Lynchburg Engagement Pictures | A Downtown Engagement Session

Dylan and Rachel booked me for their wedding photography at West Manor Estate last fall. They had amazing chemistry (which Rachel tried to deny for years, ha!) and I had SO much fun photographing them together! After any couple books with me, I send a Getting To Know You form so I can, well, get to know them better. :) Rachel and Dylan did such a great job telling the story of how they met and how Dylan proposed that I thought it would be best to simply share their words with you! Aren't they adorable? 


First up, How They Met:

Rachel: My sophomore year at Liberty University, Dylan happened to be "the sound guy" on the same theater production as one of my best friends. I remember meeting him for the first time and wasn't exactly swept off my feet by his bravado. 
Dylan: Through Kaitlin, the mutual friend, I met Rachel and was immediately attracted to her. Working with Kaitlin gave me a great excuse to spend more time around Rachel. However, I was still a freshman guy...
Rachel: Our little band of friends grew increasingly close, spending countless hours together getting into mischief, studying, going on trips, getting snowed in, pranking each other, hosting holiday celebrations and movie nights, and generally having a great time. Dylan made it clear pretty quickly that he was interested in being more than friends and I made it pretty clear that I was not.
Dylan: Over the next two years I continued to take every opportunity possible to spend time with Rachel and get to know her better. Through that time, we grew closer, I matured greatly, and she began to have feelings (even though at the time she denied it with everything in her). 
Rachel: It was pretty obvious to perhaps everyone except me that Dylan and I had some remarkably strong chemistry. We often found ourselves instigating adventures or sipping hot tea (our mutual favorite beverage). When my three best friends moved into an off-campus apartment, he would consistently offer to drive me and had a captive conversationalist for a full seven minutes! This bearded West Virginia mountain boy with his cheeky grin and antagonistic ways started sneaking into my heart and...
Dylan: After two years in the friend zone, I finally convinced her to let me take her on a date.

And now... the story of their engagement:

Dylan here. On May 22nd I got up at 3:30 in the morning to get on a plane from Houston, Texas. Rachel was unaware that I was coming to Virginia and I wanted to keep it a surprise. The first leg of my flight went smoothly, however, the second leg was delayed an hour and began to throw off my entire plan. Now rewind a few weeks, I had been talking to Mary, Rachel's sister and Maid-of-honor, about how to make this plan work. What was supposed to happen was that Mary, conveniently home for the weekend from her summer internship in Haiti, was supposed to ask Rachel to go to lunch at the same pizza place where Rachel and I went on our first date. Ally, one of Rachel's best friends and roommate, would plan to join them, but "be running behind" and therefore cause Rachel and Mary to have to improvise and waste some time by walking around the gorgeous college right across the road.

Unbeknownst to Rachel, what was actually happening was that Ally was picking me up from the airport and driving me to Randolph College, where I would then propose where Rachel and I had spent hours walking and talking on our first date. However, with my plane having been delayed an hour, Ally and I were pressed for time and had to rush out of the airport. I changed in the airport bathroom, consequently dropping my wallet into the freshly used toilet. In her haste, Ally sped through downtown and was promptly pulled over by Lynchburg's finest with no time to spare as we knew Rachel and Mary weren't far behind. Throwing a coat over me to hide me from view, Ally flashed the ring and explained our urgency. The officer kindly gave her a warning and wished me luck. We pulled away at brisk legal speed and made it into Randolph College just in the knick of time. Once arrived, I discovered that the bench I had planned to propose on was no longer there. Once again, improvisation was necessary. Fortunately, Randolph College does not have a shortage of beautiful locations and we quickly found a nearby, gorgeous, brick gazebo to plant ourselves and, for the first time that day, wait. 

There I was, ready to ask the love of my life to be my fiancé. Then I saw her in the distance, walking, totally oblivious that anything was about to happen. She began to walk up the steps beside the gazebo and I peeked my head out and said "hey there". She looked up and a huge smile raced across her face as she sprinted up the stairs and leapt into my arms. (We had been long distance since January and hadn't seen each other in-person in three months.)

The rest, as they say, is history. I asked, and she said YES!


Oh my goodness, HOW CUTE ARE THEY?! I am so excited to share their stunning fall wedding with you soon! For now, enjoy my favorites from their engagement session below!

Are you recently engaged? Engagement sessions are reserved for clients who book the full wedding experience with Liz Cook Photography. I am fully booked for the 2017 wedding season and am currently booking for 2018 weddings. It is best to book your wedding photography as soon as possible, as dates fill up quickly.

