Clearwater Beach Engagement | Susan + Allen

Looking through these pictures, immense sadness is coming over me. I want to be in Florida soooo badly! After I get over the fact that I’m stuck at a computer in Kansas, I find my joy when I look at the gorgeous images I created last week with Susan and Allen.

Susan and Allen are unlike any couple I have ever met. They’re hilarious, adventurous, and are parenting nine kids. Yep, that’s right. I don’t know how they do it.

Susan first contacted me last year before they were even engaged asking if I would be available to do their wedding this fall at Big Cedar Lodge in Branson. I absolutely love this venue, so I jumped on the opportunity.

Since Susan and Allen live in Columbia, scheduling their engagement session was difficult. Susan desperately wanted snow pictures, so we waited until a good snow day. It finally came when I was on vacation in Utah. I mentioned the idea of them coming here and she actually considered it! Unfortunately tickets were a little pricy last minute, so it didn’t work out. I already loved Susan after talking to her on a regular bases about wedding plans, but this definitely cemented my feelings. She would actually consider flying out so I could take pictures in the middle of a national park. Ahhh!

A few months later, she jokingly mentioned they were going to Florida for family vacation and it would be awesome to get pictures take there. I was all on board! She convinced Allen and he said yes! They paid my way, let me crash their family vacation, and gave me full creative control. It was truly incredible. My fiancé even came and we made a little vacation out of it. While I was working, he acted as my voice activated light stand. It helped me out a ton! 🙂

So, this preview is only the first part of their session. After we took engagement photos, I convinced them to dress in wedding attire and let me take some more creative pictures. I had them shoulders deep in the ocean and we all had a blast. I am so in love with both parts of our session. The second part will be released soon.

Here’s a little fun fact for you. As you know, I always incorporate personal information into blog posts. I give my brides a few questions to answer and post some of the best answers. One question I always ask but never post is “Any props you would like to incorporate in your engagement session?” Susan’s answer: “The ocean.” I cracked up when I read this. But hey, we definitely were able to use the ocean in our session 🙂

I seriously cannot wait until their October wedding at Big Cedar Lodge. They’re actually getting married 5 days after me. It’s going to be an incredible week.

How did he propose?

The engagement process started a year before he actually proposed. I was having a really rough time around Thanksgiving when Allen and I decided to get away from it all and run off to Branson for their Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City. The retreat was absolutely magical and it ended with us picking out the perfect engagement ring! However, Allen did not actually propose for a whole year. He surprised me a little over a year later with a trip to Silver Dollar City to see the Christmas Festival again. After a fun filled day riding on roller coasters and drinking hot cocoa, I was sure he wasn’t going to propose… because who takes an engagement ring on a roller coaster? Apparently Allen does… because just as we were leaving the park, he pulled me to the side to watch the light show at the gigantic Christmas tree and he got down on one knee after the music completed. I was both elated and shocked… and of course I said yes!

Question for the bride: what do you love most about him?

What do I love the most… it’s hard to pick only one thing! Hmm.. Well, Allen is my perfect match in every way. He knows when to have fun and when to be serious, he is gentle and kind, smart and financially savvy, he’s a wonderful parent to his children and mine. We’ve been through really tough times together already and we’ve become even stronger through it all. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he truly cherishes me and will love me completely and unconditionally for the rest of our lives. He is my dream come true.

Question for the groom: what do you love most about her?

The thing I love the most about her is how much she loves me. I’ve really never felt so loved and it blows my mind that she loves me as deeply as she does, and it shows. She is my dream girl come to life and I’m not letting her go for anything.

What’s your favorite part of wedding planning?

Working together to plan our dream wedding. It’s been fun getting to incorporate both of our ideas into one beautiful celebration of our big adventure.

What are you looking forward to most about your big day?

The cookies and milk!! We are looking forward to having our dream wedding with only our closest family to celebrate with and the amazing photography that we will get to have afterwards to capture our perfect day forever.


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