When a good friend of mine introduced me to Jonnie, we instantly hit it off. During my Navy + Copper inspirational shoot, where Jonnie played bride for a day, she told me all about how her dreams of being swept off her feet were coming true with her (then) boyfriend Nick. I distinctively remember asking her, “Is he the one?,” and she answering so matter of factly, “Absolutely!”
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve, my husband and I do it big for New Year’s, as it’s our wedding anniversary, and my mind was on Jonnie. The same friend who had introduced us, had told me that Nick was planning to propose at the strike of midnight! So naturally, when Jonnie sent me a text message on January 1 asking if I would be her wedding photographer, I was thrilled!! We started a secret Pinterest board and began planning a fabulous engagement session for Historic Downtown Apex, where Jonnie has called home for the last several years. This setting was selected as an intentional way of allowing Jonnie to take a little part of “home” with her when she moves to Salisbury, NC to live with Nick in his hometown after the wedding. Jonnie wanted her engagement images to feel casual and fun while adding some of the rustic feel that both Jonnie and Nick love. Downtown Apex has so many unique spots for perfect pictures and we definitely took advantage of the exposed brick, quaint storefronts, alley ways and walkways.
Jonnie and Nick attended elementary school together and were in the same class each year until they switched to different schools for 4th grade. It wasn’t until 2015, when Jonnie stumbled upon an old cook book with a recipe of Nick’s mom’s, that she decided on a whim to private message him a copy of the recipe through Facebook. The rest is what we call history. Their wedding will be this summer at the beautiful Farm at Bursharbor in Concord, NC. I am so excited about helping them tell their love story!
Because our session took place on the coldest (and windiest) day of the winter, some of their initial wardrobe ideas had to be revised. Jonnie had originally planned for a casual jeans and boots look (which we were able to pull off) and a dressier dress look. Due to the windchill, she decided to nix the dress and use layering pieces like the vests (Nick’s brown vest, which coordinated with both shirts he had, and Jonnie’s fur number which was feminine, fun and warm), a wool blanket scarf, a cozy crocheted blanket, and of course coats. Layering these over neutral base outfits allowed them to stay warm and get the variety of looks every couple wants for an engagement session.
I always encourage couples to bring along any cute props that they think would be able to be worked into the session. One of Jonnie’s first gifts (from who else but that friend who introduced us) after becoming engaged was a specialty mug. Jonnie has a venti sized obsession with coffee so it was fitting that we find a way to incorporate her gift. And yes, that mug makes her look very engaged.
If you knew Jonnie’s story, you would know that no one deserves happiness like this girl!! The simple fact that she has been through everything that she has and is able to keep such an optimistic outlook and beautiful smile on her face is nothing short of a miracle. I will definitely tell her story one day, but until then, I am just humbled to be part of her’s and Nick’s story.
Location: Historic Downtown Apex
Jonnie’s Hair: Megan Durfey, Studio ‘Em
Jonnie’s Nails: Michelle, Elite Nails