Lincoln Park Engagement Session | Kelly and Matt

I have been photographing Kelly’s family for years now, so it was extra special to finally have Kelly and Matt in front of the camera for their engagement photos! The two chose the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool and a few select locations throughout Lincoln Park – North Pond for their session. Since they live in the city, it was the perfect place to capture their engagement session.

Their Story

Kelly and Matt met while attending the University of Illinois in Champaign. They both were in the same dorm freshman year (Forbes Hall). They barely knew each other then, but had mutual friends. It wasn’t until the following year that they started hanging out because they were neighbors once again, this time at Bousfield Hall. After a semester of many awkward encounters and much encouragement from friends, Matt finally worked up the courage to make things official with Kelly. The two have been together ever since!

The Proposal

Kelly and Matt got engaged on September 5, 2020. They had been planning on having a picnic in the city, so they packed a cooler of sandwiches and drinks and headed out to Montrose Harbor. Matt suggested the two take a picture before they start eating, and during the second selfie he got down on one knee and said “Kelly will you marry me?” Kelly says that even though she was staring at a beautiful ring in front of her, the first thing she could say was “Wait, really??”

Kelly of course said yes, cried a little, and was so happy during this moment. One of the best parts of this memory for her is the random couple that came up to them afterwards and said “Congratulations! I hope this isn’t creepy but when we saw it was an engagement I started taking pics!” She then sent the very grainy, but completely perfect photos, complete with a “do not enter” sign in the background that Kelly says she will treasure forever.

Kelly and Matt both value making other people happy. They have a similar view of the world and an understanding that actions are always a part of the greater whole. They value family, honesty, and friendship. Kelly says, “we are so wonderfully weird together, and it doesn’t hurt that we both love Harry Potter, board games, and movie nights at home with popcorn.”

Kelly knew Matt was the one right away. Matt has such a giving personality, and is so kind and caring for other people. He actively tries to ensure everyone feels welcome and having a fun time. He fit so perfectly into her family. He makes her laugh every day and allows her to be completely herself all the time.

Matt says “I knew way too early, probably before we started dating. Kelly has an amazing personality where you just want to make her smile because she finds enjoyment in all the little things. And she appreciates how real people are…” He also values her work ethic and how she gives her all at the hospital where she works.

The Ring

The ring was made by Kelly’s family friend, Tony! He made Kelly’s older sister’s ring as well. Matt nailed it perfectly with a simple band and beautiful diamond stone. There is something extra special about the ring that was a surprise to both Kelly and Matt— Tony included a small opal (Matt’s birthstone) on the inside of the band. This was a special surprise that Tony included so that no matter where they are, Kelly will always carry a part of Matt with her!

Kelly and Matt LOVE dancing and being playful, and it was so obvious at their engagement session how much fun they have with each other. They have a large variety of musical tastes, and “Riptide” by Vance Joy is one of their favorites. Congratulations Kelly and Matt!! I cannot wait for this wedding in May 2022!!

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