Bridal Bliss: Courtney And Torrey Said “I Do” In A Stunning Fourth of July Fête
Samantha Clarke

There are plenty of sayings out there about love and how to go about obtaining it. Everyone’s heard like, “Love will find you when you stop looking,” and other phrases that they’ve rolled their eyes at, but there’s some truth in all of them. For bride Courtney of Milwaukee, the saying “Love will find you when you’re ready” is most fitting. When she first connected with Torrey through Tinder in 2014, she wanted a certain kind of relationship that he couldn’t offer due to his travels for work. Because of that, she ended up ignoring his advances and communication.

“At the time, Torrey was living in Oregon and I was living in Atlanta, not interested in dating long distance,” she tells ESSENCE. “Therefore I ‘ghosted’ Torrey and we never met in person.”

Thankfully, Torrey didn’t completely give up on her. After she went quiet on him, he slid in her DMs in 2018, four years later, and encountered a matured Courtney (her words) who allowed herself to take the time and chance to truly get to know him. When they ultimately met in person, there was no going back for either party.

“Shortly after we started talking, he had a long layover in the Atlanta airport and asked me to come grab a bite to eat with him. After four years of knowing each other through an online presence only, we finally met in person” she says. “By this point Torrey had moved to Milwaukee and I was still in Atlanta but more mature and open to dating long distance. After our airport date the rest is history!”

From there, despite being in different cities, the pair wouldn’t go long without seeing each other. In no time, Courtney realized that the man she almost passed up on was the one she was meant to be with.

“During my first visit to Milwaukee, Torrey asked a simple question: ‘What do you need from me to be comfortable starting a long distance relationship?’ That really stuck with me because his intentions were clear from the beginning. I didn’t have to wonder if he saw me as a fling or if he was ready for a serious girlfriend.  It removed all fear and anxiety I had about potentially getting my heart broken, and it allowed me to show up as a more confident and secure woman.”

They initially agreed to see each other at least once a month and eventually found themselves flying in between Milwaukee and Atlanta every three to four weeks, often times more frequently than that, for two years. Weekend visits became week-long trips, and they quarantined together for a short time in Torrey’s apartment last year. For him, that time made him realize Courtney was his person.

“Initially it was tough because we were working from home and trying to give each other space was nonexistent, but after some time it became my new normal. I really enjoyed it and it made our relationship stronger,” he says. “After almost a month Courtney went back to Atlanta and I found myself being lost without her. That’s when I knew that she was the one.”

The couple, whose journey began in such a unique way, would solidify their love by saying “I do” on July 4, 2021. They tied the knot at the famous Biltmore hotel in Atlanta in front of close friends and family on the same day that Courtney’s late grandparents had married many years prior. And while they certainly didn’t meet the way she and Torrey did, the couple plans to have the same kind of lasting love as they enter into married life.

See photos from this couple’s big day, learn more about their journey and find out about the unconventional and beautiful personal touches they included into the festivities to truly make the day one to remember.


Planner: Shatila Davis – All That Sparklez Event Planning

Designer: Andy Beach – Andy Beach & Co

Photographer: Samantha Clarke

Hair: Arineshia Miles – Blended & Co.

Makeup: AJ Torres – AllBridalGlam 

Dress: Winnie Couture

Creative Design (Invitations): Kimberly Davis – Bliss Creative 

Videographer: Corey Weaver – Picman704

DJ: DJ6Five 

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