Jess and Jason are a totally awesome couple and wonderful friends of mine. I was THRILLED to do their engagement photos. They are huge music enthusiasts and concert goers so it was only right to take the shoot to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia.
Jason shared the proposal story: “I had been fretting over it for weeks. I had the ring for more than a month, Jess had no idea, and I was going back and forth on how to surprise her. Eventually, I decided just to keep it simple and propose at home. We had just gotten our puppy, Finn, and needed to get him ID tags for his collar. So when I ordered his tag, I got another one that said “Jessica – Will you marry me? – Jason.” It was important that I put my name on it otherwise she might assume it was the dog asking, charmer that he is. Bob Schneider was on the stereo and I had a few fingers of scotch to calm my nerves. I put the tags on Finn’s collar and told Jess to check out the dog’s new bling. When she found the heart-shaped tag, I was on one knee and pulled out the ring.”
Jason continues, “The night we were engaged we went to dinner afterwards to celebrate and almost immediately discussed which song would be “ours.” I had already identified a shortlist. We ended up with Bob Schneider’s “40 Dogs” because earlier that year we spent a fantastic evening in Baltimore at his show. He played “40 Dogs” and Jess fell in love with the song right away, saying it would make a good wedding song. I wasn’t going to let the chance to play Bob Schneider at my wedding pass by.
We pulled the lyric We ain’t got no time to waste, we got too much life to taste out as a sort of theme to remind us to enjoy every second we have together.”
Jess and Jason met in college at Elon in North Carolina. Jason was a bartender at Sandy’s, a dive on campus where Jess and her friends often hung out.
Jess shares, “One night I noticed a cute new bartender. Two days before Halloween I was there with a group of friends and saw that cute bartender sitting at the bar. I went over and sat next to him and we started talking. I left Sandy’s with a date planned for Halloween.”
Jason adds, “We would feed my tips into the MegaTouch to play Photo Hunt and the jukebox to spin Journey and The Boss.”
Jason continues, “Naturally, music became a big part of our relationship. Jess embraced the near-obsessive love I have for music and has been a willing accomplice in my journey for live music bliss. We love to go to a variety of shows together – from the frenzied energy of Gogol Bordello to the smoky rock of Will Hoge to the soothing melodies of Rachael Yamagata. We’ve been to see Guster, Dave Matthews Band, Josh Ritter, My Morning Jacket, Wilco and many more bands several times. I love when I see Jess let loose and rock out a little bit. Usually, it’s my concert agenda so when we go to a Jess-show, such as Tristan Prettyman, I love seeing her sing along while her eyes light up.”
Jess adds, “One of the first conversations Jason and I had was the hypothetical ‘if you could be anyone else who would it be?’ I will never forget Jason’s answer. Lindsay Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac. At the time I knew Fleetwood Mac, but didn’t know which one was Lindsay Buckingham. I didn’t think much of it other than he’s kind of into music. Understatement of the century! I never could have imagined the world opened up to me through Jason’s obsessive love of music and film. We have been places and done things that had you told me before I met Jason I wouldn’t have believed you. Like going to the Sundance Film Festival and seeing a bunch of singer-songwriters perform, one of which was Tristan Prettyman. She is now, and has been since that winter, my absolute favorite female singer. Or more recently standing outside for hours in a 110-heat index waiting to get into GA for a DMB concert, or even seeing Lindsay Buckingham perform solo at the newly re-opened Howard Theater. I am so thankful for all of those experiences and can’t wait to see what comes next!”
We also went to the beautiful nearby Meadowlark Botanical Gardens for some more traditional photos.
Jess and Jason will be getting married this September in Virginia.
Happy Engagement Jess and Jason!