Happy Friday, friends!
I have been way too excited to share Kirsten and Ryan’s Birmingham Botanical Gardens engagement session with y’all! Last week, I had the biggest honor and privilege to be able to meet up with one of my favorite couples and spend the afternoon/evening with them! I have know Kirsten since my freshman year at Auburn, while she was a sophomore. I was still really trying to figure out the whole college thing and where I fit in when I found out that Kirsten was my big sister in our sorority! This was honestly one of the biggest game changers for me, and I am so thankful for God’s perfect timing in all of this. Not only was Kirsten one of the biggest influences during my times at Auburn, but she also led me to one of my best friends, Anna Knowling, aka my twin! I could not love these two girls more, so the BIGGEST shout out to Kirsten for bringing all of us together!!
Kirsten and Ryan are one of those couples that you meet and instantly adore them. Not only are they incredible individuals, but together they are that much better. Everything about them just works, and they bring so much joy into every situation! If you know them, I know that you completely agree!! Kirsten and Ryan are actually both from Vestavia, and both went to Vestavia Hills High School. They had so many mutual friends, and Ryan even went to Harry Potter World with Kirsten’s twin brother, Kyle, after they graduated high school. But it wasn’t until their freshman year at Auburn that these two finally met! Their first week of school, another one of their mutual friends told them about a party, so Kirsten and her best friend went and they ended up meeting Ryan! They started texting a little bit after that, but Kirsten said it faded some after that until she ran into Ryan again not too much later. Ryan then asked Kirsten to be his date to the first football game (YAY). Before the football game, Kirsten told Ryan that she needed math tutoring (as an excuse to see him) and that’s when they really started to spend some time together. As the first football game rolled around, Kirsten was able to ask Ryan to formal which was a couple of weeks later. On September 10, 2011, Ryan asked Kirsten to be his girlfriend, and the rest, as they say, is history!
After dating all throughout college, Kirsten got into PT school (!!!) in Fayetville, North Carolina. Ryan was just starting his job at Ernst & Young in Birmingham, so they were going to have to start the whole long distance thing. I will seriously never forget when Ryan texted me and asked if I would be available to take pictures of a “certain event” in December. Of course, I started FREAKING out, but that was unfortunately the same day my best friend was getting married, so I was unable to be there! Kirsten was finally coming home for her Christmas break, and Ryan was going to take her to dinner to celebrate her being home. Before coming home, Kirsten had gotten very suspicious that he was going to propose, so Ryan had to really throw her off. Which ended up really paying off for Ryan because Kirsten was SO surprised!! On December 17, Ryan got down on one knee and asked Kirsten to spend forever with him, and she of course, said YES!!
A little more than six months later, I met with them to take their engagement pictures! Kirsten is home for the Summer, so it was the perfect time to capture this time in their lives. I need to start out by saying how in love I am with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. If y’all live in Birmingham or are ever in the area, I can not recommend it enough! There is no fee to get in, but you can go to their website to make a donation! The gardens are GORGEOUS, and they even have a greenhouse!! Now, it is July in the South, which means afternoon showers and HUMIDITY. So much of it. Right as we were starting our session the weather was definitely getting a little questionable. The clouds rolled in, but fortunately it only ended up being a 5 minute light rain, so we were very thankful for that! The skies ended up having a pink hue to them the rest of the night, and it made for the dreamiest lighting! Hair may have gotten a little curlier throughout the night, but Kirsten and Ryan were the biggest troopers!! It was so hot, y’all, but these two were such rockstars about it! Everything about their session was so effortless, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have spent this time with them! We even ended the night with dinner at Urban Cookhouse (my favorite stop in Birmingham) so it couldn’t have been any better!!
Kirsten and Ryan, I could not love y’all more! From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for allowing me to capture y’all’s love story. Y’all’s love is such an inspiration to me and so many others, and I pray that the rest of your engagement prepares you that much more for your beautiful marriage! Next August cannot get here soon enough!!
So much love,