I am so excited to share highlights from Margaret and John’s Great Marsh Estate engagement session with you! And for the first time, I am sharing this AFTER their wedding day. Due to various reasons this year, their engagement session was postponed until a week before, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time with it and enjoying the beautiful weather. It has been an incredible joy to serve these two and our time at Great Marsh was well spent! And I can’t help but mention that Margaret and I both have red Rothy points! Literally the best shoes ever.
So, let me get on to what you really want to hear…this is their love story in Margaret’s words:
“Our love story began like many do. Our paths crossed a few times over the years and each time there was some kind of spark, but a full flame didn’t develop until just the right time. John and I met each other in our late 20’s, but didn’t truly “meet” until our early 30’s. On our first date, John likes to tell the story that I was 30 minutes late on purpose, but the truth is that I was relishing every part of what could have been my last first date. I just had that feeling. And I was only 15 minutes late.
We spiraled into our relationship from there. I learned to love baseball even more and John became passionate about Duke basketball. We cooked together, learned from one another, and began to build our worlds together. We traveled a few places in the US together, including driving Route 1 in California from Big Sur to Sonoma one summer, fly fishing a few times in Virginia, and exploring the bourbon trail in Kentucky. Last summer, we traveled to the coast in Croatia and to Istanbul, Turkey.
Through our experiences and travels, we grew closer, made unforgettable memories, and fell more and more in love. The day John proposed was one of the most memorable days of my life. He pulled off the sweetest surprise and I’ll never forget the overwhelming emotions I went through when I figured out what was happening.
I work in the U.S. Senate, in an office building located next to the Capitol. John arranged for a fake meeting to take place in the Capitol with the help of a few good friends and colleagues. As a last minute treat, we were told we could take the meeting on the balcony on the north west side of the Capitol, but the colleague I was supposed to meet was running late. We were led outside and my friend/colleague conveniently ducked away to take an important call. I still had absolutely no clue.
As I waited on the balcony for the meeting to begin, out walks John. At first I was confused – what was he doing on the hill, much less in the Capitol, which was closing that afternoon due to the coronavirus pandemic – and how did know where to find me? Then the light bulb went on. And all at once I felt a rush of confusion, elation, surprise, happiness, and oh-my-gosh-this-can’t-actually-be-happening, not today of all days. And that’s when I realized I actually said that out loud, “not today.”
Here is the love of my life, pulling me to my feet, presenting me with a ring, and asking me to marry him – those are not exactly the right words. But John wasn’t even phased. Smiling through tears, neither of us could string many words together. John asked me twice, the first time we were both standing and all I could do was nod my head yes, moments later he got down on one knee and, a bit more capable of forming sentences than I, asked if I would marry him. I, of course, said yes. Sweetest surprise ever.”
Ahh!!! How sweet is THAT?! And now, from HIS perspective:
“Margaret had no idea that I was going to propose on Thursday, March 12. I had been away on business and flew back a day early to make sure everything was planned. Thanks to several of Margaret’s friends and coworkers, she was scheduled to have a meeting at 4:30 pm in the U.S. Capitol building with one of our friends to discuss legislation. Keep in mind, this is during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but just before most cities started to quarantine and the economy all but shut down. In fact, the Capitol building was scheduled to shut down to visitors that afternoon, just after Margaret’s fake meeting.
About 15 minutes before her “meeting”, one of Margaret’s colleagues, Angela, stopped by her office to prep in advance of the meeting, but really to make sure she went straight there and didn’t get side tracked. Upon arrival, they were escorted out to the Senate balcony, which is odd for a meeting, but justified it by claiming it was a nice day to meet outside. Angela pretended to have a phone call and drifted away, leaving Margaret all but alone on the balcony.
When I walked out on to the balcony, Margaret was furiously typing away on her phone, still wondering why her colleagues had left her so quickly, when she looked up, I asked “mind if I join you”? A look of confusion came over her face as she tried to process what the heck I was doing up in the Capitol, which was unusual since I typically have meetings in the Senate buildings, not the Capitol. I could tell she was slightly flustered, but I kept moving forward, assuming it was because of work and not due to my good looks or unexpected arrival.
To be honest it is all a bit of a blur, but I know that I told her I loved her and wanted to talk to her about something important, so when she immediately blurted out “Not Today!” I laughed it off, knowing it was a busy day for her, she had already confessed to stress eating two packages of hot tamales. I pulled her to her feet, while a photographer emerged from her hiding place behind a large column and began surreptitiously taking pictures.
I was so flustered I didn’t even get down on one knee at first, but instead looked her in the eyes, told her I loved her and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and asked her to marry me. She said yes! After calling and surprising her mom (who didn’t know it was going on), we headed over to a local watering hole to celebrate with 15 of our closest friends who had been waiting to celebrate.”
Wow and wow. I can’t even begin to tell you how sweet it has been to get to know these two! And now I can’t wait to share their wedding photos in the near future. but for now, here is their marvelous Great Marsh Estate engagement session!
Michelle with Lieb Photographic is a Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer, a Charlottesville Wedding Photographer and photographs destinations worldwide. To see more weddings and engagement sessions in the Northern Virginia area, view the Northern Virginia Wedding Venues age. If you’d like to explore some more of my favorite wedding venues in the Virginia and Washington D.C. areas, view the Wedding Venues page.