February 28, 2016

Engagement Session Giveaway 2016 | Sweet Serendipity Photography in Gainesville, Fl

I am so excited for our Engagement Session Giveaway this year! I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by having 26 entries! It truly makes me so happy to be able to read all of these amazing proposal stories. This year, instead of having one winner, I decided to expand the contest into two rounds. Round one consisted of sharing each story in the Facebook event. Because there were so many great stories, I wanted to have more than one couple win a prize! Using Random.org, I selected these semi – finalists and am sharing their story here- so the fans of Sweet Serendipity, as well as the couple’s friends and family members, can choose who they want to win the FREE ENGAGMENT SESSION.

Each semi finalist has won an engagement mini session with Sweet Serendipity. The winner of the online voting will win a full engagement session, as well as the digital images from that session with a print release.

You can vote once per day, and please feel free to share online to generate votes for your favorite couple!


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Blue Diamond like the heart from the Titanic. He proposed at Trinity United Methodist Church, with our Pastor present, on Christmas Eve. He had it planned along with a brick paver that was made and set at the welcome center. The brick paver says “The toughest girl I know”. Which is a tattoo I got after I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had 7 surgeries in 2 years. He calls me Baby girl. The rose pedal heart and flowers were placed on our bed while we were at church. A surprise I came home to.

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So there was this guy…we met in the military here in Florida and I honestly can say it felt like the movies kind of love. I was (and still am) head over heels for this man. On March 31,2013,Easter, he FINALLY decided to pop the question after eight years of being together. On that morning he came home from the fire department and we found all the Easter eggs that the bunny left for our two children and than he said now you need to find your egg. He was letting me know if I was hot or cold. I needed a little bit of help since he hid the egg in a spot that was taller than me. I finally found this blue egg nestled in between the tree. As I was opening it up I heard him say “will you marry me?”. I couldn’t believe that my dream of him asking me to marry him was finally coming true. Ring or no ring this man brings out the best in me, he loves me for me, he is my best friend and most importantly the most amazing father to our children.
I know what is everyone thinking she was proposed to three years ago…and still no wedding? Tell me about it. We started planning our wedding and in the midst of lining things up Uncle Sam decided he needed him for two years. He has been back home now for eight months. My kids and I couldn’t be any more happy and complete.
Joseph, you are my best friend, my other half and there is no one I want to be on life’s crazy journey with but you. You are the most hardworking man I know (everyone sees it and knows it and tells me all the time) we appreciate all that you do. Thank you for giving me the best gifts ever, our children, Joseph and Rachel. I fell in love with you eleven years ago and some how as each day goes on I love you more than the day before.

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My fiancée is a manager at Men’s Wearhouse who is one of the sponsors of the bridal expo twice a year at the Hilton here in Gainesville. I thought I was going to watch his coworkers in the fashion show that they put on at each show. It was my birthday weekend and he said he was going to spend the day with my brother before he left to go back home. I had always joked it would be funny to see him in the fashion show. So the last model out was there and it was my fiancée. I had no idea he was doing the show. I thought it was just for my birthday that he was being funny. Well he went backstage and they did the final walk of all the models on the stage. As he came around he stopped and I saw the ring box and he dropped to his knee in front of everyone there and asked me to marry him. I started to cry and honestly think I had to force myself to speak! My brother is my best friend and one of my most special people. After it was over Ryan’s sister in law and mom pointed to the side of the room where my brother and one of our best friends were standing there waving at me with Ryan’s brother and dad. My sister made my ring for Ryan. He put so much thought into surprising me and making it such a special memory.

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My fiancé and I had the most memorable first date, it wasn’t much but it was amazing to me. We met up at Dragonfly and he was waiting there with a rose, in the rain! Never in my life did I have a first date, let alone have a guy waiting with me with one rose, especially with it pouring. We had dinner, went and played putt-putt afterwards (like kids again), then we became adults again and went and got drinks at World of Beer. It was a very fulfilled first date but I have always spoke to him how amazing it was and the best night I ever had. Well fast forwarded to 01.01.2016, I was napping and he woke me up saying, we should go take pictures downtown for New Years since everyone has cute new years pictures. He told me to get dressed up and be ready at 5. We headed downtown and he told me it would be quick since it was raining. As we were walking downtown we stopped by Dragonfly and he put his stuff down. I was very confused but figured he was just getting a new lens out or something. To my surprise, he pulled out a rose! I was still confused as to what was happening, then he reached into his pocket and got onto one knee! I could not believe he was proposing and in the rain, so romantic! Of course I said YES! The rose and the rain and the replay of our first date was so amazing and the best way to ask me to be his forever. As we were walking, he told me to turn and look, and I could not believe all of our parents drove down from out of town to be there and watch it all. He planned it all without me knowing for months. I am the luckiest girl and so honored to be his future wife!

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It was mid-August, we were on a final vacation with our families before we both started work and he started nursing school. It was our last night there and he wanted to take one last walk on the beach which I thought nothing of, seeing how we walked the beach a few nights before. After twenty minutes of walking we decided to turn around and head back to the house. Before we left the beach he wanted to stop and sit in the sand. We sat and talked for a few minutes. While I was looking up at the stars; he stopped talking so I turned around and found him down on one knee asking me “will you marry me?” I giggled and said no because he has messed with me a few times in the past. That is when he reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring and asked me again. At first I still didn’t believe it was real so I asked if he was being serious, feeling the ring to make sure it was actually there. Once I figured out he was being serious I of course said yes. We have been together for seven years and there is nothing I want more than to spend the rest of my life with him.

