Luster Studios » Boston Wedding Photographer for New England Venues Engagement Events

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American Tobacco District Engagement / Duke Gardens (Minna + Jarrod)

So here’s the story… Minna is from Vancouver, Canada and came to UNC currently for her PhD and Jarrod grew up in Florida but came to North Carolina to explore a new area during graduate school. Of all the places on earth, they actually met at a bus stop (which in hindsight is perfect since Jarrod is pretty low key) He kept teasing Minna that he was going to treat her to Taco Bell for their first date. Sure enough, when it became official, he drove up to Taco Bell for some crispy cinnamon treats before heading to Duke Gardens. When they arrived they got there Jarrod surprised her with a secret stash from the trunk of his car…

This is where each of their recollections of success are a bit different. According to Minna the stash included tasty sandwiches, candles and their softball gloves! According to Jarrod the “candles” were actually mosquito repellent (which didn’t work.) He also didn’t eat his sandwich because he was too nervous and they never got to play softball because it was too dark by the time they finished dinner.

When I heard this, I actually SURPRISED THEM with a set of my softball gloves and ball when we met for our engagement session. I think they were really excited when I got them out!

I always like to ask about the “proposal story” and I really like how Jarrod popped the question… Last year, they went to Vancouver to celebrate Minna’s dad’s 60th birthday. Her brother and her had been planning the shindig for awhile, and she was excited that Jarrod would be coming along. They had rented a cabin out on the island to celebrate some more over the weekend. After a gargantuan (Jarrod’s new favorite word) dinner they went over to a beach on Ruby Lake. Jarrod got down on one knee and Minna asked him whether he was tying his shoe! :) He asked, she cried, she said “YES!” – they hugged. I later found out that it meant a lot to Minna that Jarrod would propose to her at her home where her family was nearby but not watching.

We had an amazing session together and I love how their “fountain shot came out. They have a wonderful dog named “Miles” who couldn’t make it with us because of the heat but I’m hoping that they incorporate him into the wedding somehow. I’m going to be photographing one of my friends wedding in November and she has A LOT of cats in her family. We’ve been teasing her that my wife is going to use our cat “Snarf” as a bouquet and the only way that I’ll photograph the wedding is if she follows suite! Can you imagine a bouquet-cat toss during the reception? Now THAT would be worth photographing!

But I digress… Here’s the photos!


My fav creative shot of the day by far!


I focused in on the “CUSTOM FIT” and “SELECT” words on the glove… and “WORTH” on the softball…


We found the exact spot where they had there picnic on their first date!


A family was walking by in the background while we were doing some “piggy-back ride” shots…


… so I encouraged them to join in the fun…


… and helped Minna give Jarrod a big hint! Sorry man!