“I pursued her,” he said. I had just asked him how they went from friends to a relationship. Swoon, tell me a girl who doesn’t want to be pursued.
They told me they’ve known each other their whole lives and even went to the same high school, but he was several years older than her so they never hung out. It would’ve been awkward for a senior to be asking an 8th grader to prom. Once you pass 21 though, age isn’t quite so important. Two years ago, Blake was going through a rough time and he’s a farmer at heart so he started hanging around Dana’s parent’s farm. They got to know each other slowly in a large group of friends and even went out a few times with that group. Whether it was Dana’s beautiful blue eyes or her capturing laugh, Blake was hooked.
So he pursued.
Their relationship turned romantic one night at a bar with drinks and dancing, but I would like to point out the very obvious depth to their relationship that far supersedes what may have been a tipsy start. I told them I was photographing only their feet (which was true) so they could “just relax up top”, but as I was photographing their feet, I peeked from behind the viewfinder and see this:
He rests his cheek on her shoulder and breathes in the scent of her skin. She contentedly sits on his lap, peaceful just being near him. They are beautiful together.
He proposed on July 30th, 2010, which is going to be exactly one year apart from their wedding this summer. They were in the midst of building their house. She was supposed to go to a work party that night and when she came home to get ready, he was lying on the bed, not ready. He said he got a call that something was wrong at the house and they needed to go over and take a look at it. She was frustrated–fuming, actually–because he was supposed to be ready to go to the party. She told him he could go look at the house himself and she would go to the party alone. After a mini battle, he convinced her to just go to the house with him quick and then they could go to the party.
When they got to the house, she became clued in and felt instantly terrible for being such a “brat.” (Her words, not mine!) There were rose petals strewn in what would become the master bedroom and there, among the 2x4s, framing, and sawdust, he offered her a ring he designed that features his great-grandmother’s large oval diamond and asked her to marry him.
Family emerged from the woodwork (pun intended, obviously) to congratulate them and he told her that their friends were all waiting for them at a nearby bar & grill to celebrate. When her coworkers texted asking her where she was, she replied that she was going to an engagement party. They asked whose and she said, “Mine!!” Her work party ended up joining the engagement party and the celebration of their upcoming married couldn’t have been happier.
Dana and Blake, thank you for choosing me to capture your love in photos. I am so looking forward to July 30th.
(To get a larger view of the gallery below, just click on a photo. Use the arrows on either side to scroll through the album.)
Special thanks to Rod Stumpf of Stumpf Concrete for allowing us free reign on your land and to my friend Sarah of Sarah Nebel Photography for the referral.