Alexandra Darch was working checkout and Dylan Smith was beginning his first day as a stock clerk when they first met at a Publix store in Lakeland, Fla. Two years later, the couple are planning their marriage.
To celebrate the occasion, they hired a local photographer, Jennifer Goodlet, to shoot some portraits in a familiar location.
The shoot winding up at a grocery store was a kind of a chance event itself. The couple had planned for a shoot at a local nature preserve, but a torrential downpour at the scheduled hour scuttled the plans. While waiting the storm out at a restaurant, Goodlet recalls thinking, “What was I going to do to save this?” she recounted in a blog post. “It was raining too much for my normal backup areas. Then it dawned on me. Publix!”
As it turned out, Goodlet had once worked there, too.
The couple got permission from the store for the shoot, which took place shortly before the location closed for the evening.
“Whenever she first mentioned it, I was very skeptical,” Smith told the Tampa Bay Times, one of several local and national outlets to have written about the event. “You’ve got to be kidding me. There’s no way we can take a picture inside of a grocery store and it be romantic or sweet. But once I talked to Alex about it and what it would represent and then seeing the photos and how it brought us back to when we were first together and first working together, it kind of shows who we are and brings us back to how we first met.”
The couple plans to walk down the aisle—not the potato chip one—on Jan. 25, 2020.
“Our Publix family is now more than 202,000 associates strong, so we’ve certainly had our share of associates who found love while working with us,” Brain West, a spokesman for the Lakeland-based chain, told WGB. “We wish them all the best in this next chapter in their lives.”