Jess and Monte’s Keeneland Engagement Session

These days I have couples that meet in all sorts of ways. Some still meet in college, some know each other from high school, occasionally couples will meet in a bar, but an increasing amount meet online, whether that be a dating app or a social media platform.

One of the amazing things about our current time is that geography is no longer such an insurmountable barrier to finding a partner. I can remember as little as 10 years ago having a conversation where the other person was saying that they think you should only date in your small geographic region. I’m so glad that’s no longer the strict norm. Because… love! Because… adventure! And because I know and have worked with so many lovely couples that wouldn’t be together if that were the case. People are much more flexible when it comes to work and their lives, even if it means picking up and moving to a different state to be with someone you can see a future with or simply landing in a different (or better) dating pool. 

Jess lived in Florida last year. Monte lived in Kentucky. They had a mutual friend that Jess worked with and when they posted a photo of Jess, Monte immediately was interested and commented on it. I didn’t get specifics, but I imagine it was something like:

“WHO IS THAT???” (Jess is completely stunning, as you’ll see in their photos)

That led to them talking online which progressed to her taking the leap and moving to Kentucky in September. (When she said this I immediately had to apologize, on behalf of Kentucky, that this was the first winter she experienced)

Monte wanted to propose on the beach but he wasn’t sure how to make it a surprise. Since they were serious enough for her to move to Kentucky, they had also already talked about marriage and decided that was the direction they were headed. But… how to make it a surprise? How to get her to the beach without her suspecting anything? Especially when she had just moved in September…

So he called in the backups… her mom.

Jess’ mom phoned and put on an Oscar-worthy performance, crying and acting all sad saying she missed Jess and seeing if she’d come home for a short visit.

YES! Go Mom!

Jess flies home and Monte takes advantage of her being gone to get the ring and get ready for his big moment. He flies down (unbeknownst to Jess) a couple days after her and arranges to be on the beach at sunset. Jess and her mom head to the beach to watch the sunset and there’s Monte, with the biggest surprise. 

And all of this because two people weren’t willing to accept geographical constraints. 

Jess and Monte are currently planing their January wedding in Florida, which, if anything like last winter, will be an excellent time to get out of Kentucky!  

When I look at these photos I love how sensual they are, the way she looks at him, the way he gently holds her. I also love how beautifully and seamlessly they transition from polished and formal inside Keeneland to bohemian and a little rugged on the grassy grounds after sunset. Thank you two for making my job so easy!  

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