the proposal

It was almost 5 years ago when I first met Michael and within the first breath we were already talking about his girlfriend Katelyn. His room was covered with her pictures and art she had made him, and you could tell instantly how crazy he was about her and how much he missed her. Little did I know in that moment where I would get to be 5 years later. I remember that year was the first time I heard someone ask Michael if he thought he would marry Katelyn some day to which he replied “if I’m lucky I will…” For the next four years I can’t count how many times I heard people ask Michael that same question, to which he always replied “if I’m lucky…”

Then in spring of 2008 while a group of us were down at hilton head for spring break one of us girls asked him again if he was going to marry Katelyn and he took us all by surprise and said very confidently, “yes, yes I am”. I think we all sat up a little straighter and started paying a little more attention to the conversation as all the girls in the room (ahem, all 7 of us..) started asking him all the typical questions.. have you thought about when? have you talked to her dad? do you know how you want to ask her? He told us that he had an idea of what he wanted to do, and that I could come photograph it if I didn’t mind coming up to Caroline county where him and Katelyn are from. Are you kidding me?! Of COURSE I didn’t mind! So its safe to say that yesterday has been in the works for well over the last year.. or to be more accurate, the last 7 years.. 

Michael and Katelyn have a pretty accurate track record when it comes to surprises.. Michael rocks at them.. aaand Katelyn rocks at being surprised ;0) Michael has been known to always find out whenever she tries to surprise him, so why should the proposal be any different? Katelyn has been planning a surprise ‘welcome home michael’ party for the last couple weeks, little did she know, the whole party was actually Michael’s idea and he has been scheming with her mom and his mom all along. I will let you check out Katelyn’s blog for the full story. Michael has always wanted to propose in the sanctuary at the church they grew up in, so somehow they had to come up with a reason for Katelyn to need Michael to go to the church, since Katelyn was the one in charge of the surprise.. or so she thought! Under the pretense that Katelyn needed to rehearse a song for church on Sunday and needed Michael to run the sound system for her, Katelyn planned to meet him at the church at 6:45. Needless to say when she walked into the sanctuary and there’s Michael standing at the alter holding a single lilly, with candles everywhere and music playing, she was completely surprised :0) 

Michael and Katelyn, I literally cannot express to you what an honor it was that you allowed me to be there to capture this. I know everyone back at the house wishes they could have been at the church, so please know how grateful and honored I am that I was able to be the first to hug and congratulate you both. Michael, thank you for letting me help you set up and be there with you before, and for trusting me with your plan this whole time. You have now set the bar VERY high when it comes to proposals :0) You are one of the best brothers I’ve ever had, and I’m so thankful for you and your friendship. Katelyn, I can’t even begin to explain how much you mean to me and what a gift you have been especially these last two years. I’m thankful to have a sister who encourages me in every aspect from my relationships to my career. Its such a blessing to have you to talk to and relate to when it comes to photography.. I’m so glad you let me drag you to that wedding a year ago!! :0) I love your passion for people, for community, for music, for Michael, for your family, and mostly for the Lord.

It has been clear from the beginning that God is the center of your relationship and I think I can safely say on behalf of everyone around you whether from CNU or from home, thank you for loving the Lord and putting Him first, and the example that sets to everyone around you. Thank you for sharing your struggles and weaknesses and for letting us pray with you through them, and for sharing the pure joy of moments like this and celebrate and praise Him along with the two of you. I love you both so much and I cannot wait to watch God accomplish huge things through bringing you together as husband and wife. 

Okay okay now on to why you all are really here… the pictures!!! Make sure you watch the slideshow at the end! Grab a tissue first though, I cry every time I watch it! mk1mk2“It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a town around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him…. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’ and rightly so for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” -John 13: 1-5, 12-17mk3“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gan nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. it is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues theyw ill be stilled, where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 mk4mk5mk6mk7mk8oh yeah, I forgot to to mention……. she said yes :0) mk9mk10mk11mk12so afterwards we went outside before the part to take a a couple of their first ENGAGEMENT pictures.. because they’re engaged!! mk13mk14mk16mk15mk17so meanwhile, everyone back at Katelyn’s house still thinks the surprise party is for Michael.. turns out the surprise was for everyone BUT Michael :0) mk18mk19mk20

Congratulations again!! I’m so excited for you both!!! 

ps- to any ladies out there who want their proposal documented too, feel free to forward this post along to your boyfriend to give him a little heads up ;0) 

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  1. Ryan Shaughnessy

    August 4th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Michael, you definitely set the bar at an unreachable place for all of us guys who will propose in the future….Your relationship brings everyone around you a ton of joy too!! Congrats guys

  2. Anna Beale

    August 4th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Jessie, I’m so happy (for KK) that Michael had you there! These pictures are wonderful!!!

  3. Charity DellaCamera

    August 4th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Katelyn I just practically cried at work looking at your pictures haha. Congratulations, Frankie and I are so excited for you both!

  4. Janelle Esposito

    August 4th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    This is beauty.

    Gorgeous photos, Jessie. Michael, you sure do know how to propose. Way to raise the bar! :)

    Congrats to Michael and Katelyn!!

  5. Katelyn James

    August 4th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Jessie THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I never thought I’d have pics of the actual ENGAGEMENT! I love you so much! They’re wonderful!!! The slideshow had momma and I in puddles!

  6. Randy Thomas

    August 4th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Truly blessed to be able to enjoy this event through your eyes, I haev prayed for them so long it was a blessing to get to be there to share the announcement, quite an awesome day for all.

  7. Torrie Robbins

    August 4th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    WOW! Beautiful proposal. Bravo Michael! It couldn’t have been any more perfect! Jessie the picture are breathtaking. What a sweet moment to capture.

  8. Tiffany

    August 4th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    OMG!!! Congrats michael and katelyn!! and beautiful pics!

  9. Wade Clark

    August 5th, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Congratulations you two. What a special way to start off your lives together. May you marriage always be blessed and may you love each other as much when you’re old as you do today.
    In Christ, Wade

  10. he proposed! » The Inspired Design Blog

    August 5th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    […] also had our good friend Jessie Smith there to take pictures! PLEASE take a look at her hard work and beautiful pictures on the blog! But […]

  11. Jasmine*

    August 5th, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I have tears in my eyes!! SO BEAUTIFUL!! :)

  12. Kelsey C

    August 6th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    i still cant believe you were there to take such incredible pictures! what a perfect proposal! love you kk and michael and jessie, awesome job!

  13. Kim Criley

    August 10th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    I am so excited for both of you! I love how the proposal was done to show His glory in what true love is! What an incredible testimony you both are! The song was perfect! I cried through the entire thing! Thank you for sharing such a personal moment with us!

    Yours in Christ,
    Kim Criley : )

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