Lauren & Zach | Engagement

Zach and Lauren have a wonderful love story that goes back quite a while. . . and didn’t necessarily start as a love story !

They went to high school together. They also attended the same church and their families were friends. They were even co-coaches for their summer swim team. Coaching “six-and-unders” sounds like a daunting task for any coach, but Lauren and Zach happily took them on. They even lovingly referred to them as their “little ones.” However, even in the role of co-guardians and role models over tiny, adorable, swimming children. . . their relationship at the time seemed very platonic.  Nothing romantic. . .

However, it must be true that distance makes the heart grow fonder. It wasn’t until Zach started his freshman year at Virginia Tech that Lauren began to think of him as more. Building on a lovely friendship, their romantic relationship began to blossom !

As a wedding photographer (and avid pinterester and closet romantic) I LOVE hearing all about engagement stories. I must say, Lauren & Zach’s is pretty freaking cool. They were planning a visit to Bar Harbor, Maine with Zach’s family. He had been there a year earlier and fell in love with Bass Harbor Lighthouse. When he saw it, he knew that that was where he wanted to propose to Lauren. So, Zach contacted the U.S. Coastguard to see how he could make this happen. After a loooooooooong chain of e-mails (and many phone calls later), the Coastguard agreed to let Zach use the Lighthouse. And, in my opinion, this is the best part. . . they were named “keepers of the light” on August 12th, 2015.

Lauren was completely surprised by the Lighthouse arrangement, the beautiful ring that Zach had designed and built with a jeweler, and the fact that there was a photographer hiding in secret to catch the moment Zach proposed. All in all, I’d say that is a pretty amazing story.

After a long chain of e-mails between Zach and I (I am seeing a trend) we decided where to meet up for their engagement session. Zach reached out to the Reynolda Gardens in Wake Forest and I enthusiastically hopped on board ! I was so excited to meet them and knew that it was going to be an incredibly fun filled day full of light, laughter, stories, and green. Lots and lots of green.

Ladies and Gentlemen. . . I welcome you to the Reynolda Gardens Greenhouse.

1fbZ&L-13 french doors and windows galore ! 1temp1 I was in absolute awe of how beautiful, green, and alive this place felt !  1fbZ&L-19 1fbZ&L-20 1LZ not to mention. . . the lighting was absolutely GORGEOUS ! 1fbZ&L-241LZ4 how could I not take advantage of these leafy greens for a detail shot or two. . . or nine. . .1fbZ&Lring-22  but seriously . . .every corner of the greenhouse was filled with different shades of green 1fbZ&L-91LZ3 I found a cute little snake plant in the succulent/cactus section to pose the ring in ! 1fbZ&Lring-25 we kept exploring the greenhouse; finding new passages and types of plants along the way 1temp41fbZ&L-11 we even managed to (narrowly) avoid getting sprayed by the automatic sprinklers in the nursery 1fbZ&L-2 while Zach and Lauren made a quick change, I took the opportunity to take a few more shots of the ring !!!1fbZ&Lring-28 Lauren and Zach brought this beautiful leather bible and their Claddagh rings to add a more personal touch to the shoot. the bible they brought is very near and dear to them, and was perfectly complimented by the terra cotta pots and leafy greens 1fbZ&Lring-171LZ11fbZ&Lring-23 I always love getting to shoot personal details ! 1fbZ&Lring-19  back inside the greenhouse with Lauren and Zach (in new, bright colors), we continued exploring and smiling and laughing 1fbZ&L-58 all the tiny hallways lined with plants made for some excellent framing ! 1fbZ&L-571fbZ&L-47 aw ! so sweet ! 1LZ21fbZ&L-521temp2after about an hour or so inside the greenhouse, we went to explore the expansive grounds. there were rose gardens, a vegetable garden, and even this little tiny house in the distance. 1fbZ&L-40 in case you haven’t noticed, I love green. so we also shot in front of this BEAUTIFUL tree 1temp3

To say I had fun would be a gross understatement. I had a BLAST ! Lauren and Zach carry such a beautiful, bright light that flooded the entire space in a warm, smiling glow. They are so loving, kind, adorable, and have a contagious energy !

Final thoughts: I. Love. Green. I am so excited to see Zach and Lauren again !


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