Virginia Engagement: Lauren & Jaclyn
Lauren & Jaclyn were married in April 2014 on Tilghman Island in Maryland, but a few months earlier they enjoyed a leisurely engagement photo shoot at a winery in Virginia.
Lauren had proposed to Jaclyn at a vineyard, so they wanted to capture that environment in their photo session, to remind them of how it all happened. Their photographer suggested a few different vineyard options, and Grayhaven Winery stood out to the brides. “The owners were lovely, and we were just thrilled with all of the beautiful places to shoot pictures there,” Jaclyn said.
The brides have been together for six years now, and they’d been acquaintances for a while before that. “We didn’t truly meet until my best friend from college reintroduced us,” Jaclyn said. “After a night of dancing and a series of Orange Crushes, we realized there was something special there.” Jaclyn described the proposal this way: I was completely surprised. Lauren mentioned this great Groupon deal and made it sound like we were just going on another fun mini-vacation after Christmas, before I had to go back to work. We spent the morning hiking, and then ventured to this beautiful vineyard called Philip Carter Winery. After a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine, Lauren popped the question by opening a memory box I had made for her our first Christmas. Inside were rose petals and a ring box in the middle. She asked me if I would spend the rest of my life with her, and my tear-filled response was, “Of course!” We spent the afternoon laughing, crying, drinking wine, and calling loved ones.
At their photo shoot, the brides got to do some wine tasting before getting down to business. “It allowed us to loosen up a bit and have fun with the shoot,” Jaclyn said. “We were also able to take our wine glasses and what was left of our bottle out around the vineyard. I also thought it was very fun to have horses just randomly grazing around the place.” She offered this advice to couples: One thing I’ll never forget is to never lose the respect we have for each other. There is something really special about continuing to open doors, saying thank you, or just being kind to one another on a daily basis. And as far as couples who are newly engaged, I recommend enjoying the engagement part for at least a month without stressing or discussing the wedding. There will be plenty of time for that!
Denise Oliveira is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and is the founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story.