Their first date was in August of 2020. “It was a warm and sunny summer day. We were in the midst of the pandemic so we had agreed to meet at Red’s because it had a patio. I remember feeling pretty nervous, but that quickly went away once I realized how I felt once we sat down and started chatting. Everything was easy and just felt right; it was as if I was sitting on the patio and chatting with someone that I had known for years,” Taylor said.
“I was so nervous to meet someone in the middle of a pandemic but I also didn’t know how long this would go on…so I went for it! Best risk I ever took!” Lady Taylor added.
Now, with both of their names being the same, I asked how I should address them, specifically when giving instructions during photos. (I couldn’t say, for example, “Taylor, lift your chin slightly.” Because, well, which Taylor?) They told me how one nephew started calling female Taylor “Lady Taylor”, which I was like, “Um, that’s amazing and I’m also jealous because I want a reason for that to be my name.” In their families, sometimes one is referred to as Tay and the other Taylor, however, that changes depending whose family they are hanging out with so that didn’t clear up much. Lady Taylor it is!
They both knew very early on in their relationship that this was the one. Lady Taylor said she “had a really good inkling just at that first date! But, I remember by the beginning of October, I called one of my bridesmaids and just cried over the phone to her because I didn’t even know how to describe with words how happy I was to have found him. He met my best friend shortly after that, and they got along great … that sealed the deal! Long story short, there were lots of confirmations that he was ‘the one’ along the way. BUT, I did actually tell my friends I was going to marry him when we were still just chatting online [before meeting in person]!”
Taylor said he knew around the same time, about a month or two after the first date. “It seemed like the pandemic really accelerated things for us – even though we lived 45 minutes apart we would still spend every weekend together. Most of our first dates were very simple things since not many locations were open for large crowds. However, this was great because it was just more time for me to get to know Taylor and vice versa.”
For the proposal, Taylor knew he wanted to include their (slash her) dog. “I took a half day off from work and picked up flowers, dinner from Monica’s (one of Taylor’s favorite restaurants), as well as some donuts (a snack enjoyed by both of us). She certainly knew a proposal was coming since we had made many wedding plans already up to that point. So I tried my best to surprise her as well as I could. Huey and I waited for her to get home from work and surprised her with flowers, a ring toy for Huey, and a ring for her!” Lady Taylor said it was the perfect combination of sweet, simple, surprising, and romantic!
We had so much fun for their engagement session. It was the weekend of the University of Iowa graduations so I knew downtown and campus would be crowded, but I also knew lots of little pockets that we would be able to have to ourselves, out-of-the-way places that don’t typically attract people for photos. I was right. The pentacrest was packed for the traditional photos of graduates in front of the Old Capitol, but we were able to bypass even those crowds and shoot from a different angle so that we could get some photos there!
I am absolutely thrilled to be able to photograph the two Taylors again on their wedding day this fall. They bring such joy and energy and we were laughing together much of the session. I cannot help but smile with happiness looking through these.