Do feel confident.
Do hold hands.
Do bring your dog!
Do embrace your awkwardness.
If this isn’t the best answer to what Courtney’s favorite thing about Dustin is, I don’t know what is… “just one?! I love that we compliment each other. We are opposites in the right ways and the same in the right ways.”
One of my favorite aspects of being a photographer is learning about what means the most to my clients (both in love and in life) and capturing the joy of their relationship TOGETHER in an effortless way. While Courtney told me numerous times how they are awkward in front of the camera, I beg to differ… these two ROCKED their photos and chose an amazing Baltimore location, Rye Street Tavern, adjacent to the Sagamore Spirit Distillery, to enjoy a gorgeous October night overlooking the water!
After I first connected with Courtney on Instagram, we’ve bonded over our shared love of wine, cheese, healthy and easy recipes, female small business ownership, a lifestyle full of approachable wellness, growing up in the tristate area… and the list goes on!
Here’s the story of how they met, in Courtney’s words:
“Dustin and I met at a bar on the University of Delaware campus. In my mind, it was a much more 'meant to be' moment than just meeting some random guy in a bar might sound. I went to UD for undergrad and when I stayed for grad school, I moved out of the college town and was alone with no friends in the area. There was a new grad student orientation happening my first true night 'alone' and my mom encouraged me to go. She called me and said she was worried about me and I better not be home alone all night. I was not planning to go to this event, I thought it was so silly because I had just spent four years at the school and I knew my way around. But I went in the hopes that maybe I would make a friend. I did meet a few people and had a nice time. At the end of the event, the organizers / leaders of the event invited us all to meet them at a local bar to hangout. It was still early in the evening and I called my mom to tell her about how I was glad I went to the orientation. I told her about the bar gathering but said I didn't think I would go. She told me I should go for at least 15 minutes if I had a good time because having some friends for this stage of my life was important. I said fine. I went and felt awkward but almost immediately one of the leaders, Ryan, came up to me and said hi and that he recognized me from the event and he was glad I came. He was very nice and was trying to make me feel comfortable. After a few minutes of talking a guy walked into the bar and up to us and Ryan introduced him as his roommate, Dustin. I immediately thought he was super attractive and I hadn't gotten a drink yet so the two of us talked while Ryan moved on. We ended up standing at that bar and talking for almost 3 hrs. I found out he liked Bruce Springsteen and was from Kentucky; being a Jersey girl, I was sick of east coast guys and had a love of Bruce. I thought he was funny and easy to talk to. We exchanged numbers and I went home. On my way home I called my mom and told her I met a 'really nice guy'...”
And then the most thoughtful clue-filled proposal…!
”We had a day trip to DC planned to see the cherry blossoms. I was running late (per usual) and we had a train to catch. Dustin was upstairs because I asked him to help me with my outfit choices. Once I was dressed, he came over and gave me a hug and said I looked nice and there was something he wanted me to do before we left. He reached into his pocket and picked out a slip of paper. It was a clue! I immediately knew what was happening and got all shakey. Clue 1: ‘You let me eat these when I have a sweet tooth (it was a box of sugary cereal)’. Inside that box was another slip ‘Thank you for feeding me nutritious foods and helping me be healthy.’ Clue 2: ‘We took one of this the first day we met' (a shot… it was a shot glass on our bar). Next slip said: ‘I love that you are fun and adventurous with me’. Clue 3: ‘This is where you organize all of your days, like today (my planner)’. Next slip said ‘I admire your ambition and I know it will pay off big soon’. Clue 4: ‘It's under the thing I worked on for six years (his PhD which is framed above our office desk)’. Next slip said: ‘Thank you for always supporting me and being there for me, even during hard times’. Clue 5: ‘hiding under your favorite sleep companion’ said "I want to be with you for all days" and when I turned around Dustin was there with a ring box open - just looking at me, for what felt like FOREVER. I was so tempted to speak but I didn't, I just smiled and nodded like come on, ask me, hahahaha and he asked "Do you want to get married?" in a Dustin fashion I would expect, and I said yes, and then we went and had a fun day in DC.”
Your wedding at Mt. Washington Tavern is going to be absolutely incredible - we can’t wait to be a part of it! I already love how your wedding date is the EXACT date you met… 1000% meant to be!!
