DREAMY DC SUNRISE ENGAGEMENT SESSION | LILY & CHRIS | AMANDA MACPHEE STUDIOS | MARYLAND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
From Amanda: This session was PURE GOLD you guys! I have been trying to get to DC for the cherry blossoms since I first picked up my camera and when Lily mentioned wanting to do a DC session because it was just full of amazing memories for them, I was already packing my bag and calling the permit people (fine I waited a few days). The day of the session it was coooooold, but you honestly wouldn’t know from these photos because Lily and Chris just shed the layers like it was nothing and eventually as you get into the session, you do start to warm up. These two were amazing to photograph. Their connection is truly something special. And after I heard their story, I understood why!
Something Special-A Meet-Cute Told in Tandem (His and Hers)
A beautiful case of serendipity brought these two lovebirds together, the love of their lives was only one connection away for years and tonight everything was about to change. Near the beginning of his second year of college, Chris’ friend Cailey texted him asking if he would take her friend to a party…
Chris: Looking back there’s so many other things that could have happened and ruined the timing of our meeting. Lily could have asked her suite-mates in her dorm to tag along instead of meeting me. Cailey could have chosen another of her other friends at our school. Either Lily or I could have missed out on our connection to Cailey in our high school days and our lives would be completely different than they are now. None of that happened and Cailey decided to trust me with her friend, and I am thankful because that choice changed my life for good. I happily accepted this opportunity to be the cool, party-savvy leader of the night for Lily and her roommate. I had a good grasp on what fun our little college town had to offer, and I was ecstatic to be able to show some newcomers the ropes.
And ofcourse this was no ordinary party, but the very place Lily and Chris would realize they had each found something incredibly special…
Something Special-A Meet-Cute Told in Tandem (His and Hers) cont…
Chris: I remember thinking she was exceptionally nice when we talked and found her questions amusing because she truly did not know what to expect out of the night. That was my first glimpse into her preparedness and the worry-filled mind that I adore so much today. I can still relive my first moments laying eyes on her, my first thoughts were “she’s pretty short, and very cute.” Lily got super happy when I asked her to dance which made me extra sure I was picking up on the right cues from her. We danced our hearts out together and she was making this night the best party I had ever been to, it felt like I was getting drunk on her. It took a little while but I eventually got the courage to go in for a kiss but I misjudged my trajectory and kissed her nose. At first I thought she had intentionally turned away from me and that I had made the wrong assumption, but when I pulled back I looked in her eyes and saw nothing but joy. That’s when we both went in for the first kiss and the energy we had was taken to another level. We wore ourselves out dancing at that party and then made our way back to my fraternity house to wind down. The next morning I was instantly obsessed over how good everything went. I was gushing about it to my roommate trying to figure out what was the best step here because I really liked her. While my roommate was giving me his advice on the matter I received her text saying how much she enjoyed our time together. I asked if we could go on a date after my shift that day and she said yes.
Lily: The next day Chris was so excited to see me again he asked me on another date. In his typical fashion, he was super late for dinner so we ended up getting ice cream. We had ice cream and talked more in-depth about our goals in life and both of us were attracted to the passion we had for our future. He actually got me sick within our first week of meeting. He didn’t realize it until the next week when he went to student health and they said his infectious period was the week we met. I was feeling really crappy all week, he checked up on me, brought me orange juice and breakfast to make sure I was taken care of. It set a foundation for the relationship we have, as he has continued to take care of me through everything. It only took until the end of the first week for her to ask me if we were “a thing,” to which I happily affirmed.
Chris: I did not do a public event or any sort of elaborate plan. This was because of many reasons, but mainly it came down to two things: I wanted to genuinely surprise her with the proposal, and I was too excited to be engaged to this woman to wait any longer than we had to. My problem was there was no subtle way to plan something that she would not catch on to, she is much too smart to not notice the hints that would precede this. We already knew I was moving with her to Maryland, we were in the middle of making plans and preparing for the big move so life was moving pretty fast for us. The commitment was there between us already, marriage was something we had talked about and knew we wanted. At this point I had known she was the one for me for a long time already. Honestly I would have proposed sooner but I told myself I would wait until she was done with her undergraduate degree. I proposed on Memorial Day of 2020. Lily had just gotten back from spending a couple of weeks visiting her family, and she was sleepy after traveling back so she took a nap right away. I had gotten the ring while she was gone and I was brimming with excitement and love for her. While she napped I could not relax and sleep, I just kept thinking about the different ways I could try to surprise her. From the time I ordered the ring to this moment I could not think of a plan that would work without her suspecting what was coming, and I wanted a genuine surprise more than anything else. This desire and my excitement pushed me to be a bit impulsive and I just went for it; I grabbed the ring box out of its hiding spot, hid it under the pillows, and then I kissed her awake. After some kisses and spoiling her with love, I slipped off the bed with the ring box in my hand to get down on one knee to ask her to be my wife. I will never forget the way she reacted and the feelings of that moment together. For some people extravagance and spectacular shows of love are their idea of a good engagement, but I know this moment was perfect for the both of us.
