Just before Christmas, Rachel and Matt bundled up and made their way to a local farm to cut down their very own Christmas tree. Matt put everything they needed in their car and a something special tucked away out of sight. When they arrived it was a lot busier than they expected. The large crowds made Matt question whether this was the best location to pop the question. They made their way through the herds of people, determined to find a more secluded spot. Rachel was browsing at the shapes and sizes of the trees to see which one they would like to take home. But Matt was thinking about how the next few moments would unfold. He knelt down on one knee to “cut down the tree” only to reveal the engagement ring in his hand. He lovingly asked Rachel to be his wife and she enthusiastically said, “Yes!!!”
Matt’s lifelong friend had coordinated with his brother and sister-in-law to take pictures of the proposal. The shutter was going as celebrations ensued. Rachel admitted later that on the way to the tree cutting area, she saw those familiar faces, but didn’t want to give anything away. I don’t remember if they said they actually took home a Christmas tree that day. But I’m sure it wasn’t something that was a priority anymore.
Rachel and Matt’s story didn’t begin last Christmas or even really last spring when they started dating. They have known each other since 1st grade!! Rachel and Matt went to the same private Christian school since their younger years all the way through their senior year. When you have a graduating class of twenty-two, it is easier to stay in touch! After high school they reunited at least once a year at Matt’s annual Christmas party. Just one year before their sweet proposal, this lifelong friendship took a new turn after one of these get-togethers. Rachel found herself pausing to reflect on the fun time she had and saw Matt in a new light. The thoughts turned into actions when she invited him to go with her to their Alma mater’s musical performance.
After this first “unofficial” date the spark had started and wheels were turning. They both prayed and sought God about where their relationship was going. This first semi-casual invitation turned into another date where they went ice skating and enjoyed a meal together at Panera. Looking back, their time together at the musical marks their first date. This lifelong friendship turned into a deep and true love for one another.
During their engagement pictures, this true love was overwhelmingly evident. The way they looked at one another and laughed together was heartwarming. They both looked amazing as they walked hand in hand through the tall grassy fields of the Lancaster Country Central Park. Their light blue outfits perfectly complimented them! And light blue is my favorite so it always makes me happy! I have known Rachel and Matt since 7th grade. I attended the same small school with them. It’s such an honor to hear their story and document this beautiful relationship. Rachel and Matt, you are so sweet and are perfect together! I can’t wait for your wedding later this summer at the Stone Mill Inn!