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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October 31, 2023

David & Michelle | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement

David & Michelle | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement

While Michelle and David are waiting for their big day next fall, we celebrated their engagement by taking photos on Skyline Drive in Virginia! It was a beautiful evening on top of the mountains! And it was my first time meeting them in person — They were just as sweet as on the phone! Michelle and David’s wedding day will be very special because they built their marriage on a solid friendship first. After dating for about TEN years, and being engaged for two years when their wedding day happens, they really are each other’s best friends. <3 I hope they have photos at their wedding from when they met as freshmen in high school. 🙂 So cute!

David & Michelle | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement

Michelle & David’s Love Story

How Michelle and David Met
from Michelle’s perspective

We met freshman year of high school. We first started out as friends, but the summer before our senior year, we realized there might be something more. In high school flirting fashion, I made it a habit of stealing David’s baseball hat and Lego cop keychain (named Roger), and naturally, David tried to get me to return his items. David eventually asked me to go fishing, which is what we now refer to as our first date. When David rang the doorbell to pick me up, we immediately started laughing because we were both dressed in a white t-shirt and jeans (our go-to outfits to this day).

We continued dating through our senior year of high school and started a long-distance relationship when David went off to college at The Citadel in South Carolina, and I went to college at Hofstra University in New York. After being apart for a few months and talking almost every night on Skype, it was clear that we were in this relationship for the long haul, and even now, we continue to look forward to our nightly debriefs of the day.

Since then, we have supported each other through quite a few life changes. We moved to Arlington, Virginia together after college, David obtained a Master’s Degree, and I graduated from law school. We have grown a lot together, and continue to tackle (fishing pun intended) every new adventure as a team!

How David Proposed to Michelle
from David’s perspective

In order to properly tell this story, it is important for the reader to understand Michelle’s affinity for all things fall. Corn mazes, pumpkin picking, apple cider, fall leaves, even the tiny gourds that look like little mini pumpkins, Michelle likes it all. Therefore, naturally, it made sense to do “the thing” where all of that comes together… in late October, after a day at Great Country Farms and near the vines at Bluemont Vineyards. So, on October 29, 2022, with the ring safely tucked away in my pocket, my day mapped out down to the minute, and a couple of friends tactfully staged and ready to take photos, Michelle and I headed out for our most legendary fall adventure to date.

On “the day,” from Michelle’s perspective, we had an 1100 scheduled entry time at Great Country Farms, so it took expert-level negotiating and finesse to ensure her outfit and nails were prepped and photo-ready without raising any suspicions (which is not an easy task with someone as curious and skeptical as Michelle). After an unsuspecting hour-long car ride, we arrived at the farm and immediately got to work on the corn maze. No match for a fall extraordinaire like Michelle, we soon conquered the maze and moved on to other more perilous activities, like facing the possibility of hay burn on the hay ride. From there, we naturally moved to the country store, where, after more negotiating, we settled on only buying apple cider and apple cider doughnuts, instead of the entire store and property as Michelle may have wanted.

At approximately 1230, it was time to get down to business…

We drove up the steep hill to Bluemont Vineyards where our two friends laid waiting. The scene was set. Now all we needed to do was “naturally” walk across the parking lot, around a rope line, down a hill, move towards the grape vines, and keep the view in the background, all without tipping Michelle off. It turns out that requesting to “go for a walk to see the view” was enough of a justification. Just as we moved into place, a dad and his son moved right into our shot.

After an awkward couple of minutes of waiting for them to keep walking, everyone was finally on their mark. At this point, it is probably expected that I would describe the actual proposal. Except neither I, nor Michelle, remember a thing. This part of my memory is blank. But I think it’s safe to assume that at some point she said yes. After our posed pictures and phone calls to our parents, I had one last activity planned. At 1400, we headed over to the other side of the mountain to a prearranged private picnic of wine, cheese & crackers, and complete with fall decorations, a candelabra, and even those tiny gourds that look like little mini pumpkins.

A Shenandoah National Park Overlook Engagement Session

Thank you!!!

Thank you, David and Michelle, for having me document this very exciting season of your lives! You two are so cute together and I cannot wait for your big day next fall! It will be here before we know it!! In the meantime, I’m enjoying reliving our time together on Skyline Drive from your Virginia Engagement! See you next year!!! 🙂

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