Happily ever after. It’s what every girl desires for her marriage and life, but unfortunately many never get to experience. We grow up with dreams of knights in shining armor and damsels in distress, wondering if we will ever be the heroin in any love story. Fighting the pull of the society to accept that we are not worthy of a love that sweet, that tender, that romantic, that…worthwhile.
Kristin and Chad’s story may not be exactly like this but there are elements of is that resemble the story of old, girl meets boy, boy pursues girl, they fall in love and get married. Except that when Kristen and Chad got married, they decided to forgo all the hassle of a wedding, and make it a simple promise of forever in a town hall. And that they would’t tell any of their [very close] family for another 6 months. *I’ll pause as Kristen’s mom catches her breath, again, over this* 😉
A little backstory on these two is that I’ve known Kristin for quite a while as her sister is one of my very best friends in the world. And through Katie, I’ve had the amazing privilege of getting to know Kristin these past handful of years. A couple years ago I was talking to Katie and she mentioned that Kristen had a surprise to tell the family. I asked if she was pregnant, and she said “No, but close…kinda’. So in a game of guessing, I finally figured out that Kristen was not, in fact, engaged (my next guess), but that she was married. And had been for 6 months. And she was about to tell her very close knit family. Katie never actually told me this, because she was sworn to secrecy, but I know Katie and her facial expressions well enough to have figured out what was going on. That was about 2 years ago and in that time I’ve heard Kristen say more than a few times that she is so happy she never had to go through the stress of planning a wedding. But there was always something in her voice that hinted she maybe had a very small regret or two about the situation. She’s casually mentioned wanting a first dance, and marriage vows. And, of course, a gorgeous dress.
Skip forward to this summer when Chad, a pro basketball player who’s traveled the world playing for various national teams, decided that it was time to give Kristin the proposal and “wedding” she deserved. He got in touch with all of their family in the NYC and surrounding area and scheduled a date to surprise the love of his life. So on a sunny summer afternoon in August he walked her through the paths of Central Park as they relived some of their best memories in the city they love most and, just a couple days before he would go back overseas, he gave her the surprise of a lifetime when he dropped down to one knee and gave her the official proposal she never had. I was so, so honored to be there to capture these precious moments as he proposed to her in front of Bethesda Fountain in Central Park where, immediately after, their entire immediate family came out from under the tunnel to surprise Kristen. And the day continued even more perfectly as there just happened to be a string quartet there who played a song as they danced their “first dance”, in a gorgeous white gown (which was also a total coincidence). And although Kristin and Chad’s story is one of a guy who rescued a girl, and a love that is to be reckoned with, they also, truly, live happily ever after. Every single day of their lives. And I hope and pray that it never, ever stop being happily ever after for them.
Before Chad surprised Kris with a weekend in NYC, he told her to find a dress. She just so happened to fidn a gorgeous white gown. And that morning she said to him “I think this afternoon I will look the prettiest you’ve ever seen me”. So, so cool, considering she had no idea what was about to happen.
Now this, THIS, is a wonderful surprise proposal. And what better place to do it than the quintessential Bethesda fountain in Central park?
I loved how surprised and emotional Kris got over seeing everyone pile out from under the tunnel at Bethesda fountain
At one point during the day one of Kristen’s siblings said “Well, we didn’t know about your first wedding, so so we decided to get you back and not let you know about your second wedding”.
Chad bought Kristen the most beautiful of diamond rings. It was just perfect!
The emotions continued as Chad ushered Kris under the tunnel where the string quartet played them a beautiful song so they could have an official first dance.
Seriously, these two could not be any more gorgeous. I can’t wait to see what their kids look like! (And I’m pretty sure Grandma can’t either!)
So Kristen’s one of those girls that women love to hate. Beauty and brains, she’s the whole package. And may or may not be one of the funniest people I know on top of the brains and beauty.
Ladies, you can look but you can’t touch. But go ahead and take just one more look. 😉
Kris and I have been talking for some time about grabbing some picture of her and Chad since they never had pictures done together, so I took this opportunity while they were a all dressed up to do a few minutes of portraits in front of Bethesda fountain and around Central park.