Quiet. Serene. Lush. Peaceful. Stepping into the park at the Garden Hills Duck Pond is like entering another world. An oasis. Visiting again after several years and capturing the charm of this setting reminded me of traveling. And why I fell in love with photography in the first place. Quiet little corners of the park reminded me of pastoral scenes in the English countryside and of the joy found in exploring the Jardin du Luxembourg. It’s easy to see why Ashley Kate and Will made picnics here a ritual.
Today’s engagement session with Ashley Kate & Will is a celebration of the good that can come from slowing down & enjoying life’s simple joys. Armed with a variety of their favorite foods (and their dog Murphy), they’ve made fun memories at the Duck Pond this year, so it seemed like the perfect place to capture their engagement session! These two are best friends and incredibly delightful to be around! From popping champagne and sharing fruit to playing with Murphy, we had a blast, and I can’t wait for their wedding next June!
Tell me your Story – “We met our senior year at Georgia Southern University in our last semester of college (just in the nick of time). I have to give partial credit to my best friend who was friends with some of the guys on the baseball team, including Will. She would always talk about this one particular guy named “Halfy” and how fun he was. The name really stuck out to me as I overheard a guy introduce himself as Halfy one night at the bar. I was so eager to meet this Halfy guy that I immediately sparked a conversation. Shortly after, I learned that his real name was Will and “Halfy” was a nickname he got as a freshman on the baseball team. We instantly hit it off and became best friends. After we graduated college, we both ended up moving to Atlanta. It was not my top place of moving after college, as I did not have many friends living here at the time; however, Will took me under his wing and easily made it the best decision I have ever made.”
“After college, we continued to be friends as we figured out adulthood together. Being the stubborn humans that we are, we refused to accept that there was more to our friendship for the first couple of years. After many ups and downs we finally realized that deep down we were in love with each other and Will asked me on our first (official) date. It makes me smile knowing that we entered adulthood as best friends, but we will enter the next phase of life as husband and wife.”
Ashley Kate, what is it about Will that you love the most? – “I love that he has every quality of a good and loyal friend. The saying “you marry your best friend” certainly is true in our relationship as I found myself to love everything about him soon after we became friends (despite trying to convince myself otherwise). I was able to be myself around him from the moment I met him. Our relationship is built around fun and happiness whether it be making each other laugh or trying new adventures. He shows passion and loyalty for his closest people and I am lucky to call him my soulmate.”
Will, what is it about Ashley Kate that you love the most? – “From the beginning, we have been best friends. No matter what life threw at us, I could always count on our friendship to remain faithful. I love that we have fun together and that she is always down for new adventures. She is beautiful on the inside and out. She is always kind and caring to everyone around her.”
About the Proposal – “One of our favorite activities to do together is to go to the lake, so naturally it felt right for me (Will) to pop the question there. I planned a weekend at the lake with two of our closest friends. I included them in the surprise so that AK could not change our weekend plans and ruin the surprise. They used work as an excuse for their tardiness and just the two of us went to the lake for the day. We went out on our boat, got lunch and then hung out on the water until I could work up the nerve to get on a knee. Then we went back to my brother’s lake house where both of our families and many friends were waiting to celebrate.”
So happy for you, Ashley Kate & Will! Can’t wait for your wedding at King & Prince on St. Simons Island next June!