Courtney + Jason Share Their Super Sweet Proposal Story + Photo Session At Historic Cedarwood

How did you and your groom meet?
I “met” Jason initially in the fall of 2011, while out with friends, and immediately had a crush.  He was dancing like crazy, had a huge personality, and I couldn’t stop laughing.  It wasn’t until a year later in August of 2012 at an FSU (Florida State University) event that we ran into each other again.  This time we wouldn’t let each other get away so easily- we went on a date the next week and have been together ever since. 

Tell us about your proposal with all the details!
Well, our relationship got serious rather quickly, but I was still in nursing school and we wanted to wait until life settled down a little before I took the next step forward.  I was graduating in December 2013 and knew it would be coming soon after that.  We were going on a work trip for Jason at the end of April to Ireland and London, and we decided to extend the trip to Paris.  I thought for sure we would get engaged in Paris, and I had found this amazing photographer I wanted to do engagement photos with while we were there. 

At the beginning of April, Jason’s sister and brother-in-law were in town with their three boys.  We went down on Saturday afternoon to his parent’s house to hang out and decided to go to the beach for a grill out at their golf course’s private pavilion.  We hung out by the pool all day; I didn’t even shower and just threw my hair in a braid.  Not even thinking there was a chance of us getting engaged, I thought I knew for sure it would be in Paris. 

As the sun was about to set, I stood up and noticed there was a photographer standing in the distance.  At that very moment, I felt Jason’s heart start beating really fast, and by the time I could process anything, he was already down on his knee.  I was in complete shock.  It took me a few seconds to realize what was happening, and then I realized the photographer was for us.  He had hired someone to document it all.  She got pictures of him pulling the ring out of his pocket, of us standing together with the ring clenched in his hand, and of the actual engagement.  It was truly incredible. 

So after I said “yes,” I said, “Did my parents know about this?”  And he said, “Why don’t you turn around and tell them?”  He had invited them down, and they were up at the pavilion the entire time.  We all grilled out afterwards and celebrated the night.  It was a perfect and intimate proposal and what a shock. 

That night, Jason said he had to do it before Paris because I was anticipating it so much and he didn’t want me to wake up thinking “is today the day,” and being disappointed if it weren't.  This way we could enjoy the trip entirely as a newly engaged couple!

Once we decided on doing a destination wedding, we immediately contacted Nyk and Cali.  Their work was oh-so-AMAAZING!!!  After a bit of sorting out dates, details, and rearranging schedules, we booked them! We went up this past January to visit our venue (Cedarwood) and meet with all of our vendors.  Nyk and Cali were available that weekend to do our engagement shoot, which worked out perfectly.  We did our photos at Cedarwood.  We got to check out all the “spots” and got our vision for the wedding. 

Nyk and Cali were so easy and just perfect for what we were looking for.  Kevin and Joanna (their associates) shot our wedding photos as Nyk and Cali were already taken for our wedding weekend.  They, too, were absolutely amazing, and Nyk and Cali did the editing of our wedding photos.

Why did you decide to do engagement pictures?
Well, to be honest, I have a deep love for great photos.  Unstaged, natural, candid photos.  We wanted to do engagement photos that matched our wedding theme to be displayed at the wedding.  Nyk and Cali’s engagement photos online were all beautiful.  I think they do a really nice job of not doing “staged”/ “cheesy” couple photos, and we loved that about them.  They just have such a natural eye for photography.

Why did you choose the location of your engagement shoot?
We chose Cedarwood.  We wanted to get a feel for the property and we wanted the style of photos to match our wedding.  Cedarwood is nothing short of amazing.

What characteristics were you looking for in a photographer?
As stated above, we loved Nyk and Cali’s style.  They are very real and genuine, and they take great candid photos.  In half of our photos we are laughing, and I love that about them; it’s us.  Their photos bring out the couple’s personality and I think they get the little details that make each couple unique.  Also, many photographers have difficulty with the lighting.  I love the coloring of their photo style (not sure how to describe it in the photography world).

How did you work with your photographer to achieve the photos you envisioned?
Well, we just told them to do their thing.  Because I love photography so much, I already knew they were good, and I trusted they would capture us in the same great way they had for so many couples before us. They nailed it all.  Like I said, they just capture the couple being themselves so that all we had to do was be “us”.

What was the engagement picture experience like?
It was easy and fun.  Nyk and Cali are married and work really well together.  At one point, Nyk was telling us a funny story and we were all laughing and not realizing Cali was taking photos of it all.  They are very easy going, but detailed and professional at the same time. 

How did you use your photos for your wedding?
We used the photos for our rehearsal dinner table, welcome reception, and in multiple areas at the wedding, including a large framed photo of us at the welcome table/guest book area.


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