About two weeks ago I got one of the best phone calls ever. I know that’s a pretty big statement but this was some pretty big news. I got a call from Will, who was dating one of my closest, dearest and most treasured friends that I’ve known for a decade. Allie and I met during the summer before our freshman year of college. So we have literally known each other for 10 amazing years. Allie is one of those people that will change you and inspire you after just one conversation. She is a truly beautiful soul and I am telling you, one of the most genuine and loyal friends I have ever met. She will laugh with you, cry with you, just be with you. And when she began dating Will, I just KNEW that she had found her future husband. I literally have never seen Allie happier than when she is with Will. He is so perfect for her and I am very pleased to say that he is a fellow HUGE Disney fan! Do I anticipate Schaefer and Davis family trips to Disney World??……yes I do.
Back to that phone call…Will told me that he would be proposing to Allie in 15 days! He asked if I could help plan and host a surprise engagement party for Allie (like she had done for me!) and take pictures of the proposal. Of course, I said YES! I told him that I was tired from recently shooting a wedding and that I was considering coffee or a nap but now that I got his call, I had all the adrenaline I needed to finish editing the wedding!
With the help of Will’s sister Katie and a few other friends, we planned a party to celebrate the love of these two beautiful people. Allie’s mother was going to be there as well as Will’s mom. Friends were coming in from out of town too. All in all, it was shaping up to be an amazing party! Will planned on proposing to Allie at the Portiuncula chapel on Franciscan University’s campus in Steubenville, Ohio. I visited the Port the day before he proposed to figure out where I would hide. The bushes looked like my only viable option so that’s where I was going to shoot from! Watching one of your best friend’s get engaged is so surreal. I kept thinking, as my heart pounded in my chest and I tried to keep my hands steady holding the camera, “This is happening! I can’t believe it! This is really happening!” I wanted to capture the moment but also respect the intimacy and privacy of the moment so I used the longest range lens I had and hide in the bushes, capturing these sweet moments between them.
After he proposed and SHE SAID YES, we took some photos right outside the Port. And gosh, these are some of my favorite photos I have ever taken! The light was amazing and their joy just MADE these photos! I am beyond grateful to Will for asking me to capture this incredibly special moment for them.
After they went to dinner, they stopped by my house “for drinks” and then SURPRISE! there was an engagement party!! So much food, joy and excitement in my home! Everyone there was overjoyed for these two and we celebrated all evening! It was such a joyous occasion and I can only imagine the sheer joy there will be on their wedding day!
Allie and Will, know of my love and prayers for you two as you prepare for your marriage. You two are an amazing example of God’s enduring faithfulness and love. You approach your relationship, your work and your friendships with the same dedication and love and I am BLESSED, truly blessed to call you my dear friends. Congratulations you two!
And now, to the pictures!