Alexandra Thomas, Teacher
Chesley Brooks, Group Insurance Sales
Engagement Shoot Location: Ches’ family farm, Pittsboro NC
Wedding Venue: The Barn at Valhalla
Wedding Planner: A Lovely Affair Weddings
Photography: Donnell Perry Photography
Engagement story from the bride-to-be:
We were having a normal Sunday. We went to church and then went to eat at Ches’ grandparents. It was a beautiful day and Ches and I had talked about going for a walk around the farm earlier in the morning. After lunch everyone, including Ches, fell asleep and took a nap. I was bored so I woke Ches up to go on the walk. He had been napping… and in my mind I was the one who initiated the walk. I had NO clue that Ches was going to propose. He hopped up and we headed out for our walk, planning to end at his grandparents to say hi to the family. We stopped by a tree swing at his great grandparents old house. As we were sitting there, Ches was telling me about the memories he and his family had made there. That’s when he said, ” I can’t wait for us to become family.” I knew at that moment what was about to happen. He said, “I couldn’t think of anything better than to marry my best friend.” I started screaming, “yes!” as he got down on one knee. I did not even hear him ask me to marry him. He says he did. His mom and sister were hiding in the bushes taking our pictures. Best day of my life!
I considered multiple places for where I wanted to propose. I thought possibly the mountains of NC or in San Francisco on our Summer trip to California. However, I kept coming back to the countryside on my Grandpa’s farm. Alex would go on and on about how she loved the peacefulness and beauty of it. I wanted to capture the moment, so I had my mom photograph and my sister film. It was a Sunday afternoon and I wanted to let it cool down before we went on our walk. I took nap, along with the rest of my family. Alex is not always big on napping, so she was inpatient and kept bugging me to go on the walk. I then woke the rest of the family and had my brother-in-law drive my mom and sister to the farmhouse. We told Alex they were just going down the road to see the grandparents. Next we headed off for our walk on the farm. As I approached the tree swing where I was going to propose, I could clearly see my mom peaking out from the behind the bushes. I thought she was going to ruin the surprise! Fortunately, she hopped back behind the bushes and Alex never saw her. While we were swinging, I told Alex how much she meant to me and how I couldn’t think of anything better than marrying my best friend. I then got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. I was so nervous I even put the ring on the wrong finger! My mom and sis did a great job capturing the moment and Alex did not even realize they were there. The plan worked out perfect and she was so surprised!
Alex and Ches met at Forest Hill church after joining the same small group. Alex caught Ches’ eye the first night the group met, telling his buddies he had “dibs on the blonde.” Though Alex thought Ches was so handsome, she did not realize the love of her life was sitting right across from her every week. Ches patiently waited for the opportunity to get to know the person that caught his eye from day one. He knew she was taken, but was hopeful there would be an opportunity in the near future. This moment came when they started hanging out together at small group socials. It culminated 6 months after they had first met when the group got together for a go-karting and food truck festival. Alex and Ches spent the day laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Sitting on the lawn towards the end of the night, Alex saw Ches in a whole new light… noticing the incredible man she had been hanging out with. Realizing she had a huge crush on him, she went to tell her friends and family all about him… but that sadly they were “really good friends” and she could NEVER tell him. He must have been thinking the same thing because it was two days later when he asked her on their first date.
Yes… The Barn at Valhalla, Roses are incorporated to represent Alex’s grandma, Ches grandma is making our wedding cake.
Becoming Ches’ wife! Getting to see all of our friends and family in one place!
Country, Farm, whimsical
We had a great time! Donnell was such a trooper walking through many fields and being out with the cows. We decided to take pictures around Ches’ family’s property because it has been in his family for so long and it seemed special to us. We didn’t really know what the shoot would turn out like or exactly where/how we wanted to take our photos. Luckily, Donnell had a lot of great ideas and really was able to capture the scenery and our love. I am sooo pleased with how the photos turned out!
We are each other’s best friend and get to be so goofy together. We are really each other’s better half. We are opposite in many ways but I think that is why we work so well. I believe God made us for each other.
Donnell Perry Photography is an Award Winning Raleigh Wedding Photography company based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Please view our portfolio to see more of our work. We are available to travel for wedding and portrait photography, please contact us through the contact form on our website for more information.
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