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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Dorosh

Melon Park Pittsburgh Engagement Photography | Austin + Lauren


Austin and Lauren officially tie the knot next summer in Austin’s hometown of Alexandria Bay, NY and we could not be more excited to document this once in a lifetime love story. These two compliment one another perfectly, and it is easy to see why in these photos from their Melon Park engagement session. They share movie star good looks, the kindest of hearts and the best sense of humor. Their ability to have a great time is beautifully matched with an intimate depth that was evident as the quietly shared the qualities about the other that make them so certain they want to spend the rest of their lives together. Just take note of the way Austin gazes at his soon to be bride, and I promise, your heart will melt. They even shared their champagne with me (my favorite drink!) at the end of their shoot as they shared the following story:

Lauren and Austin got connected back in undergrad while they were both attending Penn State. Every year since graduation, Lauren and her college friends have a reunion in State College. This annual time together has become very special since they now live scattered all over the country. When making plans for her weekend trip from NY to State College, Lauren made sure to communicate the importance of this time with her friends to Austin - noting he was welcome to come along, but that she would be pretty busy the whole weekend and they likely wouldn't see much of one another.

He not only decided to come, but informed Lauren that his entire family and her siblings were all going to come for the weekend as well. To an outsider, this might seem like a red flag, but Lauren was not at all suspicious that there could be a proposal. Austin is the ultimate lover of life and people. He is incredibly inclusive and loves to bring people together. On top of that, weeks prior, they had gone to look at rings together. Then the week before the Penn State trip, he mentioned that he "didn't really remember what she had liked" and felt strongly that they should make plans to go look again (a great tip that was his mom’s idea to help throw Lauren off). So… they went to look at the same rings for a second time. Any suspicions she possibly had were dismissed as she knew there could not be a proposal any time soon.

Once at Penn State, he reached out to her and asked her to go on a hike with him at 7am on Saturday morning. She declined. Then he asked if she would at least come to a brunch his family was having. She again declined as she had plans with her girlfriends (as she had informed him she ahead of time). She noted she would meet up with him at the tailgate later that day. The problem with that was a friend of theirs who knew about the proposal plan had bought a snap chat filter that said "Lauren said yes!" that started at noon, so Austin knew that the tailgate could not be the first time he saw her that weekend. (He also flew in her best childhood friends and several others to surprise her and he wanted to be sure she got as much time with them as possible!).

He pow wowed the eve of the proposal in the house his family had rented racking his brain for how to get her to agree to plans in the morning. Finally, his mom brought up that they could say the brunch was in honor of his sister getting engaged (she was in a serious relationship, so it was believable.)

He called Lauren and said that he didn't want to spill the beans but the real reason his family was in town was for his sister’s proposal. Lauren felt terrible for declining earlier and easily agreed to meet up with him to celebrate his sister. She showed up decked out in Penn State gear. Austin was sure to mention they would have some family photos done so she may want to change (smart guy ;)

In her new attire, they drove together up to the Mount Nittany Overlook where it turns out all of their siblings were already waiting. Lauren found that odd, and all the pieces began to click. Just as the realization of what was happening hit her, Austin got down on one on knee and proposed right there, in the place that meant so much to the two of them, surrounded by their people.

They then left for the tailgate to celebrate. Lauren, never more surprised in her life, got to see her family and best friends (from both PSU and childhood) and remarks it was truly the best weekend of all time and that the proposal could not have been more perfect.

When learning their story, I asked them if Penn State had won that game the day of the proposal. You'll never guess which game he proposed before! The PSU vs OSU upset! He notes the toughest part of the entire proposal was getting Urban Meyer to throw the game! ;)

couple walking holding hands completely in love; man gazing at fiancee adoringly
couple laughing and having fun and being playful during golden hour engagement photo shoot
romantic happy couple hugging during
couple having a blast and popping champagne together

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