Planning a 2023 Virginia wedding isn’t easy when you are between Pennsylvania and Virginia and you have the kind of schedule Sky and Brandon each have. But we managed to plan a gorgeous golden hour engagement session at Molon Lave Vineyards on the most perfect evening in September. You never know exactly what you’ll get in terms of golden hour and weather, but we were so excited to have the most perfect weather and golden sun! I’m really looking forward to their Rose Hill Manor wedding next year.
So now on to the good stuff! First, here is Sky and Brandon’s love and proposal story from Sky’s perspective:
“Brandon and I met at church. Brandon was always seen sacrificially serving people. He was the designated bbq grill chef at every church events. The older adults at church never spared compliments about him. There was actually a 5th grader girl who really wanted us to date. She would always tell me, ‘I think Brandon likes you’ and ask me ‘Are you and Brandon dating yet?’ She was Brandon’s very bestest wing-girl.
I think we first started texting each other to plan for church events. We slowly started talking more and more, and I really enjoyed talking to him. I asked him if he wanted to go grab a drink at a bar with me, he asked me to go eat dinner with me, and we started going on dates. When I started dating him, I was in this difficult period of life during which I felt really lost in my career path. I always knew I wanted a career in medicine since high school but when I lost my mom to cancer, I started having tremendous doubts about whether I was worthy enough to pursue a career in medicine. Now I am in PA school, and I know I couldn’t do it without the grace of God and Brandon’s unrelenting support and belief in me. He also helped me heal from losing my mom. I thought that I wouldn’t be, and shouldn’t be, truly happy again after losing my mom; but he makes me so so incredibly happy and taught me that I deserve to be happy. He is patient, kind, selfless, loves to serve sacrificially, has essentially the same values and missions in life as me, is a man of God, and is almost everything else I prayed for that my future spouse would be.
I also see so much of God’s love through him, and I am so so incredibly blessed to be his bride. I always thought private proposals are more romantic, and I had told Brandon this. During my summer break of PA school in May, Brandon asked if I wanted to go on a trip to Virginia Beach, and I knew it was coming! We didn’t get to go in the ocean because the water was still too cold. We also didn’t get to spend much time sunbathing because the wind was too strong. Beach umbrellas were flying everywhere and everyone was being pelted by sand! But we still had a blast! Sunsets were absolutely dream-like. Mini islands created by the low tide and the reflections of the pink and purple sky on the water was breathtaking.
On that special day, we dressed up and Brandon took me to a fancy restaurant in Norfolk. We took a walk on the beach after dinner while the sun set, and we lots of pictures. He seemed really nervous and I tried to act silly to loosen him a little. He was also trying to find the right timing as people kept walking by the beach, because he knew I wanted a private proposal. He slowly told me how much the last almost 3 years of our relationship meant to him and that he loves me. He got down on his knee and asked him to marry him and I told him, ‘Of course! Is that even a question?’ Then, he asked me if I like the ring. I told him, ‘I can’t see it’ because the sun had already fully set by then. Even if I couldn’t see the ring immediately, His genuine, intimate, heartfelt sunset proposal was absolutely perfect!”
And their love story from Brandon’s perspective:
“I still remember the first time I saw Sky; it was my first time at the church we are both currently attending, and she was doing some translations at the time. I believe she was wearing a long dark blue dress and my initial thoughts were that she was really pretty and tall and she had a sense of maturity about herself. As I attended the church we talked on occasions, mostly me pointing out a giraffe shirt that I felt she wore every Sunday, but nothing more than exchanging pleasantries and making small talk during church events. I think our relationship started shifting around when I began to be a little more involved with church, such as being the guy that sets up events for our church. We had a retreat and I had collaborated with her a bit on getting some of the games we were going to play and from there we talked a bit more.
A couple of months later, we had another beach trip planned with the church and both of us spent the whole day together looking for some conches on the beach. Sky had found the one and only one that day and oh boy did that taste good. I think my interest for her sparked from that moment and we would go on some dates soon after, with the first one being at Bar Louie. From there on, our dates became more frequent and on a fall night we officially started dating on 9/24/19. I would frequently email/text her memes while we were both working, and after work, I would show her different foods that I had enjoyed and I would constantly get shocked at the different cuisines she hadn’t had tried before! Our dating life was interesting since it was during COVID, so there were not a lot of places we could go. So we ending up spending a lot of time together in isolation and really get to learn more about each other and I can say that it made our relationship stronger and to the point it is today. I appreciate all that Sky does for me and the people around her, and can’t wait to marry her in March!”
I am so excited to continue to serve Sky and Brandon and I am looking forward to their wedding next March. Keep scrolling to see more highlights from their Molon Lave 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 at Virginia wineries, view the Virginia Winery Weddings 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.