This is a super special portrait session to me. I love this couple so much because Steph deserves happiness more than anyone I know. She was an incredible roommate in a crappy apartment when we had crappy teaching jobs. She also is the most giving person I have ever met; she LITERALLY gave a kidney to help a family member last year. Tim is one hell of a guy for making this girl the happiest I've ever seen her in our years of friendship.
Stephanie and Tim are high school sweethearts. They are both from the Northern Virginia area. Tim went to Landon, the all-boys school a few miles away from Holton-Arms, the nearly identical all-girls school down the road. Although miles separated them in college, they found their way back to one another in the “real world”. Steph and Tim share a studio apartment in the heart of DC where Steph runs the Chaotic Kitchenette- a blog that catalogs ways to survive cooking and city living in a tiny kitchen.
A lot of times, I try to retell a couple's story and I feel like I don't do it justice. So, here is their story in Steph's own words:
“Between the two of us, Tim and I went to 10 weddings this summer, many of which were out of town. To reward ourselves for surviving such a crazy summer, we booked a trip to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica for just the two of us. After a tiny little snafu involving forgetting to check when the rainy season was, we ended up staying at Hotel Banana Azul, which we absolutely loved. The staff was amazing, the views were ridiculously beautiful, and we loved spending time on our room's private balcony checking out the action. Plus, there were super friendly cats and dogs wandering the place - one of the cats jumped on my lap while I was reading a book and stayed there for 20 minutes and basically made my life.
On our second day at Banana Azul, we spent the morning taking a tour of a nearby wildlife rescue center, where we got to watch baby monkeys play and a basket of baby sloths snooze. Cutest. Creatures. Ever. Tim had heard there was a great lookout we could hike to, but we learned when we got there that you could only get there on a guided tour - proposal plans foiled! After the rescue center we planned to head to the beach, but before that Tim insisted I take a shower and dress up a little. To go to the beach? Weirdo. When I then caught him shaving and then putting on a polo shirt with his bathing suit, I knew something was up. I proceeded to send him to the beach so I could finish getting ready, i.e. sit with my face in the fan to calm myself down. Once I made it down to the beach, Tim and I ordered lunch from our lounge chairs. Nachos on the menu? Done. After a few minutes, Tim started saying all these lovely things and I was thinking THIS IS IT!! until the waiter walked up with our food. Thinking he was interrupting Tim's proposal, I started to say "Thanks, that looks great," which turned into "OH MY GOD" when I saw the open ring box next to my nachos. I immediately burst into tears, shocking both of us I think, and Tim got down on one knee and put the ring on my finger. We then celebrated our engagement the best way we know how: eating nachos.”