Why are engagement photos so important? Well, there are many reasons actually. For starters, engagement sessions allow the couple and the photographer to really develop a rapport and a genuine relationship. It’s the perfect time for the photographer to see the dynamic of the couple who we are working with! (Not to mention we get some incredible photos to boot!) What’s even better- is when the couple chooses a location that is meaningful to them! So that is exactly why Nellie and Stefani chose to have their Engagement photos at Lake Sunapee!
I love how each couple really has their own unique way about them, and how each one can bring out little tidbits of their fun personalities!
Nellie and Stefani
Nellie and Stefani are a modern day love story! Meeting on Tinder, these two are the sweetest and most fun couple with a goofy essence and romantic playfulness. Two truly beautiful souls. Spending time with them and their family has me SO EXCITED for their wedding next July. They will be getting married right on top of Mt. Sunapee, where they can truly enjoy the views of the Sunapee Region of NH.
These two are currently living in Colorado and truly enjoy the outdoors. They love blue skies, and the mountain views, so it was only natural that we have their engagement photos in a beautiful area of Lake Sunapee. But it wasn’t only the beauty that drew them to have their engagement session there. Nellie’s family has a home right on Lake Sunapee, and Nellie has so many childhood memories overlooking the beautiful lake.
The digital flame! Nellie and Stefani met on Tinder and after sitting in each other’s queue for a month, Stefani could no longer ignore the girl with the picture at The Big House (Michigan’s football stadium). Being a fan of college football was the first of many things they realized they had in common. After Stefani messaged Nellie, the two clicked and met up in person shortly thereafter.
First, Nellie and Stefani’s first date was on Leap day of 2016. The cosmos’ aligned for the two to meet on such a unique day. To make things even more interesting in the lead-up, Nellie had lost her phone. (Which Stefani would come to learn is fairly typical. ) So the two had to communicate via email in order to meet up.
The first date was at Meadowlark Restaurant in Denver’s trendy RiNo neighborhood. Stefani opted for a burger which comes topped with an onion ring, a fried egg, cheese, and Hollandaise sauce. (Best burger in Denver!) She handled it like a champ! Nellie regretted venturing away from the burger and hasn’t strayed since. Immediately, Nellie was in awe of Stef’s beauty and charm but mostly her intelligence. Nellie could tell she was someone she would never run out of things to talk about.
After the meal, neither was ready for the date to end, so they headed to Ratio Beerworks. (Which is a well-known brewery in Denver’s craft brewing scene.) The conversation continued with ease and the two shut the place down. The connection was quick and simple between them. And they have been by each other’s side ever since.
Once the two began talking about marriage, it was clear that Stefani wanted Nellie to propose. Stefani had always imaged the romantic moment when the person she was with surprised her. And dropped to a knee and presenting a ring.
In the lead up to Nellie’s proposal, she found an amazing jeweler online, Doozie Jewelers, who happened to be based in Denver. Nellie sent Stefani the website and Stefani shared the rings that she liked the most. While they initially planned to go meet the jeweler together, Nellie had the information she needed and decided to surprise Stefani with a custom ring. Since Nellie didn’t want to be left out of the fun of having a custom engagement ring from Doozie, she decided to design both in tandem. Over a few months early in 2018, she worked with Susan to design both rings, who did an absolutely amazing job!
Nellie and Stefani love to hike and fish and so once she had the rings, Nellie decided to propose on their favorite hike at a beautiful alpine lake. Nellie packed away the rings and the two set off on their five-mile hike to Lost Lake on the Continental Divide Trail with the dog, Hutch, alongside.
Once they reached the lake, Nellie’s nerves finally took hold and she quickly got Stefani’s ring out and pulled her towards the lake. She told her how much she loved her and loved living life with her and wanted the rest of her days to be spent by Stefani’s side at which point she dropped on her knee and asked Stefani to marry her. Stefani gave an emphatic yes without even looking at the ring and the two were cheered on by a couple camping at the lake.
Nellie brought a picnic and the two spent the next couple hours with smiles ear to ear, eating a picnic, fly fishing for trout, taking a few pictures and immediately face timing Stefani’s twin, Michelle. From there the two hiked down and went to spend the night celebrating in Vail where they had an amazing meal at the restaurant White Buffalo sitting right along the creek that runs through town. By then the two had shared the news with their families and were met with loads of excitement.
To top off celebrations, the next day they met up with a number of friends and went rafting on the Colorado River. Their friends brought a bottle of champagne and it was the perfect end to the perfect weekend as Stef and Nellie started the next chapter, appropriately, romping around the Rockies.
The list goes on and on! Nellie and Stef love to run, bike, ski (at the resort and in the backcountry), fish, travel, drink beer. (basically the stereotypes of all Coloradans!)
In the wintertime, Nellie and Stef ski almost any weekend they can with Vail being their favorite resort. The first time they skied together, Nellie was ready to charge down a black diamond and Stef requested a warmup run. After one run down a blue trail, it has been all blacks ever since. This year the two got a dog and have been skiing more in the backcountry (hiking up/skiing down) so they can enjoy the outdoors with their pup.
In the summertime, when not traveling to friends’ wedding or to visit family in New Hampshire, the two love to go on hikes and to fly fish, frequently a combo of both. Anything that is active and gets the two outdoors, they are on board with.
Stefani is an old man while working at her computer, frequently swearing and or yelling at the screen as she works through issues. Nellie is a perfect angel. Just kidding, Nellie drives Stef crazy by leaving cabinets and drawers open.
There are still many decisions that need to be made, but we have been making good progress! With a venue, photographer and band selected. The most important thing to us is that we get to celebrate our commitment to each other. With all of our loved ones. While many items in the wedding will be traditional, we definitely want to have our own twist to things that make it our own beyond just the details like colors or flowers. First, I think wherever possible, we would like to support independent, women-run business in selecting our vendors. We have done that with the rings and photographer and will keep this present throughout our planning. Second, we want to neutralize a lot of the traditions that are in line with traditional gender norms. For example, Nellie is planning to have both parents walk her down the aisle. Next, we need to turn to build a website, finalizing a guest list and sending out save the dates. The people we have already reached out to are so excited and get us excited about throwing a hootenanny (did we mention Stef is from Texas) for those who come to celebrate.
Get the big items locked down first (band/venue/photographer/guest list). The details will work themselves out but the big stuff is necessary.
Stefani is currently in the midst of a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Colorado – Boulder. She is focused on American Politics, specifically Congress and the Presidency. Her work focuses on understanding how our institutions’ function (or don’t). In her work, she does a lot of work with data and statistical modeling. Nellie works as a financial analyst, doing corporate finance for an Asset Manager. Her company sells financial products. (Think mutual funds or ETFs that might be in your 401K) And she focuses on the ensuring the distribution of those products remains profitable.
Congratulations to Nellie and Stefani!!
This was the first time that I was ever at Lake Sunapee! Did you know that Lake Sunapee is a glacier lake that formed over 11,000 years ago? If you want to learn more about this beautiful area- you can head over to Wikipedia!