It all started on the Fourth of July...
Blithewold Mansion, Garden and Arboretum Spring Engagement Session, Bristol, RI
Here's a little bit of back story before you fall in love with your new favorite couple: I met Justine in high school - shout out to Dover High! (We won't even mention how long ago this was for us because I had typed it out and the number actually made me say 'yikes'). These are just some facts you need to know about this girl: she's outrageously kind, she adores the Red Sox and dogs. I remember how lucky we felt to have our childhood dogs still with us for our high school years :) Anyways... Onward!
Justine and Brian met through a mutual friend, Alison. She was hosting a Fourth of July party in Providence, RI. They didn't meet again until December for Alison's birthday party at the Dorrance in Providence that same year. On a whim, Justine gave Brian her number, they started texting and rest, as they say, is history. With Justine being from New Hampshire, and Brian from Texas, I can imagine they're so very thankful to Alison for making their paths cross :)
What happened next is what totally sealed the deal for Justine. Are you ready to swoon, everyone?
HE TOOK HER ON A DATE TO FENWAY PARK.
You heard that right. Their first date was to one of her most favorite places in the world. The place where she always dreamt of being proposed to. It's all too much, right?
"I knew he was a keeper from the moment he asked me to a Red Sox game."
The amazing, story book dates didn't stop here. Justine was swept off her feet by another round of 'Oh my goodness is this person real?' dates.
"I couldn't believe he wanted to go out with me again after how awkward and nervous I was on our first date. He took me to an amazing restaurant on Newbury Street, then we went to the observatory at the Top of the Hub. I remember thinking that night... this guy is the real deal"
During their relationship, there naturally came a time when Brian realized that Justine was "the one."
I was talking to Alison about an upcoming date with Justine on the Boston Odyssey and how I thought I was "in trouble" because I couldn't find anything I didn't like about her. Alison assured me that this was not actually a problem, but a good thing. It was on that dinner cruise that it dawned on me.
How He Asked
I'll let them tell you that one :)
It was silly, awkward and very much us.
Long story short, Brian was going to propose to me at Fenway (my lifelong dream proposal) until I told him one day, after witnessing a real-live Fenway proposal, that maybe I didn't want something like that.
The ring was delivered to his house on a weekend day when I was there. He tried to pretend that it wasn't the ring that had been delivered, but I knew better.
Later that day, he said: "I have to tell you, I thought the ring was pretty in pictures, but in real life, it's really beautiful. I kind of just want to give it to you," to which I spastically replied "WELL I KIND OF JUST WANT TO HAVE IT."
After several conversations about it, we decided to get dressed up, go out to the restaurants/places we frequent in Providence, and he would do it when he was ready. We went to the Dorrance first. I mentioned to the bartender how I love the place so much, but the jazz music isn't my favorite. He said "you know what? You're right," grabbed his phone, and put it on "Hold On" by Michael Buble. MICHAEL BUBLE. I instantly started to get emotional.
Brian tried to start saying his proposal and I literally said to him "Stop. I can't even look at you right now!" because I was already blubbering. At some point, Brian just got up off his chair and got down on one knee. I JUMPED out of my seat and stood in front of him to hear the sweetest proposal of my life, which ended in: "would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" To which I screeched "YES!!!" and then bawled.
Let me tell you, if Brian had actually been able to surprise me, I probably would have hyperventilated, because I straight up knew he was about to propose and I was still a complete ball of emotions.
Their wedding day countdown is under the 200's now! Justine and Brian will be getting married at Indian Pond Country Club on September 9th, 2018. You can follow along at #YouMcGrewOnMe (how stinkin' cute is that?)
After they say their vows, dance the night away and drive off as Mr. and Mrs. they'll head to a tropical honeymoon and start the next chapter of their life - enjoying every moment together. Oh, and adopting a dog! We call dibs on those photos too :)
The Engagement Session
When we were trying to decide where we'd like to have their engagement session, it seemed quite fitting for them to come back to Rhode Island. Brian flew in from Washington, D.C and Justine drove down from New Hampshire to meet up with me. Since moving down to Rhode Island, George and I have a bucket list of places we've been dreaming of photographing couples at. Blithewold Mansion is one of those places. A forecast of rain was looming over our heads. Determined to create some magic despite the sky's say in the matter, we moved our time up by an hour in hopes we'd miss the downpours.
We arrived at Blithewold and were greeted by the stunning, and sprawling grounds. Despite it being February, there was greenery, life and well manicured shrubs. This place is a photographers dream! Even though we specifically told the sky not to, it started raining. You'd never know it was absolutely freezing! But, you know what? Being around Brian and Justine feels like you're in the warmth of the sun with not a cloud in the sky. Their happiness, laughter and genuine love is infectious.
Congratulations on your engagement, Justine + Brian! I'm thinking we'll need to have a one year wedding anniversary session too :)
ps. it's worth noting there is a dog in the background in the middle of Brian & Justine. SHE KNEW THE DOG. Amazing hahah