When Laura Arana-Castillo first met Victor Salinas-Furio, it wasn’t at a bar or through an app, but the old-fashioned way: they grew up together.
The couple met when they were just thirteen years old during a local festival in Valencia, Spain. They were out on the town and it was a late night hopping from one place to another with friends, when a mutual acquaintance introduced them to one another.
“She was captivatingly beautiful,” remembers Victor. “I fell in love with her smile the very first moment I met her.”
Though they were young, they became fast friends. As their late teen years encroached, they both were dating other people, but when they both broke up with their significant others at 17, they found themselves spending more and more time with one another. They began to realize that they were more than just friends—and Victor finally made a move.
He had just passed his motorbike driver’s test and gotten his license, so naturally the first thing he did was visit Laura to show off a bit. Without a plan in mind, he offered her a ride. On a whim, the pair ended up driving out to the beach. It was spring, and they were completely alone. Walking along the beach, they talked about “nothing and everything at the same time,” and shyly held hands. Laura recalls thinking he was incredibly handsome in that moment. It was there, out on the beach, that they had their first kiss.
“It wasn’t a planned date, everything was improvised,” they recall.
Eventually, Victor moved to Washington DC to pursue his degree in architecture. After dating long distance for a while, Laura eventually followed in 2016 and became a PR agent. They settled in Alexandria, which Laura has grown to adore. For their seven year anniversary, the couple created an anniversary shoot that captured all of their favorite aspects of their lives in the city.
“We wanted to capture our love in its simplest form,” says Laura, “we picked the most intimate memorable places we’d been, recalling the days and nights we’ve spent holding hands and getting intentionally lost in the cobblestone streets of Old Town Alexandria.”
The pair chose three spots—and three stylish outfits—to showcase their history. For their first scenario, they used bike and flowers, recalling their first date by motorbike. Next they headed out in casual looks for a bit of Ben & Jerry’s. Lastly, the couple pulled out their formal wear for a scene by the water and boats in the harbor of Old Town. The resulting shoot—all at once glamorous, intimate, and sweet—is meant to help them relive their days in the city for years to come.
Photography: Snowdrop Photography
First Dress: Fabulous Frocks Bridal | Evening Gown: Kendra McCullough | Florals: Spring Bouquet Flowers | Make Up Artist: Eszter Tary Makeup | Calligraphy: Alli
son Dee Calligraphy