Jillian and Matt's Biltmore Engagement

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Thanks to the power of the internet, I got to work with this fabulous couple from Florida last November capturing their engagement. Actually, not only did I get to shoot their engagement session, but I got to document the very moment she said "yes!" Matt had emailed me a couple months previously saying that he was planning to propose to his girlfriend at the Biltmore Estate and would love to have some photos to remember the whirlwind event and as a lover of proposals, I jumped at the chance. 

As they lived so far away, we had to plan everything virtually. In fact, when I arrived on the grounds to photograph his surprise proposal, I wasn't even 100% sure I was photographing the right people! Matt wanted to choose somewhere that would be more private so they could quietly enjoy their moment but that would still have that Biltmore flair, so we settled on the lagoon. When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a couple walking a dog in the distance (I knew my couple was bringing their dog) and moseyed towards them cameras in hand(s) hoping to catch the guy's eye. He waved, I waved, then all of a sudden he was down on one knee so I figured I had the right couple. He later told me he was so excited and nervous that he didn't want to wait a second longer to pop the question! 

Jillian was completely taken by surprise and could not stop grinning through our quick portrait session post-proposal - which is obviously the reaction Matt and I were both hoping for. And those big smiles had not worn off the next day when we finished up their engagement session through the gardens. We had a brilliant November morning with warm sunshine and the bluest of skies; a perfect match to the vibrant colors of the gardens. We walked from picturesque architectural landmarks to romantic landscapes while taking a few dance breaks in between, chatting about their relationship as we went. Not only were the two of them incredibly photogenic (in reality, anyone is when they're with the person they love), but their dog was too! She actually posed for me throughout the entirety of their proposal and for any engagement portraits she was in. 

I love destination engagements because I not only get to witness a love story, but I get to capture that couple's adventures in an unfamiliar - or at least less familiar - place so that the entire experience is new, exciting and full of storytelling potential. Once this sweet couple returned home, they selected their favorite images from both the proposal and engagement and I put together a beautiful album to commemorate a weekend they will surely want to relive for years to come. Unfortunately, in my excitement to send it to them I forgot to take a video so I won't get to share that one with you. But, I promise, it was as lovely as they are!