Chelsea and Clay met in early 2000 through mutual friends, but it wasn’t until 2012 when they reconnected and started their relationship. Chelsea and Clay both ended up at City Bar on State Street one evening. Chelsea saw a friend of hers (who happened to be Clay’s roommate) and went over to say hi. After the quick hello, Chelsea continued on with her night and Clay was determined to strike up a conversation. He made his move later that evening and was lucky enough to get her phone number. A few days later they met up at the Opus Lounge for their first date, where they spent several hours talking and enjoying non-martini cocktails.
We decided on a State Street engagement session to reminisce on the start of their relationship. The couple also wanted a location that screams Madison and there’s nothing better than the Wisconsin State Capitol and State Street. I met Chelsea, Clay and their adorable pup Oliver on a chilly day after Thanksgiving. I can’t believe how well-behaved Oliver was with the constant distraction of cars and people. Plus, Chelsea and Clay ditched their jackets to snuggle close while I kept bundled up to stay warm. Not only were they troopers, but they were playful and fun during their session. Chelsea even flipped her hair back and forth at the request of a passerby. We ended this chilly session at City Bar for beers, where it all began.
Not only was their engagement session adorable, but so was the proposal Clay spent months planning. He wanted it to be a big surprise and spent the entire summer designing the perfect ring. He even integrated one of her family heirlooms as a the gorgeous center stone. Clay planned the proposal for the evening before his birthday party, which was secretly an engagement party so the two could celebrate with friend and family. Clay anxiously prepared the deck and waited for Chelsea to arrive home from work. He convinced Chelsea to head out to the deck (which wasn’t easy), mumbled some words that neither of them remember, and asked Chelsea to marry him. How sweet!
I can’t wait to head back to Madison next summer to photograph their gorgeous wedding!