Bridget, a doctor of physical therapy, and Stephen, a software engineer, met through mutual friends in high school when they were just 14 and 15, respectively. Stephen’s sense of humor immediately won Bridget over—and Stephen says he thought Bridget was pretty, and sweet for laughing at his bad jokes. Both from Herndon, the pair shared their first date at Reston Town Center, where Stephen convinced Bridget to sneak into the movie theater to see Paranormal Activity.
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Eleven years later, on the day after Thanksgiving, November 27, 2020, Stephen proposed in their living room as the two were decorating the tree—Stephen brought down a new ornament and handed it to Bridget, who opened it to see that the ornament depicted a cartoon version of Stephen, down on one knee, proposing to Bridget. She turned around to see the real life version of Stephen on one knee with a ring. “It was private and intimate, exactly how we both wanted it to be,” they say. Since their dating anniversary was on November 28, their celebratory anniversary dinner at L’Auberge Chez Francois became a celebratory engagement dinner.
For their engagement photo session, the couple decided to skip the “typical outdoor engagement session,” says photographer Brigitte Kleiber, and instead chose something more intimate and personal, in their home, with their cats, on a normal date-night in their living room, where they made pizzas from scratch.
The cats got lots of love, says Kleiber, though the pizza-making process experienced a few hiccups. “Turns out Stephen is usually the one who makes the pizza on these date nights.” Whoops! Still, says Kleiber, “it was a relaxed, fun session exploring what their life looks like on the day-to-day in their cat-loving family.” This fall, they’ll marry at the Market at Grelen in Somerset, Virginia. See some favorites from the session below.
Photographs by Brigitte Renee Photography.