They say a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and I say the way to a woman's heart is a man cooking for her.
In my seven years of marriage there have been a handful of times when Ryan has cooked for me, or shall I say "attempted" to cook for me. All of those times I have felt so loved and cared for because I know that's not a strength of his, and yet he was doing it purely to help me and show me that he was thinking of me. Those acts of service in our marriage are the sweetest things to me and to many women.
The way Ryan feels the most loved is good espresso or coffee and conversations with me. That's exactly how our dating relationship began, and that's something that has stayed with us over the years. I have a gold member card at Starbucks to prove it to you. haha.
This engagement shoot is all about the simple ways we love one another in relationships - making food together, reading the paper together, drinking coffee together, cuddles and conversations.
As a stylist, I have styled many engagement sessions for real couples and for inspiration, and lately I've just gotten tired of trying to think of the next coolest, most-unique shoot to do. When Melissa Jill approached me to do a styled engagement session to celebrate her new branding I started to think of a unique concept and nothing really came to me...and then it hit me, why not just do it a beautiful home, with good food and keep it simple and authentic.
I gathered some wonderful women in my life who are SO creative and also value simplicity and realness. Coley Arnold and Lindsey Holt created a beautiful environment, Jessica Helgeson style and made the tasty food, Stephanie Neiheisel created a natural face, Malori Maeva gathered wild flowers and green that you could pick from your backyard, and I gathered comfortable and beautiful vintage pieces from GrowOp to style Liz and Cesar. Liz and Cesar are a married couple, so the emotion in these photos is totally real. I think that makes a huge difference.
Melissa did an amazing job capturing the shoot and intimacy. She used film for the first time, and I'm so proud of her. The light and warmth is gorgeous. Go read her blog post and check out her brand new website!
Wardrobe Styling & Concept: Alexandra Evjen with AVE Styles // Location & Prop Styling: Coley Arnold & Lindsey Holt with Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market // Food Styling: Jessica Helgeson with SEE Salt TV // Florist: Malori with Hoot and Holler // Makeup: Stephanie Neiheisel with SN Makeup Artist // Models: Liz & Cesar with Agency AZ // Wardrobe: GROWop