Winner of NYC Photo Shoot is...

Posted by Brandon
Congratulations to Annie, the winner of the NYC photo shoot with A Bryan Photo!


Annie's Story
At the start of summer, after dating for two blissful years, Jared and I began to talk about marriage. Or rather, I began to drop hints involving sweet engagement stories I had heard, and leaving my web browser open to the Etsy Weddings page…

Unbeknownst to me, Jared took the bait and began to plan an elaborate proposal to take place in June in Iowa City, where we live and attend graduate school.

Sadly, his plans were halted when we learned that my stepfather had terminal cancer and I would have to fly to California to help nurse him and comfort my mother in what would be his final days.

After a month of my being in California, Jared bought a ticket to come see me and to say goodbye to my stepfather. The night before he got on the plane he decided to write my mother to share his proposal intentions and ask for her blessing. He was nervous about broaching the subject at such an unhappy time, but to his surprise my mother and stepfather were thrilled. Their only request was that he propose while he was out in California, so that my stepfather could see the look on my face, and know that I was going to be loved and taken care of when he was gone. (My father died in 1994, when I was 12)

All of a sudden the elaborate proposal Jared had been planning was scrapped, and he realized he would have to do it all the very next day, and without a ring. So he made one out of yellow construction paper, glued on a tinfoil diamond and got on the plane. He was terrified.

When he got to California he suggested I take a break from my duties as caregiver and go pick strawberries. And there, in the corner of the pick-your-own-berry farm, he got down on one knee, presented the paper ring and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. You can imagine how I cried.

My stepfather died a month later. His death was a serious blow to my whole family, and my mother was truly crushed. In thinking of ways to lift her up out of her sadness, Jared and I have been planning to convince her to spend Christmas together with us in Manhattan, where my sister/maid of honor lives. We want her to be in a different environment, surrounded by those who love her this Christmas, not in the now-empty house she shared with my stepfather.

We have been planning to go on the 18th of December, so I almost had a heart attack when I saw this contest. New York this winter would mean the world to us, it would be a time for Jared and I to celebrate our newfound happiness and commitment (and to capture it through the utter genius that is A Bryan photography) and it would be a symbolic new beginning for my mother, who has been through too much. It would just be utter magic if it came true.

So, thank you for letting me share my story and for giving us this possible opportunity.