Our Story - The Proposal by Ally Willix


Before you start reading about our proposal I wanted to mention that these photos are not from our actual proposal! We modeled for a proposal shoot for Cottage Hill magazine while we were engaged and absolutely love these photos so I had to share them since they fit so well :) Our proposal story can also be found in their Captivating Issue. There are a few iPhone photos from our actual proposal at the bottom of this post! 


Oh goodness, this day. The day we got engaged will forever be one of my favorite days of my life. Every time I think about it my heart swells with happiness and starts beating a little faster! 

On the morning of March 5, 2014, I woke up to Bobby standing over my bed gently shaking me. I was immediately confused ("how did he get into my house?!" was the first thought through my head) but also super happy to see him. He told me to put on some warm clothes because we were going on an adventure. If you know me, you know I'm pretty trusting (aka gullible) and didn't think for a second that anything big was happening even though waking me up before sunrise to go on adventures was not a part of our normal routine. 

When we got to Bobby's car he had hot chocolate and a blanket for me. :) I still didn't pick up on what was happening! I was just excited and happy to be on an adventure with my best friend. We lived in a little mountain town where we attended college and the Blue Ridge Parkway is a pretty popular place to go for hikes and amazing mountain views. I assumed that's where we were heading and when we didn't drive in that direction that's when I got suspicious for the first time. I started thinking "What if he's going to propose??" and quickly pushed that thought out of my head. I knew a proposal was in our future, but Bobby told me that it wouldn't be happening until the summer because he couldn't afford the ring quite yet. I didn't want to be disappointed so I told myself to stop thinking about that and just enjoy the morning he had planned with no expectations.

We reached our destination of Howard's Knob, a lookout that has an amazing view of all of the town of Boone with a stunning backdrop of the mountains. We walked into the park and out onto the rocks. Before we left the car Bobby had me hand him his Bible so as we walked in my heart was beating crazy fast because that was really when I knew what was happening!! We sat on the blanket together and Bobby started talking about different memories we had around campus and our relationship. Then he opened his Bible and began to read out of Proverbs 31 verses that he said reminded him of me. He started crying as he read and of course I started crying and after he finished he had me close my eyes and got off of the rock. I may have peeked and saw him down on one knee in front of me! When he had me open my eyes there he was before me asking me to be his wife. I screamed "Yes!!!", didn't even see the ring, and hugged him and kissed him and cried and laughed. Then I saw the ring and got happy all over again! :) It was gorgeous. We turned around and looked out over the mountains to see the most beautiful sunrise. In the trees in front of us a dove appeared, a symbol of God's promise. It was crazy!! We never see doves in Boone! I will never, ever forget that unbelievably perfect moment.  

We enjoyed the blissful moments right after you get engaged for a little while as the sun came up. As we left and were climbing out Bobby ripped his pants! It always brings a smile to my face thinking about that hilarious part of the story! We called our families and friends and sent a mass text to everyone we knew telling them the exciting news. I couldn't stop staring at my ring! One of our favorite things about our proposal was that since it happened in the morning we had the whole day to enjoy it together!! I certainly have a soft spot for morning proposals because of that :)

Photography by Perry Vaile | Styling and Creative Direction by Kaitlin Holland | as seen in Cottage Hill Magazine  

Our actual proposal in March of 2014! 

Fall Mini Sessions by Ally Willix

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We are so excited to announce our fall mini portrait sessions!!! 

Who are mini-sessions for? Basically everyone! These sessions are great for maternity photos, pictures with your dog, family sessions (20 minutes is the perfect time span for kids!), your Christmas card photo, couples, anniversaries, and headshots. 

Here are the details:

  • 20 minute portrait session
  • 10 high-resolution, fully edited photos of your choice 
  • Option to purchase the full online gallery
  • Time slots available from 8a.m. - 5:30p.m. on October 22  
  • Rain date is November 6 
  • Taking place at JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC
  • $200 (before NC sales tax)

Reserve your time slot here! Once your session is reserved we will send more information about the best time to arrive, check-in instructions, directions, and suggestions on what to wear. We can't wait to see you there!! 

Sign up for a mini-session here

Katrina's Bridal Portraits by Ally Willix

Katrina is the type of person that is so sweet and so kind that you leave happier after being around her. I loved every chance I got to spend time with her! She was such a relaxed bride, at peace because she was about to marry the love of her life. Not to mention she is drop-dead-gorgeous!! We absolutely adore Katrina and Boone and have had the best time becoming friends with them throughout their engagement. Their wedding at the beginning of September was such a stunning day and we can't wait to share more soon!

