Around the office, Ryan was the “go to” guy. Whenever Whitney or her coworkers needed help with something, they knew they could count on the sweet, funny, preppy guy named Ryan down the hall. He never complained and was always willing to help out in whatever way he could, but that was the extent of their interaction. See, Whitney had formed a first impression of Ryan, and in her eyes, Ryan was quiet, nice, and preppy. Far too preppy for her taste. Whitney wasn’t into the going out scene so much and she was much more country than preppy. What could they possibly have in common anyway?
It wasn’t until Whitney and Ryan had been working together for years that Whitney decided to initiate a real conversation with Ryan. It was the morning after a Jimmy Buffet concert when Whitney walked by the office kitchen and smelled what she calls a “good time.” Evidently, Ryan had taken Jimmy Buffet up on his invitation to head to Margaritaville the night before and was exuding booze. In that moment, Whitney decided that Ryan must be more like her than she expected, so she struck up a conversation. They were both in relationships with other people at the time, so that was as far as it went…until a few months later.
One summer evening, after their other relationships had ended, they headed out one night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Over a few very expensive beers, Whitney and Ryan began getting to know each other. Really know each other. And Ryan tossed all of Whitney’s first impressions out the window. Ryan wasn’t exactly the preppy, quiet guy she had taken him for, but instead was her perfect “southern, country music-lovin’, beer drinkin’ fella.” The party eventually moved to Whitney’s house where she and Ryan planted themselves on her front porch accompanied by a radio and some Natural Light. A week later after leaving work, Whitney and Ryan realized there was something more to this relationship they had formed. They stood outside of their office, next to Whitney’s car and talked until the sprinklers came on.
Over time, Whitney and Ryan spent time together, making memories and falling more and more in love. They drove the country roads in Ryan’s jeep with the top off, they took picnics to the beach, and they snuggled on the couch on lazy Saturdays, both enjoying the comfort and warmth of being at home together. Sadly though, during the time they were dating, Ryan was planning to relocate to Georgia. The night before he left, they sat along the intercostal waterway in Virginia Beach, and they savored the moment. Every. Single. One.
Now, friends, if you know where this is headed, you gotta know that this separation did not last long. After weeks of being apart and daily, 4-hour phone calls, Ryan was headed back to Virginia. And once he returned, Whitney had no intention of ever letting him go again. Ryan, being the sneaky “fella” that he is dropped hints to Whitney that he’d like to return to that spot on the intercoastal waterway in Virginia Beach. Whitney, wanting to make her guy happy, planned for them to take a trip to that special spot on one warm weekend this past December. There that day, they shared a day as magical as the one before. And as the sun began to set behind the blue water, Ryan asked if he could take a photo of Whitney on the dock. Whitney heard the click of a camera and upon turning around, saw Ryan down on one knee, ring in hand, asking for her heart. Her love. Her life. …But there was one…and only one…condition: They had to get married on a bye week.
After she screamed a resounding, “YES!” and wiped her tears of joy, Whitney moved forward with the next most important thing to do: tell her “mom and pops.” She called her mother, getting no response on her cell phone. Whitney’s patience wavered as she repeatedly called her mother, yelling at the unanswered phone, not understanding why her mother who always answers her calls would. NOT. ANSWER. THE. PHONE. Once home, Whitney dialed her number again. To her surprise, a phone rang from the other room. Not entirely understanding what was happening, Whitney headed to her bedroom where the phone was ringing. She entered the doorway as her mom and pops jumped from her closet. Let’s just say it was one big sob fest, my friends. A big, happy sob fest.
If you know Whitney, you know that she is all things sweet and southern. She uses words like “fella”, “hitched”, and “sweetie” without effort, and I gotta say…it’s pretty darn adorable. And so is her “fella” Ryan. For real. Ryan’s kindness and warmth are evident in everything he does. He loves Whitney with every ounce of his being, and she loves him back just as much. When I walked into Whitney’s parents’ home in Montpelier this past Saturday, I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome. I got hugs from everyone….Whit, Ryan, Mom, AND Pops! And when we left for the engagement session and I realized Whitney and Ryan were bringing the jeep, a Dewalt radio, and beer, I knew it was perfection in the making. And it was.
Check out Whitney and Ryan’s Virginia farm engagement.
Look at that ring! If Whit wasn’t convinced he was the one before the proposal, she should have been when she saw this! Nice work, Ryan.
The next two images were some of the very first I took. I like to do a few warm-up shots to help couples get comfortable in front of the camera. Usually, I don’t use them. Obviously, Whitney and Ryan did not need a warm-up.
I told them to “do hot” at one point. These two don’t have a problem with that directive. Not. At. All.
Hey, hotties… And don’t ever think that winter isn’t a perfect time for a session. I find this backdrop to be absolutely stunning!
Rocking it like pros.
What a cutie that guy is! We always make sure to do a more traditional pose for those that may prefer.
Whitney is beautiful inside and out, and she is an absolute joy to be around. And look at the way they look at each other. Love it. This one was by request for Whitney. It’s so fun when couples come with ideas! Thank you, Pinterest.
What an honor to be part of such intimate moments between couples. I really do have the best job ever.
Whitney’s family is fortunate enough to know someone who owns this land. Check this place out! How have I lived in Hanover County, Virginia for most of my life and NOT known such places existed. I do believe I shall return…
You may have noticed that this blog post has more images than usual. I would apologize, but I’m actually not sorry. How could I even begin to choose between these three images below?!?! They are all gorgeous and show a different side to Whitney. And they are all equally stunning.
Something I haven’t mentioned about Whitney and Ryan yet is their love for family. They are all very close, and Whitney requested that I photograph the locket she wears around her neck. In it is an image of her mother and father, and because she finds inspiration in their love, she wanted a way to showcase their love for each other that is still going strong.
Hello, beautiful. These are some of my favorite images. I’m not sure if it’s the look of absolute comfort in these two, or if it’s because the jeep is in the background making these just so “them”, or a combination of both. Regardless, I love everything about them. And you can’t even tell that we were all freezing, can you? Gah! Seriously.
Another fav. It’s like I wasn’t even there. I adore this ring shot! Another Whitney request. I love a girl who knows what she likes! Way to kill this shoot, Whitney and Ryan! I hope you are as in love with these images as I. Pretty amazing session, huh? I thought so, too! Looking forward to Whitney and Ryan’s Clover Forest Plantation wedding in October. To see more, click here for a slideshow! Happy Monday, friends!