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EMILY

CRALL

Victoria & Chris

A Downtown Iowa City Spring Engagement Shoot

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They began chatting online two and a half years ago. They quickly discovered how much they had in common, which even included growing up just 30 miles from each other and going to the same university! They soon agreed to meet in person and so on an ice stormy night in February, they decided to brave the weather and stick with their dinner plans. There were some “poor shoes choices” (on Chris’ part, says Victoria) and an icy tumble, but the dinner conversation was endless and “the laughs that night did not disappoint.” Chris says that on his way home that night, he called his sister-in-law to say that “Victoria is the most amazing person I have ever met.”

Victoria says she knew Chris was going to be someone special right away. “He checked so many of my ‘boxes’, made me laugh, had small-town values and roots, motivation and dreams for himself, and a relationship with God, but, more importantly, I could always be myself around him.” Chris says it was a culmination of events. “From meeting the families and being accepted on both sides, to meeting friends and connecting with them…it all seemed to fall into place, as if God had a plan and we were just living it out. I think the moment I realized that Victoria was the one, however, was when we were in Kansas City for a vacation and we went to a jewelry store and tried on engagement and wedding rings. I was never anxious or nervous, but just felt at ease. It was almost as if my heart knew something that my brain didn’t at that time. Looking back, I would say that was probably the first time I looked at Victoria and knew she was the one.”

We met downtown Iowa City this past weekend for their beautiful (albeit hot!) engagement shoot and these two were a dream to work with! Engagement sessions always leave me so excited for wedding days when we get to do it all over again, but for a whole day!! I love leaving a shoot with new friendships.

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The proposal happened this past December and Victoria describes it as being perfect. Chris says “December 19th was by far the most anxious I have ever been in my entire life. After having the ring for over 2 months, and keeping the ring in my jacket for the last week, I was so beyond ready to make Victoria the happiest girl in the world!”

“Kansas City is one of my absolute favorite places in the world (the rank was earned after many visits throughout college to see my best friend). The first time I visited, Alesha took me to the lookout at the National WWI Museum to see the city’s skyline – it was stunning! The views I saw and the feelings I felt that day kept me coming back each and every time I visited. So in November 2019 when Chris and I took our first road trip together, to Kansas City of course, I knew I had to take him. We visited not one but three times while there. Our last visit was under the lights of the Kansas City skyline.

“Fast forward to the Summer of 2020, one of my roommates and best friends shared that she would be relocating to Kansas City. Our Ryan Court family was over-the-moon for Margaret and knew we needed to visit that fall! After many months of planning, we finally decided on a weekend in December; the one before Margaret’s birthday.

“As the weekend approached, we made plans to get our nails done (nothing out of the ordinary for our crew) and reservations for a dinner to celebrate. But as we packed the car that weekend, something felt different. I kept wondering if Chris was going to propose…but what if he didn’t? After a fun Friday night, I had finally talked myself into the reality that I would indeed not be leaving Kansas City engaged and continued to enjoy every moment with my friends and requested that we visit the National WWI Museum before dinner; I was so excited to share one of my favorite spots with my absolute favorite people…or so I thought.

“As we walked up to the National WWI Museum that night, Chris asked Margaret and Emily what order we should take photos in and who was taking them, and I spun around so quickly and said, ‘Why does it matter? Can’t we just let them take in the view? Plus I want pictures with all of you, so just chill!’ Chris agreed and allowed me to show Margaret and Emily a couple of the places I had discovered throughout my time visiting while he took a few photos of us. Then it was Chris and I’s turn for pictures. Margaret and Emily snapped a few of our ‘typical’ photos until Chris started saying, ‘Remember when we were in this spot about a year ago, and I told you something very special would happen here next time…?’ And, before I even knew how to respond, Chris was down on one knee asking me to marry him! In complete shock, I managed to say ‘Christopher Michael, YES!!’ It was truly one of the best moments!”

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The ring that Victoria is wearing on her left hand is from her grandmother. “On my 18th birthday, my Grandma Celia gifted me a beautiful ring that had been given to her by her mother. It is absolutely stunning and has so much meaning! I pray that someday, I too can gift this ring to my daughter or granddaughter and share with her the many wonderful memories and stories of the ring and its’ owners.”iowa_city_engagement_emilycrall_photo_5116.jpg
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I asked them both what they are looking forward to most about their wedding day. Chris says, “Marrying the love of my life and celebrating our love with the people who are most important to us. I also look forward to officially having a wife and I can not WAIT to spend the rest of my life with Victoria.”

Victoria adds, “All of it…being pampered with my best friends, our first look, walking down the aisle with my dad, sharing our vows, dancing the night way, and honestly everything in between! I seriously cannot wait for August 6, 2022; a day that will be filled with celebration, love, laughter, and joy with the most important people in our lives! The day I get to marry my best friend and begin a new chapter in our story as Mr. & Mrs. Herschberger.

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