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The engagement session giveaway contest entries with their photos and stories have been received and here are your three finalists. Be sure to vote for your favorite by leaving a comment below and giving a ‘like’ on the Lisa Carpenter Photography Facebook page. This has been SO much fun reading each story and I thank everyone that participated. Good luck!!
Kelley Gallo & Ben Moore
Ben and I grew up in the same town of Liberty, SC. However until 2005, we never met. Ben is 3 years older than I am and I went to school in Easley. It’s hard to believe our soul mate can live only 5 minutes from you for so long and you never know.
On a fateful day in July of 2005, I went to a car show in Liberty to try and talk to my ex-boyfriend. Well, there was this very cute guy there helping my ex work on his car. That guy was Benjamin Moore. Ben and I were introduced to each other. After the car show, a large group including Ben and I went to dinner at Wild Wings Café but besides a few words, we didn’t really speak to each other.
A few days later, Ben instant messaged me. Yes, our meeting was that long ago that AOL IM was still very popular. We talked back and forth for a few days and finally he asked me out on an accidental double date. I say accidental because his cousin invited himself along, and I had to ask a girlfriend of mine to join. The date went well, but Ben did not feel like that was really a first date. A couple of days passed, all the while chatting through IM, he asked me to go for a ride on his brand new motorcycle. Basically, this story went that my parents did not want me on a motorcycle, so I didn’t tell them I was going. Being the clumsy person that I am, I burnt my leg on the tail pipe of the motor cycle. Well, my dad asked me about the burn, since it was August and I couldn’t just hide it with jeans. Confession time unless my dad reads this story, he still believes that I accidentally pulled my curling iron off of the counter and it burned me… sorry daddy!
Well a month and half passed by and I started my freshman year at Clemson University. Ben and I continued to hang out. However, he never tried to hold my hand or kiss me or anything in that month and half! I was started to wonder about this guy. On September 4, 2005 Ben came to a Clemson home football game with me. After the game, we were trying to walk through the crowd and I start to fall behind the crowd. In an effort to “not to get left behind,” I grabbed his hand. For the best part, as we were walking away from the stadium with friends, I had to walk in the opposite direction as of everyone else. It was clear we had no idea how we were supposed to say good bye to each other, so we did this pass by first kiss thing. It was truly one of the most awkward things you have ever seen. You could tell our friends were trying not to bust out laughing. This was the beginning to some of the best awkward moments of my life, including when he accidentally told me he loved me before he meant too.
You may have noticed that I said we met in 2005, that was seven and half years ago. During that time, Ben and I have gone through some of the best and the worst times in our lives. We survived college, both graduating from Clemson. We survived several close family members dying, divorce, severe sickness, three car accidents, and living apart for almost a full year, as I traveled for a job. But mostly we celebrated friends, family, awkward moments and good times during those years. In the contest, it asked when did you know you would say “I do.” That moment for me happened many times in our 7.5 years together but there is one memory that really sticks in my mind. Ben is a true romantic and never half does anything. He has written me a beautiful song and played it on the guitar (our first Valentine’s Day). He has written a poem for me, made the paper look old by dying it in coffee, and writing the poem in calligraphy (because everyone knows how to write in calligraphy). I have been surprised with a music box with a stain glass window inside of one of our pictures and I have been whisked away on surprised trips. I LOVE all of those things, but for me it is the small things and moments in life that mean the most. Like that he always holds my hand wherever we go, or the moment I knew I truly loved him, when he let me poke at his fries in a restaurant so I could find the squishy ones, which are my favorite.
The proposal: Like I said, Ben never half does anything. On December 17, 2012, I sat at my dining room table hot gluing picture frames together for a surprise 80th birthday party for my grandmother on the next night. Ben asked if I could take a short break to talk about our trip that weekend to Biltmore, or at least I thought that was where we were going. Ben handed me a piece of paper that said “We are going to New York City!”. Oh and by the way, we are leaving Thursday night the 20th on a bus. If you know me I am a planner, I had every day until Christmas planned with baking and wrapping, etc. My response to this surprise was, “oh, oh wow.” I could see the hurt in Ben’s eyes and immediately felt horrible and tried to reverse my reaction. I asked for him to give me until Wednesday and I will be okay. After a long 13 hours on a bus to NY, we arrive in the Big Apple five hours late. That night we enjoyed a wonderful evening of food and the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular. The next morning Ben asked if we could walk through Central Park and find Bow Bridge, which is one of my favorites NYC spots from the movies. We came to NYC two years ago for New Year’s Eve and it was so snowy that we couldn’t walk through the Park, so I was really excited to finally get to. I should have known something was up, because Ben, who is not a planner, had an app to guide us to the bridge. Once we got to the bridge, we took a few pictures and were about to leave when Ben looked at me and said” Last time we were in New York, we started a new year together. This time, I would like for us to start our lives together. Will you Marry Me?” I was so shocked; I paused, asked him if he was sure, and finally said yes! If that wasn’t magical enough, just as it started to snow, a couple approached us on the bridge and said that they had seen Ben get down on one knee and took a picture of us in case we wanted it. That picture means so much to me and I can’t thank that couple enough for the sweet gesture.
