When Lauren Collier and Justin Ingram first connected over Facebook, they were both a bit hesitant to pursue a relationship. It took almost a year of talking online before they decided to take the plunge and meet in person. Lauren was having difficulty hanging a painting in her new apartment, and Justin offered to help. When he arrived at her apartment, says Lauren, who is in business development, “I was taken aback by his kind brown eyes and tall stature, but the fact that he had a tool box and was wearing a suit [he had just gotten off of work] only made him hotter.” After the painting was hung, the two agreed they should see each other again. Lauren jokingly suggested to make cookies, get wine, or give Justin an award to thank him for his picture-hanging work. “I said, ‘How about all three? I’ll bring a bottle of wine, we’ll make cookies, and you can present me with an award when I arrive,’” says Justin, a senior recruiter. That’s exactly what they did on their first official date, and thanks to their romantic spark (and Lauren’s oatmeal-cookie-baking skills) they soon began a relationship.
When planning his proposal, four years later, Justin wanted to make sure to include Lauren’s beloved horse, Zeke. On October 11, 2013, as Lauren was leaving work she got a call from River Chase Farm, where Zeke boards. The barn manager told her Zeke cut his leg and that Lauren urgently needed to come in and have a look. “I ran into the barn to find Zeke with a ‘Will you marry me?’ ribbon around his neck and Justin on one knee,” she says. Justin continued the night of surprises by taking Lauren for a celebratory dinner with friends.
For their engagement photographs, they got together with Katie Pegher for a snow-day shoot. Committed to getting photos taken after a snowfall, the couple, who will marry this May at the Meadow Event Park in Virginia, braved eight inches of fresh snow and freezing temperatures for a winter-inspired session.