And Mandy said YES!

  • Josh Proposed!

me last week and I started squealing before he could even finish explaining his plan.  Josh called and said “KK, can you be at Lake Gaston this friday night….I’m going to ask Mandy to marry me.” WHAT?!!!! Um, HELLO!!!! Of course I can be there!!! DUH! What kind of question is that?!! I wouldn’t have missed this moment for the world! Josh was my neighbor in college and Mandy was one of my amazing roommates. I love these two…. like really LOVE them. They are two of my all time favorite people!!! Ever. They love the Lord, they love their friends and they love each other. They have been dating since high school……

(sounds like someone else I know:) and so I have a really soft place in my heart for their relationship because Michael and I have been there. When you have dated 6 years…’re more than READY for the next step and I can’t believe I got to be a part of this amazing moment in their lives!!!!!!!


Friday night, I drove down to the lake, snuck on to their neighbor’s property,climbed up on the top of the boat house, made a make-shift barricade of patio tables and hid.  I waited and waited until I heard Mandy’s laugh from the other side of the house. My heart dropped…. I was so stinking NERVOUS. Oh. my. gosh. I was afraid to breath.  So there I was… crouching down behind a patio table that I had flipped over on it’s side…. trying not to be seen or heard. Josh gave me instructions of where to be and where he was going to asked her. I heard them laughing and approaching the swing. The sun was setting and I began snapping away as Josh knelt down on one knee and explained to Mandy that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. I was shaking and trying not to cry.  I was trying to focus my CAMERA and not be heard….. I was FREAKING OUT! …… You don’t understand. Mandy was my roommate….we’ve talked about this moment for YEARS and it was happening!…. right in front of me!!!!!! It was beautiful… and it gets even better.


Mandy and Josh have been dating for 6 years and they’re best friends.  Couples say that they are “best friends” all the time but I’ve never seen a couple exude friendship like Mandy and Josh.  They have an incredible relationship and just to make them even more amazing…..they have never kissed…..ever….. until Friday night. Can you believe that?! I can believe it because I lived with them and I respect them so much.  They waited to know that they were going to be spending the rest of their life with one another before they kissed and let me tell you…..that’s AWESOME. I don’t know how they did it… but they made it!


After Josh placed that gorgeous diamond (mandy OMG it’s just what you wanted!!!) on Mandy’s finger…he pulled her a little closer and they kissed…. for the very first time. It was beautiful and once again… I tried my best to hold back the squeals that were about to burst from within me.  I felt so honored (and somewhat stalkerish) that I got to be a part of this moment. I was 50 yards away, hidden behind a wall of plastic but I was able to save that one moment that will change the rest of their lives.  Mandy and Josh!… You’re getting MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!  AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so beyond happy for you!! Josh thank you so so much for allowing me to be there and capture this.  I was honored.


Enjoy my favorite moments!!! but first…. please look at this awesome instructional diagram that Josh sent me so that I would know where to go before they arrived! Mandy, you should be proud…. he worked out the details perfectly:)

Please realize…. I was a nervous wreck and I was shooting through tiny wooden slats of the decks AND the light was changing. So these were a little underexposed but b&w makes everything look better right?!

Mandy was screaming and she may have said “Is this real LIFE?!”….. actually I know she said that… and I tried not to laugh! Mandy you would:)

Love this!

And then Mandy heard me snapping away and she screamed some more… and we cried and then screamed…. and then we probably screamed a few more times.

I’m not a big silhouette type of girl but I just had to do one!

or two:)

LOVE IT!!!! Mandy you have the BEST smile….especially right after you got engaged!

Oh and ps. for those of you who have never seen Josh before… No, he’s not Orlando Bloom…. not related in any way, crazy right?!

yea….that’s amazing.

You two know how much I adore you.  I can’t wait to watch you start the rest of your lives together!!! I LOVE YOU BOTH! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!

48 Comments Engaged
  1. sharon elizabeth photography reply

    what a special moment! love these!

  2. Cathy Moore reply

    I don’t even know them and I was about to cry for them! I believe he will make a wonderful husband and the fact he looks like Orlando Bloom can’t hurt! ;) Loved it, thanks for sharing your great work as always!

  3. Brittany reply

    how neat!!!! so cool you got to be a part of that….congrats to them!

