November 30, 2021

Dilan & Allison | Manassas Battlefield, Virginia Engagement

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!

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Dilan & Allison | Manassas Battlefield, Virginia Engagement

Dilan, Allison, and I got together in September at the Manassas Battlefield in Virginia to photograph their engagement portraits. It was a BEAUTIFUL evening — I mean, look at the GLOWY light and the colors in the sky!!! Although, by our surprise, the wind picked up at the end and made it a super chilly evening. Allison was such a trooper in her dress!!! But to keep them cozy, they brought their furry babies, Podrick and Winston, with them. They were so funny together! Winston is the pup and wanted to play the entire time, which made for funny photos. 😉 HA!

Allison and I met YEARS back when I photographed a wedding next door to the Manassas Battlefield! She was the event coordinator at the Winery at Bull Run, and we had fun working together through a variety of weddings that season. It’s an honor to photograph someone familiar with the industry!!! But as you’ll see below, my work was cut out for me! 🙂 They are ADORABLE together!!! I cannot WAIT to see these two dolled up for their big day next spring!!! It is going to be the sweetest day witnessing/documenting them celebrating with family and friends. And after photographing with a puppy, they will think their wedding portraits will be a breeze! HAHA! The countdown is ON!!!

Dilan & Allison | Manassas Battlefield, Virginia Engagement

HOW DILAN & ALLISON MET

from Allison’s perspective

We met our sophomore year of college through a mutual friend at a small get together. I remember walking in with my best friend Jackie and seeing Dilan in the kitchen area with a handful of other guys. We made eye contact, and I remember smiling thinking “that guy is so cute!” I kept chatting with Jackie then I turn to my left and there’s Dilan. I can’t remember what he first said to me or what we talked about during our first conversation but I do remember feeling like something really special had just taken place. 

The next day, in true modern day fashion, Dilan added me on Facebook and asked me for my phone number. He texted me and then asked me on a date. He picked me up for our first date with a bouquet of flowers and drove us to Deluxe, a restaurant right off campus. 

During our first date I remember being in awe of how Dilan was so loving, family-oriented, and driven. Our conversations on our first date mostly revolved around our career goals and our families- I remember thinking it was so sweet how much he talked about helping and spending time with his Lao Lao (maternal grandmother). I knew after that date that my life had changed. 

After I got home from the date I told Zoe, one of my best friends and roommate at the time, Dilan was “the one!” She thought I was crazy! 

Many (many!) years later I am so in love with Dilan and feel so lucky to get to marry him and build a life and family together. 

HOW DILAN PROPOSED TO ALLISON

from Dilan’s perspective

I booked us a night at the Hillbrook Inn, a little bed and breakfast in West Virginia. I rarely plan trips for us so when I told Allison I planned a weekend getaway for us I think she saw right through it. After we checked in and put away our luggage we went to the dining room for dinner. While we ate dinner we were both trying to keep ourselves from smiling since I knew that Allison knew that tonight was the night. We both were trying to pretend like it was just another date but we were doing a terrible job of it.

After dinner we decided to take a stroll around the resort. I had originally planned to pop the question at this point, but it was raining so I abandoned that plan. In retrospect it was probably for the best since Allison has never been big on drawing a bunch of attention to herself in public (and neither am I) so in a way the rain saved me from my own bad judgment. After our walk we went back to our room. I was panicking a bit at this point because I was waiting for the perfect moment to ask the question. It was getting late and we were leaving in the morning, so my window of opportunity was closing. Eventually I summoned enough courage and I popped the question. I forgot all the lines I had rehearsed in my head but at least had the presence of mind to ask “I love you, will you marry me?” And she said yes!

Thank you!!!

Thank you, Dilan and Allison, for a fun time photographing these precious memories with your pups!!! I cannot wait to see you two again in April because your wedding day will be BEAUTIFUL!

Stephanie Messick Photography, LLC is a Northern and Central, Virginia + Colorado Family, Wedding, and Engagement Photographer. Learn more HERE or contact her HERE!!

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