June 9, 2016

Steph and Rusty’s rustic sunset Blandy Farm engagement session

Steph and Rusty’s Blandy Farm engagement session seems to be just one step along a path that was meant to be.

When Steph moved to Manassas, she joined the gym where I coach.  Rusty noticed her right away, walking in to class late.  He didn’t approach her right away, but even then he thought she was way too pretty to be single.




Steph was at a CrossFit competition not too long after that when one of her friends asked her what her “type” would look like.

She pointed across the space at a guy who was judging the competition and her friend burst out laughing.

The guy she had just pointed to as her ideal was Rusty.



For their first date Rusty took Steph to get Mexican food.

Steph didn’t really like Mexican food, but she didn’t want Rusty to think she was picky so she went anyway.



While they were there, they ran into another couple that they knew.

Rusty told the guy that he and Steph were just hanging out.

Steph told the girl that they were on a date, but don’t tell anyone 🙂

By the end of the night Steph decided that she liked Rusty and that she might just like Mexican food after all as well.



The day that Rusty planned to propose, there were a lot of things going on.

They were planning a get together at a local restaurant for “Rusty’s Birthday” (aka the surprise proposal) and traveling to Maryland to support their teammates at a weightlifting meet.

The day was going just as planned, when on the way home from the weightlifting meet Steph decided that she wanted to stop at the mall and get some jeans to wear that night.

Rusty looked at the clock and mentally calculated.  They could maybe stop and still be on time for his surprise so they re-routed towards the mall.



Well, two hours later they were still sitting in traffic (hello Northern Virginia!).

Rusty was stressed out.

Rusty told Steph that the mall would have to wait and that they had to go straight home to meet their friends.

Steph was annoyed.


They got home and she still wanted to shower and do her hair and make-up before they went to meet friends.

Rusty paced the house anxiously waiting for Steph to be ready.

Finally he decided to walk down to the restaurant and let his friends know what was going on.

Steph would catch up.



After Rusty left Steph started to feel bad for making such a fuss about curling her hair so she hurried to finish and get to the restaurant to apologize for being so high maintenance.

As soon as she got there Rusty pulled her outside and she thought they were about to have “a talk”.

Instead he told her that there was someone that he wanted her to meet over by the skating rink in downtown Manassas.



They walked along the path over to the skating rink hand in hand and as they passed the “LOVE” sign on the train Rusty surprised Steph by getting down on one knee and proposing.

All of their friends (who had no idea that Rusty was planning to propose until he showed up at the restaurant) were outside cheering.





“It was perfect,” Steph said.

“I think the little tiff we had completely threw me off so I wasn’t expecting the proposal at all!  I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.  We always talked about getting our picture taken in front of that sign, and I think he picked the perfect moment.”



When we were planning their engagement session, Steph had mentioned that she wanted the location to be something rustic and that she also liked horses.

Fun fact – her grandfather was a jockey 😉


I happened to know of a private estate that had a beautiful open field and horses roaming the property and it was the perfect second location for our engagement photos.



The weather had been iffy all week and we actually had to reschedule the session once already, but when the day came we got beautiful weather, dramatic clouds, and a pretty pink and orange sunset.





Congratulations Steph and Rusty!

I can’t wait for your wedding next year.


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