For Sarah and Phil’s engagement session, we want on an adventure in the Red River Gorge. We had so much fun hiking to one of our favorite spots, Creation Falls and the Rock Bridge Trail. It was the perfect location to celebrate Sarah and Phil’s engagement and hear all about their love story.
Phil and Sarah met through their mutual friend Zach at a cookout to watch a University of Kentucky football game during their senior year. They chatted a bit and found out that they both had experience with horses. The discussion quickly turned into an argument over which horse sport was bigger and better, as Phil grew up on a Saddlebred farm and Sarah grew up riding, eventing, and dressage. Sarah and Phil left intrigued by one another but still just as acquaintances. A few weeks later, they got a big group of friends together for Halloween, and Zach invited Phil. Sarah and Phil had a blast until she remembered what a lightweight she was and realized that she needed to go home. Phil gave Sarah part of his costume to stay warm as she waited for an Uber with her roommate.
Phil ended up tagging along to make sure they got home safe. The following day Sarah asked Zach for Phil’s number, saying that she needed to thank him for getting her home safely but secretly wanted to talk to him more. Phil and Sarah continued to get to know each other better, often studying, working out, or just hanging out together. They nerded out about science, and his mom even took her senior photos, but they were just good friends. Phil was starting a job in Kentucky, and Sarah was going to graduate school in Kansas, so they didn’t want to hold each other back. However, after spending a ton of time together around graduation, Phil and Sarah realized they were falling for each other hard. Phil asked Sarah on a date the day after graduation for dinner. Sarah was working at a horse barn cleaning stalls at the time, so she told him that she would have to get her barn chores done first. Instead of making the date later, Phil showed up to get dirty and help her muck out stalls. Afterward, Phil told her to get a little dressed up, but when he picked her up, he said he could only get reservations for Drake’s (delicious but casual). Sarah loves all food, so she was game, but Phil told the waitress reservations for two at Malone’s as they walked in. They had talked on and on in the past about how incredible Malone’s was, but on an undergraduate student budget, it wasn’t a casual meal.
Sarah knew he was serious about the evening being a date and not just hanging out. Phil was a little nervous, so he talked almost nonstop about his new job, physics, and whatever else he could think of. Sarah loved every minute of it. They went back to Sarah’s apartment after and hung out with her roommates. Sarah’s best friend Rachel, who had seen their friendship grow from the beginning, got bold and asked, “So are you two dating now?” Phil responded with, “I sure hope so!” One official “date” was all it took! Sarah and Phil love taking their roundabout boat out for tubing, wakeboarding, or just hanging out. They also play pickleball and get some yoga in when they can. During the winter, Sarah and Phil love snowboarding together, especially at Snowshoe. They love hanging out with friends, going to the movies, playing Super Smash Bros, and traveling to visit friends and new places.
That was that, and they made the distance work and are so glad they took the chance on forever. Phil knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Sarah. In July of 2020, after months of Covid craziness, Sarah’s family booked a secluded Airbnb outside of Destin, Florida. Phil and Sarah trailered his boat down. They had a fantastic week exploring Crab Island, taking the boat all around the bay, and escaping the frenzy of 2020. Usually, when they travel with family, they will take at least one night away for a date night. So halfway through the week, Phil had made reservations for a local restaurant right on the bay.
As Sarah and Phil sipped their drinks, the sky quickly darkened and opened up, nearly soaking them both as they darted for cover inside. Phil seemed oddly shaken by this and kept looking at his phone, which he never does on date nights. Sarah reassured him that it was Florida, storms roll in and out all the time, and that she was sure it would end before he wanted to walk around the piers and explore a bit more of Destin. But, as Sarah predicted, it left just as quickly as it came in, and they left dinner to head to the boardwalk for more sightseeing and a better background for the pictures that they always take on date nights. Sarah’s family ended up at the boardwalk, too, so they walked together for a bit until Phil and Sarah’s dad took off, speed-walking faster than her heels could manage. Sarah’s mom, brother, and she eventually caught up with them at the perfect pier Phil had scoped out. Sarah and Phil walked to the end of it as her mom and brother took some photos, but then Phil started talking about how they were best friends, and he was so happy, and before Sarah knew it, Phil was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring Sarah had ever seen – her dream ring! Of course, Sarah said yes right away as her family and onlookers cheered. Phil wouldn’t take the ring out of the box until they were off the pier and back onto the more solid ground, but it was perfect. Sarah’s family is so important to her, and she was so glad they were there to be a part of it. We are so happy for Sarah and Phil and can’t wait to capture their wedding day love story next summer!
Engagement Session Location: Creation Falls on the Rock Bridge Trail in the Red River Gorge
Engagement Ring: Kay Jewelers in Ashland, Kentucky
Hair and Makeup: Impressions Salon in Danville, Kentucky for hair and makeup
Engagement Photos by Kevin and Anna Photography