We thought we loved these Washington D.C. engagement photos the second we saw them… but then, we read the couple’s love story and fell head long into love, and melted into a puddle, dazed with heart eyes. Not only do they look like models on the cover of a magazine that would be titled “America” but also they’re so in love!! They wandered the steps of the Jefferson Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background, and then meandered over to the National Mall, and finished the day with a cup of coffee (heart shaped foam art included) at a nearby cafe. All the while, Minh of Du Soleil Photography, followed them around catching their beautiful love on camera. Scroll on for all the stunning photographs from the day, and get every bit of how this love story came to be from the bride, herself.
After being made aware of each other through a friend, then moving on to chatting on Facebook while confessing of having checked each other out on social media :), Macey and Joshua became good friends, and that friendship slowly grew into something very special. This photo session captured not only their affection for each other, but also their commitment that’s grounded in faith. This couple have so many souful stories to share, from the way Joshua asked Macey to be his girlfriend to how the proposal went down. See below for the details on their big milestones together.
~ How Joshua asked Macey to be his girlfriend ~
One Sunday, in April of 2016, without me knowing, Joshua drove 7 hours roundtrip from Liberty University to Northern, VA to take my Mom out to dinner and share where his heart was at with wanting to pursue me and asking her permission for us to date (my heart still melts knowing that he did all of this to just date me, and this is the same man I now get to marry)!!
And just a week after that on April 16, 2016 Joshua planned a whole day for us in Washington, D.C. that started out with visiting Buredo and eating our sushi roles outside the Air and Space Museum. We then walked and sat on the back lawn of the National Monument facing the Lincoln Memorial where we talked about our friendship and shared the first time we knew we loved each other. Then Joshua had us walk to the Lincoln Memorial and right in front of the biggest oak tree he told me to turn around for a few seconds as he rummaged through his backpack to pull something out.
When I turned back around he handed me a small treasure chest he had painted white and then wrote our initials “J&M” separated in-between by a sunflower (my favorite flower) on. He then told me that the box was a physical representation of our potentially new dating relationship, and that in the box were rocks that had different words on them, and the ones that I didn’t want to be in our relationship I should toss out into the reflecting pool. As I foraged through the box, one by one I began to throw out all of the rocks, for I noticed that they all had words like “lust, selfishness, pride” etc., all things I obviously didn’t want to have in a relationship. Once I was finally done emptying out the box I stood there somewhat confused about what would happen next. But quickly he began to pull out rocks in his jacket pocket that had words like “love, respect, leadership, Christ-centered” etc. on them that as he placed into my empty box, he promised to carry out and fulfill in our relationship. Tears began streaming down my face and when he put the final rock in the box, he asked me to be his girlfriend.
So excited and overjoyed, I couldn’t stop smiling to the point where when he asked if he could kiss me (we decided not to kiss or hold hands until we started dating), I was still cheesing so hard that he kissed my teeth!! HAHA talk about an awkward first kiss, but it’s seriously my favorite and we still laugh about it today. He then took my hand and we sat under that big oak tree and prayed over our relationship…
A patriotic D.C. engagement session wouldn’t be complete without a bright red bouquet!
~ The Proposal ~
After spending nearly a perfect week in LA, Joshua and I were approaching our last full day of our trip. Throughout our time, he had been very adamant about the fact that he had a surprise day planned for us on May 29, and that I had to wear something that I felt really cute and comfortable in. So, of course, the morning of I made sure to take the time to really do my hair and makeup. I figured that regardless of what he had planned we would definitely be taking pictures of my outfit for my Instagram and blog.
We spent the beginning of the morning eating at an adorable new spot we had passed a few times that we were really eager to try. Then we hopped in the car and drove to Trader Joe’s where Joshua revealed that we’d be having a light little picnic on a beach in Malibu, and encouraged me to pick out anything that looked/sounded good to eat, in addition to any bouquet of flowers that I really loved.
Fast forward to when we finally got settled on the beach and started snacking on the little treats we had picked up, Joshua began asking me about some of my favorite moments from out trip so far and what I was excited for about our future together. In the process of sharing what I loved about our trip this time around, I had a wave of panic and anxiousness hit me like a bag of bricks.
The reality that we would not only have to continue doing distance, but be 10 hours apart from each other with no foreseeable end made me so upset that I began to cry. And I’m not talking about a few tears, I mean REALLY cry, to the point where it was turning into sobbing and I started just becoming overwhelmed with everything that was going on in the moment…
Here we were on a beach with a lot of other people (including girls in bikinis getting professional pics taken), which is not at all what we both envisioned. I knew that Joshua was trying to re-create the experience of when we first went to Malibu and had the most perfect day on a secluded beach with just the two of us laughing at nothing, talking about anything and everything, and soaking up the sun. But this just wasn’t that. But ALSO, here I was complaining about the smallest most insignificant details of the day when my best friend was taking the time to try and bless me. I felt like I was completely ruining the moment and couldn’t get out of this bad attitude I trapped myself in.
But throughout this sudden mental and emotional breakdown that I was going through, Joshua held me and continued to remind me that not only was everything going to be okay, but that he loved me unconditionally regardless of how I was feeling in the moment. With such a drastic and dramatic turn of events (and a sudden need to pee really bad), I quickly trekked up to the top of the beach to relieve myself and take a moment to breath.
By the time I got back, Joshua was standing there smiling really big and directed me to just sit on the blanket he had laid out and take a few minutes to just enjoy the ocean, and after a few minutes he would return.
I sat there, closed my eyes, and just prayed that God would give me peace and help me relax and enjoy the rest of the day with my best friend. It was so perfect to just take a moment to myself with the sound of waves crashing in the background and enjoying the stillness of the beach.
When Joshua came back, he giddily handed me his headphones and told me to to watch the video on his phone in it’s entirety before turning around…At this point I was excited but definitely skeptical of what was happening, and the moment I put those headphones in and started the video, which began with pictures of us over the last few years with our favorite songs playing in the background, I knew what was going on.
As the video continued, each of Joshua’s family members in separate videos shared how much they loved me, loved us, and how they were so ecstatic to welcome me (officially) into their family. I’m a pretty emotional person (if you haven’t already been able to tell HAHA), but when Joshua’s Dad began promising me how he’d fight for me and love me like his own daughter, I really lost it and started crying SO hard. The last video in the sequence was of my Mom, and after she told me about how much she loved Joshua and was so proud of me for finding such an incredible man, she told me that I should turn around now…
And there on one knee was my best friend.