Lauren + Ashley, Engaged | St. Simons Island, GA

You know the movies where a girl from out of town meets a handsome stranger at dinner who says something like, "What are you doing later on? Some of us are going out after this--you should come" and she agrees and they spend the rest of the evening laughing and dancing and it all ends with a kiss? Then the rest of the movie is her leaving to go back home and him finding a way to get her back. And eventually there will be a rooftop proposal? Yeah--this is that movie. Lauren and Ashley have been together 3 and a half years now and are planning a wedding this fall!  They tell their first date story better than I do though, so I asked them to fill in all the details. I've  already spoiled  the ending for you guys but really, how else could it turn out, am I right? 

(from Lauren)

  "We met while I was traveling for work. I was living in Las Vegas at the time, and Ashley was in Savannah. The company I worked for traveled around to trade shows, and the first show I worked happened to be in Savannah. My work group ate lunch and dinner in Ashley's restaurant for five days straight while we were in town, and he was always the person taking care of us. On the last day of our stay, my friend and I asked if Ashley would take us out to see a little bit of Savannah since we had been cooped up at the same hotel all week. Later that night my friend decided she was too tired to go out, so I went out on a limb and met Ashley out on my own. It was a HUGE risk, but I could tell from our interactions throughout the week that he was harmless and a great guy. I met him on River Street with a few of his friends, and we had an amazing time running around Savannah. Our last stop was at a bar that was playing live music. We danced until the bar closed, and actually shared our first kiss (and we both swear we despise PDA). The next morning, I had an early flight back to Las forward three years and we're living together in a beautiful place with the two most perfect dogs. We couldn't be happier!

We decided to do their engagement pictures at sunrise on East Beach (on St. Simons Island, Georgia) and it could not have been more beautiful. I had met Lauren before but it was my first time meeting the two of them together.  I'm sorry--the four of them together! Lauren and Ashley brought their puppies along for a few pictures! It was so fun and totally set the mood for the shoot. 

And the romantic, rooftop proposal? Here's Ashley on that:

"When I decided it was time to ask Lauren to be my wife, I immediately turned to her father and asked for permission. With his blessing, myself and her family began to plan for the big day. Her mother and I went back and forth on where would be the perfect place, but I knew it had to be back in her home town in Kansas so her family and friends could be present. Lauren's heart is her family and close friends. 

Now that we had a location, the only thing left was to put together how it was going to go down. I received a call from her Mom who explained that she had just ran into her best friend Morgan’s Father who was the manager of a hotel in her home town. The hotel was located on the University of Kansas campus, and it had a roof top view that no other location in town could rival. It was perfect!! Ms. Sandra (Lauren's Mother) gave me the contact info to reach out to the gentleman who was going to help me put it all together. We put together a plan to set up a table with champagne and chocolate strawberries right before sunset on the private rooftop balcony. The plan was he was going to come out and welcome her home once we arrived, and take us up for drinks. We sat around on the lower level of the balcony for a while and then he suggested that we come up for the best view in the house for sunset. Lauren said she was fine where she was, so it took a little coaxing from everyone to get her to agree to go."

the rest of the proposal....

"As we were making our way up the elevator to the staged area we had put together, Lauren began to question if the private balcony was where someone had taken a "fatal plunge." At that moment, I almost choked thinking that this was her vision walking into the place I was about to ask her to be my wife. Once we made it up, Lauren and I walked into the space where she immediately saw the table and thought it was set for someone else. I played into this and suggested we better walk to the other side so we didn’t intrude on their party. As we walked to the ledge, we saw the most beautiful sunset that was setting over her college campus and hometown. We carried on in conversation and as the sun reached the trees I pointed off to something in the distance. As she turned, I dropped to a knee and when she turned around she immediately knew. I asked and without hesitation she said "Yes!!" We shared some laughs, watched the sun set, and returned down to be greeted by her best friends and family. The rest of the night was a celebration!"

Yay! :) :) Doesn't that just make you happy? 

We made a quick stop into Palmer's Village Cafe for a slice of key lime pie--Lauren's favorite. I love photographing memories like these during engagement sessions! And Palmer's is one of  my husband and I's favorite date spots as well so I was totally on board with these! 


Being a St. Simons Island wedding photographer means getting to explore all of the fabulous, picture-worthy spots around the island. And there are so many!

Lauren and Ashley, I loved getting to spend these early morning hours with you two! Thank you for being such wonderful models and making it look easy! ;) 

Lydia Phillips

athens, GA, USA