Grace and Joe, man. They are some of the most joyful, happiest people that I’ve met! It was SUCH a fun time taking pictures of them for their winter engagement session (we even lucked out and had 60 degree weather! Woohoo!). They were so in the moment, so into each other and so laid back, making for some pretty incredible pictures of the two of them. BUT – before you see their images, I want you to read all about their love story. It’s a good one – prep the tissues!
They met at a meeting, that was preparing them to go with a team from the Gateway House of Prayer to Burkina Faso, Africa on a mission trip. Since meeting and dating each other, they had a pretty crazy-awesome adventure of driving with some friends to the Grand Canyon this past spring break. They said that it was amazing, and joke about the fact that since they still loved each other after being in a car together for 23 hours, they figured that what they had going was probably pretty good!
When Joe proposed, he pulled out all the stops. Here’s what Grace had to say about it:
“Our one year anniversary of Joe asking me out was on Thanksgiving of this year, so we decided to celebrate that Saturday (the 25th). Little did I know, our celebration would end in him getting down on one knee. That morning, he surprised me with taking me horseback riding at the barn that I first rode at and with the horse that I first learned ride on! The family that owns the horses are very close family friends, so it was very special to see them that day. We then went to Stone Hill Winery where we did a tour and tasting. We were headed home (I thought) at sunset, when he suddenly pulled up to a barn that I didn’t recognize. I was totally thrown off and confused. I kept asking where we were and what we were doing haha. (I’m a total control freak, super bad at surprises). He said we were at the barn of another close family friend. We pulled up a little closer and I saw a sneak peek of a sign that said “Marry me, Grace?”. Of course I knew what was coming the second I saw this sign, but there was more to come. He led me over to a little section near the sign with a table set with flowers and an electronic frame that had pictures of us throughout our year of dating. He then sat me down and pulled out his guitar. He began by playing my favorite love song, “Forever Like That” by Ben Rector. He then very subtly transitioned into a song that he wrote! Once he finished the song, he stood up, pulled out a little box from his pocket, and got down on one knee.
Through all of this, his brother-in-law was there walking around taking pictures. Once I had said yes, most of his siblings came out from the house nearby and there were many hugs, congratulations, and pictures. We then had a moment to relish in what had just happened before driving out to my house and celebrating with both of our families and a few friends.”
Romantic, am I right? I love how Joe incorporated so many things that were special to Grace and to the two of them. They said that they are loving planning their wedding, because it’s all leading up to them spending a lifetime together. Newly engaged couples, this part’s for you: they suggested to not immediately start planning, to simply take time to enjoy the fact that you’re engaged. They encourage you to remember that the most important thing is that you’re getting married – everything else is extra!
They have a few things on their ‘must do’ list together, and I have to say – it’s such a great list. Here’s what they plan to make sure to do together:
1. Listen to the Lord’s calling
2. Travel ( A lot)
3. Start a family
4. Do music together (particularly leading worship together)
Isn’t that incredible? It didn’t take long for me to figure out just how important their relationship with Christ is, and how much they value each other and family. I know that Joe and Grace are going to be a ‘power couple’ and have an impact on so many! Here’s to you two and your future.