Before my husband and I got married 6 years ago, I basically told him “Hey, I don’t believe in divorce okay? I’m in this ’til death do us part’. We can either work together and make this a happy ‘for the rest of our lives’ or we can make it miserable. I just want you to confirm we are in this together.”

Basically, what I meant was either we can work together as a team to make this marriage work for the long haul, or we can make things 10 times harder by making poor decisions that will cause us to push through situations of anger, hurt and trust issues for years to come.

I knew we wouldn’t like each other 24/7 and having been in a long relationship prior to meeting my husband, I knew the “goo goo eyed” love phase wasn’t permanent. Eventually we would have arguments, and eventually we would discover little ticks that work our nerves, although they never did before.

However, I think it makes a significant difference in the long run when you look at your marriage as a definite instead of something temporary. If you have the mindset “oh if he did this I would do this” and “if she did that then I’d leave”, then you aren’t thinking of your relationship as a true commitment. Til death do us part, is exactly what it says and it’s up to both of you to work through and make things function as one. It’s team work. It’s HARD work. But when you focus on each other and overcoming obstacles life throws at you together, you grow stronger together.

If you are planning your wedding, and more importantly working to build a solid foundation for your marriage, I highly suggest you both sit down and have a similar conversation to the one I had 7 years ago. Make sure you both agree that this is important and that you want to work together as a team from here on out!

I’m rooting for y’all!


We are so excited to start our new blog series titled,  “How We Met.” To be honest, most exciting part is getting to know more awesome Lake Area couples! We want to hear your stories. We are even hosting a giveaway now until Friday, June 19, 2015 where one lucky winner will win a couple portrait session from Tademy Design and Photography as well as having their How We Met story featured on our series launch post! If you would like to enter check out all the details here – all entries will be eligible for future How We Met features, so even if you don’t make the launch there is still a chance we will feature you in the near future!

Today, my husband Leroy and I are celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary! In honor of this special day, as well as our upcoming series, we wanted to share with you all our own How We Met story!

How We Met
Before I met Leroy I was in a very long relationship. It was a very unhealthy time for me. Through that time, I could feel the Lord pulling me to Him, but felt stuck where I was…unsure of how to let go of my “wants” and take care of my “needs.” Slowly over time, the Lord softened my heart until one day I was ready to let go of the past and move on with Him. At that point of my life I completely let go, broke down, and let God take control of my future. This was a very big scary step for me, but I trusted Him and I had realized that God would be a way better matchmaker than I was turning out to be for myself.  I didn’t care how long it took for me to meet him, because I knew God’s timing is perfect and I trusted that when He was ready for me to meet this special man, I would. Everything wasn’t butterflies and rainbows after that…it was still a rough time. But I soon found out that once I gave all my trust to Him my whole world changed for the better.

Leroy and I met in 2009 at McNeese State University through mutual friends. Leroy was a founding father of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at McNeese (which kept him very active on campus) and I was the Head Marketing Coordinator and Vice President of the Student Union Board on campus. Basically, I was helping plan all of the events that Leroy was busy attending with his fellow Pike brothers. The Student Union Board President and a few other coordinators also happen to be members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and being a “social butterfly” – it wasn’t long before Leroy was invading our office to visit his friends.


We ran into each other a few times on campus and one time at Sears where Leroy worked, but we never really made a significant attempt to talk to one another for quite a while. Then one day, I was on Facebook and saw Leroy tagged in something and realized his last name was Tademy. This stood out to me because when I was in high school my best friend recommended that I read a book titled “Cane River” which was based on the authors maternal family history from central Louisiana. The authors name? Lalita Tademy. Very quickly in my head I put two and two together and thought “Well if the book is based on the history of a family in Louisiana and I live in Louisiana and this guys last name is Tademy…maybe they are related?” So I sent Leroy a Facebook message saying something along the lines of “Do you have family in Colfax, Louisiana and you might think I’m crazy but are you related to the author of this book?” Since he was online he responded pretty quickly and said that his dad’s family was actually from Colfax and he is related to the author (though way down the line). At that point, I was pretty excited that I made the connection, but now I can look back and see that God was weaving our lives together long before we even met one another.


