January 23, 2020

Cory & Cat | Downtown Warrenton, VA Engagement Photographer

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Destin, Florida and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, 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!

light chaser, dreamer, go-getter.

@stephaniemessickphoto

serving

Northern
Virginia

florida Panhandle

&

find insperation

Gallery images

get to know me

weddings

engagements

lifestyle

I’ve known Cat since the JMU years (GO DUKES) and just saying that flooded my mind with great memories. 🙂 But now seeing her with Cory makes me even happier that she found her soulmate! I adore their energy because they are so loving, fun, and playful! I think some of these photos share a glimpse of that. 😉 Their paths crossed at the right time (thank you, JMU!), and I’m happy to call them friends because I love every time we have the chance to hang out!!!

When Cat emailed me about Cory’s proposal, I was SO excited to hear allllll about it (which you’ll read below)! We ended up grabbing dinner and playing catch up which ended up being not enough time. 🙂 After months of planning our next hangout, we got together one very early morning in December, just days before Christmas to take these engagement portraits. 🙂 They kicked off my weekend on a bright note seeing them while celebrating the season!

After running around downtown Warrenton, we ended up at my favorite coffee shop (Deja Brew) for a few photos. The best part was hanging out with them after we were done with a cup of coffee in the warmth (it was SO cold outside!!). I hope our paths cross again soon before the BIG day in June for another cup of coffee or a glass (or bottle) of wine! I’m so excited to witness them tie the knot while celebrating with their family and friends. <3

Cory & Cat’s Love Story

HOW CORY & CAT MET

From Cat’s point of view

Throughout my life, I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and at that moment, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. That was the night that I met this big burly camo wearing redneck who would turn out to be my best friend, my soul mate, my biggest supporter, and the love of my life.

I always get a little nervous when people ask how Cory and I met…. it was at a party at James Madison University (JMU). As soon as I say party at JMU I get this look of “Oh really you met at a college party…” *insert eyebrow lift here.* I just simply reply “Yes, yes we did and it was meant to be.” Still to this day, I can’t believe that’s how we met and how lucky I am to have been at the right place at the right time for our paths to cross. 

Now the connection of how we met isn’t your typical oh she was my friend, and this is her boyfriend’s friend. The connection was Cory’s best friend from growing up was turning 21 and throwing a party. I was friends with his girlfriend’s friends, and they invited me out for the night. I didn’t know a single person there besides my two friends and I thought why not it’ll give me a chance to get out of the apartment and meet new people. 

We met talked danced laughed and had a really good time. But to be completely honest I didn’t think I was ever going to see him again. He didn’t go to JMU so I figured he wouldn’t want to pursue this and I wasn’t looking for anything serious at the time. We exchanged numbers and went our separate ways that night.

To my surprise a couple of days later I got a text from him saying he had a nice time the other night and was glad to have met me. Then he asked if the next time he was visiting his friend if we could meet up and hang out. The naive person I was – I thought why not we both weren’t looking for anything serious and it always nice to have more friends. 

The moment I realized that I really liked him (and I needed to pay attention) was when he offered to cook me dinner. I was thinking about how sweet and romantic this was while setting my expectations really low. My initial thought was it was going to be microwaved or coming straight out of a box. When he shows up to my apartment his pulls out this huge piece of fresh salmon and made us Cajun salmon with an avocado corn salsa to go on top. I couldn’t believe it and I also had a big slice of humble pie for dessert. I hate to admit this, but that’s how he officially won me over through my stomach and the rest is history….

HOW CORY PROPOSED TO CAT

From Cory’s point of view

A close friend’s birthday vacation in the Outer Banks seemed like the perfect time to pop the question. My plan at first was simple, wake up drive out on to the beach, walk around the dunes looking of the wild horses, and simply wait for the right moment. What actually happened is a different story. 

With a late start to the morning for unforeseen reasons… the next thing I know the whole group wanted to drive out to the beach too. After walking around for a while my window of opportunity finally opened up. We were able to separate ourselves from the group by walking extremely slow which was hard enough in itself when you are 6’ 5”. As we approached an opening in the dunes looking out on to the ocean, I started talking about how one day we would have our own beach house. As she says, “yeah one day” I turned stopped her and said, “how would you like to spend forever with me?” 

I got down on one knee and asked the love of my life to be my wife. Even though things didn’t go as planned I would have not wanted it to go any other way. That day will forever be one of my favorite memories, even though it doesn’t involve fishing, which is hard to believe. I will always remember as feeling like the luckiest man in the world to have his best friend, his rock, his one true love and minnow say yes to stepping in the future hand in hand with love as unbreakable bond as husband and wife.

Thank you, Cory and Cat, for waking up SUPER early to make this session happen! It was pretty darn cold, but I think it’s funny that I totally forgot how freezing it was while I was looking through your photos. 🙂 You somehow made it look easy to stand outside while looking like models! Haha! Thank you for taking the time to make your photos happen. I had the BEST time drinking a cup of joe with you! XOXO! I love you both! CONGRATS!!!

Shop this Similar Look

Battery Operated String Lights 

Flannel Fleece Throw Blanket

Reply...

featured

as seen in

as seen in