Our Story

Howdy, we’re The Westerns, and this is our long-winded tumbleweed of a story.


Spring 2007

He saw her walk into the campus chapel for service, but couldn't say a word.
She had been touring throughout the year with The West Virginians (the music ensemble for the college they were attending) with his older sister. While staying together in a host home one evening, his sister told her:

“You should just marry my little brother. You guys would be great together..”

July 7, 2007

He went to his sister's wedding by himself.

But then, he noticed she had been invited too.

One of his friends asked if she would dance with him.

Her response?

“Sure, if he comes over here and asked me himself.” 

..But he never did.


July 8, 2007

The day after his sister's wedding, she added him as a friend on Facebook.

This was when AOL Instant Messenger was big, so she messaged him to see if his family had heard from the newlyweds. He declined, but they continued to talk the rest of summer.

..Until they were both on campus.

Fall 2007

Too nervous to just go talk to one another, they agreed to meet at a concert happening on campus.

At least they could attend with friends, and then if they needed out of the situation, they could always have an "emergency" that needed handled.

Instead, when the concert ended, they all went to the dorm to watch a movie.

..The two of them watched another movie when their friends were (conveniently) tired..


August 28, 2007

Two weeks went by and they only met a few times.

But finally, they began dating. It continued all through college until she graduated and moved to Nashville.

Suddenly, they were 10 hours apart.

Skype and AIM were once again their lifeline.

June 25, 2010

He had planned a “graduation party” for both of them at his house.

He had also planned to go hiking, taking pictures all the way up to the top of the trail, where they'd review the images, and the last photo would say

“Turn Around”

She'd turn, and he'd be there on one knee, ready to ask for her hand.

This, however, was not how it happened.



still June 25, 2010

She didn't understand why they had to go hiking AFTER her parents had arrived to the party, so she refused to go. (re: her mom had the ring, duh. 🤦🏼‍♀️)

He had to find another way: Hm, what about a graduation gift?

It wouldn't be a gift for her, but a gift for HIM.

Her graduation gift? A beaded bracelet from his little sister. :)

yep, still June 25, 2010

He opened the large box, and found another box, and then another box, each one containing another smaller box.. until he pulled out a letter.

He turned and read the letter to her, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him. 

She said yes!

"You’re not only the love of my life but also my best friend. I hope to be the man that can make your dreams come true and I hope to be the man in your future to create moments you’ve never dreamed of."

Our Wedding Limo.jpg

March 12, 2011

She returned to Nashville with a ring on her finger where she began planning their special day seven hours from home. 

And, alas, they were married on a gorgeous day in March and enjoyed each and every moment. 


Christmas 2011

He found out she had enjoyed photography since she was a kid.

She had won an award in school for her landscape photography, but never dreamed it would be like this. It is so much more.

So he gave her the first DSLR camera in her life: a Canon Rebel T3.



June 1, 2012

And so, Carissa Marie Photography was born!

She had her first wedding client just a few weeks later, and she learned anything and everything she could about photography!

Casey began learning with her when he saw how much fun she was having. As the business grew, he began to manage clients and started shooting too. He then realized he also had a love for it.

That's when the business no longer needed named after just one of us..

January 2017

Fast forward five years -- we've changed the business name! (Find out why HERE)

We are The Westerns.

We love looking back but we also love looking at right now, and where we're going.

Each year, we grow closer to Jesus and closer to each other. We dearly love each of our clients and love helping capture their “Day One” as husband and wife!

And so, that is us. We're not perfect. But we ARE in love.

We hope you are too, and we hope you stay that way.


the westerns crest