Joanne + Chris

Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend and got some wedding planning ticked off. We had the first family birthday of the year; the kids played perfectly and us adults had a good laugh at memories from long ago. My ‘married into’ family really are a tight unit, we’ve all know each other for at least 20 years so you can imagine there are plenty of tales to share and laughs to be had.

Today we’re sharing a beautiful engagement session from Gemma G Photography. Last year we shared Gemma’s wedding and at the time I didn’t know she was a photographer herself, so I was really pleased when she contacted me again with this lovely set of photos. Chris and Joanne met up with Gemma on the glorious north coast to capture their engagement memories.

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Our love story

Christopher and I were both in the same year at Omagh Academy and socialised in the same circle of friends but never really talked much during that time. It wasn’t until we were both home for the summer after our third year at University that we got chatting during a night out and Chris asked me on our first date the next night. 

In the September Chris went back to University in Glasgow and myself to Coleraine. We knew it would be tough but we had a go at a long distance relationship throughout our final year. Thankfully it all worked out and Chris decided to move back to NI after he graduated and as they say, the rest is history….

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

The Proposal

It was our three year anniversary and we decided to spend some time up in the North Coast (our favourite part of the world!!). 

I had a sneaking suspicion that he might propose during our trip but that morning we were getting ready to leave the apartment and his pockets looked very empty (no bulging ring boxes in sight), so I resigned myself to the idea that it just wasn’t going to happen. Little did I know he had it all planned and the ring carefully hidden in the car. Thankfully my dampened mood didn’t last long (could have been something to do with the whiskey tasting session at Bushmills Distillery) and we were soon on our way to Ballintoy Harbour. This has to be one of our favourite places to visit (especially on a windy day). We both climbed out onto the cliffs as we usually do and that’s when Chris proposed. 

I can’t even describe the feeling inside when I saw him get down on one knee – utter shock and excitement completely took over and of course I started to cry.

Chris picked the most perfect ring for me – a gorgeous square cluster ring that he sneakily bought the day we went to see our mortgage adviser.

We kept our engagement a secret for the rest of the day so we could just enjoy the moment between the two of us. We ended the day with a trip to the Giants Causeway and a gorgeous meal in The Mermaid in Portrush.

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Our engagement shoot

It took a while to convince Chris that we should have an engagement photoshoot done (he hates getting his photo taken), but he finally gave in and let me book Gemma. On the day of our actual engagement it was such bad weather that we had to sprint back to the car after Chris proposed so we didn’t get any great photographs – so where better to go than back to that very spot for a few professional photos.

We both knew that Gemma’s style of photography would suit us to a tee. What I love most about our photographs is how natural they look – just like us on a normal day. We didn’t plan matching outfits or fuss about getting all dressed up, we just enjoyed ourselves which I think shows through in our photos.

We cannot recommend Gemma enough as a photographer, neither of us are overly keen to be in front of the camera but Gemma managed to defeat the odds and capture everything we wanted so naturally and effortlessly. She made us both feel at ease (& provided a lot of laughs during the photoshoot!). In fact, we loved her so much we booked her for our wedding (before even booking any other part of the wedding!!)

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

The wedding

Lets face it we haven’t even done much planning yet but neither of us wanted a short engagement! 

Between buying our first home and career dedications we’ve got sidetracked from getting on with the wedding plans (we got engaged July 2014), but we have finally settled on a date and have whittled it down to two possible venues. So far it’s been great to just enjoy being engaged, plus we still have all the fun (or maybe stress) of planning the wedding ahead of us….we know it will be worth the wait!

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

Ballintoy engagement by Gemma G Photography

You can view more of Gemma’s beautiful work on her website, www.gemmagphoto.com.