St. James Farm Engagement Session: Emily + Mike

Emily + Mike both grew up in Wheaton, IL and met through mutual high school friends about three years ago. What I love most about this couple's story is the way in which Mike has fully embraced Emily's 6-year-old daughter, Ava, as his own. It is very reminiscent of me and my stepdad. Being with them during their engagement session made me think back to the memories that I have from when my stepdad first came into my life. I thought back on how he taught me how to ride a bike, that time he surprised my brother and I with a puppy, how he would always pick me up off the floor when I'd fall out of the bed in the middle of the night, and how he always surprised me with candy and a teddy bear on Valentine's Day.

Mike is the same way with Ava. He is protective of her, playful with her and sets a great example for her of how a man should treat a woman in how he loves and cherishes Emily. When he proposed to Emily this past August at St. James Farm, he even gave Ava a mini-ring too, so that she would be included in this journey that they are on to becoming a family. Mike recalls the moment he proposed to Emily & Ava:

I remember the entire world disappearing. I'm typically a very in-tune person with all of my surroundings, the people, weather, nature, etc. But for that moment, it all vanished. I was only focused on Emily and Ava. Both of their reactions, body language and excitement.

One day Mike helped me put Ava to bed and we were just snuggled up with her. Everything about that moment felt so right and I knew he was the one. I had never introduced Ava to anyone else like that before. I love the way he treats Ava and I. I know that Mike is the type of man that I hope my daughter dates one day. Respectful, funny, hard working, passionate…I could go on and on! ~Emily

I would without a doubt have her mental strength. Its actually one of those things that amazes me every time I think deeply about it. I replay memories in my mind of times when I haven't been sure about things and have been given confidence from her. She's strong and I wish I had the ability like her to be 100% with decisions I've made and the ones that are yet to come. ~Mike

Emily, Mike and Ava are so excited to "officially" become a family next July at Fishermen's Inn and I am honored to be along for the journey.

If you enjoyed reading about this lovely couple, why not tell them so?! Spread the love by leaving well wishes and congratulations in the comments section below. They'll enjoy reading your messages in the years to come! xoxo