You're in for a real treat with today's post. Not only are we sharing Shannon and Kyle's engagement photos, but we are also sharing their super sweet proposal! After seven years of being together, Kyle popped the question to Shannon, surprising her in the cutest way! Edgar Evan was there to capture the moment and spoiler alert ... she said yes! As if their proposal photos weren't sweet enough, Becca of Cannon Weddings took the couples engagement photos and my oh my are they gorgeous! This feature is double the sweetness and double the love! Keep scrolling to see their wonderful photos and learn more about their wedding planning!
How did you get engaged? Tell us about your proposal.
Shannon: We woke up on Saturday morning and usually, Kyle would be working on the road that day - so we wanted to take advantage of him being home (he was touring with some Warner Music Country artists at the time)! We had a date day planned. We went to downtown Franklin for breakfast at Pucketts. (Side note: Kyle was so stressed about his new haircut looking good and I was really confused because he's never that "high maintenance" - obviously, I found out why later...) We stopped at the Farmer's Market outside of the Factory in Franklin and Kyle said he was looking for something specific. After walking around for a bit, I saw a table of beautiful flower arrangements. After we bought it I remember saying how they were exactly what I wanted my wedding flowers to look like (still having no idea he was about to propose in about 30 minutes HAHA).
When we were walking back to the car, I asked what we originally went to the farmer's market for - Kyle said it was the flowers all along. We started driving again-back towards our house in Bellevue this time. He said the guys on the road always talk about this place called Natchez Trace Parkway and he wanted to check it out. After all kinds of turns, we ended up in this parking lot by some beautiful trails and a huge bridge. Kyle asked if I wanted to take a walk and I wanted to laugh because I thought for sure people biking and jogging by would make fun of the girl in the maxi dress walking down the trail, but honestly, I'd follow him anywhere. When we got to the middle of the bridge it seemed like the world unfolded before us and I turned around to see Kyle on one knee. It was so romantic and so perfectly "us". I looked up as Kyle was talking to me from one knee to see a photographer coming out of the woods and capturing the whole thing (it was Edgar Evan who is Brett Eldredge's road photographer and a good friend of Kyle's). After I said "YESSSS OH MY GOSH OF COURSE" (close to exact) we walked back to an area where Kyle had everything to set up a picnic from a blanket that matched the colors of our bedroom (he knows how OCD I am about bringing things home that don't match) to wine and snacks, to our song playing on a bluetooth speaker. It was everything I could have dreamed of with the man of my dreams.
How many guests are you expecting?
What is your approach to your wedding budget?
Shannon: Budget is EVERYTHING! We are sticking to it and coming in under it wherever we can. We are lucky enough to have both sets of parents helping us equally, but saving on our own is a big part of it as well. Being on a budget in Nashville can prove to be difficult because Nashville is suddenly becoming a huge destination for weddings, but we've got some big ways we stay on track. I've got a series on my blog, Livewell's Latest, called Well Worth the Wait (Wedding Planning), (it's called that because it's our wedding hashtag, Shannon Livewell & Kyle Woodworth... get it? ha!) but in my first post of the series I give a lot of helpful tips on budget that have been key to us staying on track. First and foremost, we talked to both sides of the family and came to an agreement on what they could each give towards the budget. We then realistically thought through what we could each contribute each month to a joint account. That total number became our budget. We also opened a checking account together that is ONLY for wedding expenses. In that, we have the money from our parents and each of our contributions directly depositing each month. Instead of having to worry about updating a spreadsheet, this has become our running expense report and it's worked out great for us! Lastly, non-inclusive is a LIE. People say you'll save money by choosing venues and vendors separately, but when you start adding up those costs for everything from napkin rentals to trash pick-up, you're well on your way to breaking the budget before you even set it. We found all-inclusive, or at least, mostly-inclusive was the best bet for us!
Who have you hired for your wedding team so far?
Shannon: Our wedding is six months out and I don't think there's a vendor we don't have at this point! We really wanted to get ahead of the game on the planning process as much as possible.
What's your wedding style?
