"We met in math class in the tenth grade! When we got engaged, Owen planned a scavenger hunt with hints at all the locations we'd shared memories at. The final clue had us kayak across the bay where Owen proposed at sunset..."
Highschool sweethearts galavanting around a quaint European-infused town during autumn in Ontario. Old limestone buildings overlooking the serene river, quiet streets to dance in with Nicholas Sparks' Notebook in mind. Pure golden setting sun light cascading over bowed heads and whispered sentiments. Crisp suit, immaculate white dress, pearl necklace with matching headband, classy white heels, and of course, a shining diamond engagement ring: Haley and Owen's chic, romantic engagement session in St. Mary's, Ontario.
When asked, one of Haley's favourite things about Owen (how hard must this question have been, to answer about your new fiance), she narrowed it down to their history together, their growth both individually and in their relationship, and the fun they have together. My goal for this engagement session was to capture those feelings in a classy, elegant, old-money-inspired adventure through stone streets.
An overarching theme of Haley and Owen's engagement session was truly celebrating their engagement. It had been over a year since Owen had planned an endearing scavenger hunt around his family's cottage and had the two kayak over the lake to propose at sunset. They had another two years until their wedding date. The downside to their long engagement and hard time spent working on their Masters degrees was that Haley and Owen weren't quite feeling engaged. In love, of course, but that sparkly newness and excitement of engagement hadn't quite set in with them. Part of the magic of this session was truly celebrating their engagement, and really reveling in this short, and special, time of their lives.
As soon as I first chatted with Haley about what she had in mind for her engagement photos, I knew exactly where we should explore. The vibe was classy, elegant, clean, and just a little bit vintage. Haley has experience in having her photo taken - she's the face behind a successful lifestyle Instagram account, and Owen the photographer. This, however, was their first time having their photos taken together, and they truly were naturals.
I always urge my couples to act natural, even with my camera pointed in their faces. We prioritize candid moments and casual movement, which results in very intimate and genuine expressions (and of course, smiles). With these two, I wouldn't have even needed to explain that - Haley and Owen know what they're doing!
"I want us to remember how much we love each other at this moment in our lives!"
Meeting with Haley and Owen, I was immediately impressed with their outfit choices - white, classy, elegant, and absolutely stunning for a chic engagement session! Haley came prepared with two pairs of shoes, one of white heels for her photos, and one of (still beautiful) white loafers for comfortable walking on the stone streets.
Together the three of us explored the Milt Dunnel park in St. Mary's, Ontario, and walked along the river. Thames River is a pivotal part of the town, as it snakes through the downtown and is the lining of many vast parks throughout the little community, and is has more surprises than one might expect.
St. Mary's truly is the most beautiful little town, and is known for the former limestone quarry that put it on the map. Because of this history, the town is decorated with beautiful limestone buildings along the glistening river, creating a truly European feel. For our golden hour sunset session, the light was simply stunning on the buildings and empty streets. It was the sort of light that made you feel like you were already living in a memory.
Haley and Owen continued to wander around town, galavanting down empty streets and cuddling up to each other in quiet, Ivey-covered corners. An exploration highlight was a local church, whose steeple dominates the St. Mary's skyline reminiscent of Prague towers scraping the heavens.
Dancing together and channeling their inner Vogue, the two emanated confidence and love to any onlookers. We got a few supportive honks from passing cars, and curious passerby's interested to see the products of their spinning and laughing.
The ideas were non-stop flowing with these two, and we all kept wanting to explore more places, racing against the setting sun. As our time together came to an end, we headed down to one last spot, again in front of the water. They unpacked their engagement gift from me - a bottle of champagne with two glasses. They had the option to simply bring it home and enjoy it in privacy, but when I brought up the idea of champagne spray photos, Haley was excited.
Owen already knew how to uncork the bottle and give it a good spray, so on the count of 3, he made sure to have fun with it with Haley laughing along and enjoying it just as much!
The result? THIS amazing moment: