I have always wanted the opportunity to photograph an engagement session at The Durham Hotel. I was all ears when Ravonda and Justin told me they wanted to do their engagement at this plush hotel in the middle of Downtown Durham. I’m so happy for this amazing couple, they are truly soul mates and I know the best is yet to come for them. So excited for their upcoming wedding in Atlanta Georgia. Check out a few of our favorite images from their Durham engagement session and few fun facts from the bride and groom.
Engagement story from the bride-to-be:
Justin took me to my favorite Italian restaurant here in Bryan, TX. It wasn’t until later that I realized how nervous he was at dinner, and how he barely ate! I was too busy stuffing my face to notice at the time. After dinner he said he was taking me to a new dessert spot. Knowing that I pretty much know about every spot here in Bryan, he blindfolded me so I didn’t see where we were going. I totally believed him because he surprises me like that all the time! However, once I took the blindfold off, I realized we were at my other favorite place, Messina Hof Winery. There were tons of wine barrels with candles on them, roses, 2 photographers, and a video camera setup! Since we’re so far away from our families and friends, he wanted to make sure we had the moment on video to share with everyone. And I’m so happy it was on video because afterwards I couldn’t remember not one word Justin said (haha). To say I was overwhelmed would be the biggest understatement. Everything was perfect. The ambience. The ring. The man. He did good 🙂
For the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day:
So Ravonda and I have a history of never being together to celebrate Valentine Day so I suggested that we celebrate “Valentine’s in July.” I told her to get dressed up, and I would handle the rest. So I had everything set, I would pick her up at 5, take her to her favorite restaurant, and then take her to this winery she liked around 7. Then I would propose to her outside under this pavilion. Well at 3:30 it started storming, I had to rearrange all my plans, had to run over to the winery, and have them set up everything inside because of the rain. This made me a little flustered, but after talking to the people at the winery they assured me that it would look great inside so I left to pick up Ravonda. She looked gorgeous; we took some pictures and headed to dinner. She realized on the way to the restaurant where we were heading, and was excited to go to her favorite place. I was very nervous at dinner. I struggled to find things to talk about because all I thought about was if everything was set up perfectly at the winery. After dinner I informed her that the evening wasn’t over. I told her that I had another place to take her, but she had to put on a blindfold. (I didn’t want her to figure out where we were going before we got there.) She did reluctantly obliged, and we headed to the winery. I left the blindfold on while she complained the whole way up the stairs to the winery. Inside they had set up the wine barrels, candles, and rose pedals. The photographer and videographer were all set up perfectly. I removed the blindfold, and I guess you can say the rest is history!
What was the theme of your Engagement session?
We wanted our pictures to match our wedding with the Hollywood glam vibe.
What makes your love special?
From the very beginning, we have done our best to let God play an active role in our relationship by allowing Him to set the rules. We definitely have not been perfect, but we have managed to stick to our commitment of having a God-like relationship, and we have seen firsthand the blessings that come along with that decision. It may have seemed a little old school in today’s society, but that is what makes our love so special. Despite it all, we’ve stayed true to God and to each other, and we are so grateful for this next chapter in our lives.
Lots of laughing and fun on this sunny day :-). We had such a great time with Justin & Ravonda!
What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?
A lot of our family will be meeting for the first time, and we’re looking forward to that joining together of families