wedding photography for joyful couples



Randi & Nate

A Kent Park Iowa Fall Engagement Shoot





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They met in high school, though she was quite sure that he wouldn’t remember the first time they met. (She was right.) “I was in 8th grade and Nate was a freshman. I was at the local pizza place with my friends when he walked in with his friends. Our first date was a few years later. I was 15 or 16. We went to Amigos, a Mexican restaurant in our hometown. I had never been on a date before and I think I only ordered one taco because I was too nervous to eat in front of him!” She laughs about that now saying that she usually eats more than him.

“I don’t think there was a certain moment when I knew he was the one. It sort of happened gradually,” she says. “Nate and I talked a little bit in high school, but we never were officially together until later on in college even though we never really stopped communicating. In many ways we grew up together. We have been through a lot. I guess if I had to say how I know Nate is the one is no matter what life as thrown at us over the last almost 9 years, our relationship has become stronger and grown from those experiences.”

He adds, “Very early on in our relationship we went through a ton of adversity, more than most would be able to make it out of. We were two young kids and our lives where going to change in a big, big way. Randi told me instantly after the news that I would have her full support going forward and we would make it through everything; together. I just remember thinking to myself how much and how true this love may really be to have such support.

“Little did she know that when she committed to me, I silently committed to her. I knew instantly that I had to do everything I could to convince this girl that I was the one. (Don’t tell her but she could probably do much better.) I knew from that very moment that I had to start making changes and start putting Randi before other activities. Our relationship was tested in such an extreme manner so early that it gave us this whole ‘there’s nothing we can’t overcome together’ type of attitude, which is an amazing quality for us to possess. I know that this girl counts on me, but she doesn’t count on me nearly as much as I count on her! So as it turns out, I was indeed able to convince her I was the one.”


We started their engagement session at one of their favorite local eateries, 30hop. They both grabbed a drink and I told them just to enjoy while I ease them into it. It turned out to be a perfect start of the session and after that, we went over to one of my favorite locations, Kent Park. The leaves are just starting to change over there and the sun was low in the sky; a perfect combination!


“The proposal,” he says. “Ever since Randi was a little girl she’s always thought about two things 1) her proposal and 2) her wedding day. As much as she’s done for me, I knew I had to make the proposal special. So here’s the story. Randi’s aunt Diane has lived in Siesta Key, Florida for the last 15 years. In those 15 years, Siesta Key has quickly become Randi’s ‘favorite place on Earth.’ All that being said, it was pretty clear to me that I had a clear path to making this a spectacular moment. Randi and I went to Siesta Key in March of 2016.

“While visiting with Jim and Diane, Diane made the comment that she was ‘getting tired.’ This was Diane’s way of no longer taking up our time so I could finally pop the question. I’ll admit, I’ve never really been someone who gets nervous, but, boy, were the knees shaking as we left! On one hand, I knew what I was about to do was nothing short of the best decision I’ve ever made. But yet on the other hand, I wanted it to be perfect!

“As we walked out towards the water, my sister slipped me the ring that I had shipped down early that month. Once I had the ring, it really started to get real. The whole plan was to pose for a picture but instead of a picture it would all be on video as I proposed to the only girl I could imagine proposing to.”

Randi was being a bit of a self-proclaimed diva. She continues his story, “They wanted to go for a walk down to the ocean to take a picture, but the day had turned overcast and slightly chilly. So I was admittedly being a bit of a diva and didn’t want to, but they talked me into it and I reluctantly walked down to the beach to take a picture. I picked the green colored lifeguard tower to take a picture by and next thing I knew Nate was down on one knee. I honestly couldn’t tell you a single thing he said to me, except the will you marry me part. I was in complete shock. Nate picked the absolutely perfect place. I grew up going on vacation to this beach every summer and I love Siesta Key so much! We have actually found pictures of me as a little girl by the same lifeguard tower! Which is pretty cool it my opinion! It was extremely special to me to have seen my Aunt Diane that day as well. We actually lost her about 2 months later; she was suffering from pancreatic cancer. Which sounds like it would make the day a little sad, but it made it such a special day that she got to be a part of it.”

I asked both of them what they admire most about the other and Randi said that she loves his “ability to talk to anyone and make friends with pretty much anyone. I can get total social anxiety sometimes and I wish I could just to talk to anyone like he can.” Nate said, “Her drive! Randi is a very driven person, she’s not going to settle for mediocrity. There’s not a single thing Randi couldn’t do if she made it a goal and pursued it.” I love how these two push each other to be the best versions of themselves!

Randi & Nate, I’m so thrilled to be part of your wedding day next year! I can’t wait to see you officially become a family unit and continue loving life together. I’m so happy for you both! Much love, Emily


  1. […] & Nate’s engagement session back in the fall was absolutely gorgeous! We had perfect weather, including the loveliest evening […]

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