The number 7 carries strong Biblical significance. Beginning with its relation to creation week in Genesis 1, the number seven represents one of completeness and divine perfection, both physically and spiritually. Eric and Shameka wed 7 years ago on May 5, 2009 and in lieu of a having a wedding, the two opted to purchase a home. But in divine reference, the couple selected their seventh year as the one in which they would renew their vows and also celebrate their love by having a formal ceremony.
"Eric initially wanted a beach wedding, but we are a military family and move a lot, so the challenge in that is getting all of our family there, so we decided on a city not too far from everyone. I knew Eric wanted a beach wedding so I surprised him with a beach themed session to celebrate our love before the wedding so we could have some beautiful pictures" shares Shameka.
Their striking and romantic beachfront photos were captured by photographer, Eric West of West Imagery, scroll on for more from this couple, along with tidbits the pair are sharing in regards to relationships and how they've managed to keep their love alive.
The Couple: Shameka & Eric Garner
Occupations: Bride: Mental Health Therapist | Groom: Military Officer
Wedding date: 9/04/2016
Wedding location: Atlanta, GA
Engagement shoot location: Table Rock in Laguna Beach, CA
What are your favorite things to do as a couple?
We love to watch movies, go to comedy shows and concerts, eat, and travel.
Who’s the cook in the house?
Eric is the best cook, but I am a close second! (She laughs)
What would you say are the most important elements for a successful marriage? Open communication, respect, trust, and loyalty.
Eric, what do you love most about Shameka?
I love Shameka’s heart. She is very kind and patient. She would give her last to help someone else in need. She gives me balance and is very supportive.
Shameka, what do you love most about Eric?
I love Eric’s sense of humor, his humility, and determination. He manages to uphold his responsibilities as a husband, father, graduate student, and employee with ease. He makes me ‘gut’ laugh daily.
Share more with us about the anniversary shoot! What inspired it?
Eric is a Captain in the Army and we live in California. Also, he really wanted to get married on the beach. We wanted to capture our love through art, so the beach was an amazing spot with the sunset, water, and beautiful scenery.
How has wedding planning been so far?
Good, but a bit stressful as we are planning a wedding from a different state. We are both very excited!
Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day!
I am looking forward to celebrating our union with our friends and families. We have a wedding weekend planned, so it's going to be amazing!!
What advice can you share to newlyweds?
When you buy a new car, you park it it away from others so it won’t get a scratch. You keep it clean. You value it, so you want to protect it. Your marriage should mean even more than that car. Value it so much so that you don’t want to even risk the possibility of it being harmed. Protect it at all costs. Treat it like a friendship that you don’t want to lose. Be honest and open, and forsake all others. Share the home responsibilities if both of you work to avoid burnout. Last but not least, learn to identify the needs of your mate. Be their comfort. Provide safety, security, and unconditional love.
Photography: Eric West, West Imagery