor instead of fault when things don't always make sense... meaning choose to remember the reasons you first fell for that person over the reasons you could excuse them for being different as you learn more about them. Opposites Attract! Things we don't allow to divide us will always make you stronger! I'm rooting for you two to be Iron that sharpens Iron!
Would I do it again?...
What an awesome and fun experience to be able to put on this project! To pull off a mashup of three "stranger sessions" and recreate an inspired version of "The Bachelor" in 24 hours was no easy feat, but somehow we managed and I would totally do it again. Maybe doing it with a lucky lady and 3 eligible suitors? Who would like to see that done? You can nominate someone or yourself via my contact page.