As soon as Kelsey + Bryan told me they were thinking of taking their fall engagement photos at Artifact Coffee since they love their maple lattes, I knew we were in for a treat (and I don’t just mean the delicious maple lattes!)… add in their pup Camden and a love of the Clipper Mill / Woodberry industrial sites around the corner and I was feeling all the ‘how-did-I-get-so-lucky-these-are-my-people’ feels!!!
We talked about our shared love of the texture throughout the stone and wood historic mill buildings for probably more emails than I should admit… ;) You both are too cute for words; words can’t express how happy I am that our paths crossed!!
Camden has the most alluring eyes and was such a wonderfully sweet little model! He rocked his status as the newest #urbanrowpup and coordinated with the warm fall color palette so well…
But enough of my commentary, I can’t wait to share THEIR love story: one of perfect timing and location. While Bryan and Kelsey both grew up in North Carolina and spent their college years at UNC-Chapel Hill, it wasn't until a year and a half after moving to Baltimore for graduate school that they ended up meeting at a school formal. Bryan tried to woo Kelsey by bringing up their similar roots, but Kelsey was extremely unimpressed. A year later, after several crossed paths and attempts by friends to bring them together, Kelsey accepted Bryan's request for a date. Bryan cooked Kelsey BBQ, they talked, laughed, and watched Game of Thrones. Kelsey fell for Bryan's sense of humor, good cooking, and kind heart while Bryan fell in love with Kelsey's intelligence, compassion, and of course, her beautiful smile (it didn't hurt that she laughed at his dumb jokes too). A year and a half passes. They explore Baltimore, get a dog, travel together, do Whole30, meet each others families, and decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together…
Once we decided that we wanted to get married, Bryan got to work designing a custom ring using the diamonds from both his maternal and paternal grandmother's engagement rings with Ron at Stonehaven Jewelry in Cary, NC (Kelsey always wanted a family ring!). Kelsey is someone who is very hard to surprise and Bryan decided to propose when she'd least expect it - on a trip to visit Kelsey's best friends in Atlanta. Bryan got Kelsey's friends Kaley and Emma in on it to help with logistics and decided to ask in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. When he found the perfect spot, he got down on one knee and asked Kelsey to marry him, and the first words out of Kelsey's mouth were, "Stop it.". Nevertheless, Kelsey said yes and we celebrated with her best friends. There was champagne, confetti, and of course pizza to end the night.
You two have such an undeniable chemistry, we’re SO excited for your September wedding at Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park!! The menu alone (featuring Copper Kitchen’s catering and ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert) is already making all of my fall waterfront wedding dreams come true!
When Elizabeth and Donald are together, they exude calm and gentle love one minute and adorably sweet laughter the next… these two are the perfect blend of fun, sophistication and classic style with a love of city life!
We started in Mt. Vernon since the Walters holds a special place in their love story and finished by the water in Fells Point… you don’t want to miss Donny’s incredible proposal that involved a Faberge egg exhibit, one of Elizabeth’s favorite things to see at the Walters Art Museum!
In Elizabeth’s words, this is how it all started…
”At a coworker’s going away party, a few people from my office got together at Ryleigh’s in Federal Hill and each coworker brought friends along. We met briefly and then Donny left and went to the bar next door. I went to the guy that brought him and said “…where did your cute friend go? …bring him back.” And Donny came back. A few fireball shots is all it took and since that night, we have been together.”
And as for the proposal?
”It happened at the Walters Art Museum. We had an action packed weekend with Happy Hour and dinner with friends planned but before it all started Donny suggested we go to brunch and he had a surprise for me. First instinct, I asked if we were going to SPCA to be annoying and get another dog since I would like another... he said no, its a surprise. We pulled up to the Walters and we were just there a few weeks before so I was suspicious why we were here again, since he knows this is one of my favorite places in Baltimore. But he said there was a Faberge exhibit so I really believed we were going to see this and the suspicion went away. Then he asked if we could go to the Chamber of Wonders and in there he got down on one knee after asking what was my favorite thing in the room. Afterwards we still went to HH and dinner with friends and were able to celebrate with them!”
I’m so excited for their wedding day one month from today at the Baltimore Country Club in Roland Park; I can’t wait to share their engagement session with you since Jayce, their cute little pug was the most perfect dog model!
We CAN NOT wait until your wedding day is finally here, lovebirds!! It’s going to be such an incredible moment when you become husband and wife!
I wanted to share my top 5 reasons why engagement sessions are so valuable... since after being in this industry for awhile, I've answered all of the questions below and you might be wondering the same thing!Read More