I was so thrilled when Brooke contacted me about doing these photos! I had met Brooke and Zhas back in 2015 for their engagement session, followed a year later by their beautiful, intimate backyard wedding in Chicago (which has long lived as a favorite of mine!). So I was extra excited to see them again, now 4 years later, on the cusp of them welcoming their first child into the world. (Brooke’s sister is also pregnant and so they will be having little cousins just a couple months apart, which I can tell you from first-hand experience with my own sister, is just a delight.)
I had forgotten about pieces of their love story until I looked back 5 years: “He moved to the U.S. in 2007 and just a few years later, she made a 1-year commitment with her job to transplant to New York. It was there, in the upper corner of the states, that they met at work. He says he knew she was the one because she was always open with him and didn’t hide her feelings. When she introduced him to her parents a few months later, he fell in love with them and, in some ways, the rest is history.
“After dating for several years and moving back to Iowa, where Brooke is from, they planned a trip overseas to visit Zhas’ family. Zhas decided they should stop in Europe for a few days before heading into Central Asia so they chose London as their vacation destination & extended layover stop. He took along the engagement ring he had picked out for her and proposed to her at the London Tower Bridge.” (You guys know how much I love England in general and London specifically so it’s super swoony to me about a London Tower Bridge proposal.)
Brooke and Zhas, I know you’re going to make the most wonderful parents and the best teammates in the joy and challenges. I’m so excited for you to hold your daughter and feel the world shift under your feet.