While most couples tend to book their wedding photography 9-12 months in advance, that’s not necessarily a hard and fast rule. There are always a certain few who either wait until the very last minute to pick their wedding vendors because they’re just swamped with planning, or they’ve just gotten engaged and have decided to pick a date sooner rather than later! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with either! Lauren and Blake fell into the latter camp, and I am SO, SO thankful that I was available for their June wedding at The Venue at Waterstone! We were also able to squeeze in some portraits together to celebrate their engagement and also get to know each other a little better before the big day. Today, I’m excited to share their romantic engagement photos in Downtown McKinney!
I had initially connected with Lauren’s sweet mom, Lauren, and Blake over the phone. They mentioned that the wedding was just a few months away and then explained that with Lauren being a teacher, getting married over the summer was logistically the best option for the couple. Makes total sense! The planning was falling perfectly into place, and they were able to secure a date at The Venue at Waterstone, which Lauren said she’d been eyeing since before Blake’s proposal! After discussing my style and how it fits with their vision for their big day, we determined that it was a great fit! Things just worked perfectly from there, and I can’t express how thrilled I am to be Lauren and Blake’s wedding photographer!
Lauren and Blake chose to have their engagement photos in Downtown McKinney as they were familiar with the location and loved the variety of textures. I was excited to shoot there as well – although I’ve frequented the area many times before, I had yet to photograph engagement portraits! We had such fun exploring all of the historic nooks and alleyways. Exposed brick and distressed concrete made for interesting backdrops and super unique photos! We also revisited the very same spot where they’d had formal dance photos taken in high school! I didn’t know it at the time, but it was certainly fun when they pointed it out!
Despite the threat of rain, the three of us enjoyed spending time together capturing some gorgeous portraits. I discovered not only that it’s really hard to take a bad photo of Lauren and Blake, but also that they are total pros at posing naturally and comfortably! I can only imagine how amazing it’s going to be on their big day at The Venue at Waterstone! In the meantime, I’ve asked Lauren to share a little about their love story and more about their session, so read on to learn more!
Lauren and Blake, thank you for the honor of capturing your love! I can’t wait until June!
How did you both meet?
“Blake and I met attending Allen High School. It was the summer after my freshman year and his sophomore year, and we had both attended Younglife camp in Minnesota. We hadn’t talked much at camp, but we both had caught the other’s eye throughout the week (we didn’t know that at the time but now laugh having heard what the other one was thinking at the time). On the bus ride home from camp, Blake had an empty seat next to him, and a friend of mine had encouraged me to sit next to him. I was terrified, but also super excited to have the chance to sit next to the boy of my dreams and really get to know him more. We talked the whole ride home. The bus ride was a total of 26 hours (or something crazy like that) and I remember the whole way home thinking, “Man, we only have 13 more hours together… man, we only have 4 more hours together…” haha I guess I just couldn’t get enough of him. Blake thought things went pretty well also because when we pulled back into the Allen High School parking lot to unload the bus, he asked for my number. We continued to talk and hang out after camp. Shortly after, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and here we are now, about 8 years later, getting married!”
How did he propose?
“We were in Breckenridge, CO for spring break with my parents. On the last day of our trip, we had planned to have dinner in the city next to Breckenridge (Frisco, CO). My mom had mentioned going to dinner early to get pictures with the sunset since we hadn’t gotten any good pictures on our trip. On our way to dinner, my dad had driven up the side of this mountain that overlooks this beautiful lake. While driving up the mountain, I had said, “Wow, this is so beautiful!” It just so happened that as soon as I had said that, there was a place you could stop on the side of the road to get out and take pictures. So my dad decides to pull over and let us get out. I thought we had dinner reservations, so I was a little hesitant when getting out. I remember saying something like, “Wait… we’re actually getting out to take pictures? Aren’t we going to be late…” but no one seemed to hear me; they just took off down this trail and were determined to find the perfect spot to take pictures. So I slowly followed them down to where they were. When I got to where Blake was standing, we posed for a picture, and then Blake gently grabbed my shoulders and turned me to face him. He looked at me and said, “Lauren, you make me the happiest guy in the world. If I could spend forever with you, then I could die a happy man.” (One of our favorite songs is “Die a Happy Man by Thomas Rhett). Then he got down on one knee, pulled out the most beautiful ring, and asked me to marry him!”
Tell me about the details you’re most excited about for your upcoming wedding!
“The location! Our wedding will be held in a big, beautiful barn in Celina, TX called The Venue at Waterstone. The look on Blake’s face when he sees me in my dress! Also, our first dance together as husband and wife! And lastly getting to see all the beautiful photos taken of our special day!”
What did you each wear to your session?
“We wore one nice outfit – I wore an off-white, spaghetti strap maxi dress with sandals, and Blake wore a blue button down, with a gray suit and brown work shoes. We also wore one casual outfit – I wore a black mid-length, off-the-shoulder, cotton dress with sandals, and Blake wore a light pink and blue striped, long-sleeve button-down from Ralph Lauren with khaki jeans and cowboy boots.”
What kind of look were you going for?
“We didn’t really know! Haha! We just knew we didn’t want to be matchy-matchy by wearing the same colors, so we chose colors that went well together (complemented one another). We also knew we wanted to look classic and elegant, so we chose pieces that we thought would be simple and timeless.”
Do you have any tips or advice for other couples about to have engagement photos taken?
“Just be yourselves and enjoy the moment! It’s not every day that you get to take engagement photos with the one person you love most!”
How was your overall session experience?
“Absolutely wonderful! Seriously, it could not have gone better! Emily made it so easy and effortless- she had us take pictures in front of a variety of places, she gave us direction, and showed us how she wanted us to pose while still being ourselves. We loved every minute of it!”
Tell me something interesting about your future spouse!
“Blake is one of the most patient people I know. He is also one of the nerdiest people I know (haha not true, but kinda!) Most people would not know this about Blake just by looking at him, but a fun fact is that he is an Eagle Scout! He also LOVES to play games- computer games, video games, games on his phone… I can’t say I’m much of a gamer myself, but it’s super cute when I find him off on his own, quietly playing his favorite computer game!”
Did you enjoy these romantic engagement photos in Downtown McKinney, and now want to see more of my work? Feel free to view my website with galleries of more Dallas engagement photography! Whether you’re planning a wedding in Dallas or elsewhere in the DFW metroplex, I would love to hear about your special day and all of the moments leading up to it. Contact Emily Chappell Photography and let me treat you to coffee. I can’t wait to hear from you!