Chelsea & Hayden | Winery at Bull Run Engagement

Well, this post is a little surreal for me.

When you’re 10 years old, you might dream about your perfect wedding day with your friends. You might talk with your friends about what kind of flowers you’ll carry in your bouquet. You might dress up in your mom’s heels and practice slow-walking down the aisle. You might wreck the linen closet scouring for the sheet set that is just the right white so that you can design a super-chic wedding dress, train and all. But I’m pretty certain that when I was 10 years old, I never considered the idea that I might be the one there on my friends’ wedding days with the honor and responsibility of capturing the details of all of those finally realized 10-year-old dreams for my childhood friends. And yet, that’s exactly the wonderful place I’ve found myself.

Chelsea and I first became friends what seems like ages ago when she and her family moved back to the states from England in the fourth grade, but this story isn’t about Chelsea and me. This story starts a few years later amidst the backdrop of homework and learner’s permits. The halls of high school brought Chelsea and Hayden together, but even after leaving the familiarity of home, the pair were a constant. Distance, different schools, the uncertainty of future plans… nothing could shake the love that these two had been building since the days of proms and baseball games.

Fast forward to Christmas 2013. There’s an important fact that you need to know: Chelsea’s family has always had the BEST Christmas tree of any home I’ve ever seen. It’s perfectly placed in their open family room and reaches up to the second floor in a way that fills you with a little bit of Christmas awe when you see it. It always makes me wish I high ceilings! It also makes for the perfect Christmas Eve photo backdrop, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary when Chelsea’s mom had Hayden and Chelsea pose in front of the tree for a quick snapshot of their seventh Christmas together. What Chelsea wasn’t expecting, however, was to look over at Hayden mid-photo and see him down on one knee, ring in hand, asking her to spend the rest of their lives together. With eyes full of a few very happy tears, she said yes and gave her future husband his most memorable Christmas gift ever.

I was so honored when Chels asked me to be the one there on their wedding day. It’s not every weekend that I get to photograph the WEDDING of someone who’s been a friend for almost fifteen years! When we started planning for their engagement session, Chelsea knew that she wanted to keep the location close to home where their love first started. So this week, once the sun and spring finally arrived, I spent the afternoon wandering all around Manassas with these lovebirds, making stops in Old Town, the National Battlefield and the Winery at Bull Run, soaking up the gorgeous weather all the way. I am so so excited to share some of my favorites from their session, and even MORE excited to shoot their wedding later this year!

We started out in Old Town Manassas. Which was the perfect bright and colorful location I needed to pull me out of my winter funk! winery_at_bull_run_engagement_0007 winery_at_bull_run_engagement_0006 winery_at_bull_run_engagement_0008 winery_at_bull_run_engagement_0004 winery_at_bull_run_engagement_0001
Chelsea!! Want to save a little pretty for the rest of us? Flawless, my dear! winery_at_bull_run_engagement_0002 winery_at_bull_run_engagement_0010 winery_at_bull_run_engagement_0003
You guys…
New life goal: be able to rock a pair of purple pants this well…
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You know I was loving this door :)
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Did Hayden do well or did he do well? One of the sparkliest rings I’ve photographed!
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A little wine time…
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Lacey, C+H’s sweet pup came to join!! She’s such a little cutie!

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Family portrait :)
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Absolute pros, both of you!
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FIVE STAR FAVORITE! I can’t even… you two are just beautiful.

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Love you two! I am SO happy for you and just cannot WAIT for November!


  • April 2, 2014 - 12:46 pm

    Alison - LOVE that first shot against the mural! BOOM :)ReplyCancel

  • April 2, 2014 - 1:37 pm

    ali - Ahhhh!!!!!!!! Love love love. Tell me how every single one of these photos is absolutely flawless. They are amazing!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • April 2, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    Chels - Dougher you are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! I must say, we look good… But Lacey stole the show!! :)ReplyCancel

  • August 25, 2014 - 9:18 pm

    Chick and Barb Vrany - Congratulations, Chelsea and Hayden!
    What a lovely and loving couple you two are. Enjoy this very special time as you make plans for your wedding day.
    P.S. Loved the photos!ReplyCancel

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