I’ll try to get through this without crying, but this is a post that is very near and dear to my heart. Rachel and Bryan came into my husband and I’s life when they joined college life groups that we lead last September. It has truly been one of the most amazing things to get to know both of their amazing hearts, watch them grow as a couple, and grow in the Lord. Rachel has one of those personalities that you can’t help but fall in love with pretty instantly (apparently Bryan feels the same way ;) ). So when he called a couple weeks ago and asked for my help in planning/photographing this moment, after I stopped squealing, I told him YES. Naturally, we went to brainstorming, involved pinterest a little bit, developed a system for texting, and changed our minds a couple times. Eventually, we came up with a plan – a pretty epic plan, if I do say so myself. As Bryan is recently home from basic training and will be leaving again soon for an internship, Bryan asked Rachel out for a fancy date night. But the twist. As they are walking the cobblestone streets of St. Charles after dinner, Dave calls and tells them that he’s with me at a photo session and my car battery has died. He’s tried calling other people in the area, but can’t get a hold of anyone – can you guys come help? (muwahahahaha) *rubs hands together*
While all of this is happening, countless friends are scurrying around hanging lights, standing on ladders, stacking logs, lighting candles, and armed with a fire extinguisher (we were prepared, people). My sweet friend Jessica (of Jessica Lauren Photography) not only loaded and drove a huge truck of supplies in for us, but then stayed to help capture this moment. We wore all black, found our hiding spots, and sent everyone away. Dave was at the front to give us the signal when they pulled into the park. Finally, the text came through and we hurried to our spots.
Coming up the trail, already in sight of the proposal scene, I hear Bryan saying, “I don’t see them anywhere.” I see them walk past holding hands, and Bryan asks, “why are you crying?” In that moment, she knew it was about to happen. That this day she had been waiting for was here. Bryan dropped to one knee and (over my own sniffling) I heard him tell her, “Rachel, I’ve loved you since the first day I met you. Since the very first day.”
And from there, I’ll let their photos tell the story.