Kara & Stephen’s engagement session at UNC Charlotte botanical gardens & Romare Bearden Park – Uptown Charlotte, NC
Kara & Stephen met in undergrad at UNC Charlotte. He is from Winston-Salem and Kara is from Woodstock, Georgia. Kara now lives in Georgia finishing up graduate school studying physical therapy. She will Graduate next year, so the wedding date was set for after the medical boards examination.
Stephen proposal last July, at a metal table. So when I saw these metal tables in the park I thought it would be fun to reenact the proposal…okay maybe cheesy but kinda cute.
They will be getting married here in Charlotte, since it is such a special place for both of them. Which will make for a two year engagement! Well on the bright side, that leaves plenty of time to plan the wedding!
At the end of the session, I suggested taking off their shoes and getting close to the water falls in the park. After a few quick shots both mine & Stephen’s pants were wet from the knee down, which felt quite refreshing, for me a least.
The previous session the night before, my couple laid in the lake for the last few photos and left wet and sandy. I jokingly told Stephen & Kara, my new standard is to make sure each client is wet by the end of the session!
I was at my first clinical rotation in Stockbridge, GA and it had almost been a month since the last time we had seen each other. Stephen hadn’t mentioned anything about planning a visit to come see me and I began to get frustrated with him thinking he didn’t want to come visit me. Little did I know, he had a plan up his sleeve for a surprise weekend trip in Atlanta. Long story short, he spilled the beans and told me his surprise he had been planning to further prevent me from getting upset! Little did I know of the other surprise he had planned for the weekend!
I stayed down at clinic during the week and would travel back home on weekends. The only clothes I had during the week were work scrubs, so I needed to make
a trip back home to get some “normal” clothes to wear for this surprise weekend! Stephen created an itinerary (being the ops guy that he is, and me being the former college athlete) with TBD activities listed with what clothes I would need for the weekend. I went home that Thursday night before to pack my clothes and drive back down to Stockbridge the following morning to finish out my 2nd week at clinic.
Stephen told me he was leaving Charlotte early that Friday morning to drive down and meet Phillip, a friend who lived in the Atlanta area, for lunch. I went on my day with work at the hospital and my clinical instructor, knowing Stephen was coming in to town, made it possible for me to get off an hour and a half earlier to head downtown in order to miss traffic. When I got there, Stephen let me know we were going to McCormick and Schmick’s for dinner (one of my favorite places). I brought a dress for Friday night’s dinner, per the itinerary, and Stephen had jeans and a sport coat picked out for him.
I got crab stuffed salmon (my favorite), we shared a nice bottle of wine, and finished it off with a delicious dessert. I made the comment that some of my girl friends had told me earlier in the week that the surprise weekend was going to end in a proposal and I assured them there was no way I thought it would happen. After I said this to Stephen his face remained calm and he didn’t give anything away!
After dinner, Stephen made us walk around through Centennial Olympic Park and I thought we were just walking around to walk off all we ate at dinner. His palms were sweaty but I figured it was because it was hot a July night and he was wearing a sport coat outside. We kept walking around and ended up sitting at this metal picnic table. As we were sitting there he kept telling me why he loved me and what his favorite things were about me (he has done this plenty of times so I didn’t notice anything special). Before I knew it he got down on one knee, pulled a box out of his sport coat with the most beautiful ring, and asked me to marry him! I was in total shock, initially turned my head away, and turned back to make sure it was real life! I said YES!
It turns out that Friday afternoon when Stephen said he was eating lunch with Phillip, he was actually at lunch with my dad asking for his permission!
How we met:
Stephen and I attended undergrad at UNC Charlotte where he worked for the basketball team and I played for the volleyball team.
I had occasionally seen him walking through the halls of the Student Activity Center and only knew he worked with the basketball team until we were introduced through a mutual friend.
Ever since then, we were all a close group of friends. Stephen and I became best friends and I found myself constantly going over to hang out with him just on our own. Stephen insists that he liked me for a whole entire year before I even realized it.
Needless to say, we spent a lot of time together and I finally fell for Stephen, and the rest is history! Even though it is a long engagement due to me finishing up Physical Therapy School in Georgia, I would wait 2 more years if it meant knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!