Courtney + Jonathan | Nov 9, 2019
Rustic, outdoor engagement session with a warm fall color palette at Umstead Park in Raleigh, North Carolina
Growing up in the same town, Courtney and Jonathan had crossed paths many times, but didn’t officially meet until 2014 at a Halloween party thrown by a mutual friend.
“I brought my new puppy, which ended up being a great icebreaker,” said Courtney, “and we hit it off from there!”
The dynamic in their relationship was always best friends who laugh together nonstop, making it really easy for them to envision a life together. They worked hard and built a relationship on the value of open communication, mutual respect and being a team through it all.
“There was no defining moment,” Courtney said, “but I think we both knew from the start that what we had was special.”
One evening when Courtney came home from work, she walked into their bedroom to find fairy lights strung and flowers scattered all around. Jonathan had been waiting all evening for her to walk in, and in that moment he finally got to ask Courtney to spend the rest of her life with him.
“Our dog, Susie, couldn’t handle the attention being off her for one second and vomited on our bedroom floor as Jonathan was literally mid-proposal,” Courtney said. “It was hilarious in the moment and will be an even funnier story to tell in the future.”
For the engagement session, their photographer, Love by Court Winter, recommended the shoot location, and it ended up being the perfect spot for the nature driven theme Courtney and Jonathan were going for.
“We love being outdoors, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing, and the scenery had the most gorgeous colors that came through in the photos,” said Courtney. “Our wedding will also be outdoors in the fall, so I love that the vibe from our engagement shoot will match the vibe of our wedding.”
On a heavenly autumn day in the North Carolina woods, rustic scenery and a warm color palette set the mood for their romantic engagement photo session. Between the leaves covering the ground and the natural light flooding in through the surrounding trees, the couple’s nature driven vision was truly brought to life.
For her first look, Courtney wore a cozy, burnt orange knit v-neck sweater with black ripped jeans. Her red waves were styled loosely in a low bun, and she completed the look in a pair of tan heeled mules. Jonathan looked effortlessly cool in a sherpa denim trucker jacket, a plaid flannel and black jeans.
The couple first posed for some shots on the staircase of a charming old building, with stone brick and a whitewashed wood door. With the natural light and the rust orange fall leaves all around them, every moment captured was truly dreamy.
Of course, their precious dog Susie had to join in! Courtney and Jonathan then strolled arm-in-arm down a wooded pathway, with Susie by their side - making the sweetest photo moment for the family.
Courtney later shifted into her second look, and was stunning in a long-sleeved, flowy dress with a floral patterned fabric. She paired the dress with some knee-high suede boots, and she wore her hair in romantic loose waves.
Jonathan slipped into a forest green henley shirt, with dark wash denim, black boots and a brown trucker jacket. Susie looked dashing as well, in a soft gray and red knit sweater.
The family spread out a gray and white checked, soft cotton throw and got cozy for some more shots. Every kiss, hug, laugh and silly facial expression made for the perfect, most genuine memory surrounded by earth’s natural beauty.
A special detail from the shoot is that the photographer is actually one of Courtney’s best friends from high school! The relationship made the bride-to-be feel so comfortable, allowing them to joke around with each other and share old memories throughout the shoot.
“Also, there was some kind of fandom convention going on at the park the same time we were shooting,” Courtney said, “so there were times during the shoot when we were surrounded by people in animal costumes, which definitely eased the nerves and made us laugh!”
For the couple, wedding planning has been truly simple and far from stressful. Although Courtney was worried about how chaotic it might be, it has actually been really enjoyable for the two.
“We’re looking forward to having a small intimate low-key wedding that just feels like a get together with our closest family and friends,” said Courtney. “Our favorite part of wedding planning so far has been the music—we have a shared playlist on Spotify that we add songs to any time we think of or hear something we want played at our wedding!”
As Jonathan and Courtney soaked up the final few rays of light, they nestled into each other on a big fallen tree trunk. They looked into each other’s eyes, and took in the final moments of a perfect day full of love and pure happiness.
Searching for the perfect photographer for your engagement session? Check out Love by Court Winter HERE!