Until quite recently, I didn't know that the Thousand Islands was actually a place. I always thought it was just a funny name for a salad dressing. Little did I know that nestled in upstate New York along the St. Lawrence River there are thousands of tiny little islands making up this very real, and stunningly beautiful place. Growing up, Chris and his family went there every summer, and now, as an adult, it is still something he looks forward to every year. It wasn't hard to see why Catherine has grown quite fond of it too. Thus they decided that Chris's childhood summer home along the St. Lawrence River would be the perfect location for their engagmeent session.
The session involved two days of shooting on speed boats, incredibly designed antique boats, and walking around Chris' family's three islands. We loved experiencing this beautiful part of the country and came away with some incredible images. Below are just a few of our favorites from those days.
A big thanks to Trey Vars from the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY for facilitaing this shoot and driving the antique boat, and to Gray who expertly drove the chase-boat allowing us to get many of these photos.
(Scroll down to read Catherine and Chris's proposal story).
Chris targeted Friday, January 28th, for proposal-day. The timing was a function of the jeweler’s availability (she wasn’t going to have the ring ready until after the Christmas/New Year’s “rush”) and our planned trip to Africa. Although we hadn’t discussed getting married, Chris knew that people were probably putting odds on the fact that we’d get engaged while in Africa. Partially because of not wanting to be predictable, not wanting to copy William and Kate (who got engaged in Africa in January) and, not wanting to travel with a ring in his pocket, Chris decided to propose the week prior to the trip.
He chose the Elysian Hotel as the venue since he knew it was Catherine’s favorite in the city. He got a reservation at Ria and booked a suite upstairs. The only instruction that he gave to Catherine was to show up for a “date night”. Unfortunately, not everything went as planned. The ring was in New York and was scheduled to arrive in Chicago on Wednesday, January 26th. However, on the evening of January 25th, New York received a record breaking snow storm. Nothing was getting out of the city – including the ring. It didn’t come on Thursday either. Chris was able to track it down around noon on Thursday and it was on a truck, somewhere in the middle of Indiana. Friday morning came and the tracking results showed that the ring was due to arrive at FedEx’s O’Hare distribution facility at 8am, which was after the day’s cut-off for distribution. As a result, Chris contemplated delaying the proposal. However, he received some advice that he didn’t technically need a ring to propose. He quickly ran over to Sweet ‘n’ Sassy and bought the closest thing that he could find that resembled a diamond ring. The plans were back on track.
After a fantastic dinner, including a lot of wine, Catherine questioned Chris’s ability to drive home. To which, Chris replied: “let’s just stay here.” At first Catherine thought that Chris was kidding and expected that we’d just leave the car at the hotel for the night. However when it was time to go, Chris directed Catherine away from the elevator that went down to the lobby, and over to the bank that headed to the rooms. At this point, Catherine still had no clue that a proposal was pending.
Once we entered the room, we were greeted by rose pedals showering the floor and a chilled bottle of champagne. Chris quickly got to a knee for the proposal. Without hesitation, Catherine said “Yes!”.