We Will: Jen and Will’s engagement session

Jan 3, 2013

Will and Jen are super cute and super in tune with each other! They wanted their engagement photos to have a good dose of “Southern Charm” to show all of their family and friends up north what life was like for them in Raleigh. So I grabbed some mason jars and sweet tea and we headed to Yates Mill. You can’t tell in the photos, but boy was it crowded on this Sunday in November. It was wall-to-wall families and photographers. Yates Mill is a classic spot for photos and I love the rustic charm of the area. Plus, it was nice and warm!

We then headed to the art museum for a more formal and modern look. I LOOOVE the balloons!

Jen’s story:

Will and I met November 02, 2003 at Central Michigan University. That particular weekend, both my roommates were going home and I still wasn’t comfortable being alone in dorm room by myself (weird noises). I asked some girl friends of mine who lived on the floor above if I could sleep over. They agreed and I went up Friday evening after dinner. When I got to their room, they were watching Blue Crush on the futon with some guy I hadn’t met yet. We were introduced to each other and proceeded to watch the movie. After the movie was over we went to another dorm room down the hall to play some sort of card game if I remember correctly. Will and I ended up chatting the rest of the night and the rest is history.
Will proposed on November 12, 2011. It was a Saturday afternoon and after going out and purchasing our iPhones, (note from Tara: note the iPhone photos at the end of the slideshow!!) we were looking for something to do since it was a gorgeous day outside. Will suggested we go to the Arboretum in Greensboro to walk around. We walked around and ended up by the rose garden. This is where he started talking about how long we’ve been together and dropping onto his knee. Unbeknownst to me he had asked his Mom of he could use his Grandmothers ring as the engagement ring and she mailed it to him. He had it cleaned up at jewelry store and picked it up early that morning while I was still getting ready to head out.  He was carrying it around just in case he found the perfect opportunity to ask for my hand.  He also called my Dad to ask for his blessing as it was important to me that he asked. We then called our families to share our news and finished our walk.

One of the special moments that really sticks out is our first anniversary. It fell on Nov 2, 2004. Election Day! Will arranged a stay at a Bed and Breakfast for the weekend in Grand Haven, Michigan. We received a free bottle of wine (we had to wait like 20 minutes out in the cold to be let in). I’m guessing he was going for all romance and what not but with him being a big political nerd and all, we ended up staying up really late watching the results and enjoying the bottle of wine.  Not my idea of a romantic getaway but I will never forget it!

Will’s side of the story – THE proposal!

Jennifer and I had been in a relationship for a long time before I finally proposed to her. The length of time it took to propose, however, had very little to do with my desire but rather the timing. Since we started dating early on in our college career, I felt that it was exceptionally important for the longevity of our relationship to wait until both of our lives became a little more stable post-college. After so many years, it was clear to everyone that we would ultimately get married some day, but the how and when there were major unknowns.

Of course marriage was something that was regularly on my mind, but I was determined to make the proposal perfect. It wasn’t clear, until a package arrived at my house one day from my mother, that I knew how I would ask Jennifer to marry me. The package from my Mother included a ring that my grandmother had worn for as many years as I could remember. A ring that my Mother wanted me to have as a keepsake – that was far nicer than any engagement ring that I could imagine and had a great emotional value attached – a family heirloom. After a discussion with my Mother, who was overjoyed that the ring would be a part of what would soon be the beginning of Jennifer and I’s long life together, the conversation was taken to Jen’s father – who, of course, was happy to give me his blessing.

On 11/12/11, Jennifer and I decided to take a walk through a local park in Greensboro, North Carolina. While we walked and talked about how far our lives had come – from meeting in college, moving to North Carolina, and starting our careers – I stopped, bent down on one knee, and asked Jen to spend the rest of our lives together. Of course, she was amenable to this idea and agreed to marry me on September 28th, 2013. It was simply one of what will be many, amazing days of my life.