We had shot at Inniswood on a number of occasions and it really is such a beautiful locations. So when Raquel asked about this location I was excited to see it this time of year. It had been raining sporadically throughout the day...that's kind of been the theme for the entire month of August for some reason. Hot and rainy. Thank you Ohio. But, Raquel being awesome was down to shoot rain or shine. I think our brides are pretty great and not afraid of a little (or A LOT) of rain.
Brett, Daniel, and I headed out...Elle had to stay home with the kids and she was preparing an amazing home cooked meal for all of us to come home to! Even photographers have families right? WEIRD!!
So, the rest of the team got to hang out with this couple. Because it had been raining basically on and off all day and just an hour or so before the shoot the park was empty. I think we passed maybe 5 people in the entire park. It was so cool. Okay, so remember when I said we had shot her a few times? Well we had...BUT ONLY THE FRONT PART!! I didn't even know there so much more. Thankfully Raquel and James were VERY familiar with the area and took us on a tour.
We started out by the cutest little waterfall and the shoot seriously just got cooler from here.
Once we were done with the waterfall and had gotten all the awkward beginning photos out of the way (if you ask me I don't think they were awkward at all - they were so natural). We headed to the SECRET GARDEN. Now anything with a name like that draws me in instantly. It was kind of a maze to get to it but it was so private and beautiful.
James will tell you that it took him 6 years to propose because Raquel's expectations were ridiculous...that's basically true. And the good news - he lived up to all expectations. So here's the full story of how this engagement (finally!) cam to be.
James started planning well in advance and back in August 2014 he tried convincing Raquel to dress as a Renaissance Princess for Halloween. He even bought himself a whole Renaissance costume and decided to go to the Renaissance Festival to convince Raquel to go along with his plan. Now realizing what was going on, Raquel was her normal uncooperative self and declined his offers to purchase her expensive princess dresses. Raquel ultimately decided to go shopping for costumes with her friend, Maria, whom was in cahoots with James and supposed to convince her of this princess nonsense. Well, Raquel came home with a costume and was super excited to do Steampunk that year. As you might have guessed, James was less than enthused.
In any event, James continued with his plan, despite Raquel's uncooperativeness. In order to facilitate his plan, Raquel was lead to believe that she was meeting friends, Malinda and Patti, in Schiller Park for a Halloween Themed walking tour of German Village Restaurants. She was told they would meet in the park and then visit restaurants where they would sample drinks and hors o'dourves. After that, she was expecting to attend a Halloween Party at their friend Maria's house. As they arrived at Schiller Park, Raquel continued her ornery self, stopping at the statue in the middle of the park and taking a seat. James was like, "Um, why don't you just come with me." Raquel was like, "Nah, I'll just wait here." As James persisted, Raquel became more annoyed as she didn't understand why she couldn't wait at the statue. Eventually she gave in, followed James, and stumbled upon the cared pumpkins...then everything made sense.
At that point, James go down on one knee and Raquel could barely wait to say YES! James had friends there taking pictures and filming the while thing. After this, James told Raquel to come with him because there was more to come. Raquel was lead through the park where a horse drawn carriage was waiting to take them for a ride around German Village as they basked in the joy of being newly engaged. Now that whole thing about dressing as a princess started to make sense and Raquel had a twinge of guild for being such a stubborn pain. James and Raquel rode around for an hour before ending at Barcelona Restaurant for drinks and tapas. At this point, Raquel started texting her family and friends because she couldn't contain the excitement...no one replied. Literally no one. Raquel started becoming upset and asking about who knew this was happening. Then she started texting friends out of state, because surely they couldn't be in on this. Eventually, Jessica, Raquel's college roommate who lives in Kentucky responded. Raquel's sister responded too, but was barely available to chat, cutting the conversations short and seeming less excited than Raquel was still looking forward to that Halloween Party at Maria's...even though she didn't think she would know many people there.
As they arrived at Maria's, Raquel sensed something was up -- as they walked in, she was surprised to see her closest friends greeting her and James with a sparkler entrance. As they walked into the living room, Raquel was shocked and excited to see her family there! No one had been responding because they were to afraid to give up the super secret surprise party. Raquel was overcome with joy and couldn't imagine that anything could make the night more perfect...except there was one more surprise...James and Maria had worked together to create an engagement video complete with love sent from friends and family afar who couldn't make it to the party! I don't think anyone couldn't have imagined a more perfect night!
I still CAN'T believe I didn't know about the whole back part of the park!!! I had been missing out on so much. Everything they took us to was amazing and we kept getting inspired and making them stop when we liked a location.
We finally made it to the bridge at the back of the park...and I was so HAPPY I HAD WORN MY RAIN BOOTS. I decided to get into the creek and take some shots of Raquel and James sitting on the edge of the bridge. I think those are my favorite shots of the entire session.
I simply had so much fun running down into the creek to take photos. I'm so happy Raquel requested photos on the bridge and that they were literally down for anything and everything. THESE ARE PROBABLY MY FAVORITE OF THE SESSION!!!
We had so much fun simply taking a stroll in the park with these two. On the way back we even got a pretty sunset and couldn't help snapping a few pictures before the cotton candy sky left for the nigh. This session was a dream and this couple was literally the best.
YOUR WEDDIG DAY IS FINALLY HERE!!
Daniel and I are so excited to head to Brookshire. I have been looking at it and drooling over it for weeks now. The day has finally come. We are ready to capture some AMAZING photos and have a blast with you both and your friends and family.
If you'd like to see the rest of this session click the link for their engagement gallery -----> RAQUEL LOVES JAMES