Josh and Vanessa are high school sweethearts who started dating in the 10th grade. Vanessa is a criminal attorney and Josh is a logistics consultant by-day and a budding local musician by night. They currently reside in Wake County and will be wed this Fall in Raleigh, N.C.
How did you meet?
We met in high school, back in 2003. We had an English class together. She would sit towards the front of the class, and I in the back. I always thought she was pretty. We only interacted a few times in class, but the times we did I thought she was mean! It wasn’t until later that I found out that was her way of “flirting.” We both played on the JV basketball team and this is where we became friends. At some point during the season, we began dating. We’ve been together since then. We were even voted “Cutest Couple” for our 2006 senior superlatives!
Engagement story from the bride-to-be:
I recently turned thirty last October. I’m pretty low-key when it comes to celebrating my birthday—all I want is a good meal and a small, thoughtful gift. One of my favorite places to eat in Raleigh is Glenwood Grill, so Josh made reservations for two on the night of my birthday. It was a nice, well-planned evening. We discussed our weekend plans over dinner: he had an upcoming gig with his band and I intended to go to Washington D.C. to continue my birthday celebration with my girlfriends. The night ended regularly and that was the end of that. . . or so I thought. Once I arrived in D.C. the following day, my friends had a weekend filled with fun activities that included a segway tour around the National Mall at night To be perfectly honest, I was NOT feeling that, but for the good of the group I went. When we arrived at the World World 2 Memorial, it was beautifully lit. We began to take pictures to kill time before the tour officially began. While taking pictures, a photographer approached us and offered to take the pictures for us. We agreed and began to pose. As we were adjusting ourselves, he directed me to turn around. As I did, I noticed Josh on one knee. After a few touching words, he asked me to marry him. Before I could say anything, I realized that behind him was about 15 family members and a handful of my sorority sisters! He arranged for all of my family to come from North Carolina to be there for that special moment! After shedding a few thug tears, I happily responded, “Yes!” It was the most memorable day of my life.
Vanessa was stressing because it looked like rain was in the forecast and was threatening to ruin our shoot. She had been in contact with Donnell the whole time about trying to find inside locations in the event of bad weather. I could secretly tell she was disappointed because she had her heart set on being outside downtown. Once we confirmed that there was an 80% chance of rain, she called Donnell who was flexible about rescheduling for a day with better weather. The day came and it was absolutely beautiful. Blue skies and lots of sunshine. We brought a few props with us to use, but we ended up spending much of our time just laughing with each other, much like we do at home. Everything just felt very natural.
I’m looking forward to all of our friends and family being in one place. Josh says he is looking forward to the music (of course!)
Donnell has been awesome to work with. He is very responsive and easy to contact. I am not photogenic by any stretch of the imagination and he still put me at ease the whole time. The session felt a lot like being on a date, just me and my honey. Donnell caught all the things I wanted on camera–genuine emotion, the busyness of downtown, but also the quiet moments between Josh and myself. And the turnaround time for our pictures has been very quick!
Our love is special because it endures. Having been together so long, we’ve literally had to grow up together. It hasn’t been easy, but it is absolutely worth it. We have inside jokes that span back to 2006. Who else our age can say that?! I can truly say no one will know me the way he does.
We didn’t have a theme for our engagement session. We both love Raleigh ever since we moved here last year. I work downtown and Josh’s band, N’kogniito, plays many venues here, so we thought downtown would be a great backdrop to this important day.
Josh and I are getting married on a Sunday in October. We will be having an early morning ceremony followed by a brunch reception at 1705 East. Josh has been very hands-on throughout planning which is a big help. He is pretty easy-going and allows me to make most decisions. He was adamant, however, that he wanted to have an omelet station. Rocky Top Catering was more than willing to accommodate that request. Our floral and event design will be provided by Fresh Affairs. Lyn Graves has been phenomenal to work with thus far. Planning is slowly but surely falling into place!
Donnell Perry Photography is a 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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