We had such a wonderful time shooting this cozy campfire engagement at French Creek State Park for Jared + Angellena! These two are getting married in just over a month! Like so many of us, they were thrown for a loop when the pandemic hit. They’ve jumped through some hurtles and rescheduled their wedding for December in Conshohocken, PA and it’s going to be wonderful. I am somewhat hoping for a bit of snow to truly make the day a beautiful winter wedding. Thankfully for their engagement session, it wasn’t quite cold enough to snow and that the leaves stuck around to give us some wonderful color.
There is an annual family get together that Angellena’s family takes in October to California. As avid campers and outdoor enthusiasts, this was too great of an opportunity to see areas like Yosemite and Sequoia to pass up. We planned our trip with a “mini-vacation” camping in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks before meeting up with the rest of the family. Jared had other motives. Once the itinerary was set, Jared put his plan into action. Looking at popular spots in Yosemite for grand vistas, he had decided that star gazing at Glacier Point was the place to propose. With a ring packed up and only Nathaniel (Jared’s son) in on the plan, the family set off to Yosemite. A plan does not always go as planned. Coming off of the plane, and getting to Yosemite was more tiresome than expected and stargazing at Glacier Point was out (at least for the night originally planned).
The family awoke the next day after Jared had spent the night thinking of other locations that was worthy of a proposal. After a quick secret conversation with Nathaniel, the boys had a new plan — to propose on Sentinel Dome during a newly planned hike. Driving through Yosemite was challenging, and navigating to the expected spot was more difficult than imagined. After a long car ride to the park office and the trailhead for Sentinel Dome, and with the pull of the outdoors literally right outside the window, tensions were high and we were both feeling a bit stressed. At the trail-head, Jared made clear that he was going to scout ahead at certain spots to make sure that we were following the trail. He was really trying to find the perfect spot to propose. It was not a long hike (it is a 6.4 miles for the Taft and Sentinel Dome loop) so Jared had to be quick to find the spot.
Eventually, as the trees cleared, and the view opened up, Jared knew that he had found his spot. There was a lone pine near the cliff face and he went over to “take a break.” Calling me over to take in the view, he said the code-word for Nathaniel to grab the camera. As I came up to Jared, he had said “I wonder what the first people who stood here were thinking as they looked out across the Yosemite Valley…I know what I am thinking about…” and he dropped to his knee and continued”…I am thinking of how I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Angellena, will you marry me?” I responded with a breathless yes as tears were running down both of their faces and Nathaniel gleefully recording in the background.
The best advice we can give is to be flexible. Even the best laid plans will change. Even though our proposal was on a rock (literally), the process of planning has been fluid like a river.
We loved photographing your beautiful session in French Creek State Park! We’re excited to do it all over again for the wedding next month. We’re sure the day is going to be beautiful! Thanks for trusting us with these photos and we can’t wait to show you the rest, but until then, we hope you enjoy some of our favorites from your engagement session!