Sometimes there is a defining moment, other times its a slow build, but eventually every couple can say how they knew the other was “the one.” That one person they can envision a forever future with.
From Chris: Everything about us clicked from the very beginning, not to say that I knew we were meant to be when we met, just that I knew it was different than anything else I had experienced before. Talking to her was so fun and effortless, we were constantly texting and sharing memes. We would take any chance to hang out together, and we were very clear about how much we liked each other. As time went on we got closer every day, spending as much free-time as we could together outside of our class and work schedules. Love songs sounded different, romantic comedies were cuter, and overall life was sweeter. My world was better and brighter because of her, and every day I reveled in how lucky I was. I loved her in a way I had never felt for another person. We each had big goals for ourselves and did not know if our futures aligned yet, so for that time we were focused on just loving each other in the moment. It was around our first Easter together that I was trying to figure out exactly what our love and relationship meant to me. The idea of settling into a lifelong commitment at 20 was scary, we were each so far from our goals and had no way of knowing what the future was going to be. I knew our love was something very special, and around that time it dawned on me that no matter what happened to us I would always hold a special place for her in my heart. I knew that no matter what happened I would never forget how I felt with her, that if we fell through then I would never stop thinking about her, about the “what if…” scenarios that could have been. While working through these feelings during this time I remember having one definitive, crystal-clear realization that squashed any doubt I was having; nothing could ever be as valuable to me as the time I get to spend with Lily, so getting to spend the rest of my life with this woman would undoubtedly be the greatest gift the universe could give to me. Consciously addressing these feelings helped my brain catch up to what my heart already knew, that I had the love of my life with me already and it would be an utter tragedy to let anything stand in the way of us.
From Lily: I think we both knew early on that we were special. We could talk all day and night and never run out of things to talk about. Chris was so easy to talk to, I was able to open up to him about everything really early on. We talked about our life goals and encouraged each other to achieve them. He helped me through college adjustments and navigating a lot of emotions that came with it. We were both extremely positive additions into each other’s lives and it grew our love and appreciation for each other everyday. Even though we knew really early on we had something very special together, we both had many goals to achieve. I knew I was going into graduate studies and I could end up anywhere in the country, maybe even anywhere in the world. Chris had his own big career aspirations and wanted to travel as well. We both were enjoying the time we had together and supporting each other in our individual goals. As time kept going, we both realized our love and relationship was too great to leave behind. Throughout all of our time together, we have gone through many struggles, especially with my health. Really early into college, while dealing with the stress of adjusting to a whole new life, my health was also declining. I was super sick, I had migraines all the time. I was nauseous and tired too frequently. I would cancel a lot of dates, but Chris would come by and sit with me. He kept me company in the dark while my migraine meds kicked in, or brought me food if I needed it. He wasn’t just emotional support for my life and career, but he has physically taken care of me since we have met. In our 5 years of being together so far, I have gone through many surgeries. He has taken me to all of them, even when we had a last-minute surgery scheduled and he was 4 hours away; he managed to drive 4 hours at midnight to be with me. He held my hand in pre-op when I was scared, and he was the first person I saw when I woke up. He shared the frustrations and celebrations along with me. Chris graduated a year before me and we did long distance for 8 months. While we say long distance, it was only an hour and it was really sad for us. We knew we couldn’t live without each other. We decided that wherever I would go to grad school that he would be coming with me. We decided that after grad school and once I was established, we would switch career goal focus and Chris could work on his development goals/work freelance. From there we planned out our future together. We chose what schools and cities we wanted to live in. Once I got offers we decided where we wanted to go. Moving halfway across the country to Maryland was an extremely scary prospect to us, but both of us knew it would work out, and it did. We moved, bought our first home, and started building our life together here. We have continued to grow both individually and together from the start of our relationship and I would not be where I am today without his support from day one.
Lily and Chris are making it official Sept 2023
Check back here for their wedding!