31 Aug Mary & Cole | Engagement Session
The Wedding Row: Alright, let’s start at the beginning. How did you all meet?
Mary: We met through mutual friends when we were in college. We were introduced over winter break and we learned that we grew up only 10 minutes away from each other and both attended the same school, Ohio University. We started dating the day after Valentine’s Day in 2011. Cole painted this huge wall on our college’s campus stating, “Mary, will you be mine?” He then asked me to take a night walk with him and he lead me to the wall. Once we got there, he grabbed a hidden can of spray paint and sprayed the question mark at the end, then handed me the can to write my response. I wrote, “yes,” obviously. It’s crazy to think that spray paint led to our forever together. We then dated for seven and a half years before getting engaged.
TWR: Oh, what a story to tell the kids one day! Now, onto the proposal.
Cole: My number one goal for the proposal was that I wanted it to be a complete surprise. I started thinking about things Mary enjoys most about Charleston and Boone Hall Plantation was in the forefront of my mind. I got Mary’s boss, Hart Hagerty, involved by having her set up a “fake meeting” out at Boone Hall. I knew Mary wouldn’t suspect a thing if she was anticipating an event that was work-related. I marked a specific tree with an umbrella for Hart to walk Mary to. She got Mary there by saying she wanted to take some marketing photos for the business, so no questions were asked. I had been hiding behind some of the trees on the opposite side of the road and once everything was in place, I came out and approached Mary. Everything was beautiful. Mary did not immediately recognize me as I was walking towards her because she was so caught off guard. As I got closer and started calling her name, you could see her face start to freeze, yet expressing a thousand different emotions at the same time. Her hands quickly shot to cover her mouth and she repeatedly questioned if this was real. She started to walk towards me and we met in the middle of the street on the Avenue of Oaks. This is where I got down on one knee and she made me the happiest I have ever been in my life.
The final surprise was just around the corner. After the proposal, I suggested to Mary that we go to the Cotton Dock for some pictures by the water. She agreed, but to be honest she was so excited that I think she was still recovering from a blackout of everything that had just happened. It was only a short walk to the dock and as we made it out into the sunlight, her family came into view. This was the icing on the cake.
TWR: Awesome job, Cole. We love the vintage car and red sunnies in your engagement photos. Explain the motivation behind this style.
Mary: I would be lying if I said I didn’t love a good themed shoot! But I really have always enjoyed having fun with my style and it has been the way I’ve expressed myself since I was about eight years old. I honestly just wanted to feel 100% like myself. The streets of Charleston give off an old European vibe, which inspired me to wear my red retro sunnies with a printed bandana. This is definitely an outfit that if you saw me on a random Saturday, I would most likely be wearing. I love playing off of an environment for outfit inspiration … and when Anne Rhett directed us to the vintage Mercedes, it tied it all together. My style can be crazy at times, but it all makes sense to me.
TWR: When and where are you all planning to tie the knot? Any ideas yet on what you envision for your Big Day?
Mary: Our wedding is June 7, 2019, and will take place at Boone Hall Plantation. We both love this location so much (especially after our engagement), and think its charm and wow-factor does so much on its own. Being that it’s a destination wedding for 95 percent of our guests, we want to give them a true Southern wedding experience. We want to stick to neutrals and greenery (I am known for shying away from color) and we truly hope our wedding gives off a timeless and classic feel.
Images by Anne Rhett Photography