Every Liz Cook Photography wedding photography package includes a complimentary engagement session, full day photography coverage, and the best 500+ high-resolution images from your wedding day. For more information, see the wedding page. If you would like to meet in person, contact me today to schedule a no-obligation, in-person consultation at my studio in Forest, VA (or online over Google Hangout). 

Lynchburg Wedding Photographer | Old City Cemetery Engagement Pictures

When we were planning their engagement session, Ashley mentioned she didn't care when or where we did their session, she just wanted to make sure it wouldn't be too cold. I did my absolute best weather dance before the weekend they were scheduled to travel from Charlotte, VA for their session. I must be a terrible dancer, because when we hopped out of our vehicles at 8 o'clock in the morning, it was a brisk 45 degrees!

"All the more reason to cuddle," I said! Ashley laughed and agreed... and cuddle they did!! I had a wonderful time photographing Erik and Ashley. They grew up together and have such a beautiful dynamic. I am really looking forward to their wedding later this year! 

Engagement sessions are reserved for couples who book the full Liz Cook Photography Wedding Experience. I am now booking for 2017 & 2018 and have only a few dates available for this year. If you are considering booking me for your wedding, please get in touch as soon as possible!

Luke & Rebecca | A Glencliff Manor Engagement Session

Lucas and Rebecca met at Liberty University and their love story is simply beautiful. They have incredible chemistry and were so much fun to photograph. I had the honor of photographing their wedding this past weekend, which I absolutely cannot wait to share with you. But first! Their engagement session on the grounds of Glencliff Manor! It's not very often I encourage a late-winter session. For one, the trees are just.... drab. And two, it's super chilly!!! But these two kept things warm with their flirting and dazed-in-love eyes. The epitome of newlyweds (to be)!

I love the way these came out and I credit Rebecca for the extra details you see - her adorable felt hat, the cozy plaid blanket, and the touches of her wedding colors! The tiniest accessories can do SO much to a final shot which makes all the planning ahead SO worth it! Also, a HUGE thanks to the staff at Glencliff Manor for letting us romp around on the grounds for this session!! 

Sooooo sweet, right?! Love these guys! I can't wait to share their entire wedding with you!! 

Liz Cook is a wedding, family and birth photographer in Central Virginia. She loves to photograph emotional and discreet birth stories, the details of parenthood, and fun and easygoing couples in love.

David & Britney | A Lynchburg Engagement Session

My baby brother is ENGAGED!!! Ahhh! I have to admit, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be making this announcement! But... man... I am so excited! We ADORE his fiancé, Britney.... she compliments him in all the right ways! And she has shown such love and dedication to him while he was finding his way these past few years. It’s amazing to see him in such a good place after all he has been through in life!  

They came down to Lynchburg this past weekend to help celebrate my birthday and we squeezed in a quick engagement session while they were here. It was a sunrise session and the only other person who is (ALWAYS) awake in our house at that time is Sunday - and she wanted to come along!! It was so much fun having her there with me, although she definitely tried to take the lead a few times.  

“I gotta a good idea! One of you looks at mama, and then the other looks at me!”

I was cracking up. Monkey see, monkey do, I guess! :) Poor thing gave up after a little while when we all had to ignore her in order to really get the job done... but it was so much fun to have her along with us!  

Congratulations David and Britney!!! We are SO EXCITED for you guys and cannot wait to see where God leads you in the upcoming years!! Your wedding day can’t come soon enough!

Liz Cook is a wedding, family and birth photographer in Central Virginia. She loves to photograph emotional and discreet birth stories, the details of parenthood, and fun and easygoing couples in love.

Lavender Farm Engagement Session | Matt & Hannah

Oh these two... they just made my heart swell with giddiness when we met up for their engagement session. You would think after photographing more than 100 couples, I'd be over it by now. But when a bride and groom book me for their wedding and we have the opportunity to connect at their engagement session ahead of time, there's nothing that gets me more excited about their wedding day than watching them snuggle up and enjoy each other in front of my camera! And okay... pair it with beautiful sunset light and I literally squeal. I make fun of myself for it, too, so that may explain some of the genuine laughs these guys gave me. :) 

Enjoy Matt and Hannah's engagement session shot at the Evergreen Lavender Farm in Appomattox, VA. It was my first time photographing a session at the lavender farm nearby and I LOVED it! Thank you, Peggy and Thane for being so hospitable to us while we were on your property!