Inspired By This

Light & Airy Engagement Photos

We’re sharing the sweetest engagement session on our wedding blog today! These two had quite the whirlwind romance from a conversation via Instagram to a proposal in the same spot where they shared their first date – more on that later. We must say, they make quite the gorgeous pair! Below, the bride shares how their relationship uniquely began and turned into a great love story. Plus, all the beautiful, light and airy engagement photos captured by Ivory + Bliss Photography!

My fiancé and I have a unique love story and his proposal was the best surprise of my life. We recently had our engagement shoot with Ivory + Bliss Photography and I am so in love! She created the perfect, light and airy images that complimented us, our outfits, and our love!

Our love story… 

At the end of April in 2016, I was going through a time in my life where I was questioning my decisions, my future goals, and pretty much everything I thought I had planned for myself. At the time when we met, I attended the University of Northern Iowa. I had actually followed a different boy there after attending Northern Arizona University my freshman year of college. My family is from Iowa and that’s where our family resides so I figured I would be fine even if the boy and I broke up. Once I transferred to the University of Northern Iowa, the relationship quickly came to an end. By the end of that year, I found myself longing to move back to Arizona where I had left so many dear friends and a wonderful life.

However, God had a plan for my love life and this was just the beginning. This is where the crazy starts. I was almost ready to commit to transferring back to Arizona and had my transcript all ready to go. Everything was set in place until one day I was sitting in my room on Instagram, like most girls, and I noticed this really cute guy named Michael Gabhart started following me. I didn’t think much of it because it was just Instagram and he was too good looking to be interested in me. That week, he direct messaged me on Instagram asking me if I knew someone who went to his school. He claims he had fallen the second he saw my picture, but in my mind, no guy on Instagram could ever just find me and want to pursue something. So, being who I am, I stopped replying because I was so focused on Arizona and thought someone like him was way too good to be true. 

A few days later, he messaged me again and I still didn’t respond (I know I’m stupid). So finally, my good friend who went to school with him came over to my house while being home for the summer and completely opened my eyes. She told me that Michael had mentioned me to her numerous times asking countless questions about me. He told her that he felt it in his heart that I was something special and that he would do anything to meet me. I immediately got goose bumps and that night, I responded to him. Boy am I glad I did! Just writing this story has me in tears. Everything about Michael is more perfect than I could have ever dreamed. He loves Jesus, he is incredibly smart, he has a heart of pure gold, and he is so kind to everyone he meets. He is also very motivated to be successful and to impact so many people’s lives. It is absolutely nuts how incredibly passionate this man is.

We talked hours on end for a whole month. Michael lived in a small town in Iowa with his Grandma and had been for a few years ever since his parents decided to move to Haiti to run a missionary organization. Her house was five hours away from me but one night, he drove to finally meet me in person. Not only did he have to meet me, but also my entire family at the same time since he was staying at our house! Good thing it went the way that it did!

Michael pulled up to my driveway around 1 am and I couldn’t contain the butterflies. I was SO NERVOUS. I ran out to his car with a blanket around me and we just embraced in the biggest bear hug I have ever had. I looked up at him, and the first thing he did was kiss me. It was the greatest feeling I have ever felt. I knew right then that I was where God wanted me to be, and that this man was going to change my life. I know it’s a little crazy after just meeting him, but when you know you know. The next morning, Michael and I went on our first date. It was the most incredible day and I couldn’t have asked for anything more! We went to the Maquoketa Caves State park in Iowa and it felt like we escaped Iowa and ended up in a jungle. Being with him was so natural; it was like I had known him my whole life. Everything about us meshed perfectly and I could already see myself with him forever. In fact, at the end of the date, we already knew we loved each other.

On June 24, 2017 Michael surprised me in a way I never could have imagined. We were driving up to Chicago for the weekend with my sister and her boyfriend and planned to stop at the Maquoketa Caves on the way (the place we had our first date). We wanted to go there because my sister and her boyfriend had never been there and it was the perfect place to take cute couple photos together! When we got there, I was awing over how beautiful it was and reminiscing on our first date. Randomly, Michael asked my sister’s boyfriend if he wanted to go to the bathroom quick and I of course didn’t think anything of it. I just hung out with my sister and when they came back, we started walking around and eventually ended up in my favorite place. It was the place Michael and I found the first time we went and it was in the middle of a bunch of rocks right off of the trail.

I made my sister take pictures of us because it’s where Michael and I took photos on our first date. While she was taking pictures, her boyfriend all of a sudden pulled out his phone and started taking a video (the reason Michael asked him to go to the bathroom with him). My sister started yelling at him asking him why he was video taping us when all of a sudden, Michael was on one knee. I thought I was going to faint. I didn’t know what was happening; in fact my heart is beating out of my chest as I write this. I froze for about five seconds and just looked at him and my sister and asked, “is this real?” and fell to the floor crying.

I stayed on the ground for while and Michael had to ask me again for me to finally say yes! I was so in shock and I couldn’t stop crying to save my life! I had never been so happy and so surprised. It was the best proposal I could have ever even thought of and the best part was, I had no idea it was coming.