An incredible couple and an opportunity to shoot somewhere new? I don’t think my photographer heart could be any more thankful! And, I’m so excited to share J.R. and Elizabeth’s (Lizzie’s) San Diego engagement photos on the blog!
J.R. and Elizabeth attended and met at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. (Random fact: I also went to SJC, and Lizzie and I cheered together!)
J.R. and Elizabeth knew one another and hung out with a lot of the same people, but they didn’t start dating until after Lizzie graduated and moved to Chicago.
After Lizzie graduated, she and J.R. didn’t have a lot of contact until Lizzie volunteered to help with Saint Joe’s annual football banquet and needed some details. She was having trouble getting ahold of SJC’s football coach, so she texted J.R., who played football in college, to get information about the event.
And, they’ve pretty much been together ever since!
For their first official date, J.R. and Lizzie spent a day in Chicago. J.R. had never been to The Windy City, so Lizzie wanted to make sure J.R. got the full Chicagoland experience.
When J.R. was ready to pop the question, he decided that the city where they had their first date would be the perfect place to ask Lizzie to be his wife. So, he got to work planning one of the most epic proposals EVER!
In September, J.R. and Lizzie went to Indiana to visit their families. (Side note: Lizzie had a trip planned home in October and initially told J.R. to go to Indiana by himself in September. Without giving anything away, J.R. had to convince Elizabeth to go home with him. Considering so many people were involved in the proposal and that his military schedule isn’t exactly flexible, J.R. really didn’t want to have to reschedule!)
Lizzie’s best friend Sarah and her husband, Declan, (another VRP bride and groom I just adore) live near Chicago. Wanting to make sure Lizzie wasn’t suspicious of a thing, Sarah asked Lizzie if they could meet for dinner in the city while Lizzie and J.R. were in the Midwest.
Lizzie was super excited to see her friend and simply thought they were all going out for dinner. However, Lizzie says she does have to admit that she was confused when Sarah asked if they could meet up early so that they could stop by Millennium Park and The Bean before going to dinner.
According to Lizzie, “I was happy to go, but I thought it was weird Sarah wanted to go. I mean, we grew up in that area, and we’ve seen The Bean a million times.”
When they got to The Bean, they discovered that there was a jazz festival going on. With the crowd, Lizzie was more or less like, “Well, sorry, guys. We tried,” and was ready to head to the restaurant, but J.R. and Sarah told Lizzie that they wanted to get closer to take a photo.
At this point, Lizzie said she was a little annoyed, which actually turned out to be a good thing! I’ll explain in a second.
While having Sarah take their photo in front of The Bean, J.R. got down on one knee and asked Lizzie to be his wife.
Seeing what was happening, the crowd respectfully cleared the area for them, and after saying, “Yes,” 25 of Lizzie and J.R.’s closest friends and family members came around the corner! Lizzie was shocked!
As they were walking toward The Bean, J.R. spotted Lizzie’s mom and a few other family members. He was afraid Lizzie was going to notice them, but because she was so annoyed by the crowd, Lizzie didn’t notice her loved ones at all until after the question had been popped!
To Lizzie’s surprise, J.R. had made dinner and hotel reservations for the whole group. So, after Lizzie and J.R. decided on forever, they got to celebrate in the city with the people they love most.
How incredible is that?! Way to go, J.R.!
J.R. serves in the Marines (Thank you for your service, J.R.!), and as a result, he and Lizzie have moved around A LOT in the past couple years. I mean, in less than three years, J.R. completed boot camp, and he and Lizzie have lived in DC, North Carolina, and California. Life has been crazy!
J.R. and Elizabeth will become husband and wife in Indiana next September, but with J.R.’s demanding military schedule, he and Lizzie knew it would be difficult for them to make it back to Indiana for engagement photos. So, Zach and I went to them!
After a lot of online research, Lizzie and I decided that we should start their San Diego engagement photos at Balboa Park and then finish at Coronado Beach. And, I’m so glad we did because both locations were equally amazing but in different ways! I mean, just keep scrolling! You’ll see what I mean!
The locations may’ve been lovely, but to be honest, the friendship and fun J.R. and Elizabeth share are what make these photos shine. I’m convinced these two have a good time no matter where they are and always make everyone around them feel loved and included!
J.R. and Elizabeth are planning a September 2020 wedding. They’ll become husband and wife at Saint Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Dyer, Indiana and then celebrate with an epic reception at The Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake, Indiana.
I have no doubt that J.R. and Lizzie’s wedding will be as fun and classy as they are!
J.R. and Elizabeth, I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am for the two of you, how much I admire you both for your sacrifices for our country, or how honored I am that you’re trusting me to be your wedding photographer.
With so many changes in the last few years, you’ve already proven that your relationship has what it takes to go the distance, and I have no doubt that your marriage is going to be an example to countless couples.
I hope you love these previews from you San Diego engagement photos! Thanks for flying me out to capture this special time for you!