I am excited to share with you Anna and Rex’s Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin cherry blossom engagement photos during peak bloom in Washington, DC. This session required lots of planning and coordination and we had to reschedule this session so many times! We started out with it scheduled for mid-March, then late-March, then the end of April, then mid-April, and then we had to move it up a few days sooner than we had planned because snow was set for the forecast and NPS said that it was possible the winds would knock all of the blooms away. But they are such a fantastic couple and were so tolerant of rescheduling and switching around permit dates without a single complaint, and then on the morning of their session it was literally 32 degrees! Thank you both for being so amazing and such a pleasure to work with. I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to spend the morning with!
Anna and Rex are getting married this September in Leesburg and I am so excited to watch these two become husband and wife. They look at each other with such adoration, they are so thoughtful and considerate of each other and I know you’re going to smile when you read their story down below. Enjoy some of my favorites from their Tidal Basin cherry blossom engagement session!
How did you meet?
Anna: My sister actually set us up while we were all in college at Virginia Tech, back in 2013. She kept mentioning to me that one of our mutual friend’s had a roommate who I would probably get along with really well. I’m shy, so I was sort of hesitant, but then our mutual friend started to encourage the meeting as well! My sister set up a casual group meetup at our favorite Thai restaurant in Blacksburg. Once Rex and I started talking, I felt like I had known him my whole life.
Rex: In my junior year I was coming back to school after Thanksgiving break and my roommate said that Mary Kate’s sister Anna was interested in me and wanted to meet. I remember thinking, ‘she HAS seen me, right?’ and getting excited to finally meet her. We as a group went to get Thai food at Cafe de Bangkok. When she and her sister walked up the street I couldn’t stop beaming, and the rest was history.
What was your first thought when you saw or interacted with him/her for the first time?
Rex: She’s so cool, and her eyes are so pretty, and everything about her is so genuine. She always is so thoughtful and I know she always has been herself around me.
Anna: I was totally smitten. I remember the moment I first met Rex so clearly: he was standing under a lamppost with our friends, waiting for my group to arrive. When our eyes made contact, I just felt something special about him. I thought he looked so warm and friendly. And he is! As soon as I said hello, he gave me a big hug, and we both mentioned how happy we were to finally meet.
How did you start dating?
Anna: The running joke with us is whether or not our anniversary is New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. We kissed right at midnight and we both already knew that we wanted to date each other exclusively. (It was still pretty cute when Rex officially asked me to be his girlfriend the next evening.) He wasn’t local at the time, and we were still in college, so he had to drive back home to Chesapeake in terrible snowstorm. I was happy he made it home safely!
Rex: After we first met at the Thai place and went back to my old apartment with my roommates to play some Super Smash Bros. we had a date at our favorite bar to just get some drinks and get to know each other better. We didn’t see each other after that until the New Years Party that our friend Andrew always throws for the Herndon crowd that I had been invited to. I lived in Chesapeake at the time, and I was driving a living fossil of a minivan. About half an hour into the drive up to NOVA my car stalled and I had to pull to the side of the interstate, calling my dad to see what he thought. I was able to get the car to start running and was determined to get to the party or bust! Miraculously I made it to NOVA in time and in one piece, and at the stroke of midnight at the party I felt a kiss on the cheek. I turned my head to see her smiling radiantly, gave her a kiss back, and we’ve been together ever since.
What did you tell your friends or family about each other after your first date?
Rex: I told them how talented she was with her art, how fun she is to play games with, how similar in taste our favorite beer/foods are, I just wanted to brag about how awesome she was because she wanted to date ME! 😀
Anna: My sister will tell you that I was absolutely crazy about him we first met. I was stuck in traffic with her as we were driving home from that first group meeting at the Thai restaurant, and I was going on and on about how smitten I was with Rex.
When did you know that your partner was the one?
Anna: I don’t think there was an exact moment when I realized Rex was the one for me. I had a good feeling about him from the start, and I just gradually got to this point where I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. By the end of our first year of dating, I was already pretty convinced that I wanted to marry him.
Rex: I know it’s a little cliche, but when we were in our first few months of dating, we played one of my favorite games together, Tales of Symphonia. She seemed interested and invested in the story that was such a huge part of my childhood. Sharing something like that and then wanting to share something similar with me just made me realize, that I wanted to share everything with her for the rest of my life.
How did the proposal happen?
Rex: Well, I had wanted to propose to her on Valentine’s day, but also wanted her to be able to have the exact ring she wanted. I’m a little weird about this stuff, and didn’t want to ask anyone for ‘help’ picking out her ring size/design or anything like that because I wanted the proposal to be a surprise for everyone involved. We had gone out for a Valentine’s day double date with Mary Kate and her boyfriend, and when I didn’t get the nerve to do it in the restaurant, I told her I wanted to spend the rest of my life with in the car ride back home, and told her we could go pick out her ring the next day. The ‘real’ proposal was at a German restaurant in Fredericksburg that we were able to meet up with my parents and her family for dinner. Near the end of the meal I got everyone’s attention and proposed. It was such a wonderful night and I was so glad I was able to have my parents along with us.
I realized after that I made a faux pas of not asking her dad for permission, but I think things worked out lol
Anna: There were actually two proposals! Last February, we were coming back from a double date with my sister and her boyfriend, and while we were in the car heading home, Rex just sort of blurted it out! And of course, I said yes. We went ring shopping together shortly after and had to keep our plans a secret while the ring was being made. Six weeks later with ring in hand, we took our two families to dinner together. Our parents were actually talking about their own engagements and Rex found an amazing segue into a proposal.
What quality/qualities do you love most about your partner?
Anna: He’s extremely kind, generous, funny, and intelligent. Also, handsome! 😉
Rex: She is so talented and loving. She says she always feels at ease when she’s with me. I love her smile, and her laugh. Everything about her is what makes her her, and I wouldn’t want her any other way.
What are some of your partner’s quirks that you love or appreciate?
Anna: I love his weird sense of humor. There’s a lot of laughter in our relationship because his jokes are always keeping me on my toes.
Rex: She makes little songs out of phrases and lines from games and music that all have this similar melody. I like them because she makes them when she’s feeling goofy or silly and I love when she is happy.
What moment of your wedding day are you most anticipating?
Anna: I’m most excited about our first look. I feel like it’ll be a little moment of reflection and quiet before we get swept away by all the wonderful wedding day mania.
Rex: The first look should be pretty incredible, we live with each other and see each other every day, but seeing her in her dress, on the day we’re getting the wedding she’s always dreamed of, and having that moment of calm before the storm of the ceremony should just be the perfect moment.
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!