Airlie Engagement Session | Lieb Photographic | Abigail and Greg

Engagements

Apr 21, 2022

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What joy it brought me when Abigail reached out to me about her December 2022 wedding date! Abigail was a student of mine when I taught high school photography. So it was incredibly special when she told me of her engagement to Greg and their plans for their 2022 wedding. I was even more excited to begin the 2022 season with Abigail and Greg with their Airlie engagement session.

Airlie

It was a cloudy day, right after three straight days of rain. And while it was cool, it was still pleasant and Airlie was beginning to experience that Spring blooming season. We had a wonderful evening exploring one of my favorite Virginia venues and I so enjoyed watching these two interact. Their story is such a sweet one and it even involves my alma mater, JMU! In fact, here is their love and proposal story:

From Abigail’s perspective:

Airlie

“Greg and I met when we were freshmen at JMU. We both lived in Chesapeake Hall and met through mutual friends. As cliche as it may sound, I knew the first time I met him there was something special there. Greg, being more shy, started slowly joining my friends and I more for dinner at the dining hall or for study sessions at ECL.

After waiting a few months, Greg finally asked me out on our first dinner date at E-Hall. Our second date was on Valentine’s Day where we went to see a movie at the downtown Regal Cinemas and then ordered Domino’s to our dorm. Greg being the generous guy that he is, had gotten me a small gift from the bookstore, JMU spirit bows, that I still have to this day and unknowingly wore on the day we got engaged. Greg and I still laugh at how much we love that date, a memory I will always treasure.

Throughout the years, Greg and I kept that Valentine’s date tradition and it is something that I look forward to each year. Our relationship continued to grow and strengthen after JMU and we dated long distance for five years. Greg drove back and forth to Penn State from New Jersey a weekend or two a month and after moving to Boston, we then started collecting many many airline miles flying back and forth to see each other. As difficult as it was at times to be apart so much, we made up for it over countless hours of facetime, texting and calling.

In August, I made a career change and moved back to the DC area, which made us very excited to be close to family and JMU again. We had planned to go to the first JMU football home game this season and Greg had been planning with my best friend the ultimate surprise for me at the tailgate. The day began as any normal football Saturday does…we had breakfast at Panera, picked up our Chick-fil-a catering and headed to the tailgating lots. My sister and cousin had joined us for the weekend and we were all having fun eating, playing cornhole, and making friends at neighboring tailgates.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love the JMU Duke Dog mascot, so when I saw him walking through our tailgate lot, I immediately made a beeline to him to ensure we could get a picture. Little did I know that the whole reason he was there was because Greg had arranged him to start the proposal. Duke Dog took many pictures with us, which I did think was a little out of the blue since they usually have to move pretty quickly throughout the crowds. Not thinking too much of it, I continued to ask for pictures, when Duke Dog got down on one knee and grabbed my hand. One would think that in this moment I would sense what was happening, but nope, I was still clueless and was loving this moment I was sharing with Duke Dog!

When I turned around, Greg was then down on one knee and it began to sink in that this was really happening (!!!). After many happy tears and getting over the shock at what was happening, I gave Greg the most wholehearted YES. It was a day I had been waiting on for a long time and it could not have been more perfect or more us.”

From Greg’s perspective:

“It all started back in 2012 when the world was supposed to end at Chesapeake Hall at JMU. A stunning girl from Virginia and a shy boy from New Jersey became good friends that led to dating in early 2013. JMU brought out the best in both of us and was a place of wonderful memories that we continue to call home. Despite numerous years of long distance dating after college, including Abigail pursuing a Masters at Penn State and her working for three years at Harvard, the relationship remained strong. We were always there for each other and nothing could hold us back.

Finally, everything came full circle when I proposed at a JMU football tailgate. One might think after close to nine years of dating an engagement could have come sooner, but I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen any other way. It was a complete surprise to her, and if you know anything about my fiance, this is a feat that’s near impossible! In the end, I am forever grateful for meeting the love of my life at a place I truly love. Without JMU, we would have never met and it turns out the tale about a kiss on the kissing rock is true after all.”

Congratulations Abigail and Greg! I cannot wait for your Big Day! Keep scrolling for more highlights from their Airlie engagement session!

Michelle with Lieb Photographic is a Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer, a Charlottesville Wedding Photographer and photographs destinations nationwide. To see more weddings and engagement sessions at Airlie, view the Airlie Weddings page. If you’d like to explore some of my other favorite wedding venues in the Virginia and Washington D.C. areas, view the Wedding Venues page.

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