Contemporarily Chic Washington D.C. Engagement Session

Kristen and Tristin met on October 27, 2013, at Lima Lounge. Kristen had just parked her car and was checking her makeup in the mirror when all of a sudden the exact same car as her own pulled up next to her and abruptly stopped. She turned to the car to see what they wanted and it was Tristin looking for a parking space. She thought, “Oh, he’s cute.” He rolled down the window and said, “Hey are you leaving?” She shook her head and he drove off. However, she noticed that he was parking just a block in front of her. So Kristen told herself to take her time getting out the car so you could speak to him. As Tristin walked up, she got out and we started a conversation. She asked him his name and he said, “I’m Tristin, and You?” She replied, “You’re kidding, my name is Kristen!” They both laughed and found out they were headed to the same place and walked to the lounge together. They parted ways. and later found each other. 

So, they struck up a conversation again as they watched the Redskins game. At the conclusion of the game, Tristin asked me if he could walk Kristen to her car, to which she obliged. Instantly, she knew something was different about him, something that made him boyfriend material. He asked me for Kristen’s number and the rest has been what this couple describes as the most amazing journey. To celebrate their upcoming marriage, this rhyming match made in heaven explored the Larz Anderson House and City Center in Washington, D.C., as well as the Annapolis Historic District in Maryland for a memorable engagement session. Check out their stylish and contemporary milestone, captured by Fotos by Fola.

Bride’s full name, age and occupation: Kristen Mitchell, 33, IT Senior Consultant 

Groom’s full name, age and occupation: Tristin Ewell, 33, Senior Consultant 

Place of residence: Bowie, Maryland 

Engagement Shoot Location: Washington, D.C. and Annapolis, Maryland

Wedding date: May 18, 2019

Engagement story: 

After all this faking Tristin did, I just knew (or so I thought) this date night was just a regular occasion. I was getting ready and watching HGTV; coincidentally, The Property Brothers Honeymoon Show. I was almost ready when Tristin walked in the room abruptly and said, “I tore my shirt! It’s going to take me a little bit longer to get ready than I thought. Will you stay here until I come back to get you?” I was so engulfed in the show that I said, “Sure, fine,” and continued to watch the show. After some time had passed, I thought, “What’s taking him so long? Is he changing his whole outfit? Do I need to change my whole outfit?” That thought quickly subsided as the show got more interesting. Then all of a sudden, the TV sound cut out and the home sound system cut in. It was playing our song! 

My first thought was, “Dang I was in the middle of a good show!” But then Tristin walked in the room and said, “Ok, I’m ready to go now! The uber will be here in 2 minutes.” I rushed to grab my clutch and as I walked out of the room, I saw rose petals spread out as far as my eyes could see. As he led me down the stairs, the rose petals made a trail from the entry of the bedroom to a heart-shaped arrangement of tea-light candles in the den. With the picturesque scene before our Christmas tree, I was overcome with romance. Then Tristin said, “Will you dance with me?” He took my hand and we started to dance to our song. At that moment, he held me tight as we danced in a circle, laughed and relished in our love.

I still didn’t know he was going to propose. And then he said to me, “I want to ask you a question.” I said, “Ok.” Then he got down on one knee and said, “Kristen Ruth Mitchell, I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you be my wife?” I started crying. The ugly cry, y’all, it wasn’t cute! Then I said, “Yes!” To cap off the night, he took me to a nice restaurant to celebrate our engagement. 

For the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day.

The month leading up to my proposal was peppered with careful calculation. Since Kristen is analytical, I started changing up my pattern of our dates leading up to the proposal. Each time I adjusted my pattern, Kristen thought I would be proposing. This is what I expected and it worked as I planned. After the third time or so of doing this, I knew I would catch her off guard for the actual proposal. So, on Saturday, December 9, 2017, when we had another reserved dinner, Kristen thought it was just another typical date night. 

The day of, I tried to get her best friend to get her out of the house. Kristen wasn’t having any of that and decided she wanted to stay in the house and nap all day. Just my luck as I was trying to have the house free to set up things
. On to Plan B: I left the house to run some errands, including picking up rose petals, tea-light candles and the ring from the jewelry store (I wanted it to shine the bright from a fresh cleaning). Once I got back to the house, Kristen was gone. This was my chance to quickly get things together, so once she got back and started getting ready, I could quickly finish arranging the proposal ambiance. At some point during my getting dressed, somehow I ripped my shirt. I have no idea how I did this, but it worked to my advantage and gave me some more time once I let Kristen know I had to change. She was distracted watching HGTV, so I knew she was good. I proceeded to change shirts and get the tea-light candles set up in a heart shape in front of the Christmas tree, traced the heart with rose petals and had them lead to the stairs and up to the bedroom door. Once I was finally finished lighting all the candles (three lighters later, haha), it was game time. 

I interrupted our smart TV speaker to cut out the sound and started playing our song on the speaker, “Stars” by Kindred The Family Soul. I opened the bedroom door to let her know I was ready. She was confused and bewildered about why I interrupted her show just when it was getting good. She quickly got over it when she saw the rose petals at the door leading to the steps. I walked her down the steps to where I had the heart shape set up, then asked her to dance with me. I played the song over and in the middle of the second round of the song, I told her I wanted to ask her something. I got down on one knee and said, “Kristen Ruth Mitchell, I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you be my wife?” 

Overcome with emotion, she started crying, and then she said, “Yes!” This was the first time I had successfully surprised her, so I was happy that she was caught off guard and was excited. After she composed herself, she proceeded to ask, “Wait, are we not going to dinner?” I guess all that emotion worked up her appetite. We caught a cab and headed off to Downtown Washington, D.C. to have an amazing dinner celebration to cap off the night. 

What makes your love special? 

Our love is special because we choose each other daily. We are committed to each other despite the ups and downs and choose to make each other a priority. We really enjoy laughing with each other and experiencing life together through travel, food, and culture. With each other, life is worth living to its fullest extent. 

What was the theme of your shoot?

Look 1: Dressy casual by the water

Look 2: Casual and trendy his and her outfits

Look 3: Regal elegance 


Were there any memorable moments during the shoot?

During our casual look in City Center, D.C., we wanted to do some action shots and our photographer asked us if there was a song we wanted to dance to. He turned on some music for us and we started doing the shoot dance and were having a blast. This was a lot of fun and helped keep the energy high during the all-day-long photo shoot. 

What are you most looking forward to about your wedding? 

The reception. We also look forward to sharing quiet moments of reflection and soaking in the moment, vows, and our entrances. 

Have you started planning your wedding? 

Yes, our wedding planning is full speed ahead and we have a “war room” corner of the house where we have our weekly wedding planning check-ins, updates, and action item lists. 

Congratulations to the happy couple! We wish you a fruitful marriage and many years of wedded bliss.


Fotos by Fola|Birmingham Museum of Art|Valia Rose Events|Miguel Wilson Collection

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