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A Smithsonian Castle Engagement Session | Devin + Stephanie

Today I’m sharing a sweet Smithsonian Castle engagement session with you that features Devin and Stephanie! Devin and Stephanie were VERY recently engaged, however Devin had been planning to propose to Stephanie for a while. He first contacted me in mid-March to let me know he was planning to surprise his girlfriend by proposing during their White House tour and we’d been discretely discussing logistics of a session (since she had no clue he was even going to pop the question). His original plan was to propose to her that morning and then notify her that he had scheduled an engagement session set for that evening; it would’ve been a day full of surprises! Unfortunately, when the day rolled around, the weather wasn’t cooperating and we decided last minute to reschedule the engagement session. So on our next go-round, they decided Smithsonian Castle might be a great location for photos.

These two are hoping to get married late next summer. They met in the Army and their first date was at a car show, but you can read a bit more about them below. I’m really excited that I was the photographer that Devin chose to photograph this important time in their lives and wish them so much happiness in their wedding planning! Cheers to you both, and congratulations!

Devin: We met in Alaska in 2016 where we were both stationed in the Army.

Stephanie: We met when he started working in the same unit as me (he is prior military and I’m still in). I remember thinking he was a very attractive guy and I wanted to know the story behind what his tattoos meant to him.

Devin: The first thing that really struck me about Stephanie was how passionate she was in everything she did, both in her work and personal life.

Stephanie: I remember seeing him eating something weird for breakfast so I had to ask what it was. He said it was yogurt and cottage cheese, PROTEIN!! I thought it sounded disgusting and I thought he was kind of a weirdo, but come to find out, it is delicious!!

Devin: Prior to our first date we discovered a similar interest in cars and car shows. Long story short, after the 5th time she asked me to a car show, I said yes. Best first date ever!

Stephanie: I, after several subtle attempts, convinced him to go to a car show with me! What man doesn’t love cars and good company!? My favorite part was a young boy, about 8 years old, came over and told Devin, “Thank you for your service sir” and then looked at me and said, “Thank you for supporting him.” We both chuckled and told him thank you for his support! He didn’t just tell us once, but twice during that event!!

Devin: I remember telling people how similar we were. We shared so many of the same interests and opinions that it felt like we’d known each other forever.

Stephanie: I told my family that I couldn’t believe how sweet he was and I wanted to be more like him because he talks to his family weekly! P.S. I’m still trying to be like him when it comes to that and it’s been 2.5 years.

Devin: As our relationship progressed and I got to see her interact with my family and friends I realized that I wanted her in my life forever.

Stephanie: I knew very early on that he was the one because everything felt so natural with him. He made me want to strive to be better at everything I did! Also, I told him I loved him first 😉

Devin: The proposal happened right in front of the White House at the end of our tour. It was something we had planned for months as something fun to do so it was the perfect cover story.

Stephanie: The proposal was absolutely incredible! We did the White House Tour of the West Wing with his Mom and Step-Dad. At the very end he kept trying to hold my phone in his pocket, I finally caved. Then after one more picture of just us two, he grabbed both of my hands in his and began his heartfelt speech. I could feel his hands shaking under mine! We were both fighting back tears, but he got down on one knee and I said YES! Totally was not expecting it at all!

Devin: What I love most about Stephanie is her consideration for others, she’s so thoughtful and really loves helping people.

Stephanie: I absolutely love that he is willing to drop anything for the people he loves and cares about! He always makes time for family and I absolutely love that about him!

Devin: I love how funny and goofy Stephanie can be. There’s not a day that goes by that she’s not making up her own lyrics to a song or inventing a new dance move.

Stephanie: I love that he is not afraid to just let loose when it’s the two of us! Sometimes he will just bust a move out of nowhere and it always makes me laugh! I love that he enjoys hanging out at home in sweatpants with our dog!

Devin: I can’t wait until our first dance as a husband and wife surrounded by all of our family and friends.

Stephanie: I am looking forward to spending time with family and close friends. It’s hard these days to get everyone in one place at the same time! #KickNItWithTheCarters (Possible wedding hashtag)

To see another Smithsonian Castle engagement session in DC, be sure to check out Kristel + Josh!

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2023 Mini Sessions

This October and November there will be three  available dates in Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, and Manassas for fall mini photos with us. Be sure to sign up for your 15 minute slot here! They are the perfect time to update photos for the holidays, or simply just because!