When Laura, Matt, and I decided to meet at Waterworks Park for their engagement session in November, we had anticipated it might be a little chilly. But they knew they wanted their engagement photos for potential wedding RSVPs, so like true Midwesterners we decided to head to Waterworks Park in Des Moines to get some fall engagement photos before snow hit the ground. And hey, it's Iowa in November—who doesn't expect a little nip in the air?

To describe the weather as devastating cold is an understatement. We arrived, sweaters, coats, and gloves in hand but quickly realized that the frigid wind was picking up. Quickly we rushed to a tree-shrouded section of Waterworks Park to seek some reprieve from the wind. With the knowledge that things were getting colder and fast, we agreed we'd try to get through photos as fast as possible.

...but of course that wasn't the case. Especially with dog snuggles on the beginning of the to-do list. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a HUGE dog person, and golden retrievers are my absolute weakness. (Said every basic white girl ever.) Benji got out of the car and it was like someone had taken my elementary school diary description of the perfect dog and plopped him down in front of me. There could have been a tornado behind us and I would have been so engrossed in Benji that I wouldn't have noticed until I landed in Oz. Seriously, there's nothing like puppy kisses and smiles to warm you up.

Which fortunately Laura and Matt had lots of because and boy oh boy did they need them. After puppy time we decided to change locations and outfits, and soon as Laura slipped into the most BEAUTIFUL silk dress I've ever seen, the wind became menacing. As the only one in a coat, I ask if they'd like to call it a day, but Laura and Matt just snuggled in close and said, "Let's do it!" The way they danced, snuggled, and kissed you would have thought it was a warm fall evening. Each time I checked in with how they were doing, they just asked if there was anything else cool we could knock out together. I am not a proponent of "beauty is pain," but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't incredibly impressed with Laura and Matt's joy and easy-going nature taking the coldest engagement photos I've experienced to date.

As the sun set, we had to accept that while we had originally we had planned to make a stop at Bellhop in the East Village, all of us were stiff and red nosed. (Important note during your photographer search: a photographer with fingers so cold they can't properly press the shutter button are not incredibly efficient one.) So we agreed to call it...for now.

And if we thought Part 1 was good, just wait until you get a glimpse of Part 2 🍹✨