Brianna and Hunter took the red eye from LAX out to DC for their engagement session and some wedding planning. It was so good to finally meet them both! I met Brianna over zoom but had yet to meet them both in person. So meeting for their Old Town Alexandria session was just perfect!
We had a blast walking around Old Town Alexandria and observing its changes, its history and rustic cobblestone. The weather was perfect and they were so great together! In fact, I’m anxious to share their love story! So without further ado, from Brianna…
“Like typical Bay Area millennials, we met on a dating app. It was the beginning of March 2018. I was newly single and living in the city, while Hunter had recently moved to California after several years in a traveling role with his company. He was living in Oakland and apparently having a tough time convincing the ladies of San Francisco to cross the bridge. It may have been that the 10 mile distance was just too far for the average Marina girl to travel or that he was wearing sunglasses in every photo on his Hinge profile… or both. Nevertheless, I thought his smile was cute and his zip code (the midpoint of my daily commute) was an asset, so I took a chance and swiped right. No risk, no reward!
On our first date, I spent most of the walk from my apartment to the restaurant craning my neck upward at 6’2 Hunter (I’m a foot shorter). Drinks turned into dinner and then more drinks, until eventually all the bars started to close down. After walking me home, Hunter sealed the deal by awkwardly attempting to kiss me (on the nose? on the cheek? unclear what was going on). He blames the height difference for the blundering performance, but let’s be real…it was nerves. I found the whole thing quite endearing, and more dates followed.
By the end of March, I was ready to abandon my infamous ‘dating spreadsheet’, which kept track of the 16 dates I went on that month, and just see Hunter. He is still flattered that his was the only cell on the spreadsheet that remained green in a sea of red or yellow during my short-lived experiment. I was stoked to return to weeknights in sweatpants.
By the end of April, we had booked a 10 day trip to Japan together for November. Purchasing the tickets with expiring airline miles lowered the stakes, but we were clearly very confident in the future of our new relationship to plan an international trip 7 months out. Our instincts turned out to be spot on. Here we are, 3 years later, planning a wedding!”
“As those of you who know me will agree, I am very decisive in my tastes. Any scenario in which I did not choose my own engagement ring was unlikely to end well. Hunter definitely had his work cut out for him if he was going to keep any element of the proposal a secret. Adding to the challenge, COVID hit one week after he purchased the diamond (with me in tow). While Hunter knew I would be mortified if he proposed when I wasn’t photo-ready, I had failed to emerge from her sweatpants, blow dry my hair, get a manicure, or wear makeup since the first day of lockdown. Buying a cabin together only made things worse, as every spare moment was spent covered in mortar, paint and spackle while renovating. To top things off, half of the men of San Francisco apparently hustled to find a life partner during the pandemic and overwhelmed the jeweler I had insisted on using to set the ring, turning that process into a months-long saga.
At this point, I knew we were getting engaged. I was too exhausted from remodeling and defeated by watching friends cancel their weddings to care about when. Just when my senses were dull enough for Hunter to pull off a surprise proposal, my parents began to panic in that special way only parents do and subject me to weekly ‘nudges.’ Three weeks of this ‘nudging’ was all I could take before I told Hunter that all future parental inquiries would be re-directed his way if my left hand looked the same by month’s end. Hunter, who had already planned to throw me off by proposing that weekend on his birthday (a convenient excuse to dress up), was defeated. I knew exactly what was going on when he suggested stopping for a photo on his cousin’s dock and playfully ‘fought’ him, feigning concern for the dinner reservation. He then delivered a three sentence proposal. Ahh, the romance. Despite my love language being ‘words of affirmation’, I said yes!”
I had such a great time getting to know these two more, discussing their wedding day plans and getting excited for the Big Day!
Their November wedding will be on private property in Virginia and I can’t wait to serve them!
Keep scrolling for more highlights from the engagement session (including some waterfront) and stay tuned for more images later this year!
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 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. If you’d like to view more lovely engagement sessions, visit the engagement session gallery.