16th July 2018 / Engagement
Emily & Dan's Engagement
Welcome to the engagement session of Emily and Dan by wedding photographer Abul, of Gracious Photography.
I was recommened to Emily and Dan by the lovely Jessica (another bride to be), and I must admit that when I met them I fell in love with them a little. How could I not? They are so easy-going and relaxed, and they both have such an appreciation for photography. When they told me that they loved my creative shots, I knew that I wanted to do something a bit special for their engagement shoot.
When messaging each other I asked them to think about potential locations for photos and when they suggested the beautiful Peak District, I was so excited!
We rented a gorgeous Yurt on the amazing Dale Farm, and it was definitely glamping at its finest. It had such a cosy, shabby chic feel, and the lanterns, tealights, and wood burner made everything feel extra special.
We met the couple at the Yurt early in the morning, and they arrived with their best friend, their beautiful French Bulldog, Reggie, who’s full of personality. They told me that they wanted Reggie to be at the wedding but they weren’t sure if it would be possible, so they brought him along for some photos.
‘The atmosphere was laid back and cosy’
The atmosphere was laid back and cosy, as I took natural, candid shots of the couple sitting together in the Yurt. Dan played his guitar while Emily rested her head on his shoulder and listened, enjoying the moment. Reggie was a natural model of course, though he was prone to being distracted by the sounds of the farm animals in the next field!
After a while, we went outside to a charming fire pit that was surrounded by logs. The couple sat together on a log, while I lit the fire. Dan expertly played Hotel California on his guitar, and I got some lovely natural shots of them as they relaxed together.
‘Dan played his guitar while Emily rested her head on his shoulder and listened.’
I’ve mentioned Dan’s guitar a few times, and there’s a good reason (apart from him being super talented!). Dan’s mum used to play the guitar, but now she has arthritis and unfortunately can’t play anymore. So Dan is making the amazing gesture of playing his mum’s guitar as Emily walks down the aisle; just one of many beautiful memories that will be made on their wedding day.
Dale Farm was not only an amazing place for photos, the owners were so hospitable and kind, especially the farmer, John. He greeted us and even pulled out a tractor for us to use for photos, and Emily and Dan (and Reggie) loved it. The couple thought nothing of pulling on their his and hers wellies and allowing me to give them direction, they were a photographer’s dream!
We broke for lunch and agreed to meet later in the day to hike up to an amazing peak called Bamford Edge where I knew we would get some breath-taking shots, and I wasn’t wrong. The weather was glorious, and I remember thinking about how lucky I was to be standing on the peak at golden hour with a couple who are as in love as Emily and Dan are.
As Emily stood high on the peak wearing high heels, hand in hand with Dan, I bet that she was thinking that she wouldn’t do the same for anyone else.
‘I remember thinking about how lucky I was to be standing on the peak at golden hour with a couple who are as in love as Emily and Dan are.’
Anyone who saw this couple together would realise that they are perfect for each other, and they’ve been inseparable since they met at University in Southampton, during Fresher’s Week. They both lived in the student halls, but across the road from each other. Emily and Dan were invited to their mutual friends’ flat for drinks. Dan walked into the flat with his beers, sat down in the kitchen and tried to open his beer using the side of the table. This didn’t go as planned, and the beer ended up fizzing up in his face and going all over him. He certainly made an impression on Emily, but probably not like he would have wanted!
But even when life isn’t perfect, the imperfections can give you a story to tell, and the couple started dating.
On their first date, they went to the cinema, and when they came out, Dan was down to his last £5. He told Emily that they could either take the £5 and go to the casino to try and make the money for a taxi home, or they could walk home in the rain. They opted for the casino and spent ages trying to make their money back, but to no avail, and they ended up walking in the rain anyway.
‘They travelled along the West Coast in an open top Ford Mustang.’
Amid the beer mishaps and the rain, when you’ve met The One, you do just know. Dan jokes that he knew that Emily was the one for him when he discovered their mutual love of Nando’s. Emily says that she knew that Dan was a keeper when he looked after her when she was ill during her last year at university. She recalls that he used to visit her in the morning after his early lecture to make sure she was okay, and he’d also study late with her in the library because that’s when he knew she’d be feeling better. True love is about taking the rough with the smooth and being there for each other when it counts.
True love is also an adventure, and it was on one of their adventures that Dan planned to ask Emily to marry him. They had an amazing holiday in America, travelling along the West Coast in an open top Ford Mustang. They both had responsibility for booking different parts of the trip, and Dan planned their visit to Santa Barbara in California. They stayed in the Kimpton Canary Hotel, a beautiful Spanish- style hotel with luxurious surroundings and breath-taking views.
‘He had prepared a music playlist, and he got down on one knee and asked Emily to marry him in this amazing location.’
That night, Dan seemed fidgety, which Emily knew was out of character for him. They went up on to the hotel rooftop and Dan couldn’t decide where to sit, even though it was completely empty. He had prepared a music playlist, and he got down on one knee and asked Emily to marry him in this amazing location. The very happy and newly-engaged couple then enjoyed a private meal on the rooftop.
From the beautiful proposal onwards, the couple have enjoyed the whirlwind of wedding planning. Dan says he has enjoyed putting together the guitar piece he’ll be playing as Emily walks down the aisle, and Emily loved choosing her dress, and deciding on a colour scheme, flowers, and the details. They say they haven’t worried too much about trying to please everyone, they’ve just stuck to their plan and gone with what makes them happy.
As far as the big day goes, Emily and Dan are looking forward to their beloved family and friends coming together and having a great party to celebrate their love.
Congratulations to an amazing couple who I’m sure have a very bright and happy future ahead. We can’t wait for the wedding!
“Love is like a mountain, sometimes it’s hard to climb, but when you get to the top, the view is beautiful.”