Downtown Huntsville Engagement Session | Huntsville, Alabama
Before I get to Mackenzie and Joshua’s engagement session I HAVE to tell you about their epic proposal. But first…a little background information.
Mackenzie’s parents are resident missionaries who help run an orphanage in Kenya that serves 98 precious children. Mackenzie grew up in the Huntsville area (she is actually good friends with a couple of previous London Lane brides) but her parents joined the African mission field when she was in college. For the past three years, Kenya has become her second home.
Once the couple started talking marriage, Mackenzie wanted Joshua to visit her and her family in Kenya. She understandably wanted her future spouse to feel the same passion and sentiment towards the land and people that had become so dear to her heart. Joshua took the long flight half way around the world with something very special in his luggage: a ring. And this wasn’t just any ring he picked out at a jewelry store. This ring had sentimental value that would later cause Mackenzie’s eyes to flood with happy tears. You see, Mackenzie always loved her mother’s marquee-shaped diamond ring. To her, it was the epitome of an engagement ring and she dropped hints to Joshua that she wanted the same cut. Joshua, however, took it a step further. He and Mackenzie’s mother, Devry, secretly collaborated and built a ring using Devry’s diamond – the same one that Mackenzie has admired her whole life. And Joshua, being the gentleman that he is, bought a new diamond for his future mother-in-law.
Now on to the magical proposal…after volunteering for a week with the Kenyan medical missionary team, Joshua worked out his proposal plan with the help of Mackenzie’s dad. He arranged a “night safari” in the Maasai Mara, a wildlife sanctuary in south-western Kenya. It is named for the Maasai tribe, the ancestral inhabitants of the area who have very rich traditions. During the “night safari” their guide handed Mackenzie a spotlight and gave her “tips” on finding animals. All of a sudden the jeep came to a stop and her spotlight fell on members of the Maasai tribe who were wearing their traditional red coats. They emerged from the bush and began one of their tribal dances around the couple. It actually was a traditional Maasai wedding dance so Mackenzie and Joshua are technically married in Kenya 😉
Joshua led Mackenzie to the middle of the Savannah where a large tent, lit by a beautiful chandelier, was waiting for them. Before a 5 course dinner, Joshua got on a knee and proposed to Mackenzie with her mother’s diamond. After she said yes, the Maasai people offered their shouts and humming as a way to show their excitement and blessing. Mackenzie’s parents later joined the newly engaged couple for the remainder of the meal.
Now how’s that for a proposal story?!?! Mackenzie shared some of her photos from her Kenyan life as well as from the night of the proposal so be sure to check those out at the end of this post!
Now on to their engagement session…Mackenzie wanted the backdrop for her engagement photos to be the city where she grew up. We strolled around downtown Huntsville, particularly Big Spring Park, and all got to know each other a little better while taking some beautiful photos. Devry was actually in the States during this time so she and Mackenzie’s younger sister were able to tag along with us. I know that it meant a lot to Mackenzie to have her mother be present for this important part of the wedding process.
Here are some snapshots that Mackenzie shared with me of her African life.
And these were taken right after their romantic African proposal – so sweet!