  4. Christy reply

    This was by far my favorite of all your blog posts!

  5. Viena reply

    I love secret photography sessions!!
    buttttt werent they technically best friends for 6 years if they never kissed? How did that have that will power?!

  6. Erica reply

    Love these photos! It’s so special that you were able to capture the moment he proposed to her.

  7. Josh reply

    KATELYN!!!!!!! These are awesome. you are so great. thanks so much! AHHHHH we’re so stoked!

  8. Allison reply

    This is probably the sweetest thing I’ve ever read!!! I was crying reading this blog post!!! Sooo happy for the 2 of them!! :)

  9. megan reply

    this is super cool and these pictures are great!!! :)

  10. Brendan reply

    YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH! Josh and Mandy are ENGAGED! First of all, thank you for finally posting these up. I was texting Michael to send me pictures that night because I thought he was there, but then I called him and found out he was not there. So at that point, I know that you were not going to bother with any “instagrams”
    These shots are awesome Katelyn! Congrats Josh and Mandy

  11. Justine Russo reply

    I cried and I don’t even know these people!!! These photos are amazing Kateyln! YOU.ARE.AMAZING!!

  12. caroline reply

    GAAHH!!!!! i just squeeled so loud in starbucks. The cashier asked if i was ok hahaha aaaahhhh!!!!!!! this is so exciting and i didnt even live with her. holy smokes holy smokes eeeeeeeee!! kk im proud of you for keeping it together haha CONGRATULATIONS MANDY AND JOSH!!!!!

  13. Leslie reply


  14. Nate reply

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KK these are awesome! Proud of you for keeping that composure haha. Congrats Josh and Mandy!!

  15. candace Arnold reply

    I love that you did these for them, Katelyn!! Gorgeous!! ;)

  16. Mandy reply

    Thank you so much KK!!!!! These really captured the moment so well and so naturally! It is so awesome to look at them and just know…that was it! :) I love you so much. You are so amazing for hiding out so long! :)

  17. Tina reply

    Awww that’s SO GREAT that you were able to document that for your friend! Too cute, I teared up reading it. And yes, as soon as I saw the top picture I thought “holy hotness he looks like Orlando Bloom” :)

  18. Elise reply

    Oh my gosh!!!!!!! This is the cutest ever!!!!!!!!!! :)

  19. Catie reply

    Oh my gosh, I almost cried in the middle of the quiet room reading/seeing those pictures. They are one of the cutest couples ever! Congratulations! And KK fantastic job, those pictures really do show them as a couple, no doubt!

  20. Ken and Claudette McElroy reply

    Mandy and Josh, Congrats! You are two really teriffic young people we have loved having you in our lives amd look forward to many more years of memories as this College Saga continues for you all! Cant wait to see the ring up close at graduation! Wishing you all nothing but the best!

  21. Sindy reply

    I don’t even know them but I love these two. This is the cutest story everrr :)

  22. beverly reply

    brings tears to my eyes! i can hear mandy in each of these pictures squealing and laughing. i love it. so much. praise the Lord!!!

  23. Brenda reply

    ohhhhhhh KK, these are beautiful. You could be undercover detective!!!! I wish I could have been there to watch you hiding and crying and trying not to be seen or heard! I’m sure the squealing was really loud when Mandy realized you were there and you could finally express your excitement. Congratulations Mandy and Josh!!!!!!!! You two are soooooo cute together.

  24. Lexi reply

    holy guacamole. this is the best post ever!!! oh my stinking goodness…how COOL and CUTE is that??? These shots you took are priceless and so awesome that you were able to capture it!! love it all Katelyn!!

  25. Jill Samter Photography reply

    Katelyn, Lexi just came running, “Mom you have to go read Katelyn’s blog.” As you know we both adore you. Well, anyway, I cried through most of this post. The joy that you captured is totally priceless. Your love for them shines through in every shot. Not sure how you kept it together. I would have been bawling watching my best friend get engaged. Girl you are GOOD! We can’t wait to meet you. We will be in VA forever next week! Email some dates that work for us to hang with you ;-D Big hugs Katelyn! You rocked these!!!! Congrats to your friends – they are PRECIOUS!

