Nicole Wyche and Mackenzie Huffman don’t play coy. When asked about the theme of their engagement shoot they are straightforward. “Editorial.” By that, they mean chicer and way more stylish than any of us mere humans could pull off, even with the help of several days and some very skilled modeling direction. But for Mackenzie and Nicole, a stunning engagement shoot at the retro-cool Apollo on H Street, with Emma Weiss behind the lens seems like NBD. Cavalier hat? Check. Impossibly hip tropical wallpaper? Check. Chambray denim? Yup. Plenty of love? See for yourself.
They say that a little friendly competition is good for you. In Nicole and Mackenzie’s case, it may have been good for romance too. When Nicole and Mackenzie first met, they were competing for novice spots on the University of North Carolina’s crew team. Their first impressions weren’t so memorable, perhaps because they were overshadowed by exhausting 5am runs and training. They quickly became close friends and confidants, but as sorority life and study abroad opportunities presented themselves, they lost touch.
Eight years later, after years of intermittent social media check-ins, Nicole, who was living in Detroit at the time, drove down to DC to visit. Nicole and Mackenzie spent the day bustled up in snow gear with a pack of friends perusing the National Portrait Gallery. Just like that, they found themselves talking regularly and “very quickly falling in an unexpected love.”
“Mackenzie is cool. Legitimately cool in the way that classic things never go out of style. It’s evident whether she’s across the room or across the table,” says Nicole. “While she faces the world with calm resolve, she treats her close relationships with a care and thoughtfulness that is nothing short of inspiring.”
The couple suffered long distance for a few months before Nicole relocated to D.C. Nearly two years after they reconnected, Nicole and Mackenzie got engaged. They started the special day with a brunch at Bar Pilar, where they ended up being the only people in the upstairs dining room (“It was unexpectedly romantic in a way that only the universe could orchestrate.”)
Afterwards, they took their brunch buzz over to Dangerously Delicious Pies for a sweet treat to take to the National Arboretum for a picnic. Under the guise of documenting their day better than their last trip which was “captured only in ill-angled selfies,” Mackenzie set up a tripod. As soon as she coaxed Nicole into the frame, she got down on one knee.
“Sometimes we befriend those who are what we only wish we could be,” says Mackenzie of Nicole. “She has a captivating presence.”
The couple are set to wed in October at Fathom Gallery.
Photography by: Emma Weiss Photo