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The Proposal + Engagement Shoot

Hey guys! First and foremost I wanted to thank each and every one of you who have reached out about the engagement and left comments under my recent posts! I have read every single one and I feel so blessed to have such thoughtful, caring people in my life.. This is such an exciting and sweet time, and I am so happy to share all the details with you! So here we go!

Joshua and I were dating for a little over 3 years and we knew since the day we met my freshman year of college that we wanted to marry each other. It was definitely the cliche "When you know, you know." feeling and I could never picture anyone else at the end of the aisle on my wedding day but him.. truly. I could start this story from Day 1, but I'll just keep it short and simple ;)

The Proposal

So, Josh graduated from UT in May and had plans to go to Chicago for 7 weeks to train for NFL Pro Day coming up in March. We'd talked about a timeline of things, and I knew it would potentially be coming soon, but definitely not when it did. So, no, I had absolutely no clue! Josh would mention little comments trying to throw me off, and I just didn't really expect it to happen any time really soon.. He ended up asking me to go with him to Chicago to help him get settled in the first weekend, and I agreed! Still thinking nothing of it. We weren't going to see each other for 7 weeks, so the more time I got with him the better. So, we flew up to Chicago and spent the first night at Giordano's eating some Chicago Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza! No one told us one small one was big enough to share, so we ended up with a lifetime supply of deep dish pizza. Not complaining. Anyways, the next day was Saturday, the day Josh had all planned out little to my knowledge. Date nights are pretty usual for us, so when he told me he wanted to have one last date night before we were apart for 7 weeks, I didn't even question! We started the evening off at the Navy Pier, just taking pictures and walking around. We walked throughout the city and got coffee and had so much fun exploring Chicago together! Not to mention, it was freeeeezing. -1 wind chill freezing.. He had asked me what I felt like for dinner and mentioned there was a Ruth's Chris nearby, which is our favorite fancy dinner spot! Still having zero clue, I didn't deny those mashed potatoes. We went to dinner and talked about our future and how much life was changing, how old chapters were ending and new chapters were beginning. We even talked about our marriage and what we wanted it to be like and how excited we were for those moments. Still clueless by the way. But, I noticed Josh would not get off of his phone.. I couldn't tell if he was texting someone or playing SimCity so I finally just pest him to get off his phone and that this was our last date together before I left! So after dinner, we hop in an uber and head to Maggie Daley Park for ice skating and hot chocolate! I was so excited for this.. because this ice skating rink isn't just a circular rink, it's literally a skating ribbon in the heart of downtown Chicago with the city's skyline as your backdrop. Highly recommend, it was so much fun! Especially since I have never seen Josh that uncoordinated and unathletic in my entire life..we were seriously heaving laughing the entire time. It was like a baby deer on ice, I kid you not. He blames the skates.. ;) it was adorable.. After ice skating, we get hot chocolate and just walk around Millennium Park.. Long story short, throughout the night we ended up at the infamous Bean when he puts his arm around me and whispers, "I have a surprise for you." Instant. Tears. Pouring. I have no idea why, but I just immediately knew right at that moment what was happening. He starts to whisper words in my ear that I've waited my entire life to hear as my face is buried in his chest and I am just sobbing! I'm pretty sure I blacked out at this point. It was just the realization that we've gotten this far and that this moment that I've daydreamt about for years was actually right in front of me.. he gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him and I can still envision his smile vividly. After I said yes, my mom and Ashley, my brother's girlfriend who is basically my sister, come running around the corner and it was the cherry on top of a perfect perfect night. Not to mention, they drove through an entire snowstorm all night to get to Chicago.. I am so glad they came that far and were able to be there to celebrate with us. We finished off the night having dessert and FaceTiming our family and friends..

Josh then tells me what his original plans were and poor thing had the worst luck. He had the plan to propose by the big fountain in Millennium park, and one of our Uber drivers had told us that none of the fountains were going because it was too cold! I remember Josh saying, "I'm sorry what..." so that plan was ruined. Then, another Uber driver told us that there was supposed to be a firework show at the Navy Pier at 10:30 that night.. Bingo! Josh asks me if I'd like to go to that and I of course said sure! We find out after ice skating that it was cancelled.. Ruined again. So bless his little precious heart had to change his plans for the third time and ended up proposing at the Bean while my mom and Ashley are running around Chicago like crazy women because he had changed his plans so many times! Haha. I realized they were the ones he was texting the entire night.. All in all, it ended up being the most perfect proposal! It could not have gone better..

Engagement Shoot

We decided to do our engagement pictures in Chicago as well since Josh wasn't going to be home for a while. I found Lexi Hoffman on Instagram and immediately DM'd her to see if she was available! She ended up being free and Josh and I could not have asked for anyone better to do our engagement shoot.. Lexi was the sweetest girl ever and is so incredibly talented!! We had so much fun frolicking in a snow storm with her! We were supposed to have our shoot inside the conservatory of the Chicago Cultural Center, but there was a wedding there when we showed up! Hence why I was in a sleeveless dress! Lol.. we decided to wing it and do our shoot OUTSIDE in a Chicago snow storm and it ended up being so much fun, even though we were drenched in a matter of 45 minutes! Josh and I were just dancing the streets of Chicago while everyone was looking at me like I was nuts for wearing a silk sleeveless dress and open toed heels.. but it could not have gone better. Lexi did such an incredible job and it is definitely one of my favorite shoots I've ever done! It is going to be so tough finding my favorites to frame! If you are in the Chicago area, we highly recommend Lexi she is fabulous!!

Instagram: @leximariephoto


She also has a blog too! Check it out at

Coat: Mine is a Cole Haan from Fall Collection. Linked similar here. and here. (both 50% off!)

Dress: Gianni Bini. Found this the day before at Dillard's on sale. Can't find it anywhere online!

Shoes: here.

Our wedding date is set for June 16, 2018 at Castleton Farms here in Knoxville, TN. Super soon, but with not knowing what Josh's future holds, it was either this summer or a year and a half from now and we couldn't wait that long! Darla Walker with Castleton Events is planning my wedding, she is phenomenal! We are having so much fun planning and cannot wait to just be married and be best friends forever! We are so blessed and excited to be sharing this life together and I am so excited to have you guys following along! I will be sharing plenty more details of my wedding planning process, so stay tuned! If you have any suggestions for what you'd like to see on, shoot me an email or DM! I love hearing from y'all.