Can we please just start with saying that these two are THE reason we do our job...?! Let's start from the beginning so you can understand why I'd say that.
Alyssa messaged from California a couple months ago asking if we'd be available at the end of the second week of September for a Notre Dame Engagement Session in Indiana. We'd been planning on going camping for a few days for Jenny's birthday that week, but promised that we'd be back in time to photograph their special Session. We gave her some awesome fun places to check out and things to do for their first time at Notre Dame and got excited. We love when people fly from out of state for a session at Notre Dame!
Then we found out that Alyssa was planning the whole thing as a surprise to Geoff since he loves Notre Dame so much-!! Our hearts almost exploded. We didn't know to what extent it was a surprise and assumed that they had tickets to an ND football game and she was surprising him with an Engagement Session. We planned a day & time and continued to chat a bit. Then we finally hit September and we found out that he knew that they were having an engagement session, but assumed they'd be in California... that he had no idea they were coming to an ND game-!
When Alyssa went to reveal the surprise she revealed ND jerseys, a football... and then the Notre Dame tickets. Geoff may or may not have cried. In all our years of photographing couples, this has turned out to be one of the sweetest things one individual has done for another. It's one thing to pay for something, but it's a whole other thing to go to this extent to surprise your loved one with something they didn't even think was in their realm of happy possibilities. Alyssa was a hugely humble giver and Geoff was the most thankful, humble recipient. It was such a beautiful, touching thing to be involved in. **More on this in a bit. Back to the story.
Alyssa & Geoff arrived in Chicago on Thursday and came up to Indiana late that night. We met them early the next morning at sunrise (which is 3 hours earlier in CA where they came from!) for their session. We met near the Notre Dame bookstore and told them that due to intense fog, we'd have to change around the schedule and maybe go over our time a bit (at no cost to them) to wait until we could even see the Golden Dome & other buildings.
In the midst of photographing Alyssa revealed that a lot of Geoff's tattoos were Notre Dame themed-!! He has a fighting irish symbol, Irish written out in yellow & green, and a blue ND symbol on the right side of his next (check for it in some of the photos-!). This takes the cake for biggest Notre Dame fan-! (When bringing up Notre Dame playing in Ireland a few years ago Geoff said that he even woke up at 2 a.m. in CA to watch the game-! That's dedication right there.)
After the session we leant them some folding chairs & a cooler for the game, gave them some food and other advice, and went on our way since they had more fun things planned for their day. They got to go tour the locker rooms, come out of the tunnel onto the ND football field, and more! Unfortunately we weren't able to make it to tailgate with them due to work, but they had a blast both tailgating and at the game. (A HUGE shout out to Cassie who suggested Alyssa link up with us!!)
Geoff & Alyssa's love really serves as inspiration to us all. It's genuine, it's giving, it's kind, and it's significant. Everyone should strive to do selfless acts of love and make someone this happy. Likewise, we should all graciously receive gifts with the amount of humility and thankfulness that Geoff displayed. It was truly a gift for us to get to see how much they love each other and partake in this amazing surprise-! May we all be lucky enough to have such genuine love in our lives.
We really loved hanging out with you two and really hope that we can lend you a room & bed if you're able to make it back to ND anytime-! We're so glad that you had an amazing whirlwind of a time at Notre Dame and we know that your wedding will be absolutely wonderful. Congratulations again, you two-!!