I checked my inbox and I froze. “Hi Stephanie, this is Juna!” it said. I wasn’t sure how, but if I was receiving this email from Juna, it meant I’d managed to ruin the surprise. Or so I thought.
Rewind two months, to the very first email I received from Matt. It’s one of my favorite things to hear from grooms before they propose. I don’t often get to hear the groom’s side of the story first, but when I do, it never fails to be incredibly heartwarming. They met last summer, he told me, playing flag football on the Mall. And Matt? He was taken from the very beginning. He shared a home state with this New Jersey girl, a Penn State grad (!!) who had moved to DC after she graduated, just like he had. Smart, beautiful and kind-hearted, it didn’t take Matt long to know that Juna was the it. The real deal. So he decided to do something about it.
One of the sweetest things about Matt and Juna’s relationship is how well Matt serves her. It’s incredible. He planned his proposal to a T, choosing each detail because he knew it was what Juna would love best. Each Saturday morning, they would make breakfast together, just them and their adorable pup, Chevy. But knowing Juna had always wanted a sweet, quiet proposal at home with the one she loved, Matt planned for this Saturday to be a little different. This time, when Juna came down for breakfast, Matt would be waiting with the ring of her dreams: her fiancé’s birthstone flanked by two of her own, promising that his love would always be right there next to hers. She’d put it on and make him the luckiest man, and they’d celebrate together for the rest of the day. The next day, Sunday, he’d surprise her again with an engagement session on the Mall, the same place where they’d met just under a year ago, because Matt knew Juna would want to preserve those memories forever. It was the perfect plan, and I was so excited to be a part of it.
Fast forward back to my heart sinking as I saw Juna’s name in my inbox. The proposal wasn’t set to be for another week and I was sure I’d ruined Matt’s sweet plans. I was trying to plan a way to make it up to them, to apologize as I opened the full email, when I read further and realized no apologies would be necessary! (PHEW!) Matt had decided that he didn’t want to have to wait any longer to call Juna his fiancée, and went ahead with his proposal plans the week before!
So, with Juna now in on it, we planned to start their session right where their relationship began: on the Mall! We roamed from the Washington Monument past the World War II Memorial and all the way down to the Lincoln, capturing the love of these two incredible people. Matt and Juna, it was such a joy to get to know you two, and I am so honored to have been able to preserve this part of your sweet love story forever. Enjoy, and from the bottom of my heart, congratulations!!
We started out where it all began, and Chevy the pup even joined in!
Puppy love ;)
Matt loves his cowboy boots, so of course they had to be included! Not to mention that they match perfectly with this STUNNER of a ring!
SO DARN BEAUTIFUL.
Gosh, you two are just too sweet.
Love this one!
Y’all make the monument look GOOD.
As native New Jerseyans (New Jerseyites?) Matt and Juna share a deep love for the Giants :)
And as DC-transplants, they’ve learned to love the Caps, too!
A quick outfit change, and it’s time for some New Jersey love!
Fist pumps! The official sign for Jersey, obviously.
JUNA! Lady, this is beautiful.
The stars at the WWII memorial will always be one of my favorite places to photograph.
Y’all are just perfect.
Love this so much!
A little bit of Lincoln love…
You two are models, I swear it. Congratulations, Juna and Matt!!