Shannon: I like to call it "elegantly rustic" - there are a lot of natural elements we're embracing at our venue (Front Porch Farms), but we like the idea of having additions you wouldn't normally see outside (like chandeliers or soft arm chairs) mixed into the decor. It was big for us to have as many personal touches to our decor as possible; lots of pictures, signs, etc. that represent us and don't have that "generic" feel to them. We want people to walk around our wedding and feel like they're taking a stroll through our past seven years together (we're getting married the day after our seven year anniversary!)
What's your most fun purchase/hire to date?
Shannon: So far, we've had the most fun designing our invites! We are working with the super talented Abbey Lanigan of Clover Paper Co. and she has made the process so stress-free and personal. I would hands-down recommend her for ANY of your paper/sign needs. I don't want to share too many details because we haven't sent our invites out yet and want them to be a surprise, but it has been hands-down the best and most efficient process (she's also super organized and Type A just like me, so we instantly became friends working together).
What aspect of being engaged has surprised you the most?
Shannon: This is a tough question. Honestly, nothing about one another has surprised us because we've been together so long! I think one thing that's been surprising in a good way are the people who are really showing up for us in this season of life and helping us from every turn with the process. I think I'm also surprised the true friendships and connections we're making through the planning process. We've chosen so many of our vendors based on how well we mesh with all of them and now we could have a backyard barbecue with them all and it would seem like a big family reunion.
What have you most enjoyed about being engaged?
Shannon: Calling myself a FEYONCÉ (ya know, like Beyoncé but better... haha!) But honestly, just all of the fun things we get to do together throughout the wedding planning process. Having cake tastings and meetings with our officiant to talk about our relationship, it's all really fun and a really get chance to reminisce and look back on our relationship while planning ahead. It's just the best balance!
Tell us about your engagement session. Where did it take place?
Shannon: We did our engagement session with Cannon Wedding Photography & Videography (another one of our vendors who are just the BEST) at Radnor Lake State Park in October. It was perfect weather and really captured that Fall feel with the dusk lighting we were hoping for.
What's the significance of the location?
Shannon: We were wanting a place that had a lot of different scenes, that felt very Fall, outdoorsy, and allowed us to have some great looks at sunset. Also a place we could go back to in the future!
What was it like working with your photographer?
Shannon: Becca Cannon is AMAZING. She made the entire session so much fun. It felt like we were on a fun date-day and had someone there capturing it all. She told us what to do just enough so it never felt awkward, but also let us have our own little moments just talking or dancing and captured our personalities and relationship dynamic perfectly throughout it all. Her turn-around time is also amazingly fast, so there's that instant gratification I feel like you don't get with a lot of photographers.
What did you like most about the session?
Shannon: I loved spending the time with Kyle and being our truest selves. It was amazing knowing that these pictures were going to be used on our save the dates... for our wedding... our REAL wedding... like after years of Pinterest boards and screenshotting cute blogger posts on Instagram it was actually happening. It was really the moment where it was like "okay, let the wedding planning begin!"
Would you recommend the photographer and why?
Shannon: Hands down I would recommend Becca to any and everyone who asks! She works with you every step of the way, values your input, is always there to answer questions, reasonably priced and has the best turnaround time.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with NBG readers?
Shannon: A lot of people say that wedding planning can be stressful and that's true... it's a time in your life where you're orchestrating a big party for basically everyone you've ever met while trying to keep it intimate and remember what it's all about in the first place; your love for one another. Because we've been together for so long, Kyle and I had talked about our wedding a lot so it really helped to be on the same page with things as we started planning. I have loved every second of the process because it's about celebrating us and our story! I'm not going to lie, it definitely gets stressful at times, but that's when I sit back and think about all of the amazing things and the stress just disappears. We refuse to let other people or things dictate our wedding planning process because we only do it once. Another thing that's really helped is coming up with game plans and doing our research - in another blog post of our wedding planning series, I go through some amazing mid-planning tips & tricks like sending "roster cards" in bridal party proposals, saving for splurges, eating with your eyes, early seating charts, etc. All of these things help so that's there no last minute surprises because there's nothing more stressful than someone springing something on you that you haven't even thought about it. At the end of the day, it's been key for us to just remember this is OUR wedding, OUR day and we can make it everything we've ever wanted it to be!