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As a prior English teacher, I love telling each of my couple's love story. Each story is unique and in a culmination of love and a little planning, the wedding day brings that love to life in front of family and friends. As a lover of heirlooms and legacies, it's a joy to be alongside each of my couples as they create memories that will last forever for their children and grandchildren!

I'm ali rae.

Hey there!

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Emily & Jake | Sunrise Winter Beach Engagement | Topsail Beach, North Carolina

Engagements

February 18, 2020

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Emily and Jake remind me so much of me and Caleb. They are young and totally in love and don’t care about any of the obstacles that will face them as a military couple. Both Emily and Jake’s family were in the military, so they both know the lifestyle, but still…as Emily put it—it’s a lot different as a spouse of someone in the Marine Corps than it is as a child of someone in the Marine Corps. It’s clear, though, that they are willing to prepare themselves and endure whatever the Marine Corps might throw at them.

Because both of their sets of parents were married on base, they have decided to keep the tradition alive and do the same at Camp Lejeune this summer. It was fate that Emily and I even met! We actually met at a bridal show in northern Virginia last fall, but as you all know, we moved here from Camp Lejeune, so I knew the area pretty well. Once we got to chatting, we realized that Jake lives on the same street as my best friend from North Carolina…smalllll world, and the Marine Corps makes it even smaller!

Despite having already done an engagement session, Emily and Jake were so sweet to be willing to do another one with me! Some couples ask if an engagement session is a necessary part of the experience. I honestly think it is one of the most integral parts of the entire wedding experience! The time that we get to spend together during your engagement session goes so far on the actual wedding day because a) I get to teach you a few core poses, so that on the wedding day when it’s a little faster-paced, we are able to efficiently take the bride and groom portraits and have plenty of variety even if only given a short amount of time, b) it allows me to see my couples interact with one another, which is great, and c) we all just get to know each other a little better.

Their previous engagement session was done in the city with beautiful monuments in the background, so I suggested a beach engagement that was exactly the opposite of what they had already experienced. The stars aligned and we happened to be down in North Carolina on the same weekend, so we were able to do a sunrise session at North Topsail Beach before heading to the location of their wedding at Marston Pavilion. I had never been to Marston before and had no idea there was beautiful hanging moss there giving me allllll the Savannah vibes!

Emily and Jake have promised quite the party for their wedding, and I am so excited!! Is it June yet?

  1. […] married on the coast of North Carolina without having some water in your portraits (just like their beach engagement session!), so we ventured out to the dock at sunset to capture the glowy light and beautiful […]

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As a prior English teacher, I love telling each of my couple's love story. Each story is unique and in a culmination of love and a little planning, the wedding day brings that love to life in front of family and friends. As a lover of heirlooms and legacies, it's a joy to be alongside each of my couples as they create memories that will last forever for their children and grandchildren!

I'm ali rae.

Hey there!