Saint Augustine is by far one of my favorite places for engagements and the same goes for my lovely couple Karla and Austin. The two love spending “date days” walking the historic cobblestone streets and visiting the beautiful Castillo de San Marcos fort located on the Matanzas River.
Our session actually started off at Castillo de San Marcos. The (what seems like ancient, but really isn’t!) 1672 cement walls were the perfect backdrop for my couple. Leaning up against the wall, the two snuggled up for a few photos before we headed into town.
This was my first time shooting in the early AM at Saint Augustine, as I knew the light would be super pretty. However I did not know what luck we would have with the streets being a complete ghost town! It was quite an adventure finding an open shop to let Karla and Austin slip into a more casual look. As luck may have it our favorite restaurant Columbia was open and welcomed us in. The two surprised me with a more hipster look that was perfect for the town. I adore the images of my couple being silly on the cobblestone roads against the backdrop of the rising sun and boutique shops.
Since we didn’t have set locations in mind, we went on an adventure as we wandered through the town. Well known for its jaw dropping architecture, Flagler College was the perfect spot for some more intimate shots of my couple. I love the look in Karla’s eyes in the quick candid moments before she went into a certain pose or cuddled up in Austin’s arms.
Karla and Austin actually first met through a mutual friend who felt they were the perfect match. Both Karla and Austin though thought the idea of meeting on a blind date (of sorts) was a little weird at first, but eventually came around to the idea. From Facebook, the found out that they were both Christian and had similar interests and beliefs. Karla invited Austin to attend a church function for the first time they met in person, but definitely was not expecting what was to come. Upon Austin arriving he met for the first time – Karla, her mom, and her dad! As Karla puts it, “talk about nerve racking!” Karla’s dad was well, protective, to put it lightly, but that didn’t scare Austin and kept pursing Karla. Five years later – his proposal would be a complete surprise to Karla.
The two had always talked about marriage and knew that they wanted to take that next ‘big step’ together, but Karla was definitely not expecting how soon it would be. During the week of Christmas last year, the two decided that they would spend time together on Wednesday to avoid the craziness of work and the holidays. The night before, Karla and her mom went shopping at the mall. Mom had a hard time hiding her excitement of what would be happening the next day and couldn’t help but act a little out of the norm from making sure Karla got her eyebrows done to buying her a new outfit. She even said to Karla after purchasing the outfit, “that way you’ll look cute on your date with Austin tomorrow,” which Karla thought was rather odd since they went on dates all of the time.
Well Wednesday didn’t quite go as planned. After being two hours late (yep, two whole hours!), Austin didn’t have a very happy Karla to be greeted by. Little did she know he was delayed due to working on her big surprise. Austin still swept her off her feet and brought her to their favorite restaurants on the beach boulevard for lunch called Taco Lu. Right after lunch, he took Karla shopping for whatever outfit she wanted with one restriction – it had to be picked out by 6 PM. It was a good time crunch to allow Austin’s brother to get back to their house for pictures of the proposal.
Yet again though Austin’s plans didn’t go quite as planned. A huge accident tied the two up in traffic and Karla became very upset by his absurd amount of frantic texting. Opening the door for his sweetheart, he led Karla to the front door (yet another oddity, as they always go through the garage) and there in front of them was Austin’s brother holding a rolled up letter with a camera. The room was filled with balloons and rose petals. The letter read, “welcome to memory lane, please follow each trail of roses and they will lead you.”
From pictures of the Bears Football Team to a hand written note about his love for Karla, Austin truly touched on every favorite thing or moment during their time together. The trail finally led back to the living room where Austin had the sweetest video of Karla from the time she was a baby until the time they were together. After crying and laughing, Karla looked up to see a single stocking. Karla opened the small box and bam, there were Reese’s cups – total trick – very nice Austin hehe.
After laughing some more, Austin took a little red box sitting beside the fireplace and asked Karla to open it. He led her to the center of the living room, took her hand, dropped to one knee, and opened the little box. To be honest, Karla doesn’t quite remember what happened after that moment as she was well, “freaking out and crying” at the same time so the whole even was somewhat of a blur. After screaming yes and hugging for ten minutes, Karla realized it was the best proposal ever and she would relive it over and over again if she could. I am sure Austin agrees as well, just minus the traffic!
Looking forward to going back to Saint Augustine to capture my two sweethearts tie the knot this January!
Venue: Castillo de San Marcos