Venue: Ritchie Hill 

The School of Styling's Summer Bash by Ally Willix

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It's the official last day of summer! Summer 2016 was a good one. In some ways it seemed to go too fast, but I also love fall and am so ready to embrace it! The School of Styling's Summer Bash was a big highlight of this summer so it feels proper to bid this season farewell with a blog post of some of our favorite images from that sweet summer night! 

The School of Styling team does everything with excellence and this event was no different. They had so many amazing things planned all night long. Before the mini-workshop began attendees got to browse pop up shops from Parris Chic Boutique, Vestique, Jollity & Co., Kendra Scott, Swoozies, and Meredith Parker Fine Art all while snacking on the cutest watermelon pops. Classes were offered from founder Kaitlin Holland, photographer Perry Vaile, designer Lauren Hooker of Elle & co., and calligrapher Alexa Behar of Sage Paper Co. 

The evening ended with an amazing cocktail party on the lawn of Merrimon Wynne. The ladies of TSOS love to give away amazing goodies and the Summer Bash had some of my favorite giveaways yet! Parris Chic Boutique, Tieks, Marigold & Grey, Moon & Lola, and Greige Designs were all sponsors of giveaways. 

See even more images from the evening on The School of Styling's blog! Make sure to check out part one and part two :) 

Farewell, summer! You've been bright and cheery and we're thankful.   

Venue: Merrimon Wynne | Dessert table by Sugar Euphoria | Live painting by Meredith Parker | Photobooth backdrop by Aviation Studio | Vintage furniture rentals by Paisley and Jade | Signage by Sidney Hunter Design Co. | Florals by Southerly Flower Farm | Cookies by Southern Sugar Bakery | Popsicle favor and tray by From Sir With LoveFilm by Handspun Cinema

Our Story - Dating Long Distance by Ally Willix

About a month after Bobby and I started dating I moved to Orlando, Florida for an internship with Disney World. Participating in the Disney College Program was something I had been dying to do since I was a freshman in college. I even took summer school one year so that I could take an entire semester off to do the program and still graduate on time. I couldn’t wait to begin my internship and leave Boone for sunny Florida! And then I met the love of my life 6 weeks before I was supposed to leave… But God's timing is always perfect! Even if dating long distance wasn't the most ideal :) 

Dating long distance is just plain HARD. Communication is tough, jealousy arises quickly, it tests your relationship, and the months seem to drag by. Whenever we meet another couple who has dated long distance there’s always an immediate understanding between each other and a look of “I know exactly what you've gone through,” crosses our faces. So yes, long distance dating is really really tough. But I want to share some of the ways we made it easier on ourselves today and some of the pros of long distance dating to encourage anyone who’s in that season!

One of my biggest pieces of advice about dating long distance is to make a plan of how much you're going to see each other before you move apart. Bobby told me before I left that he wanted us to see each other once a month. I remember thinking that seemed like a big commitment and I really didn’t think it was possible. And part of me couldn't believe his dedication since we had only been dating a few weeks! But he made it happen each month and I’m so, so glad we came up with those guidelines in the beginning! He would drive 10 hours through the night to come visit me in Disney. Here’s a bonus of long distance - when you’re together it feels like the best thing in the world!! The time spent apart is so hard, but it makes the time you get to be together even sweeter! Bobby's visits to Disney are some of my favorite memories from our relationship. The tearful goodbyes were heart wrenching, but I'll never forget the feelings of anticipation and excitement before seeing each other and those amazing embraces after a long time apart! 

Long distance dating tip number two: write letters. I was honestly not good at this but Bobby was amazing at it. He wrote me a letter every single day that I was gone. Every. Single. Day. I loved getting those letters in the mail. When I read them I would immediately feel comfort and peace. They helped during a hard day, and I would re-read them all the time. It was so much better than getting texts or snapchats or any other temporary communication. Those things are important in the day to day of course, but they are temporary, while I still have all of Bobby's letters and love that I’ll always be able to pull them out and look back at where our relationship began. 

Technology keeps getting better for long distance dating. When we were in this season Bobby didn’t have a smart phone for a long time so FaceTime and Snapchat weren’t a thing for us but I can see how amazing it must be to have those now! We did send lots of selfies and videos to each other because when you’re spending so many days apart it helps so much just to see the other person’s face! We left voicemails if our schedules didn’t work out to talk, but we talked on the phone A LOT! We also Skyped frequently. How did people ever do this without Skype?!

And now... What would this post be without some awesome Disney throwback photos?! :) 

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