Orillia Fall Engagement Photography | Justin & Jesse

Pre-wedding Same-sex engagement photos

Muskoka engagement session in Orillia, Ontario

In fact, that fall colour and sunset took a back seat to the enthusiasm and connection between these two.  We started our shoot with a light hike before closing out Jesse and Justin’s engagement session along the shores of Bass Lake (wait ’til you see the killer post-sunset we had).  Right from the get-go it was pretty clear we were going to have ourselves a great time – these two are never short on laughter, stories and loving on one another.

I’m stoked for their wedding next year, after getting to know them little by little so far – I see big things for that wedding day shoot!  For now, read below to hear their story in their own words…

Muskoka engagement photo

HOW DID YOU MEET:
We met on Plenty of Fish. We often joked about being the “success” couple in the dating site commercials.

Pre-wedding Muskoka engagement photo

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR FIRST DATE:
Justin: I remember being nervous at first, but that quickly went away when I saw that famous Jesse smile that I fell in love with. It’s that kind of smile that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. The conversation that night had an amazing flow, we talked about everything and anything.
Jesse: I remember it was a warm night. Pretty late because we both worked in service so it was after work. It was also raining on and off but we were so involved with our conversation, it didn’t bother me at all. I just remember thinking he was really genuine and I already wanted to see him again. He also had the warmest smile. We talked concerts, music, movies, family. We covered a lot on that first date. It was just a really fun walk around Barrie, shootin’ the breeze.

Muskoka engagement photo

WHEN YOU KNEW:
Justin: Thinking back, I knew fairly early. We had this immediate connection, it had felt like we had known each other for far longer than we actually had. We had just spent the day with some of my family in the city, there is nothing better than seeing your person meshing so well with your family. The car ride home was when I knew. As we drove into the sunset, a song came on shuffle and we stopped and took in the lyrics instead of singing along (or as Jesse would say “perform”). While hand in hand, I brought his hand up and gave it a quick kiss. I remember seeing Jess smile as he looked out the window.

Same-sex engagement photography

Jesse: We were at my parent’s house for dinner and it so happened that the whole family was able to make it. Seeing my youngest nephew and Justin, sitting at the table, talking lego and building things together just put a huge smile on my face. That night was one of those nights when the kids went off to play after dinner and we all just sat around the table and chatted. We swapped stories, enjoyed some wine, and laughed. Seeing my family interacting with this guy who had become a pretty big deal in my life and seeing him dive in whole heartedly was all I needed. And just when I thought it wouldn’t get any better, we all played Cards Against Humanity, and if he will stay with me after playing that with my family and I, then I had to lock it down.

LGBT Engagement photo in a field

THE PROPOSAL, HOW DID IT GO DOWN:

It was Sunday, May 29th, 2016!!! I had received a text from Justin asking if I’d want to go for a walk after work. Since walking is our jam, I was totally down. I got home, changed and we headed out. We had stopped at Mac’s to grab slushies and snacks for our walk and continued on to the Barrie waterfront. We took our time, strolling through the paths by the water and chatting. We walked along the boardwalk towards the Spirit Catcher and on to Heritage Park. We sat down at a picnic table under the gazebo and finished off our slushies. I asked if he was ready to leave and he said we’d wait a few more minutes because he wasn’t quite done his slushy. If I’m being honest, at first I was thinking, “come on, how long does it take to drink a slushy?” (Definitely felt sheepish a few minutes later).
After a moment of silence, Justin began telling me that the last couple years have been the best. He added, “they say that a home is not a place, its a person…and for me, you are my home”. At this point I started feeling tingly and my stomach was in knots (the good kind). I definitely had a feeling of what was coming next, but also didn’t want to hype myself up. I remember watching his hand to see if he was reaching for anything. I was also starting to nervously giggle. Then he brought it home by dropping to one knee and saying “I love you so much. Jesse, will you marry me?” and taking out the ring as he asked. I think its obvious I said yes, but I was also kind of shocked and remember gently backhanding his shoulder and asking “are you serious?”. He chuckled, said “duh” and put the ring on my finger. A few minutes later, when I gathered myself, it hit me like a tonne of bricks….Justin had recreated our entire first date, including sitting at the picnic table in the gazebo. It was honestly the perfect night.

Sunset field engagement photo

ONE THING YOU LOVE ABOUT ONE ANOTHER:
Justin: Hmmm… It is definitely hard to pick just one thing. Jesse has a heart of gold, he would give a friend in need the shirt off his back. Jesse treats all of his friends as part of his family and that’s an amazing quality. Jess has a sense of humour that has me laughing everyday.
Jesse: His mosey. He just has the best little sway in his walk. It doesn’t happen all too often, but when it does, it makes me smile. (And he has no idea until he asks me why i’m laughing) When he is not mosey-ing, its his quick wit that gets me, making me laugh each and every day.

Sunset beach engagement photography

BESIDES GETTING MARRIED, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ON YOUR WEDDING DAY:
Justin: Spending the day with our families and friends making memories that will last a lifetime.
Jesse: Honestly…the speeches!!! (Oh, and I guess looking out into a room filled with our squad as we are announced as husbands will be pretty rad too)

LGBT sunset engagement photo

Sunset pre-wedding photo on beach

 

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