While attending Belmont University, Mary Love and Ben became friends over Scrabble and swing dancing — can someone say soulmates?! After graduation, they went on their final first date (third time’s the charm!) and so began a life of adventuring together. Mary Love and Ben were married in October of 2012 in Franklin, TN, and have lived in Nashville ever since. The precious pair loves hiking, traveling, and cooking together, as well as sharing a workspace in their home, where Ben writes and Mary Love is a floral designer. They came to love our commitment to supporting strong marriages when Mary Love was a vendor at the second Nashville NotWedding. Now they’re back in a major way, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Let me set the scene: we got married in a tiny Cumberland Presbyterian church in downtown Franklin, TN. The church had seats for 215 people, and we ended up having almost 300 people show up! It was overflowing with people who love us and support our marriage. Now, as you might guess, people in Nashville can sing. My absolute favorite moment from our wedding day was when the whole congregation sang my favorite hymn, It Is Well, a-cappella. The whole church, filled to the brim with amazing people, resounded with glorious four part harmony. To this day I still get comments about how heavenly and beautiful that moment was.
One of the biggest blessings in our marriage is that we are both successfully self-employed. What makes it even better is that we’re both passionate about what we do! It is so special that we both get to work from home and create our own schedules. We get to eat almost every meal together! Being self-employed gives us the freedom to be intentional about our time and to make room in our lives for adventuring and traveling together. We both feel the wanderlust tug, and being our own bosses allows us to plan our work schedules so that we can spend lots of time exploring the world.
Before we were engaged, we could both take Thursdays off of work. We called these, “Adventure Thurs-dates,” and we made the most of each and every one, driving all over Middle Tennessee to visit small sleepy towns and hike waterfalls tucked way on private land, with nothing but some GPS coordinates and a few less-than-confident directions to guide us. On one of these last Thursdays, beneath the Natural Bridge in Sewanee, I asked Mary Love to “be a Richardson.” She said yes. We enjoyed a long picnic, hiked the aptly-named Bridal Veil Falls, and enjoyed the happiest ride I’ve known back to Nashville.
Mary Love is the most intentional person I know. I love how she so clearly sees what she wants to change about herself, her circumstances, or our lifestyle, and then follows through with making those changes. Her intentionality has inspired me to become more open to possibilities — to think creatively. With her, life is never stagnant, but purposeful.