This engagement shoot would mean so much to Ben and me. After all those moments and years, we are at last joining together as one. These photos would be a true capture of the love and fun awkwardness we have with each other. Lisa Carpenter has been one of our favorite photographers for years. Ben and I have a few great pictures here and there but we believe that Lisa possess that magical lens that could truly capture our love story.
Ashley DeCristofaro & Christopher Clarke
Christopher and Ashley attended Clemson University for their undergraduate degrees. It was their common interest in health and science that caused the two to cross paths. As a person wisely stated, “love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction,” this holds true for Chris and Ashley’s story.
Chris and Ashley’s story dates back six years ago, when Ashley and Chris began their undergraduate degrees–Ashley in nursing and Christopher premed. It was hard for Chris not to notice Ashley his Freshman year in math class but it wasn’t until Sophomore year in anatomy lab when the two first exchanged words. Chris and Ashley were lab dissection partners and soon learned they enjoyed each other’s company. It wasn’t long before they became friends and study partners. In the semesters following anatomy lab, Chris and Ashley kept in touch—but less and less over the years. As time passed, they were still on each other’s mind. It wasn’t until after college that their paths crossed again and they realized they couldn’t live without each other. Chris and Ashley were both in school again, but this time in separate cities pursing dreams. Christopher in Columbia, South Carolina studying Medicine and Ashley in Greenville, South Carolina working as a nurse at a local hospital and studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. They spent as much time together as possible, traveling to see each other on the weekends and supporting each other through the triumphs and challenges they endeavored . After Chris finished his first year of medical school, the two spent the summer together and realized they never wanted to be apart. Chris returned to Columbia for classes in the fall, and he and Ashley counted the days until Christmas break when they could be together again for more than just a day or two. That Christmas break, Chris was in Greenville for the holidays and it was only a matter of time until he asked Ashley to marry him. Chris got down on one knee at Rock Quarry Garden near downtown Greenville, South Carolina, a favorite location where he and Ashley spent much time during their summer together and asked Ashley to be his wife.
Why do we deserve this giveaway?
I absolutely love Lisa Carpenter Photography! I was in Kayce and Justin Sam’s wedding last May and had so much fun taking photos with Lisa as part of the wedding party. She was fun, creative, and got everyone’s sassy side to come out! I continue to be impressed with her photography and the personality of her work. I have found the man of my dreams–my companion, my best friend, and my most trusted confidante. He gives me courage to follow my dreams and made my dreams come true from the moment we fell in love. Nothing could make this perfect fairytale more prefect than an engagement photo session with Lisa Carpenter!
Chelsea Forsyth & Al Briggs
One boy, one girl, 2 loves, baseball and each other.Four years ago, a mutual love for the sport of baseball brought us together, little did we know then how far that would take us. They say love endures all things, and that has been nothing short of true. Our relationship started out as a friendship simply because our situations with work, school and location didn’t make it realistic to pursue a serious relationship…or so we thought. Despite life’s hurdles we talked all the time and discovered that we connected on many levels, enough to start the process of a long distance relationship. Our love for each other was based on intelligent conversation and humor, but deep down our love for baseball is what brought us together. We both played, we both loved watching and seeing new stadiums/fields and we both love the history of the game. After a couple hard years of back and forth from state to state, we finally decided we should make the leap and find a place together. It was the best decision we ever made. Now instead of traveling to see one another, we’re traveling together to see all the baseball landmarks and stadiums together. Sharing experiences and moments that will last a lifetime. You always want to find your best friend, your soul mate.. but when you’re lucky enough to find that person that encompasses everything you want, and who also shares a deep love and passion for one of your biggest interests, there’s nothing better. A vintage baseball themed wedding is now in the works set for March of 2014, no better way than to display our love for each other and our love for the game. We would love the opportunity for Lisa Carpenter Photography to be able to capture our love in an engagement session, so please vote for us!
Thank you again to all that entered and now the fun begins!! I loved reading your stories and thank you for sharing it with all of us!