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    A Charming Charlotte Engagement Session with Sarah + Brian

    They’re baaaaack….. Remember these guys from winter? Well I spent several days in Charlotte, North Carolina with Sarah + Brian and we did their final engagement session. If you don’t know, Sarah + Brian’s relationship started here in Appleton, Wisconsin but grew shortly after when Sarah transferred for work to Charlotte, North Carolina. Not long after, Brian joined her in Charlotte, he sold his house and moved on down and that is where their relationship took off. So naturally we knew that part of the story needed to be told in Charlotte.

    I got to Charlotte Friday night and was greeted with open arms. Brian had made homemade pizza and beer, they made me feel so welcome! They also had some Wisconsin girls visiting so I felt right at home with all the Midwesterners. They were super sweet and let me stay at their home with them downtown while I was in Charlotte. Their condo has an incredible view of city, I loved falling asleep at night to the sounds of the city below and the cool breeze blowing in through the window.

    I almost wish I would have come in on Thursday because apparently a lot of cool things happen on Fridays in Charlotte like Food Truck Friday  on the South End, Uptown fireworks at the Knights Stadium (which I saw a smidgen of), live music and much more. Oh well, next time! I definitely want to make another trip down but stay longer, Savannah is only four hours away and I’m told Charleston is a must see too! Oh and I have this odd obsession, I want to see/feel real cotton from a cotton field. lol But apparently they don’t bloom until fall. I told Sarah & Brian that we should do an anniversary shoot next year! I’d of course do their session in what? ha ha In a cotton field yup that’s right.

    Sarah + Brian, oh and Simon (their cat) were so hospitable my whole visit, Sarah had put together a bowl of all of the necessary amenities (shampoos, toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, band-aids, etc) and Brian cooked several delicious meals for me, way better than any hotel!  I think these two need to open up their own B&B. They are the best hosts ever! On Sunday they invited me along to Brian’s brother-in-law’s home where they eat dinner every Sunday, I had the best fried chicken in my life! Watch out KFC, Wendy’s chicken’s coming for ya! Everyone was warm and friendly, must be that Southern charm :). I knew I should have been southern! I look forward to seeing them all again at the wedding this fall, I hope Wendy brings fried chicken! lol

    We ended up doing their Charlotte engagement shoot on Saturday afternoon where they showed me around and we went to some of their favorite places in Charlotte. We made sure to nourish our bodies first with a picnic at Freedom Park, one of their favorites. It was packed with kids and parents playing ball, it was so beautiful that day sunny and 80’s, are you sure you guys wanna move back. lol Brian and Sarah love to go biking so we swung by The Bike Gallery in Charlotte. I noticed it nearby and it was a perfect way to put a little of their interest in the engagement session. Then we went to their favorite ice-cream shop  Carolina Cones where we each indulged a little of their wonderful ice-cream. I got key-lime and it had graham crackers in it, oh my… good thing Sarah and I went running while I was there!

    After a fun afternoon of shooting we met up with the Wisconsin girls to go to Mac’s Speed Shop and have some of the most delicious BBQ I’ve ever had and listen to live music. It was one of the most memorable nights in Charlotte for sure, it incorporated some of my favorite things, good food, good people, live music and warm southern air. I can’t wait to bring my hubby back with me to do it again.

    On Monday I was pretty much on my own, Sarah + Brian were at work so I went and visited the Levine Museum of the New South and guess what lol I got to feel real cotton lol. Ok not the same as a field but it was better than nothing. I learned about the history of Charlotte, from the days of cotton farming to the Civil Rights movement, I am fascinated with the South and its history. And of course getting to see the images through out Charlotte’s history was also right up my alley. After educating my brain I went over to NODA for some shopping and lunch. I went to Cabo Fish Tacos for some awesome fish tacos and Natty Greens Buckshot Amber beer made in Greensboro NC, which I loved!

    Then I went looking for some local art, every time I travel I try and find some artwork from local artists for my travel wall. Unfortunately a lot of shops were closed on Monday but I did meet a gentleman named Osiris who made a few phone calls and set me up with local painter David French. I got to go on over to David’s house and pick out paintings right from his studio. I was pumped! He had a really cool painting of Mac’s Speed Shop so I got that one for the travel wall. The other I picked out and surprised Sarah +Brian as a thank you gift. It was really nice of them to let me stay at their house while I was in Charlotte so I wanted to get them a little something :).

    All and all I had such a fun time with Sarah + Brian, I got to know them a lot  better over the four days I spent in Charlotte. It’s one of those special bonuses that comes with my job, not only do I get to tell their awesome love story but I have gotten some wonderful friends out of it too. Now we’re snapchat’n on the daily (so I don’t go through withdrawals lol) and I can’t wait to see them again at their wedding this fall. Thank you both for sharing your home, your lives and the charming city of Charlotte, NC that you currently call home. Oh and thank you Simon for letting me stay at your place, we all know who really rules the house :). xo- laurie marie

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