The Proposal
I can see bits and details of the whole story in my head and it seems like it would have taken up a lot more time than it actually did, but we started dating in May of 2009 and got engaged in September of that same year. It’s only fair to hear the story of our engagement from Leroy’s points of view, since I obviously was not a part of the planning of the proposal!


It all kind of happened fast. I remember sitting in my car on the phone with my cousin (not sure why I was on the phone with him at this time, but I was) and  some kind of way we started talking about how much I love Chelsea. He tells me, “Why don’t you ask her to marry you?” I had never really sat down and thought it all out, but immediately after the idea was verbalized I realized that was exactly what I wanted to do. I headed to Chelsea’s parents house and made a bee-lined for her dad. My palms were sweaty and I had a frog in my throat. I was trying to be as calm and collected as possible, but my thoughts were racing in my head. Eventually, the words in my head sounded smooth and cool, but when my mouth opened they all kind of squeaked out.

ME: “Dad how is your day going?”

MR. TOM: “Pretty good and yours?”

ME: “My day, ohhhhh its going great.”

MR. TOM: “Thats good to hear.”

ME: “Well, I wanted to ask you a question. As you know Chelsea and I have been spending lots of time together. She is a really nice girl and I really love her a lot. I wanted to ask you if it would be ok with you if I asked her to marry me?”

MR. TOM: “What?”

ME: “I would like to ask Chelsea to marry me, if thats ok with you?”

MR. TOM: “(Chuckles) Your a good kid and I can tell you really do love her. You have a good head on your shoulders. I think she will be a good wife for you.”

ME: “Ok I am going to ask her!”

MR. TOM: “Good Luck”

***I proceed to leave out of the house.***

MRS. SANDY: “Wait, what just happened?!?!?”

ME: “I am sorry I forgot to tell you, I am going to ask Chelsea to marry me. See you later!”

I went straight to the jewelry store to see one of my good friends at Marks and Morgan Jeweler and picked out Chelsea’s engagement ring. A princess cut diamond. It sounded really fancy and the name Leroy is french for “the king” (feel free to Google it if you like)…it only made sense that a king would marry a princess. After I got the ring I had to find a way to make sure the ring box wasn’t easily spotted before I was ready, so I went to The Great American Cookie Company and asked for an ICEE cup (I needed a common everyday item to hide the ring in.)

Chelsea was working at an event on campus that evening so that was my next stop. I asked her boss at the time if she could be dismissed temporarily for me to speak to her. He said it was fine. After being probed with tons of questions about why I wanted her to come outside, I brought Chelsea out to the quad on campus. I wasn’t prepared for all of the questions, so I made up some story about needing her to help me find my keys that I dropped on the way from the car. When we got to the middle of the quad I stopped and got down on one knee and asked, “Chelsea, will you marry me? She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said….”No way!”

I’m just kidding, she said “Yes!”

Lake Charles, LA Wedding Photography

We set the wedding date for Saturday, June 12, 2010 – the month after I graduated from college .  It was a beautiful day and an amazing moment as we started our life together as one.

One of the most wonderful blessings that I carry with me every single day from our How We Met story is how when I let go and trusted Him, the Lord brought me the most perfect man – one who loves the Lord first and foremost and with whom I grow closer to the Lord.  A lot of people say “It takes two to make a marriage work” but the truth is, it takes three. The Lord is the glue that hold your relationship together. He is the one that gets you both through the tough times (because there are tough times). As we celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary, we are so thankful for the many opportunities God has blessed us with to meet new people, develop new friendships, and grow and learn together.

