When it comes to engagement photos, one of my biggest tips is to choose a location that is meaningful to you and your mister. Whether at your favorite restaurant or where you had your first kiss, a session at a special place will result in photos that are even more meaningful. Just ask Alissa and Ben. They opted for their very own neighborhood for their pre-wedding pics with Ashley Giffin Photography. The couple loves Highland Park and it’s where they spend a lot of time – running, enjoying the fountain, and taking in the fresh blooms. So it was a no brainer to head here for their engagement session. And I’m so glad they did. With the lush green trees, the colorful flowers, and the bright sunshine, the results are adorable! Just see for yourself!
From the photographer…
When and how did the couple meet?
They met through mutual friends in January 2011, which happened to be Ben’s first weekend in Pittsburgh after moving from Washington DC. They had their first date shortly after the bride’s family’s 2011 Steelers Super Bowl Party. Ben not only survived meeting her parents, family, and two of her best friends, but also a Steelers loss.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
From Ben: Alissa and I traveled to Hilton Head for a much needed 10 day vacation in the beginning of July 2014. There was a lot of added stress at the airport and on the flight – I had to get a diamond engagement ring through airport security in my carry-on without Alissa seeing it! Of course, we lined up with an extra-diligent TSA agent, who seemed to be pulling aside every bag for inspection. But we got through without any hiccups and made it to Hilton Head. At the grocery store, I deftly suggested we pick up some champagne. Alissa suspected nothing! We made our way to the beach for a long walk at sunset and found some quiet moments sitting alone by the dunes. We talked about how three years had flown by, as it does when you’re having fun, and about how our love carried us through some tough and good times. I dropped to one knee to pop the question, and through lots of emotion from both of us, she said yes!
From Alissa: Ben proposed during our annual summer vacation to Hilton Head Island. Even though it was a very long day of traveling, after dinner Ben kept asking if we could go walk on the beach before sunset. During our walk, Ben was pretty quiet and seemed a little nervous, but I figured it was just fatigue. As we were approaching the exit off the beach, he asked if we could sit down on a dune so he could take some pictures of the sunset. Next thing I know he is down on one knee, asking me to marry him. Through the tears and massive smile, I managed to say yes!
Describe the engagement shoot.
There are so many great places in Pittsburgh for engagement pictures, but what better place to do it than in their own neighborhood. The couple moved to Highland Park in early 2013, and quickly fell in love with not only the neighborhood but also the park itself. They spend a lot of time running in the park and summer when the flowers are in full bloom and the fountain is on is their favorite.