It’s fortunate they both had theater training – because for a long time, they had to feign less interest in each other than was true.
A full year passed, in fact, before they came clean to each other about the feelings they formed after meeting through their jobs with Christian Youth Theater (CYT). And no one tells that tale better than the two of them, so keep reading for their own accounts of their love story!
Jana and Andrew: You were so sweet and natural together during this session, and it’s obvious how perfectly matched you are. After capturing you together, I’m even more excited to document your wedding day in July — which I can already envision being so full of joy!
I met Andrew at the 2016 CYT Gala. I thought he was charming, funny and incredibly handsome. But – at the risk of making this less romantic – I thought we’d make great friends. Whomp whomp. I was dating someone else at the time, and Andrew was obviously way out of my league anyway.
Throughout the following year, I had the honor of getting to know what a wonderful man he really is. In fact, I really had no idea men like him existed. To put it simply, he’s sensitive, passionate and radiates kindness and joy unlike anything I’d seen before. He was constantly leaving events and hangouts early to take care of his father. He loved Jesus. He prayed for me. I remember thinking to myself, “Who is this guy?! What’s the catch?”
A few months went by, and I was – wait for it – SINGLE. Apparently Andrew had liked me this whole time. WHO KNEW? NOT ME. … OK, I maybe knew a little near the end. Back off, OK?
He was patient as ever and waited for me. And for that, I am so grateful. Long story longer, we spent more time together, I fell head over heels and finally – he asked me on a date. And, well … here we are!
So I actually heard about Jana a year before we met. My mom calls me while I am living in L.A.:
“Andrew! I just interviewed this amazing woman. She just moved here from Iowa. She’s absolutely beautiful, loves Jesus, loves children, loves theater, is witty … but she has a boyfriend.”
A year goes by. I move back to Kansas City. I show up to the 2016 CYT Gala, and that’s when I see her. My mom was not lying. Jana was the most beautiful woman in all creation, let alone the room. Her laugh was infectious and is something I adore to this day. Aaaaaand she had a boyfriend still …
I tried my best to hide my feelings for her, despite everyone else in our circle knowing. I found myself downloading tracks by Paramore and Weird Al so we could talk about them. Butterflies would soar within me whenever she would turn to say something to me (That hasn’t changed). I would catch myself daydreaming what it would be like to hold her hand, to hold her in my arms. However, I remember thinking even if she were single, would she go for me?
Then came that fateful day I learned she was no longer attached to anyone (the same day I met her father). After many late nights talking about life and dreams, watching old movies like “Roman Holiday” and chowing down on Sarpino’s pizza, I gathered up the courage to write a letter (that she wasn’t supposed to open until later) detailing how I might have sort of had feelings for her and I sort of maybe wanted to take her out on a date. You know, real Bogart stuff.
I am eternally blessed and thankful she said yes. Eternally blessed and thankful.