EMILY & TOMMY {Hunt Valley, MD}

Fall engagement sessions are my favorite!! This time of year brings out the gorgeous leaves and the light is spectacular. Emily and Tommy are such a sweet couple who can't wait to tie the knot in 2016.

Something you may not know about Emily is she is the new designer at Blue Ocean Ideas. She was hired right after I left and she fits right in! I have realized in the past few months that by saying goodbye to Blue Ocean Ideas and leaving my graphic design world behind, it opened up the door for Emily to pursue her dream. It was her dream job to be the graphic designer at Blue Ocean Ideas and it was my dream job to be a full time wedding photographer. God's plan is much bigger than we can ever see. All we can do is follow his leading and enjoy the ride! I am honored to be a part of her and Tommy's big day by shooting their wedding!!

Here is a little bit of their love story!

Tommy and I met as freshmen in college through a campus ministry, Young Life College, that we were both involved in. We were interested in each other from the beginning, and as freshman year went on, a group of us all started to become close and spent a lot of time together. Our friendship developed over the course of the next year until I got a text one night at the beginning of sophomore year, ten minutes after Tommy and another friend had left my dorm, asking me to come back outside. When I went out, Tommy was waiting for me, looking more nervous than I’ve ever seen him to this day. He told me he liked me and would love to take me out sometime. I didn’t know what to say because I couldn’t believe he had just said that, so I smiled and told him that was good, because I kind of liked him too (that was an understatement)! I didn’t fall asleep that night until 4:00am because I was so excited.

Our first date was in Little Italy in Baltimore, because he knew I love Italian food. After a couple more dates, my birthday rolled around and he decided to make things official. He planned an entire day for me, which started with a dozen peach roses (which we plan to include in our wedding) and a trip to Baugher’s Orchard and Farm, which we go back to every year, followed by a nice dinner and surprise party with friends. He really went all out! We told each other “I love you” after a year and a half, graduated college together after three, and worked for a year until he proposed in August!

The Proposal Story

This past August, I got to join Tommy and his family for their vacation in Bethany Beach. The beach is one of my absolute favorite places, and we excitedly looked forward to the trip all summer. Tommy and I arrived a couple of days late on Monday, because we went to a friend’s wedding that weekend.

On Wednesday morning, August 5th, an alarm went off at 8:30am. Actually, 4 alarms went off--I was sharing a room with Tommy’s two sisters, Peggy and Kate, and ignored the alarms, because I couldn’t understand why one would be going off while we were on vacation. Little did I know that Peggy and Kate were excitedly setting it off over and over in an attempt to wake me up! When I finally rolled over, I noticed a giant home-made card next to my pillow that read “Good Morning!” and had my initials paired with Tommy’s in a heart. This woke me up very quickly :) The note told me to meet Tommy on the patio beneath the house, where he was dressed up and waiting with flowers. He gave me a hug and suggested we go for a walk on the beach. I was a little nervous but also excited, because I had a pretttttty good idea what was going to happen that morning. It was a really beautiful morning, and we walked down by the water for about twenty minutes before turning back towards the house; it was nice to have some time together to enjoy the moment before it happened. As we approached the house, I noticed that someone was out on the balcony with a camera, and subsequently noticed that there was a picnic setup on the sand that was definitely not there when we left--Kate and her boyfriend had run out after we walked a good bit up the beach and set it up for Tommy. There was a sign sticking out of the sand that Peggy painted with our initials and the date, as well as a blanket on the sand, a picnic basket, and several other items. Among those items was a 12-page letter that incorporated photos and walked through our entire relationship, highlighting significant moments and special memories. On the last page, Tommy wrote about the future and how excited he is to learn, grow and go through life together. It was very sweet :) After that, he pulled out the ring, we stood up, and he got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride. I said yes! We popped some champagne and Peggy came down to the beach to take a few photos and stall, because next--my family came walking out on the beach as a surprise!

They live out of town and flew in the night before, then woke up early that morning to drive down to the beach. My dad actually got pulled over for speeding that morning, but after explaining why he was so excited and perhaps was going a little too fast, the officer very kindly gave him a warning and congratulated him :) It turned out to be one of the most beautiful days at the beach, and we spent the rest of it celebrating with family and friends. I loved every minute of it and we are so excited for the future!

Congratulations on your engagement Emily & Tommy!! You two have a bright future ahead of you.

I could take pictures of these two all day. Can't wait for the wedding next spring!