Mary Anne, a special education teacher, and Ethan, a budget coordinator for the city of Charlotte, met at Matthews United Methodist Youth Group while volunteering with middle and high school students. In retrospect, it’s so poetic that these two met while volunteering their time and love since doing so is a key part of both of their hearts. Almost immediately, Ethan felt a spark of attraction, and Mary Anne quickly found herself feeling likewise. Ethan was the first to make a move, asking Mary Anne out to dinner at Mama Ricotta’s.
As their relationship deepened, Mary Anne found herself falling in love not only with Ethan’s good looks but also with his remarkable thoughtfulness. For his part, Ethan fell quickly and irretrievably in love with Mary Anne’s sweet smile and with her innocent but hilarious sense of humor. They also learned what they loved to do together; for Mary Anne, it’s exploring new places and eating good food, and for Ethan, the emphasis is on exploring local craft brews. Not a bad combination, and one that bodes well for many great years of traveling, eating, and drinking in style.
Ethan and Mary Anne got engaged on August 11th, 2018 during a memorable date night in uptown Charlotte. The evening got started at Rooster’s with a charcuterie board–one of Mary Anne’s favorite things–and a couple of drinks. As they waited for their dinner reservation, they wandered through uptown looking for some quiet and found it in 1st Ward Park. Sitting there, watching the sunset, Ethan and Mary Anne vowed to commit their lives to one another. The ring features a gem that was worn by both Mary Anne’s grandmother and great grandmother. Ethan and Mary Anne went to the Custom Shop in NoDa and designed the ring together.
We got together for our engagement session at 1st Ward Park, where Mary Anne and Ethan had gotten engaged. For a while, we’d gone back and forth about locations, and I’d offered several options, but seeing as it was December and colorful landscaping was at a seasonal ebb, 1st Ward seemed like a good bet. When I learned during one of our conversations that this was precisely where Ethan had proposed, it was settled.
It had snowed the day before, and there were still patches of snow on the ground when we started shooting, but one of the great things about 1st Ward park is that it holds its color no matter the season. I love the various textured surfaces there and the soft tones of the Uptown skyline at sunset. To finish up the portrait session, we headed to the confetti hearts wall in South End for one more major punch of color. The mural had just been completed, and I felt it would make the most perfect backdrop for the final few images of Mary Anne and Ethan.
These two were a dream to photograph. They were incredibly tender and kind to one another, and I found myself touched by the depth of their commitment. I can’t wait to see these two at the end of the aisle today. They’re made for each other, and I count myself so lucky to be a part of their big day.
Hair: Blo Blow Dry Bar
Makeup: Woo Skincare and Cosmetics
Confetti Hearts Wall: Evelyn Henson