You guys may remember the Swan House Gardens from one of our all-time favorite styled shoots. Well, it’s quickly becoming our favorite must-see Atlanta location and we were thrilled when Carla Gates Photography sent in these gorgeous images from Rachel and Michael’s engagement shoot. Her fine-art film photography perfectly captures the adorable couple and the incredible location. Enjoy!!
How/where did you meet?
We met on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. We were both out on a limb and taking a chance with the online dating world, and we found each other very quickly!! We talked for about a week before actually meeting in person. We both definitely knew it was going to be something special before we even met in person, and we were right! I know it’s cliche, and I used to always roll my eyes at people who said this, but we just “knew”!
Where/what was your first date?
Our first date was out to a Mexican restaurant because I had mentioned to Mike how much I love queso. It was completely perfect, and the best start I could have imagined to our relationship. After we ate, we talked for hours then decided to see each other again the next day. The rest is history!
Tell me the engagement story – details! Where was it?
Early in 2015 we started talking about getting married. We started looking at rings, talking about locations, and everything that comes along with that. We started designing my ring and getting more and more serious about everything by May, so I knew something would happen soon. In July we went on vacation to Italy with Mike’s family, which was amazing! We were staying in Tuscany and taking a lot of day trips to different cities around Italy. We were having the best time traveling together, seeing new things, and spending time with his family. Leading up to the trip, I wondered if he was going to propose while we were there, but once a few days went by I wasn’t really thinking about it anymore. About half way through the trip we were coming home from a day trip to some wineries. It started pouring down rain and hailing, so we were stuck inside for a little while. But once it finally started to stop we decided to go for a walk. We were staying on a working organic olive farm, so behind the house there was a beautiful hill full of olive trees. He asked his mom to come along and take pictures of us because it was so beautiful after the rain. His mom took some pictures, and we kept walking around, but then he started talking about how much I meant to him. At this point, I definitely knew something special was going to happen. After saying a few more very sweet things, he went down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Of course I said yes, and his mom was there to capture every moment of it. She took some amazing pictures before, during, and after, and I’m so glad that we have those. The rest of our Italy trip was even more blissful, and I’m so thankful we have those memories!
What excites you? Makes your heart come alive?
All the small things make a big difference to me. When he shows concern because I tripped over the rug, or sends me funny texts throughout the day, or makes me hot chocolate; he may not necessarily realize those things are showing me how much he cares, but I notice them. I think if you can see love and care in the small things, then you know someone truly loves you. He gets excited when I save him money!! But what really matters most to him is knowing that I love him and care for him unconditionally.
Photography: Carla Gates Photography // Venue: Swan House Gardens at Atlanta History Center // Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab // Sweater & Necklace: J. Crew // Shoes: Sam Edelman Nordstrom // Skirt: http://www.space46boutique.com/ // Suit: Joseph A Bank