It's not surprising that Nancy and Jake become friends while they were attending Colgate University together. Both star athletes, they had a lot in common. Drive, determination, and the unique ability to balance athletics and academics while still finding time for a social life. As any college athlete can tell you, this is no small task. But Nancy and Jake were good at it, creating a tight circle of friends that thankfully included one another. They were friends freshman and sophomore year, but junior year something clicked. They started to spend more time together, becoming even closer friends.
When senior year came along, they both could tell something was different. They would go out of their way to see each other more often, the friendly conversations hinting at the possibility of something more. But neither of them said anything, neither of them willing, just yet, to take the chance and confess how they were feeling for fear of risking the friendship. Finally, Jake bit the bullet Valentine's Day of their senior year. A delivery of flowers came to the door of her apartment and Nancy was positive that there was no way they were for her. All of her roommates had boyfriends, surely they must be for one of them. But the card said otherwise. It was from Jake, a dozen roses and a message "Happy Valentine's Day, Nancy and good luck in your game this weekend, I will be there cheering." It's all the hint Nancy needed.
Several blissful, inseparable years later, Jake and Nancy made vacation plans - a beach house in the Outer Banks. But Jake's plans went a step further. After a long night of working late (so late the Jake had to slightly change his plans for their evening), Nancy arrived at the house. Jake was waiting there for her with a dinner of filet mignon and lobster. It was exactly what she needed after a long week at work, especially the long walk on the beach that followed. Jake led her to their favorite spot, pulled out a ring and asked Nancy to be his wife. Of course she said yes. Deliriously excited, she couldn't imagine that night could get any better. But Jake being Jake, he had one more surprise up his sleeve. When they went back into the house after that walk on the beach their were both sets of their parents, flown down from Connecticut and New Jersey, waiting there with champagne to cheer the news they were all very happy to hear.
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Since Nancy and Jake live down in North Carolina, we actually got to meet Nancy's mother first. She was helping out her daughter, running around and taking care of a lot of the wedding plans with Nancy on speed dial all the while. (We have an appreciation for all the hard work that goes into that kind of planning process - we relied on my parent's help quite a bit since we were living in Connecticut while planning our wedding that took place in New Jersey.) Nancy and her mother are totally on the same page, each of them have a very clear idea of the kind of fun, elegant event they want the wedding to be and from what we can tell from their plans, it's definitely shaping up to be just that.
We got to meet Nancy for the first time just a few weeks before the engagement session - she had flown up to take care of some of the plans and was just as excited to meet us in person as we were to meet her. We hit it off right away, with Nancy filling us in about her super fun wedding party and all the great touches that she and Jake want to incorporate into their day. Since they're getting married in her home state of Connecticut, Nancy thought it would be fun to incorporate one of her favorite childhood spots into their engagement session: Silverman's Farm in Easton. It was a place she loved to go with her parents when she was a little girl, and Mr. Silverman would actually go and cheer her on at sports games. To make it even more personal, Nancy suggested we start the session on the grounds of her parent's home, also in Easton, where she used to sit around the fire when she was in high school. We definitely worked up an appetite exploring the expansive grounds of her parent's yard, which was perfect because our next stop was Silverman's where there is no shortage of tasty treats, like pie and apple cider donuts. Oh, and some great scenery for pictures. That's always a bonus.
This is just a glimpse of Nancy's parent's backyard. It has all these beautiful trees plus a cool little stream and some bridges. It was easy to see why Nancy suggested this be the place we start the session.
Plus, since it was her parent's place both Nancy and Jake felt pretty comfortable which was a bonus since neither of them had really had a professional photo session like this before so they were just a touch nervous.
But they got the hang of it really quickly, especially since they happen to make each other smile like that. How could happiness like that not look good?
Just check out this snuggling. How sweet are they together?
And they were both really gushing about how excited they are - to be engaged, to be planning the wedding. Just ridiculously happy.
Thankfully, it wasn't too cold the morning of their session so Nancy was willing to take off her gorgeous white coat and take a seat in the middle of one of the bridges over the stream.
Then we headed back toward the front of her parent's house, with a quick walk up this large hill. Totally our workout for that day. :)
One last snuggle before heading inside for an outfit chance so we could head over to Silverman's Farm.
If you have never been to Silverman's, you should definitely make the trip. It's beautiful every time of year, but there is something really special about it in the fall. The pumpkins, the orchard, the bales of hay. Makes you feel like a kid again.
By this point in the session, Nancy and Jake were much more relaxed and actually having a lot of fun being in front of the camera.
Then a quick run through some of the orchard rows. They're athletes, they could handle it. Us, on the other hand... :)
And of course, some smooches.
We totally loved the flower Nancy wore in her hair, such a fun little touch.
And, of course, a classic "engagement announcement" type portrait. Always a necessity!
We always enjoying orchards because they give us the opportunity to play with depth and perception because there are so many rows of branches to incorporate.
Nancy spotted this bright red wagon when we first walked in, so of course we had to spend some time by it on our way out of the orchard.
Cause, really, it was the perfect place for some more snuggling. And who can say no to that?
Then we headed on over to the pumpkin patch where Jake switched it up and braved the cold without his jacket.
One last outfit change! Since Colgate is so important to them both, and the place where they met and fell in love, Nancy and Jake decided to don some university apparel for the last couple shots of the day.
Nancy & Jake, thank you so much for sharing your incredible sweet story with us. We had such a great time with you both during your session, got us even more excited for October!