Friends, I am so in love with this sweet St. Augustine engagement session. From lush gardens to the rocky beach, we saw it all! Danielle traveled all the way from North Carolina to spend the week with her fiancé, Donnie. I am so excited that we were able to make this session happen while she was here! Donnie is currently finishing pilot school in Sanford, but they both love the St. Augustine area! We drove up to Washington Oaks Gardens and River by the Sea Preserve to photograph one of the most special times in their lives.
Danielle and Donnie both attended the same high school but never knew each other until their senior year. During their final semester in 2012, they both signed up for their schools ski team. Every Wednesday, they would drive an hour and a half to the mountains and race against snowboard and skiers from other schools throughout North Carolina and Tennessee. During the first couple weeks of car rides Donnie always found ways to annoy Danielle and stop her from doing her homework. After a few weeks, she began to talk to him and they’ve been going strong since!
Though marriage was often discussed, it always seemed like it was going to be in the distant future. In 2016, Donnie picked up her ring the day before he came home for Thanksgiving break. He had no specific plan for a proposal, but had an idea that he would do it on a cruise he had planned for her birthday in December. The first day he was back, they spent the day going to several shooting ranges so Danielle could try different style guns before buying her own. Frustration built throughout the day as Danielle felt her shooting was off.
Getting to the car after they were finished for the day, he said “Hey. Come here and hug me.” When Danielle turned around, he was down on his knee in the middle of the shooting range parking lot. She was so surprised and kept questions if it was real. Once Donnie reassured her it was actually happening, she excitedly said yes (and cheered up)! Danielle told me that they are both really bad at keeping surprises from one another. It’s only perfect that he couldn’t wait to propose and show her the surprise. Instead, she got to show off her new ring the whole cruise!
Danielle’s ring is a round center stone with a diamond halo and plain band. Donnie had to custom make the ring since Danielle could only wear platinum due to allergies. He knew she liked small details, and designed the underside of the ring to have a pattern of small diamonds.
Danielle and Donnie were the absolute sweetest couple in the world and oh so fun! I am so excited to share a peek at their St. Augustine engagement session and share their story with you! Thank you for having us, Danielle and Donnie!!
Danielle’s Super Adorable Dresses: Francesca’s