Ashley + David’s Engagement Session at the Japanese Tea Gardens

Y’all, I’m not sure who’s life is more of a fairytale… Ashley + David’s or mine??!! I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed photographing Ashley + David’s Engagement Session at the Japanese Tea Gardens! What’s really fun is they were 100% okay with me also inviting Graysen of Little Gray Films to video some behind the scenes!!! Ashley showed up in her flowing, floral dress, her gorgeous hair and makeup all done up, her reflective Sunglasses and their sweet pups, KJ and Coco!! It looked as though they all just stepped out of a movie trailer and were ready to rock their session!!! And let me tell you, they KILLED IT!! I can’t WAIT for you to see some of the highlights of our time together, but for now, please enjoy a little story from Ashley, herself on their journey together so far… I can’t believe their wedding is almost here!!

How They Met

David and I had both decided to attend a retreat at our church which included a seminar outside of Houston. On the second night of the retreat, they had an ice breaker so that everyone could get to know each other. The leaders arranged the chairs in a circle, and unbeknownst to Ashley, David purposely sat next to her. The objective of the ice breaker was to get to know 5 different people and ask them what their favorite TV show was. So when the ice breaker started, Ashley immediately asked David what his was and then thought she would move on to the next person but David kept talking. They never actually completed the ice breaker or met anyone else that night, but Ashley didn’t mind because she was intrigued by his questions & confidence. After that night, we didn’t see each other again and went about our normal lives back in Houston. 

Luckily for David, a group text started up a couple months after meeting Ashley at the retreat, and he found out Ashley was a part of it. The group text started coordinating meetups & activities so David started keeping an eye on it and waiting for Ashley to commit to events.

The first one he saw Ashley commit to was a basketball watch party at BWW’s so he showed up alone. Unfortunately, Ashley already had people sitting next to her and it was difficult for them to talk to each other, so only a couple quick words were exchanged of “hi, nice to see you”.

The next activity David saw Ashley was going to was a pickup basketball game and bringing her college friend Ben. He showed up and they got to talk to each other for a few minutes, but spoke a little bit more when the group went for froyo afterwards.

David was tired of this group stuff so he decided to coordinate a meetup of his own. He started by asking Ashley to go to run club. Unfortunately, David always asked her to go to run club on Wednesdays a couple hours before the event, so she was never prepared, or just had other plans scheduled already. So she said no 3 weeks in a row.

But Ashley planned for the 4th week and when David asked her to go to run club, she finally said yes. It was more like a “walk club” for Ashley because she isn’t a runner (although David convinced her to do a half marathon in Austin later that year). Afterwards the group went and got a late dinner and chatted. Ashley said she had to leave so David walked her to her car and finally asked her out to dinner alone!

And the rest is history 🙂

The First Date

At run club, David asked what Ashley’s favorite food was and she immediately replied with “Pizza”. So when he asked her out to dinner, he said he would love to take her to a pizza place. Ashley agreed.

Well David hadn’t planned anything out, so when he arrived to pick her up, he had no idea where a pizza place was. So he decided to take her to a Mexican place, El Tiempo instead(if you know David, then you know he loves the mexican food and probably did this on purpose lol). They ate dinner for almost 3 hours and talked non-stop the whole time. Then randomly, Ashley’s phone broke at the end of dinner so she asked David if he would go with her to the Apple store the next day(and was basically their second date).

When Ashley got home, Brittani asked her how the date was and she responded “Actually, it went pretty good?!” Usually Ashley would go on a first date and decide she didn’t like the guy for one reason or another and would never go on a second date. But David made it to a second date at the Apple store(where he kindly also bought her dinner), and then eventually a third date to a Venezuelan food place!

The Proposal

Everyone thinks that I must have known that I would get engaged on my 30th birthday when David planned a surprise trip to go to a resort in Marble Falls near Austin, TX for the weekend, but I had literally no idea it was going to happen! We had a trip planned to go to Thailand in January 2019 to visit my sister and I had assumed he was going to pop the question then, which is why I didn’t suspect a thing. But I’m so glad that I was 100% surprised, it was the perfect engagement!

Anyways, David had booked a surprise weekend getaway for my birthday and I was super excited about it! On the Saturday we got engaged, he booked a couples massage in the morning which was so sweet, and then we got a massive brunch. After that was some mini golf & a walk on a walking trail where David was happy to take some selfies with me(David isn’t big on taking photos so I should have known something was up when he didn’t resist at all 😉 LOL!

David thought I knew he was going to pop the question that night because he accidentally left out the ring box peeking out of his suitcase and he thought I saw it, plus I had made a couple comments that he misinterpreted as me already knowing. (Lucky for him, I can be very naive and not pay attention to details so I easily have no clue that something is going on.)

He said it was time to start getting ready for my birthday dinner because we needed to go early and take some pictures for a contest(more on that later) and this was the time he realized I had no idea. He said that when he saw that I didn’t curl my hair or put on my full makeup, he knew that I was still in the dark. I was still thinking it was a normal birthday dinner.

Anyways, he told me that there was a contest at his work where whatever couple took a picture with the best sunset would get a $500 giftcard to dinner of their choice(David said he never said $500 but somehow I made that up in my mind). Well that didn’t seem strange to me at all because his work is always doing unconventional things. And I’m always up for winning a free giftcard so it was easy to get me to say yes to that.

We got in a golf cart to go to the Azalea gardens which was onsite (I should have been suspicious when David said he looked up great gardens to take photos in, but again, I’m not a details person) so we could take photos of the sunset. We took some pictures in front of the sunset but I looked at the photos and said they were the worst. We weren’t going to win the $500 giftcard with those pics, we needed to head across the resort to where the boats and water was to REALLY have a chance at winning this contest(the sunset was way better over there). So I accidentally changed David’s plans of proposing in the beautiful garden, but he said it was OK 🙂 So we took off running because the sun was going down fast. We ran over to a dock and took some selfies with the sunset in the background(because now the attendant that David had secretly asked to take our photos while he proposed was confused that we literally ran away and obviously didn’t follow us).We took the photos and I said “OK let’s go to dinner, I think we got as good as pics as we are going to get” and I turned around to grab my jacket I had dropped on the dock. David said “Wait, let’s just watch the sunset go down before dinner because we have about 20 minutes until our reservation is up.” I said OK and when I turned around he was down on one knee! A total and complete surprise <3 

The Ring – Henri Daussi from Robbins Brothers
Bracelet – Kendra Scott
Ashley’s Wardrobe – Lulus
David’s Wardrobe – J Crew