Maybe it’s true that it’s the middle of stories that count the most, but we also love knowing about how stories started and set the stage for the beauty to come. Here, local couple Maddie and Danny Bitter share the story of how their love began, as well as the wisdom they have learned as they start their married lives together. May their story encourage you to continue on in your chosen path in life as we live as witnesses to love.
Hometowns: Danny is from St. Louis, and Maddie is from Rutherford, Tennessee. The two attended Southeast Missouri State University and now make their home in Winter Haven, Florida.
How he proposed: After a week of talking and hanging out with Maddie, I called my dad and told him, “I found my future wife.” He initially laughed it off and told me that age-old saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” I was able to wait about a year and half before I couldn’t wait any longer to ask this incredible woman to be my wife.
In the summer of 2018 when her family invited me on their beach vacation to South Carolina with them, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to plan my proposal. Using our hobby of geocaching, I built a proposal box to hide in the sand while we were on the beach taking family pictures.
While her family guarded the box with their lives, Maddie and I began to “hunt” for the geocache that I “pulled up on my phone.” The imaginary coordinates brought us to a spot near the water where she dug up the box. In the proposal box, I put a timeline of our relationship represented by pictures together. After reminiscing about the amazing year and half together, I was able to finally ask my best friend to spend the rest of our lives together. She luckily said yes!
About marriage: Personally, the biggest thing I have learned while being married to Danny is the importance of communication. Leading up to our wedding, people kept telling us how hard marriage is. And though we are still new to the whole deal, I can’t help but think they’re wrong. Being married is an absolute joy, and I credit a lot of that to how well we communicate. As simplistic as it sounds, we talk. Whether it is good or bad, he’s the person I go to with everything.
Even before we were married, we would do couple’s devotions with each other. Not only did this improve our relationship with Christ, but it made us talk about things young couples normally don’t tackle right off the bat. For us, that communication can be anything, but a huge part of it is praying with one another.
To show the importance of this, we even included a group prayer at our wedding. We asked three couples, all in different stages of their marriage, to pray over us during the ceremony. This included a couple who had been married just over a year, a couple who had been married about 25 years and a couple who had been married over 50 years. It was incredibly moving, and I cherish the memory of it every day.
Photography: Kaitie Goodson of K. M. Goodson Photography
“I’m in it for the memories, tangible things my client can look back on and remember exactly what they were feeling in that moment. It’s about capturing the joy and love for everyone who was there to remember and for those who weren’t able to attend so they are able to feel those emotions, too.”