Kristi and Tom | Virginia State Arboretum Engagement| Virginia Wedding Photographer


Jan 12, 2019

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The first time I met Kristi and Tom was at one of my favorite coffee spots in Warrenton. I enjoyed meeting with them from the start. We chatted about music, poetry, school and their wedding day plans. Both Kristi and Tom are creatives so they had much to share and I enjoyed every minute of it. Because they currently live in Boston, we also had to be strategic about planning their engagement session at a time when they would both be in town. So we planned on a day during the Christmas break. They suggested the Virginia State Arboretum, Blandy Experimental Farm and it was the perfect place for a winter engagement session!

Kristi and Tom are the most thoughtful couple! They were so attentive to one another and kind to me as well. Kristi’s mother even came by at one point just to deliver homemade cookies Kristi had made to share. She gave me the sweetest collection of beautifully decorated cookies to take home! They were amazing and I think I got in a couple when my husband and son weren’t eating them!

Virginia Arboretum

Tweeting, Teaching and Timing

Tom and Kristi are both teachers and both suffered a similar teacher difficulty…expanding their existing social groups to meet new people. As Kristi explains, they had both historically used Twitter as a tool to “engage with others about education and poetry and would often share each other’s posts about both topics (originally without actually engaging in any discussion).”

In Kristi’s words, “Almost a year ago, on August 2nd 2018, Tom randomly tweeted ‘any poets wanna fall in love’ on Twitter. We directly interacted for the first time, sharing poems back and forth for a few weeks while discovering that we worked in close proximity. And that we also had much more in common than just our taste in books and opinions about education.”

As it turns out, Tom teaches high school math and Kristi teaches music. They decided to meet at a used bookstore (how sweet is that?!). That meeting turned into a date, which turned into many more dates. And it wasn’t long before they knew the timing was right and that they were meant to be a couple!

Virginia Arboretum

The Proposal

Remember when I mentioned earlier that these two are such a thoughtful couple? Well, Tom began taking sign language classes at a local school for the deaf once he knew how serious their relationship was. He knew how important it was to Kristi that he be able to communicate with her family, many of whom are deaf. The more Tom learned, the closer he grew to Kristi’s parents.

Last April, he told her parents his intentions to propose. In Kirsti’s words, “With the help of his mom and grandmother, Tom chose a beautiful vintage engagement ring to propose with and began planning his proposal. Marriage was something he and I had been talking about for a few months, but I had no idea that he was going to ask so soon. Even so, he knew that an elaborate public proposal was not the right fit. So he decided to go the creative route and incorporate something near and dear to my heart – vintage Pyrex.

Virginia Arboretum

After years of collecting vintage glassware, I already had an intimidating collection. The pieces I were missing had become few and far between. Tom ended up finding a beautiful dish from 1958 known as the ‘diamond’ or ‘harlequin’ hostess bowl that I had been pursuing for a few months with no luck. The diamond pattern on the bowl perfectly mirrored the marquis diamond on the engagement ring. He placed the ring inside the bowl and surprised me at home (on a school night), April 12th. I couldn’t imagine a more thoughtful proposal!”

Virginia Arboretum

The Arboretum

Kristi and Tom were prepared for their engagement session. They had a cozy blanket, two changes of clothing and some lovely details. One such detail included a bracelet Kristi had made for her from vintage pyrex! And of course, the incredible engagement ring.

Virginia Arboretum

The Virginia State Arboretum is beautiful in winter without a doubt. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in the Spring as well. We had such a sweet time exploring the grounds and Kristi and Tom have the perfect mix of chemistry and friendship. It was wonderful getting to know them and I am really looking forward to their August wedding at Airlie next year!

Virginia Arboretum

Thank you to these lovely folks who helped make their engagement so special!

Hair and Make Up: Sparkle Gross with Les Bourgeois Artistry

Venue: Blandy Experimental Farm at the Virginia State Arboretum

Cookies: Kristi and her mother!

To view more Northern Virginia weddings and engagement sessions, peruse HERE.

Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Virginia Wedding Photographer, Charlottesville Wedding

Photographer, Baltimore Wedding Photographer and Maryland Wedding Photographer.  She is also a

Washington DC Wedding Photographer, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Arizona Wedding Photographer

and a Destination Wedding Photographer!

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