These winter beach engagement photos may look cozy, but let me tell you what!
Temperatures were in the low 30s, and with the wind coming off the water… whew!
It was pretty chilly!
Virginia and Corey didn’t let that stop them, and we all had a blast playing on the beach (especially their pup Keeper!).

Get to know more about them and their epic love story in today’s blog!


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Winter Beach Engagement Photos



How did you two meet?


I worked as a ‘parts slinger’ through college (at Advance Auto Parts), and did mechanic work on the side. I was changing a tire for a friend in a parking lot of a campus-central dorm and Corey was walking a girl home from class. He said goodbye to the girl, noticed me on the ground working, a circle of dudes just watching, and asked if I needed help. I politely turned him down and smiled, not making mention of how attracted to him I was right off the bat. He said he’d be right back and walked away. Right as I finished the tire change, he came running back, scissor jack I hand. I smiled again (I couldn’t help it) and offered him my number, ‘in case I need help again’. He turned and started walking away. I quietly mentioned to the group of guy-friends that I thought he was pretty cute and one shouted “Hey Corey, she thinks you’re cute, man!” to which he ‘woo-hoo’ed and leapt in the air. 

The very next day, I kid you not, my battery died. I had parked in a fire lane to run in and turn in a paper, bad idea. It was too coincidental. I called Corey who showed up out of nowhere. It turned out he knew nothing about cars, which was incredibly endearing. We spent the afternoon fixing my truck. That turned into skipping class, renting movies (Top Gun), and drinking beer (Landshark) in my dorm. We’ve been inseparable ever since.


What did you do on your first date?

Corey picked me up in his bright blue 1998 Chevy Cavalier which, (and this is strange for me) I didn’t tease him for. He was and is the only person I’ve dated without 4WD, but that didn’t occur to me until weeks after he picked me up for our first date. I guess I was so excited I just didn’t notice.

I remember not liking what I wore, we both remember exactly what it was. I didn’t realize until we got to the mall that I had a much better outfit I should have worn; once again-too excited.

We bought tickets for a movie, Lord only knows what it was (something spooky, Sinister, maybe?), and as we were walking into the theatre a group of his friends walked by. We exchanged niceties and then he invited them to sit with us…yes, we were joined on our first date by Corey’s bro-friends. And so it began! A life of
spontaneity and serendipity.


What are some of your favorite things to do together?

We’re both at our best outdoors: we’re backpackers, mountain bikers, runners, explorers of uncharted woods. We canoe and kayak, paddle board and beach comb. My favorite of all is what we call ‘creeking’ or climbing around stream beds and hunting for crawdads, salamanders, fish, etc. Our trusty sidekick Keeper is almost always in tow, worth mentioning-the one time he jumped right out of the canoe.

When we’re trapped in the city, we like working on our home together, cleaning and rearranging, painting, building shelves, etc. As mentioned, we’re both mechanics so our Jeeps get a lot of attention. We both have motorcycle licenses (that’s a fairly new hobby). Admittedly, we rent and watch a lot of movies together, we make supper and breakfast for one another. We just live life to the fullest together and love every second of it.


When did you know he was the one?

It’s hard to put a finger on it but there were a few things.

–We went to my dad’s house in NC for spring break before we were officially together and he never even suggested sharing a room, let alone a bed. He happily slept in the guest room, tucked me in every night, woke me up sweetly every morning, did whatever I wanted every day, met everyone in my family as ‘my friend
Corey’. We painted my aunt’s house and fed each other pretzel M&Ms, I remember that so clearly. (there’ll definitely be pretzel M&Ms at the wedding). He was just my very best friend from day one, even when we were on vacation together and alone.

He used to wait for me outside of class, he drew me a different picture every time in this little sketchbook,
roses, clocks, portraits of me. We still have that thing and we always will.


We took a ski trip together early in our relationship. He was so excited to get up the mountain but we drove by a stream I just had to explore. He pulled over and followed me down to the creek. He stayed right behind me as I clambered around exploring. We found treasures for each other; unique river rocks, frozen leaves. He was just so patient and so happy doing anything with me.

More recently, I moved out of town to work as an Environmental Educator for a residential program with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He supported me from day one, “if this is something you need to do then we’ll work it out”. And surely enough, after a year and a half of long-distance struggles, we’re as happy and healthy as ever.

He’s the one, I’ve never been more certain of anything.

