how he asked

Robert & Abbie | Suspension Bridge Engagement Portraits | Waco, Texas

A couple kisses in front of the Suspension Bridge in Waco, Texas at sunset - Jason & Melaia Photography -

We took Robert & Abbie out on a ice-cream double-date back in late May to discuss their wedding and let them see if we’d be a perfect fit as their wedding photographers. Over ice cream at Heritage Creamery we learned all about their June 2, 2018 wedding day. How that anniversary is shared with members of Abbie’s family and how special it is she can get married on that day too. How Robert is letting Abbie take the lead in the planning, except for his request they have breakfast for dinner at their wedding (which we are super excited about!). How when we asked them their vision for their wedding photography, Robert described his as “whimsical.” We knew then we had found such a fun couple!

We also learned how Robert & Abbie have been making a long-distance relationship work with her attending TCU in Ft. Worth and Robert enrolled in Baylor University. These two travel I-35 regularly to see one another, and when in Waco for their date nights, enjoy taking part of some fun Waco traditions like tortilla tossing off the Suspension Bridge. So this past April, at the end of a fun date night in Waco, Robert took Abbie tortilla tossing. Except this wasn’t a regular tortilla tossing date, because while Abbie tossed out her tortilla from the bridge to try to get it to land on the stone pillar in the river, Robert knelt down on one knee behind her and held out a ring. When Abbie turned around there was Robert, asking her to marry him. She said yes, and suddenly they were surrounded by friends who had come to celebrate this joyous moment with them.

With such a romantic and Wacoan proposal story, it made perfect sense to photograph Robert & Abbie in Waco on the Suspension Bridge for their engagement portraits. We went exploring in Cameron Park first together and found beautiful spots for some romantic pictures. It’s always fun to see our Sweethearts’ personalities come out during their engagement session, and these two kept each other laughing the whole time. And us too! Then we headed over to the Suspension Bridge and took some portraits at the exact spot they were engaged. We finished the session with Robert & Abbie in each other’s arms and the lit Suspension Bridge in the background, making some heirloom portraits we know their grandchildren are going to love to look at in years to come.

A man kisses the top of his fiance's head while she rest her head on his shoulder during their engagement portraits in Cameron Park in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
A couple laughs while whispering in each other's ear standing on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco, Texas for their engagement photos - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography -
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography -
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography -
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography -
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography -
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography -

Dear Robert & Abbie,

The joy and laughter you guys share with one another is contagious, and your love for one another is inspiring. We pray you continue to make each other laugh for decades to come! We cannot wait to see you again this summer in Waco. Until then, we'll be thinking through "whimsical" locations and poses to give y'all the perfect wedding portraits! Happy wedding planning! :)

Love, J&M

A man kisses his fiance's forehead as they embrace during their engagement photos on the Waco Suspension Bridge - Jason & Melaina Photography -

Want to see more love stories of our J&M Sweethearts? Check out their wedding stories below!

Our Love Story - Engaged!

To read the previous chapters of our love story, visit part I, part II, or part III
Our engagement portrait session at the Texas State Capitol 

In the fall of 2007, we'd been together for a little over year. We loved spending as much time together as possible, and loved learning more about each other through late-into-the-night phone calls. There were no red flags popping up and each of us felt really positive about where our relationship was heading. Also, my (Melaina’s) internship at the church in Austin was coming to a close and I was looking at enrolling in seminary. Jason was finishing up his undergrad degree at Texas State. All of this led to the "hypothetical future" conversations every long-term relationship couple eventually begins having.

“If we got married, where would you want to live?” “If we got married, would you want to have kids? How many?” “If we were to get engaged, how long do you think it’d take to plan a wedding?” “Would you want to be planning a wedding while in grad school? Married while in grad school?”  

Most of the conversations stayed pretty broad, but sometimes things got specific. However, it wasn’t until one very specific conversation that I began to realize getting engaged was going to happen sooner rather than later. We had spent the day at the beach and we’re driving back. It was a long drive and we would ask each other questions to fill the time. The questions were often random, but when it was Jason’s turn he surprised me by asking what size ring I wore on my left ring finger. He asked a few follow up questions about preferences I had for engagement rings, and then the conversation moved on to other things. I tried to play it cool, but I knew something big had just happened. All the hypothetical marriage questions were just vague daydreaming about the future. But to ask about ring sizes and preference for cuts of diamonds? I knew this meant he was beginning to shop for rings.

My princess cut diamond solitaire engagement ring

Weeks passed

Here’s the thing about knowing your boyfriend's going to propose soon while simultaneously not wanting to ruin the surprise of it start thinking through all the possible days he could propose, but keep it to yourself because you don’t want know exactly when it’s coming. As we moved more into fall and then winter, I saw so many possible days that would be perfect for a proposal. The Marine Corp Ball, Thanksgiving holidays, Christmas Eve or Christmas, our official couple anniversary (Dec 30), New Year’s Eve, my birthday (Feb 3), or even Valentine’s Day.

But after no proposal at the MC Ball, Thanksgiving or Christmas, and no other real specific marriage conversations, I started thinking maybe he’d propose later in the spring. I knew he didn’t want a long engagement, and we were both in our respective cities until the end of May anyway. So I went into our anniversary date on December 30th, 2007 thinking it would be a fun date night with Jason, and telling myself to not get my hopes up for a proposal.

Our engagement portraits from early 2008 with our friend, Lauren Bazan

Our engagement portraits from early 2008 with our friend, Lauren Bazan

December 30th again

The date was a nice date, but nothing really out of the ordinary. (I learned later that Jason had specifically not done anything over the top on purpose because he knew I was beginning to suspect something.) We hung out at a coffee shop, we went out to dinner, typical date night in Austin for us. After dinner, Jason suggested we go walk around Zilker Park and see the large Christmas tree made of lights, since it was the place we had decided to be an “official” couple the year before.  

We stood under the tree, bundled in our jackets, hugging each other and talking about how much we loved spending time together. There was a lull in the conversation and Jason said he had to get some tissue out of his pocket. He reached into his pocket and felt around for a second, then came up empty handed saying he didn’t have any. This is totally unlike him! He has bad allergies and always has tissue in his pockets. (Seriously, ask him next time you see him in real life.) So the fact that he suddenly said, “Oh, nevermind, I don’t have any,” really threw me off.

I didn’t have long to be confused, though, because a second later he looked at me and said, “I’m going to love you forever.”

I responded, “Awww, I’m going to love you forever too.”

Then he said, “Good.” And stepped back, got down on one knee and held out the ring he had not-so-stealthy removed from his pocket a moment before, and asked me, “Then will you marry me?”   

I wish I could tell you that I very romantically and calmly said “Yes, of course!”

Instead I said, “Are you serious?!?” And then proceeded to wave my hands around saying, “Oh my gosh!” I do think somewhere in there I squeaked out a “Yes!” But Jason did have to ask me if I could hold my hands still so he could put the ring on my finger.

Obligatory pic taken by my mom in front of her fireplace the night we got engaged.

Obligatory pic taken by my mom in front of her fireplace the night we got engaged.


And just like that, we were engaged. It was simple and sweet and totally us. After the proposal, we drove to my parent’s house to show the ring off to them and my siblings who were there. And we called Jason’s family to tell them the news.

Because we both wanted to get married the coming summer, we busily got to planning our wedding...which is a whole different chapter to this story!