  26. Kristina N. reply

    THIS. IS. SO. AMAZING. Congratulations to Mandy and Josh!

  27. Jenelle Sewell reply

    This is so sweet! Gave me butterflies!

  28. katie yuen reply

    that was so precious!!!!!!! i’m so so excited for the two of them and i don’t even know them!

  29. Lawrence reply

    These are beautiful pictures, but look at the models!! I hope that you will both be able to look back on these photos with joy when you celebrate your 75th wedding anniversary. All best wishes . . . .

  30. Emy reply

    YAYAYAYAYAAY!!!!! So exciting! Josh and Mandy are adorable. And that ring… oh my word, its fabulous! love it!!

  31. Kimber Wassenberg reply

    I love the vertical, silhouetted photo and the fact that they didn’t kiss until they were engaged! Wonderful!

  32. Nancy Mitchell reply

    Aww…..this is too sweet! You did an excellent job! Congrats to Josh and Mandy!

  33. Christine Bradshaw reply

    I have watched these 2 grow up together! I feel like I have met you too, as you were sweet enough to post awesome pictures of my daughter, Lauren’s fun headband creation that she lovingly made for you! These are great pics of Josh and Mandy!

  34. Heather reply

    Oh my goodness! I LOVELOVELOVE THIS!

  35. Sharon M Pollard reply

    I don’t know you, Katelyn, but I do know Mandy and Josh and you captured them perfectly. Each photo speaks for itself — great shots!! And congratulations again, Mandy and Josh — we’re so happy for both of you. God bless.

  36. Sara reply

    OH MY LORD THESE ARE SO INCREDIBLE! So happy for you both!! And GOOD JOB, Josh!!

  37. Abby Grace Photography reply

    This is one of the sweetest blog posts I’ve ever read. Seriously- I’m sitting in my office and had to close the door because I’m tearing up, lol. What an adorable couple, and what an incredible story! Seven years- WOW! Congratulations, Josh and Mandy! What a perfect story and a gorgeous start to a new chapter of life.
    BTW- flipping AMAZING ring! I’m drooling over it!

  38. Kristin Allen reply

    I LOVE THESE!! I dear of doing a session like this one day, like you I will probably scream in excitement too! :) These are absolutely beautiful! Love them!

  39. Kelley Finnegan reply

    That ring is BEAUTIFUL!! I love these photos because they are so unscripted and real!

  40. britney reply

    lil mandys getting married!!!! josh – fabulous ring choice sir! CANT WAIT :)

  41. You remember | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Katelyn James Photography reply

    […] lot easier that secretly shooting a proposal! If you haven’t seen that post, you can read it HERE and you should, because it will give you a little background on this amazing couple. I was […]

  42. You remember | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Katelyn James Photography reply

    […] lot easier that secretly shooting a proposal! If you haven’t seen that post, you can read it HERE and you should, because it will give you a little background on this amazing couple. I was […]

  43. Vintage Farm Engagement Session from Katelyn James Photography | Heart Love Weddings reply

    […] by a patio table… to capture the proposal and soon-to-be sweetest first kiss. (I swooned. Katelyn had to contain her squeals, which you can read more about […]

  44. Rici reply

    That is such an amazing engagement story!! I looved reading about your part of it aswell! LOVEly!!

  45. Cindy Rocamontes reply

    As your mom, Mandy, I am so grateful to have you in my life. I’m glad to be gaining such an unselfish, kind person as Josh for a son. May your MWE (Marital Work Ethic) stay strong as you commit to life together until you are vapors & in Heaven! Loving forever is a choice!

  46. Every since | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Katelyn James Photography reply

    […] for this day since I got the call from Josh that he was going to propose and he wanted me to hide out and photograph it! I knew this wedding was going to be one of my […]

  47. Cate Waters reply

    I love the kiss picture BECAUSE who really ever has a full blown, amazing picture of their first kiss? I can FEEL the sincerity and honesty in that kiss and they can blow it up to 16×20 and enjoy that for the rest of their lives. What an amazing moment!

  48. Here’s | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Katelyn James Photography reply

    […] surprised! You see, I photographed their wedding AND their engagement session… ANNND  their proposal! …… So they are used to my obsessive need to take a ton of portraits. I am very […]

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