Bethany never knew one of her high school sophomores would become the love of her life. How ironic is it that two people who grew up in a small town, graduated from a small high school, knew each other most of their teenage lives but never really hung out could find each other as adults and fall madly in love?

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Their story began in 2013… four years after Will had graduated high school. By this time, they were both college rivals graduates. They had a chance meeting at John T. Floore’s Dance Hall in Helotes, Texas—an hour drive from where they had seen each other last. Neither knew that this would be the beginning of their beginning.

They casually began talking to each other on and off. Bethany invited Will to Wurstfest in New Braunfels but he didn’t show up. Bethany’s version is that Will stood her up. Will adamantly denies this and has since made up with diamonds, but it took him until April or May of the next year to actually invite Bethany out for drinks. Not only did Will have to fight the five o’clock traffic for his first official date, unbeknownst to him, he also had two dates! Lauren, Bethany’s best friend and maid of honor, called just as she was heading out the door… so what’s a best friend to do? Hello. Come with.

For the rest of the summer, they dated and got to know each other (just the two) and on August 9th made it official as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Nearly three years later on April 22, 2017, Will planned an elaborate proposal with Lauren’s help. Lauren invited Bethany out to New Braunfels for a girls’ day out. When Bethany mentioned it to Will, he acted resistant to the idea—which was out of character. But that was part of the plan. If Bethany was in any way, shape or form expecting a proposal (and she kinda was), Will’s resistance threw her off. Bethany asked, “Why would he want me to not go if this was part of his engagement plan?”

Bethany arrived and the girls first went to get their nails done. After the salon, Lauren insisted on walking the dogs at Landa Park. It was cold, windy and generally unpleasant and Bethany was in a dress. She didn’t want to go. She had no desire to go walking the dog with fresh nails in a dress in damp, cold, windy, disagreeable weather. It took a lot of arm twisting, but Lauren finally got Bethany to agree to go “walk the dogs.”

As the three girls began walking through the park, Bethany noticed a dog toy laying on the ground that looked a lot like the pheasant dog toy that belonged to her Tillie. She picked it up while noting the same. There was a note attached to it that read, “Tillie, you helped me find Mama, now help Mama find me.”

Immediately on guard, her eyes wandered a little further up the path to a wooden sign covered in pictures and notes from all the years of dating that Will had saved. Bethany’s eyes followed the walkway to the gazebo by the river and there stood her Will. Bethany and Tillie began to stroll toward him. A private band was softly playing La Vie en Rose—one of their favorite songs. Everything was surreal and beautiful and romantic <record scratch> until Tillie took a poop—something they still find humor in to this day.

The gazebo was also decorated with flowers and pictures. Will took a knee and proposed. Bethany said YES!!!

It was almost everything that she had dreamed of. Will had arranged for all their parents to be there, which Bethany didn’t know until she turned around, and Lauren, Jentry, Jennifer, and Ricky. It was small enough to be private yet still share with their families and friends, but where was Maddie? Valerie? Bethany didn’t understand how Ricky made it to serenade them with music, but Valerie didn’t. She was sad and confused a bit, but it was masked by her abundance of happiness and excitement. Bethany tried to soak this all in as they smiled, laughed, took pictures and celebrated her engagement.

Then Lauren suggested they have a celebratory drink at the Grapevine Winery in Gruene. And in Bethany’s own words, “That is when I saw EVERYONE!!”

Not only did Will plan the most perfect engagement, he planned the most perfect engagement party. All of our closest friends and family were there and it was perfect! Our friends and family must really love us too because they were all waiting hours because Will had them get there early because he was not sure what time we would actually get there and of course I drug my feet on going to the park sooo that was pretty much my fault. We had a great time drinking wine and celebrating! We ended the evening eating dinner at my favorite restaurant in Gruene, The Gruene River Grill. I may be bias, but I think it was the best engagement EVER!”

And that, gentlemen, is how you plan a proposal. Great job, Rooster! (Rooster is Grandma Alice’s pet name for her granddaughters’ boyfriends.)

Bethany & Will’s McNay Museum Engagement Session (With Beer!!)

Will, Bethany and Tillie’s engagement session took place at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. This is the same location that Bethany’s mother, Tara, took her bridal portraits at.  

If you’d like to see all the images from this portrait session, please enjoy this video. For the best quality, be sure to change the video player settings to 1080 HD. {The beer in these photos was only a prop. No actual beer was consumed on the premises of the McNay. Well, except for a sip or two and the few gulps that Tillie took.}

The post, Bethany & Will’s McNay Museum Engagement Session (With Beer!!), first appeared on Ata-Girl Photography Co.’s website and blog. Please feel free to comment here, or share this post with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please email me if you have any questions about this article or want to share a neat idea for a future blog post with me.