January 13, 2015

Will & Anna | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia Winter Engagement

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia Engagement

To say it was FREEZING is an understatement! It felt as if the temperature dropped from 28 degrees at the beginning of the session to the negatives by the end of the session! Anna was such a trooper standing in the unbearably cold temps in her adorable sequin dress! I don’t know how she did it as I was wrapped up in two coats to keep warm! Honestly, we had to run to the car to warm up for a few minutes a couple of times during the session … it was THAT cold! It was absolutely worth it in the long run because when looking through the photos, I forget how cold it was. I just see how happy and in love they are together! That itself is something to appreciate. <3

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WILL & ANNA’S LOVE STORY
from Anna’s perspective

The summer of 2010 I met Will Dodson through mutual friends, and I have to admit, he was an absolute jerk to me! He claims that this was his way of getting me “interested” in him (ugh huh). Some how it worked, and before I knew it we started spending more and more time together. September 10, 2010, a few weeks before my 17th birthday, we started officially dating. During this time Will was attending Bridgewater College and I knew I had a keeper because he drove home every single weekend to spend time with me. Although at the time having a long distance relationship felt unfair, today I am thankful for what we had to deal with. We learned about one another on a deeper level than just hanging out, and most importantly we had a level of trust that I had never before experienced with anyone. After almost 5 years of either Will being away at school or me being at school, we are so excited for me to graduate and FINALLY live together full time in our own home!

            Every year during early January Will, his mother, and I travel to the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia for a short trip. Last year (2014) on January 2nd Will planned to propose to me and I have never seen him so nervous (aside from our first kiss). He spent all afternoon spoiling me with horseback riding, hot tubbing, and ice-skating. At dinner it was almost comical to me how nervous he was (which totally gave away what he was planning on doing). He kept saying things like “What I can’t be nervous to have dinner with you?!” when I asked him what was wrong. After dinner we sat down in the lobby of the Homestead in front of the piano, where I could blatantly see his mother snapping pictures of us while we were talking. After what seemed like hours of will nervously talking to me he finally got down on one knee and asked me to marry him (if he had anxiously chatted anymore I probably would have asked him myself!!). After I said yes I looked up to realize that there was a crowd of people gathered around us, and to my surprise my parents came running out crowd to hug me. To me, this was the most perfectly imperfect proposal I could have ever received. Will’s nervousness reminded me of when we first started dating, the scariness of starting something new yet at the same time excited butterflies to take the next step together. Sandy’s obnoxious photo taking showed her excitement about the proposal (as she has been pushing for it to happen since the start of our relationship!) and the tears of happiness that streamed down my moms face. I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal, as it was the most personally fitting one that could have happened. I am forever joking with Will about how he gave away that he was going to propose because of how nervous he was, but I am so blessed to have a man who loves me so much to be that nervous, and I want him to know that he couldn’t have done a better job. Love you so much William.

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Thank you Will and Anna for toughing it through the cold weather! At least you won’t have to worry about zero degree weather on your wedding day! 😉 Enjoy some of my favorites!!! xoxo

Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementLove that little bit of a smile right before the kiss! Ohhhh gosh, they are so cute together!!!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementAnna, you are stunning!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia Engagement
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementLove these!!!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia Engagement🙂
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia Engagement
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementPure happiness! 🙂
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementLove this one!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementGreat job, Will!!!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementThen we did a little hiking to get these shots! 🙂
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia Engagement<3 <3 <3
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementMy favorite!!!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementStephanie Messick Photography | Homestead, Hot Springs Virginia EngagementCONGRATS Will and Anna on your engagement!!! xoxo

  1. Andrea Pesce says:

    These are amazing Stephanie!!

  2. Alicia Lacey says:

    This is stunning!! I’ve never been before but you are making me want to go — the last few are my favorite 🙂

  3. Danielle Campbell says:

    Beautiful Anna!

  4. Lisa Spitzer says:

    Anna and Will, you both look so wonderful and happy!! May God bless you both.~
    Love, Mom

  5. Wanda Foushee says:

    Stephanie Messick God has blessed you with a AWESOME gift:)

  6. James Curtis says:

    Beautiful Photos of A handsome Couple . May it last forever Aunt Betty & Uncle Pete

  7. Sandy Dodson says:

    Stephanie, You didn’t disappoint, these photos are awesome! Can’t wait to see the wedding photos. Thanks for making the trip to the Homestead on such a cold day.

  8. Sandy Dodson says:

    Love the photos and love the subjects in the photos! Can’t wait to see the wedding pix <3

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