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A Winter Engagement: Alyssa & Ben

I'm meeting Alyssa and Ben at The Oread Hotel in Lawrence, KS, where they will have their wedding and reception this October. It's February 24th, and as luck would have it, it's an unseasonably warm afternoon. There's an at-home KU basketball game going on at the same time, and I'm chasing the pre-sunset light around the perimeter of the building when I see them waiting for me at the entrance. Smiles and waves abound, and we get to work!

One of my favorite parts of being a photographer is finding beautiful backdrops in nature that might not be noticed by the casual eye. For a winter engagement especially, it can be tricky doing outdoor photo shoots, but there was a surprising amount of lovely little spots around the hotel. My personal favorite was a small median just down the street with large rocks and dried grasses that I just fell in love with.

winter engagement lawrence ks

lawrence ks engagement photo

Our plan for the photo shoot was to ultimately end up on the rooftop terrace, where we could take advantage of the sunset. As happens sometimes, there was a thick haze in the sky that magnified the harsher light, so we got a couple shots and then Alyssa had a fabulous idea: "Why don't we go downstairs, have a cocktail, and then come back up when the light is a bit better?" Hard to argue with that.

A couple's portrait backlit by the sun

Laughing engaged couple on rooftop terrace

Over gin and tonics (for them) and an old fashioned (for me), I was reminded why I am so excited to work with Alyssa and Ben. They are two of the warmest people you've ever met, and it's clear how deeply in love and totally devoted to each other they are. Conversation flows easily with each of them, and the same down-to-earth qualities and classy authenticity are interwoven within the plans for the wedding that include jewel tones, and the inclusion of fruit and unusual blooms in what I know will be another absolutely stunning bouquet from Stems (you have to check out Jen's work if you're not familiar).

Cocktails finished, it was the perfect time to wrap up our session with some more rooftop photos. The light was on our side, and it became harder to tell if the warm glow on Alyssa and Ben was the sunset, or the deep, deep love for one another.

Sunset engagement photo

Rooftop engagement photo session

Detail shot of emerald and diamond engagement ring

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