Austin originally reached out a little over a month prior to the event date. He had a clear vision in mind for how he wanted this beautiful moment to carry out. Traveling from Chattanooga, TN, he knew he wanted a unique location that would not only enhance his proposal to Harley, but would be a location to remember for years to come. His ultimate goal was to be able to "feel the magic in the moment again when we look back on these photos and to see ourselves so young, yet so deeply connected in love."

Austin already had lodging arrangements made at a cabin in the Sautee-Nacoochee area, right outside of Helen, GA. He knew he wanted to propose at a location outdoors with panoramic views and expressed high interest to a body of water or a waterfall. Within a driving distance of under 45 minutes each, I provided a list of locations, their details and views/environmental surroundings, and sample photos of each: Anna Ruby Falls (Helen, GA), along with Creekstone Vineyards (Sautee Nacoochee, GA), and the summit at Bell Mountain (Hiawassee, GA). I chose to start with a relatively short list in an effort to not overwhelm with varying locations. I already had several additional ones ready to share as alternate locations if need be, but Austin's choice quickly proved they weren't needed.

Without hesitation, Austin selected the summit at Bell Mountain. He shared that there's an overlook near their home in Chattanooga that offers similar panoramic views and is one of his favorite spots to visit with Harley. He was adamant that this view would be a beautiful reminder of home and would enhance the atmosphere of the proposal.

Traveling to the top Bell Mountain is exactly what one would expect- a steep drive all the way up. This is a popular place to catch the extravagant color bursts of sunsets. However, what once used to be a washed out, horribly bumpy road has been completely paved and offers a smooth ride to the top. Previously, visitors could drive only a portion of the way up, had to park, then walk the rest. Although a steep drive on a narrow road, visitors are now able to drive directly to the parking lot at the very top. However, the gates are closed at dark and when weathering elements cause hazardous conditions, often during the winter months.

Austin had the entire session planned out thoroughly. He went shopping with Harley and discretely coordinated outfits to be aesthetically pleasing in the photos. He had a beautiful ring selected as well. He and Harley had previously looked at engagement rings so she could decide her unique style. She was set on a beautiful yellow gold set that intertwined a hidden halo with a vintage style band. With a unique designer out of New York, Harley and Austin found the most beautiful ring to fit Harley's unique taste.

Austin and Harley met almost 7 years ago. What started as 2 best friends in middle school quickly grew to young love, and they began dating at just 15 and 16 years old. As Austin described, they were "just two kids trying to find out how to love."

Having lived together for 3 years now, purchasing a home just 2 years ago, they've had the beautiful opportunity of growing into adulthood together. So many beautiful memories shared and accomplishments made, yet so many more to journey through together.

When asked of their relationship, Austin described it as "7 years of ups and downs and choosing to love each other every day."

When they arrived, I was already hidden behind the stairs with camera in hand and flowers ready to go. The timing couldn't have been any more perfect; this time of day is usually flooded with visitors arriving in preparation for the sunset watch. Surprisingly, and to our benefit, there were very few visitors. Austin messaged me to say they were taking a few minutes to collect themselves from the drive up. I had previously sent him locations to detail the most opportune spots for his proposal. Once they were ready, they walked over to the first platform at the lot level, to take in the panoramic views. Once he was ready, sweet Austin suggested they walk over to the rocks for a differing view. I was able to sneak over behind them without Harley noticing, and also hand the gorgeous bouquet of flowers to Austin as well. There was absolutely no hesitation with sweet Harley saying "YES!" Afterwards, Austin introduced us and the rest of the photography session continued.

There are countless spots that offer beautiful photos to be taken, so we got some at each of the platforms, on the stairs, at the wooden fence, and the rocks. Austin and Harley are naturals at photos, so posing them didn't take much effort. They were the absolute sweetest and it was such an honor to be part of this beautiful journey they are on in life.

When you're ready to book your North Georgia photographer, make sure you check out Laurel + Pine Photography. I'd be honored to help tell your story for generations to come!

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