Corey: “I knew you were the one when you embraced all of my hobbies just to be with me. I knew after you
decided to stay with me time and time again with no heat through the dead of winter that we would be together
through thick and thin. I knew that this girl loves Top Gun just as much as me and that there is all the sign I
needed. I knew that you knew your way around a Jeep and you taught me more than anyone has about theat.
And I knew you were here to stay when I offered you a way out and you chose to stay, even though I lived in a
broken-down slum and drove a Cavalier.

(some back story: when we met, Corey was crashing in a room in a big, ancient, poorly kept house in Park Place with like 6 roommates, all students at ODU. There was a deposit required to have the heat turned on and no one wanted to foot the bill so they just went without heat for an entire year-that happened to be the winter and spring I pseudo-moved in with him. It was so, so cold-showering was awful. The shampoo froze! Anyway, for Valentine’s that year, before we were officially an item, Corey bought me a non refundable plane ticket to go to Maine and try to mend things with my ex. That guy was no good but we were fresh out of our relationship and ‘trying to make things work’ -I was so effing foolish-. Corey was always there for me, even though I made it very clear that I wanted to figure things out by myself before jumping into a new relationship. He was so patient.

A few days before the flight something snapped in me and I decided enough was enough. I told the ex that I was done and stayed in Norfolk with Corey. He didn’t get refunded but he got me forever so…that’s pretty cool too.

Small side story: Around that time, Corey gave me a massive hickey. I found out my ex was going to be in town that afternoon -he had serious anger management issues, even though we weren’t together any more – and Corey took me to the drug store to buy as much concealer and foundation and whatever else possible to
hide it. We googled the chapstick method, the spoon method, literally anything to get rid of it. I was messed up, Judith, let me tell you lol and all of the effort was for nothing. I didn’t know it but Corey hid behind a dumpster when the ex came over that night, just to be sure I was safe. He showed up in the stairwell the very minute the ex left in a fit of rage. He held me on the steps as I cried. I remember telling him he didn’t deserve to spend all this time consoling someone that wasn’t ready to devote herself to him yet. That night I so easily let go of how worked up and depressed the ex had gotten me…that should have been a sign. My heart was markedly happier and healthier with Corey. Woah, major side track, I’m sorry.)


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Tell Us Your Proposal Story.

Corey and I have been together a long time (6.5 years!). We’ve taken everything slow but I had started to wonder if and when he was going to pop the question. It always bothered me when people would pester him, or tell me I needed to do something about it; I wanted him to propose when he wanted to propose. I wanted it to be organic and right.

Anyway, we scheduled a New Year’s trip to my family’s condo at Wintergreen Ski Resort (a special place for Corey and me for a lot of reasons, i.e. the aforementioned ski trip). We hiked with them, considered skiing and thought better of it, and eventually (after some insistence from me), headed up the ski slope for New Year’s fireworks (they fire them from the bottom of the slope, so they’re big and bright and close from up top!). The slope was snowy, it was foggy and raining and not too cold-all my favorite weather-s. I remember tearing up just because I was so happy and peaceful to have him in that moment. (we were rocked by a few deaths of young men our age in Oct and Dec, ones that left widows and fatherless children…truly heartbreaking. It’ll make you thankful.)

I was holding him around the waist and noticed his heart beating quick. I thought ‘he’s only had a couple drinks, and the walk up here was anything but strenuous…my God…this is it…”. As the grand finale began, he let go of me, got down on one knee and looked up at me with perfect smiling eyes. He was so nervous, he skipped the whole ‘you’re my whole world, I can’t imagine life without you, blah blah blah’ and just said above the booming fireworks “Virginia, will you marry me?”. I wrapped my arms around his neck and whispered a teary “Of course I will”. He slipped my ring on (3 sizes too big at the time lol) and we turned to see the entirety of the ski resort shooting pictures and cheering. He picked me up and spun me around-I remember rain running down my smiling cheeks…it was one of the best moments of my life.



If you had to pick a word for your relationship, what would it be?

Corey taught me the definition of faith.




What are three dreams/goals for your marriage?

~ Stability: financial and marital.
We both have divorced parents and two of he four have been financially unstable for a long, long time.

~ Adventure: small and large
Our favorite thing is making memories. We’d be happy restoring an old house or traveling the world, as
long as we’re together.

~ Growth: Individually and with One Another
One of our strengths is communication, and communication is key to maintaining sincerity and allowing
growth. We both understand that to be happy together we each need to be happy with ourselves. We
support each others hobbies and passions and share them as much as possible.



Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day.

Corey: “uhh the cake?”
Virginia: “definitely the cake” (and spending the day celebrating the best thing that’s ever happened to us together!)




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