When I first talked with Hannah after she inquired with me, we had an immediate “lets be friends” moment. She’s super sweet and we connected over a lot! I’m so so so excited to share their story with you!! For their Western North Carolina Engagement Session I headed toward the mountains! Nick’s family has a home on White Oak Mountain in Columbus, NC with amazing views and is surrounded by nature. They chose this area as the backdrop of their images for a sentimental, natural and relaxed vibe. Since Hannah lives in SC and Nick lives in FL, they were super excited to get more photographs with each other!
Nick and Hannah do the best at telling their story, so I’ll share a little of my impressions and I’ll use their words. They met while students at Clemson and were friends for a while! As their circle of friends spent more time together they started going on dates. After Nick’s graduation they made their relationship official!!
Nick says, “My favorite thing about our story is how we both never really had feelings for one another for the first couple years we knew each other. We both caught feelings for each other at the same time, almost overnight and out of nowhere.”
Hannah says, “Over the years we became good friends and got to see the other’s character and personality. We’ve both changed a lot and have been shaped more by the Lord since we first met. Sometimes I still stop and think how wild it is that we’re getting married. The Lord is so faithful, and I love how He has better plans for us than we could imagine for ourselves.”
When you know, you know
When did you know he/she was who you were going to marry?
Nick says, “After dating for a few months, I knew Hannah had all the qualities I could want in a spouse. Our relationship took a big turn when I got transferred to Tampa for work. I knew the whole long-distance thing would put some real stress on our relationship, but she handled it so well. There were tough times for sure, but her commitment to us, consistent effort in making it work, and taking advantage of the time we were able to spend together really sold me.”
Hannah says, “I already knew Nick pretty well when we started dating, so I already admired his character, personality, work ethic, relationship with the Lord, etc. He always treated me so well and I felt so comfortable around him. A few months in, I knew he was someone I could marry, but the longer you date, the more clear that reality becomes! I think Nick’s move to Tampa really solidified things for us actually – it felt like committing even more. The dedication it takes to communicate is no joke, yet Nick has still been so supportive and loving from states away.”
Dancing on the old hotel ruins at the top of White Oak Mountain.
Their Proposal Story
I wanted all the juicy details of their proposal story… so I’ll start with Nick.
Nick says, “The long distance part of our relationship made this a bit challenging. After I bought the ring and got her dad’s permission, I started thinking of how I was going to ask her. With me only being able to come home on the weekends, I knew I’d have to fit it in around football season. The Biltmore made sense for me since neither of us had ever been there and my sister got engaged there 11 years before.
I was really nervous for it since I didn’t really know the layout of the Biltmore grounds and wanted a nice, private place for the actual proposal. We toured the house which was all decorated for Christmas and then I started to really question when and where this was all going down. We started walking in the gardens after our tour of the Estate and I just decided to go for it. We were at a little overlook looking into the greenhouse gardens when Hannah turned around. I got down on one knee, but it was the wrong knee so by the time she turned back around I couldn’t get the ring out of my pocket! I had a lot I was planning on telling her, but I blacked out in the moment and still can’t really remember what I said. Not my smoothest moment. Anyways, I was able to finally get the ring out and onto her hand and she said yes.”
Hannah says, “At first, when we decided to go to the Biltmore, I was just excited Nick was planning another visit home and that we would get to see all the Christmas decorations. But I started thinking about it more and after a few days, I started to suspect he was going to propose. The entire week beforehand, I kept debating with myself in my head, going crazy because I couldn’t truly tell if it was going to happen. I didn’t have any huge giveaway clues but it was also lining up so well! I definitely kept quiet so no one would know I was suspicious, and I also tried to not get my hopes up so I wouldn’t be disappointed if it didn’t happen. Flash forward to Friday, and we’re in the car on the way to the Biltmore, and I STILL cannot guess. “It could totally not happen today,” I kept thinking. After we toured the house, Nick suggested going to walk around the gardens. We were chatting about nothing in particular when I turned around to see Nick was on one knee. It was surreal, like the whole world just stopped. After I said yes, I was in shock! It was one of those ‘is this real life?!’ moments.”
After they finished their Biltmore tour and wine tasting they returned to Spartanburg to find a surprise dinner with both of their families!! This was the first time their families met each other!! After dinner their friends joined in on the fun.
Jeff and I chased a sunset in NC a while back so I was familiar with the spot Hannah mentioned doing the last portion of their session. We had Sunset Rock all to ourselves for this gorgeous sunset overlooking Western North Carolina. The wind was a little cold for them, but they look pretty cozy to me!!
You’ll be seeing this amazing couple on my blog again in the early Summer! They’ll be married at Burntshirt Vineyards in Hendersonville, NC!
Western North Carolina Engagement Photography