Wow! The month of October just continues to be the busiest month! so many things rescheduled into October and November due to the shut downs. forgive me if my blogging gets a little less wordy (or perhaps that’s a good thing????). I am just so excited to share so many beautiful sessions and events. and Sarah and Jacob’s Trinity Episcopal Church engagement session is no exception! It was such a joy to finally meet these two and I can’t believe their Big Day is coming in about a month!
Sarah and Jacob did such an incredible job of sharing their story so I’m going to let it speak for itself. Here is their sweet love story from Jacob’s perspective:
“On a cold evening in early December 2018, my sister came over to my house to bake gingerbread and brought her best friend, Sarah. I’d met Sarah once or twice before at church, but neither of us had really noticed the other before. I was quite preoccupied with decorating my Christmas tree, as the girls sat down at the table to eat their gingerbread with homemade whipped cream.
I had gone upstairs to grab something and was coming downstairs when I turned to look at the table, and Sarah was looking directly at me, quite mortified and shouted, ‘Don’t look!’ Sarah’s hair was covered in gingerbread and whipped cream, along with a good portion of my wall adjacent to the table. I instantly knew what had occurred. Justine, with a mouth full of food, found something humorous, and spit gingerbread and whipped cream all over Sarah.
What stunned me about this occurrence was not what Justine had done, but how Sarah reacted. If I had had whipped cream and gingerbread spit all over my face, I would have been rather upset. Instead, Sarah was more concerned about my wall and me potentially being upset with Justine than herself.
While quite a silly story, this was the first time I noticed there was something different about Sarah. I saw that she was someone who cared so naturally and selflessly for those she loved, even when it was embarrassing or inconvenient for her. I had never met anyone like that before.”
And from Sarah’s persspective:
“I remember coming home that night, my hair full of gingerbread and whipped cream, and found myself walking in a field behind school–a field that I regularly walked through to pray and meditate. It was bitterly cold and I remember trying to brace myself in the icy wind. I was confused by my feelings and didn’t want to admit that I had feelings for this man. It was too strange. We had had no moment, no look (although that was to come later!), no flirtation. But something about him had touched me.
I felt like he had a rare mixture of strength and gentleness to him, something I had rarely seen in other men. So I prayed under that December sky and admitted to the Lord that I thought there was something different about this Jacob, and I didn’t know what to do about it. I look back and believe that that night was one in which the Lord started giving us eyes for each other.”
Their proposal story from Jacob’s perspective:
“Over the course of the next ten months, we saw each other periodically, and there were several other stories like this that continued to demonstrate that Sarah loved those around her in a way altogether unique. Her love for her friends and family was filled with kindness, selflessness, and an unflinching resolve to walk alongside those she loved even in the hardest things in life.
As we got to know one another a little better over the Summer of 2019, Sarah came alongside me and worked through some difficult things with me, always dealing with me in the most gracious and gentle manner. By the time that October came, and Sarah and I decided we wanted to begin a relationship beyond just being friends, I already knew that she was the woman that I wanted to marry. I’d never met someone who so beautifully and powerfully demonstrated the love of Christ for those around her.
Sarah’s heart was so unimaginably precious to me, and I wanted to walk with her and care for her forever. I knew that I needed her. The next nine months of dating simply confirmed what I already knew.
Fast forward to July 2nd, 2020, Sarah and I set out for a “picnic” in the Smokey Mountains. I had asked Justine to trail us by about an hour and to bring a camera. As we arrived at Max Patch Mountain, the weather was perfect – 76 degrees, with a light breeze, partly cloudy, with the warm sun shining brightly. Sarah and I spread out a blanket in a secluded meadow near the peak, and began to eat fresh berries that we had brought and talked about the symbolism of marriage, particularly how a husband is to love his wife, as Christ loves the church, and gave Himself up for her.
About an hour and a half later, I was starting to get nervous that my sister hadn’t shown up, when I saw a person about 25 yards behind us waving her arms frantically in our direction. I realized quickly that it was Justine, and she had disguised herself well. I simultaneously felt at ease and became very nervous as I began to share my heart with Sarah. About two minutes into my speech, I began to hear quite loudly the focusing ‘bleep bleep’ and shutter ‘click’ of a camera in rapid succession.
Justine had visually disguised herself well, but hadn’t considered her audio footprint…”
From Sarah’s perspective:
“Jacob and I had been dating for a little over eight months, and I knew engagement was likely coming before the end of the summer. We had gone to Tennessee for the 4th of July, and Jacob suggested that we go on a date.
Two and a half hours later we had arrived on Max Patch Mountain, a beautiful bald mountain in North Carolina. An hour in, we were discussing the symbolism of marriage and being affectionate, when I heard a shutter click behind me. I turned around, and a girl in a trucker hat and an FCA t-shirt (with a camera in hand) ducked behind the tall grass. Seconds later, the shutter began to go wild. Jacob had started his proposal by then, but I was slightly distracted, indignant that “nature girl” was capitalizing on my moment with my man. About halfway into the proposal, I suddenly realized that the camera was for us. He eventually popped the question, and I responded: ‘Yes! Of course I will marry you!’
Fast forward to that weekend back home in Virginia, and Jacob and I were reminiscing about the proposal. I expressed that I had felt distracted, and was embarrassed that I didn’t cry or show more emotion in such a big life moment. We were sitting in a Target parking lot at 9:30 that night, and I began to sob from all the pent up emotion. It was the sweetest experience to have him take me in his arms and cry with me. We reminisced about the difficult things we had had to work through the summer before, and how kind God was to give us one another and sanctify us through love and forgiveness.
At the end of a half hour of crying, I took my ring off and asked through the tears, ‘Will you please just propose to me again?’ He did, and this time, I had no words. The confused little girl with whipped cream and gingerbread in her hair had prayed for this man, and here he was, asking her to be his.”
Congratulations Sarah and Jacob! I can’t wait to serve you in December at the Oak Barn at Loyalty! Keep scrolling to see more highlights from their engagement session at this lovely spot!
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 Leesburg area, view the Leesburg Wedding Venue page. 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.