We want to here your How We Met story! If you have a beautiful story of how you met your fiancé or spouse, please send that story in to us at with the following information:

– Bride name
– Groom name
– Your anniversary date (or upcoming wedding date)
– The date you met (or month and year)
– A detailed story (300-500 words) of how you met and fell in love. This can include: how long you have know each other and how and where you first met, special moments that you remember from that first meeting that you feel is special to your story (how you felt when you first met, was it a blind date, the first song you danced to, something funny/awkward they said or did, etc.), how long you were or will be engaged before the big day, how he proposed…think back to that time and write it all out! If you have been married for a while, tell us some things you have learned throughout these years of marriage, how many kids and grandkids you have and how that has strengthened your marriage. What can you share with newly married couples who visit our site? Chances are you will be all emotional and teary eyed as you write it out!

Yay! You are engaged! You have been awaiting this day for some length of time – whether you have been planning and dreaming about this since you were a little girl, or once you realized he was “the one.” More likely than not, this is your first go round and you aren’t too sure what to do first.


Here are five suggestions to get you started on your wedding planning journey:

1. Do some research.
Stop by a grocery store or bookstore, like Books-a-Million in Lake Charles, LA, and check out some wedding magazines. (You might even want to purchase one or two to take home and reference later.) We highly recommend Southern Weddings Magazine which can be found at Target in Lake Charles, LA or online.

What are you looking for exactly? Flip through the magazine and see what stands out to you the most. Do you really like a color scheme that you see being used for a wedding? Do you like the rustic country look or a modern and very sophisticated look? Are you drawn more to the lace wedding dresses or the princess dresses? Would you like an outdoor wedding or an indoor wedding? What time of year would you like to get married?

2. Compile your ideas in one central place.
Once you start getting an idea of what you would like your wedding to look like, start writing things down. Cut out photos from the magazines (okay we know the magazines are really pretty, you can totally make a copy of the pages and cut the copy out if you prefer) and compile them in a binder or folder. A great resource and place to keep all of your wedding ideas would be The Southern Weddings Planner (check out our review here!).

3. Pick a date.
Picking a date can be a big deal or just a detail depending on each individual couple. Some couples choose a specific date that is very special to them for their wedding, some choose a date during the time of year that they love most, and others just choose a date based on how long they will have to plan or around other important life events (ex. 6 months, 9 months, or a year from their engagement). Picking a date is actually a crucial first step as all the vendors you chat with will want to know what day you would like to book to make sure they are available for your wedding day!

4. Discuss your budget.
While you won’t always be able to plan your budget to the dollar at the very beginning of your wedding planning adventure, it’s a good idea to ballpark a budget that you would like to stick close to. The more research you do on vendors, the more precise your budget planning will get. A really great tip for budgeting that we used when we were planning our own wedding and absolutely swear by, is to each pick one thing that is most important to you about your wedding and allot a good bit of your budget for those two things. For me, the photography was the most important thing, because the photographs were the memories we would have and look back on for years and years to come after our wedding. For my husband the most important thing was planning a great honeymoon – he wanted to go somewhere fun, relax, and really have a vacation together. Once we decided on the two things that were most important to us, we focused the budget to make sure those things were paid for first and foremost and then if we had to cut back we did so in other areas of planning. Looking back this really helped us so much in not only our wedding planning, but also in the over-all experience we had with everything because we were able to enjoy the things that were most important to us.

5. Book a ceremony/reception venue.
Once you and your fiancé have selected a date for your wedding (or at least a general idea of when you would like to have it), go ahead and make a list of venues that you would like to have your ceremony and/or reception at.  Once you have at least three options for both the ceremony and the reception, or ceremony and reception together, check out their hours of operation and call to see if you can schedule a time to come and take a tour of the venue(s) they offer for weddings and discuss booking fees, etc.


There is plenty more wedding planning to do, but we hope this gives you a good starting place! Keep researching and feel free to register your wedding and get our exclusive Lake Area wedding Vendor List (to find some awesome local vendors for your wedding), plus tips and information about planning your wedding in the Lake Area!

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