Keeping the awesome coming with an adorable, giggle-filled Richmond, Virginia engagement session from What a Lovely Photo this afternoon. And talk about a LOVE STORY from this couple! It’s funny, sometimes couples write two sentences, and then other times I get novels (I love both equally). But just a warning that this one will be a bit word-heavy, as Sheena wrote a really beautiful reflection of her and Lissa’s love story!
Sheena & Lissa’s Libby Hill Park Engagement in Richmond, Virginia
From the photographer:
Bad jokes and awkward Segway tourist kept us laughing the whole time. Y’all…get ready to tear up a little, have a big smile on your face, and say “awwww” more times than you can count. Sheena surprised Lissa with a trip to Iceland recently and popped the question during their stay in Reykjavik. I love seeing other people head over heels in love, and I can’t think of a better example than these two sweethearts.
And now their love story, from bride-to-be, Sheena:
I first saw Lissa on my first day at a little hole in the wall sports bar where I was slinging drinks at for a short stint. I gawked at her the entire time, quickly turning away every time I thought she was about to look in my direction. I don’t think she noticed me at all even though she swears she did to this day. It really didn’t matter at the time, we were both unavailable.
Eight months later, she caught me staring at her from across a busy bar. I was there with two friends having a drink. Immediately when I saw her come in, I couldn’t turn away. I knew that if I didn’t say something to her my ogling was going to seem creepy. So I turned to my buddies, telling them about my plan to go talk to this stunning woman. “Oh Lissa!!! I grew up with her!!! “, my friend hollered. They both knew her!
I pleaded with them not to go into stealth wing-man mode and I headed to the bar to buy us a drink, mostly for the simple fact that I needed a little liquid courage. As soon as I walked away, my friend b-lined it to her. I turned around, drinks in tow. She was standing right there. Of course, there was the uncontrollable perma-grin introduction. We took the shots and as soon as her glass hit the bar she said, “So, you think Im hot?” Stumped and annoyed at my friend’s lack of creativity, I just said “Absolutely!” Her perfume was intoxicating. And so, I leaned into every single thing she said, for the next three hours. Unfortunately, I learned that she was at the tail end of a rocky long-term relationship. I completely understood, having gone through the same thing about six months prior. I gave her my phone number and told her that if she is ever available that she should give me a call and that was that.
Six months later, serendipity at its finest, I saw Lissa again. I was going to meet some friends and was yapping it up at a table. I had turned around to grab my drink on the other side of me and it was as if she just came out of nowhere, just talking to the same person I was just talking to! I froze. I knew that if I talked I would have stuttered horribly through some ‘Hey, how are you?s’. So in attempts of not sounding like a blubbering idiot, I gently pinched her elbow and smiled hello. Once she recognized me, I had a completely different look, up flailed her arms, spin around tornado move into I’m sure some kind of crazy yoga bend and up to an elated and surprised hello. We sat down face to face, knees interlocked and talked intently about everything under the sun for the next few hours. She asked me to dinner at the end of the night.
Click inside for the rest of Sheena & Lissa’s beautiful Libby Hill Park engagement session AND the rest of their beautiful love story
We went on our first date two days later. At this cute and quiet little restaurant, we sat by the window. We were there for seven hours, learning about each other. I’m sure the server hated us but we didn’t care. It was the most genuine and endearing time either of us had ever experienced with another person. It felt so natural. It’s like we knew immediately that it was going to be perfect, and it was. Here we are, almost three years later, every day, still learning about and from each other. We have built the foundation of our relationship on patience and compassion. A never ending understanding and respect for one another keeps us grounded and great partners. Our unyielding love for one another will undoubtedly be the key to our everlasting love story.
Last December, I stumbled across an article about the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik, Iceland. How amazing of a trip that would be? So I began planning. Crazy me decided that I wanted this trip to be a surprise, or as much of a surprise as possible. I told her that I was taking care of everything and all she needed was a parka and a bikini. She of course, didn’t believe me. For the next three and a half months, it was twenty questions all the time. Hints here and there, but she was convinced we were going to Ireland. I blabbed all the juicy details to our friends. How she never found out, I do not know. My strict face, reiterating the loss of all bodily extremities I’m sure played a role. Around 10:00am, before our late flight leaving Richmond, I stopped by her parents’ house to tell them I wanted to marry their daughter. I bought her diamond Claddagh ring on my way home. Ha, and I went to Jared.
We spent our long layover putt-putting around in Manhattan. The unveiling of my master-mind trip planning was about to happen. In efforts to keep it a secret just a bit longer, I sat her in a corner far away from the obvious IcelandAir ticket counter. Although they thought my surprise trip, wait till the gate idea was cute, obviously, the TSA rules and guidelines yada yada yada. I went back to get her so we could get our boarding passes. I could see the ladies peering at her as we passed the other airline counters and headed their way. Once we narrowed in and she started to follow my lead through the line, she did a familiar tornado spin yoga bend jump into a squealy laugh. And her signature excited shoving and nearly knocking someone over move. It was exactly how I thought she was going to react. She spent the 45 minutes before our last flight on the phone with her mom.
I had two definite things planned for our trip, a northern lights tour and trip to the lagoon. The city was amazing and the backdrop of every day was quietly beautiful. Such genuinely kind people. We booked a northern lights tour on a charter boat. I knew that this was going to be the time, the moment I had been telling myself not to freak out about. I had run through it in my head oh, just a few times, but kept telling myself, she is my best friend, the love of my life, this will just happen beautifully and naturally, no need to be nervous, and everything will work out perfectly. Needless to say, we bundled up before our adventure in the middle of March and 15 degree weather. She never even noticed that I shoved her ring box in my pants behind my belt buckle. There were a lot of layers.
We walked a few blocks to the harbor and boarded the boat. We thankfully used their complimentary Deadliest Catch jumpsuits since we obviously wanted to sit on the top deck of the boat to watch the lights and it was freezing. We watched the city lights fade out while we headed over an hour into the middle of the North Atlantic. The top deck was crowded with people watching the phenomenal lime green streaks dancing around in the sky over Reykjavik. It was indescribably marvelous. As the boat started to head back to shore, I had lured her to stand towards the back of the deck with me. We talked about how gorgeous it was and how amazing the trip had been so far. Now or never Sheena, now or never, I kept thinking. She noticed me trying to reach for the ring as I went searching for it behind my belt. I did a quick little shiver adding to how cold it was to try to cover up the fact that the ring box had slid half way down my pant leg from the walk to the harbor, sitting, standing, moving from one side of the boat to the other, up and down some stairs, and further down the ring slid. I was pouring my heart out on the back of that boat. We were reveling in the magic that keeps us together. Finally getting my hands on it, I pulled it out and whispered her name. She immediately dropped her head on my chest and started crying. I never even got any words out, all the words I had running through my head the whole time just stayed right where they were.
She said yes. Now we are planning our wedding for October 2014 in Richmond to be celebrated with our incredible family and friends who have been nothing but supportive and encouraging.
Congratulations Sheena & Lissa! Thank you for sharing your beautiful love story & Virginia engagement session with us! A special thanks again to What a Lovely Photo for submitting this feature via Two Bright Lights!