On the COLDEST morning in the autumn 2015, I hiked McAfee Knob — just outside of Roanoke Virginia, with these 2 lovebirds & their sweet puppy, and captured one of my favorite engagement sessions EVER.
Here is their story, and what a special one it is, too!
Kendall & Jonathan met at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA, where they both attended school. The first time they actually ‘met’, was during their Sophomore year when they went to a Dave Matthew’s concert together – but with different dates! Though both of those relationships ended, they didn’t really “hit it off” until the week prior to their college graduation when they traveled down to Myrtle Beach with friends for Beach Week and ran into each other at a rooftop bar down there. They officially started dating in 2010, just after graduation. That summer, Jonathan made his way to Roanoke VA to meet Kendall’s family, and one afternoon, they decided to go for a hike on Catawba Mountain (part of the Appalachian Trail) — the same hike we took for their engagement photos, many years later! I love when my wedding couples incorporate special details like this into their sessions. It just makes everything so much more meaningful – and those are the best memories to capture!
After they graduated, life took them different direction for graduate school programs in separate states. Despite the distance, and for two long years, their relationship grew over monthly trips to see each other, and sooo many hours of video chatting. Finally, in the late summer of 2012, they moved back to the mountains of Virginia and were thrilled that the only distance between them was now the short drive from Blacksburg to Roanoke! A year later, they adopted the adorable dog you see in some of their engagement photos. Charlie was waiting at Angels of Assisi in Roanoke for his forever family to find him. He was the first dog the staff brought out to Kendall & Jonathan, and after they met him, it was clear they couldn’t leave without him. He has brought an incredible amount of joy into their lives, so it was important that he be part of the engagement session too (and isn’t he a stunning model?!)
Jonathan planned a lovely, very romantic proposal which took place in February of 2015. They had reserved a sweet cabin in Middleburg Va (one of Kendall’s favorite places) — and after dinner, they went back to their cabin and Jonathan gave Kendall a gorgeous wooden box with their favorite wine — Dreaming Tree “Crush” — inside. Their initials and date were beautifully engraved in the box, and Jonathan had tied the radiant engagement ring to the neck of the bottle. Neither one of them remember what Jonathan said during the proposal, they were just so overcome with joy and happiness! That weekend, Jonathan arranged another wonderfully thoughtful surprise for Kendall — by having BOTH sets of parents sitting at their table when they went to lunch the next day. Kendall was thrilled to be able to share the excitement and giddy feelings with both of their dear families so soon after she said YES!
Isn’t that precious? I was so happy that Kendall shared these details with me that I can share with all of YOU!
But back to their Engagement Session ———– After we hiked part of McAfee Knob and captured some really rad engagement shots, we hopped back in our cars and drove to her parents home where Kendall spent most of her life. They have a lovely property with huge trees and the cutest little wooden bridge over a small brook.. and the lighting was just gorgeous as the morning sun streamed through the fall leaves. Despite the frigid temps, both Kendall and Jonathan were troopers and had the most AMAZING smiles throughout the session. They are TOTALLY in love, and you can see it in every glance. I am so excited to photograph their wedding in May — I know it is going to be GORGEOUS!