January 17, 2016


Melissa and David’s rustic Salubria engagement session was scheduled for one of the last days of the season in October.

A chill was in the air and the fall foilage provided the perfect backdrop for our casual, laid-back session at Salubria Manor just outside Culpeper, Virginia.

David and Melissa were friends way before they ever started dating so there is some debate as to what actually constituted their “official” first date.  The first date that they always reference was when they were asked to go on a double date with two mutual friends for Valentines Day (for moral support since it was the other couple’s first official date).
Being a gentleman, David brought her chocolate, but still they had attended the double date as friends.
Their date was really fun and relaxed and over dinner they started to realize that they might like each other as more than just  friends…


“We met when we were in high school through his sister and we quickly realized we shared mutual friends,” said Melissa.  “David was about 2 grades higher than me and had been in the same graduating class with my sister Emily and some of my closest friends. The first time we ever met, I went to hangout with his sister Jessi and a few other friends. The group of friends decided they wanted to go explore an abandoned prison that was on their properties and I, being terrified of the idea, decided to stay behind.


Unfortunately staying behind meant sitting in a car waiting for the group to return from their exploration. So Jessi asked her brother David to stay behind and wait with me. I had never met David before so in order to break the ice I decided to play a game where I would quote movies and he would guess which movie I was quoting. It worked out perfectly, because he is surprisingly good at memorizing movies and got almost every one right. That’s when we became friends and over the course of a few years our friendship grew to become best friends and then one day we realized that we were perfect for each other!


David’s proposal was sweet and romantic and also completely nerve wracking. Since my birthday was on a Monday it made sense that he wanted to set something up on the weekend so we could enjoy the day together.


David’s idea was to take me fishing which was something we do together frequently so I didn’t think anything of it. We went to the lake and started fishing and he was acting so strange! He was so nervous and kept looking around and barely fishing.


Next thing I know he takes my hand and leads me under this big beautiful draping tree and points to a group of people walking towards us. I couldn’t make out who it was at first because they were so far away, but just at that moment he got on one knee and proposed. After I said yes, I heard cheering and clapping and realized that it was our families who were right there witnessing the whole thing! It was so nice to be able to celebrate with everyone.

rustic-engagement-photography-session-at-salubria rustic-engagement-session-at-salubria-culpeper-virginia I feel the most comfortable and in love with my fiance when we are outside. Whether it’s kayaking, fishing, camping, four wheeling, at the beach, we just really enjoy hanging out and doing stuff that is relaxing to us. rustic-engagement-session-at-salubria Our favorite place has been Savannah, GA because we just love the old southern look and how beautiful the structures and nature is there is really amazing. Also, we are foodies so whenever we can go out and try new foods that is a good time for us too.Salubria-manor-engagement-photography-session salubria-oustic-outdoor-engagement-photography-session Salubria-rustic-engagement-session sunset-rustic-engagement-photography I am looking forward to sharing our wedding with our families. Our families are a big part of both of our lives and have been waiting for this moment just as much as us. We are also looking forward to dancing! Our families love to dance so that is a huge deal for us. I know David is most nervous for the ceremony. He is so excited and happy that he is nervous he might stumble over his words because hes going to be so overwhelmed. I am nervous for the same thing. It has been 9 years and will be 10 when we get married. We have been dreaming about this moment for almost a decade and we are just so elated.Virginia-rustic-fine-art-wedding-photographer Virginia-rustic-fine-art-wedding-photography

Are you recently engaged and planning a rustic wedding in the Shenandoah Valley?

Email me at molliet@gmail.com for information about my wedding collections!


We will be in touch soon. 

Contact ME


text me




click here for wedding collections