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This night was pure magic. My fiancé took me to St. Augustine on New Years to celebrate our 4 year dating anniversary. This picture of us was taken that night just before he surprised me and popped the question. We went for a late night stroll by the Matanzas river when he got down on one knee with one simple yet life changing question: Will you spend the rest of your life with me? I of course said YES and we have been in engagement bliss ever since. I can’t wait to marry him and begin our lives as Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Stowe.

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My best friend told me she purchased concert tickets for my boyfriend, her, me and some friends to go see Justin Lee on June 13. She told me this well in advance, so that I wouldn’t made any plans. The day finally arrived and my boyfriend told me that morning that his best friend needed help fixing a tractor. He would need us to pick him up before the concert.
Since he left pretty early, my best friend came over to my house to get ready. We did our nails, straightened our hair and put on a face full of make-up. I went to my closet and pulled out a blue plaid shirt, some jean shorts and my black boots. I showed it to Megan and told her that’s what I was going to wear. She immediately disapproved and said she would not be caught dead with me in public wearing that. She had this cute red dress I had been dying to wear, so she suggested I wear that instead, so I did.
After getting all dressed up for the concert, my boyfriend texted me the address of where he was fixing the tractor. Megan popped it in her GPS (wrong) so we ended up getting lost. After getting back on track, we pulled up to the house. I was looking for my boyfriend, when Megan pointed to a little wood sign. It read June 29-the day we met. I asked what was going on, in which she told me to keep driving. I drove down the pathway a bit until I saw the next sign, July 4, our first date. I began to feel the butterflies build in my stomach as I saw the next sign approaching. July 28-the day I knew heart emoticon, followed by a sign that said July 1-one year of love. I continued driving as I spotted the final wood sign, the biggest one yet, it ready TODAY?
I looked over to the right and saw my boyfriend standing in front of hay bales. I was in shock, so Megan had to tell me to stop driving. I put my car in park and sat there until she told me to get out. I got out of my car and walked over to him feeling nervous as ever. He got down on one knee and proposed. As he was on his knee, his best friend drove up on a tractor and dropped a sign that read “say yes.” It truly seemed like something out of a movie. He even made sure we matched, got pictures and it was on video too! It was truly perfect.

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It was November 17,2015 a day after I returned home from a week cruise. When I got home my then boyfriend told me we were going to my moms surprise birthday dinner and told me to get dressed. I got dressed and he then told me he wanted to take me to the nail salon. After the nail salon we proceeded to go to my moms “birthday party” once we got there my family distracted me while Justin strung pictures and lights all down the sidewalk in the back leading to a gazebo, when I went outside I found Justin standing in the gazebo while our song played through the speakers, when I looked a little closer I saw big letters behind him saying will you marry me, I ran down the sidewalk as fast as I could and when I got to the end Justin got down on one knee and said “Madison Leigh McCoy I’ve loved you since the minute I saw you, will you be my wife?” Of course I said YES, and then realized we weren’t at a birthday party we were at our engagement party! To top it all off he had a photographer who hid and captured the entire moment. I couldn’t have asked for anything better and can’t wait to marry the love of my life next summer.

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We met on New Year’s and it has continued to be an important date in our lives. Dustin had taken a job across the country during the three years we had been together. For New Year’s 2015 we decided to celebrate with a group of our closest friends. We went to The Landing in Jacksonville to watch the fireworks. Dustin led me down closer to the river away from some of the crowd. He held me close and as the Year counted down and the fireworks began, Dustin got down on his knee and popped the question. This was a complete surprise and I got down on my knees in front of him as he placed the ring on my finger. This was the most perfect night of my life!! I am honored and feel so loved that a man so caring and giving as he is, chose to spend the rest of his life with me.
The photo I’m sharing was taken by a stranger in the crowd directly after I said yes.

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On February 11, 2016, my fiancé Matt proposed after 4 (almost 5) years together. He, being his sneaky self, tricked me into thinking we were going on a sunset motorcycle ride to take pictures of a nature viewpoint. As I was staring off from the rolling hills towards our house, I turned around to come face to face with a courageous man down on one knee asking me for my hand in marriage. I almost mauled him in happiness and completely forgot to say yes! He always told me I would never see it coming! He was right.


I am absolutely heartbroken to have to do this, but I am suspending the Engagement Session Giveaway. I was notified by the polling company that there was some unfair voting taking place and I absolutely cannot reward cheating in any way.
This engagement giveaway was supposed to be a fun contest, and a way for a deserving couple to win a free session. I truly do not gain anything from this contest other than the joy I receive from working with great people and reading their stories!
I am sorry for all of those who voted honestly, and I will still honor the engagement mini sessions for the 10 semifinalists that won the random drawings. I thank you all for your participation and for sharing your stories! I wish that this could have ended with a happier outcome, however at this time I do not feel it fair to announce a winner.

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