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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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Hayden & Hope: The Engagement Party Personal


I had every intention of getting this post up last week…but then life happened!! I turned 25 last week (CRAZY!) and have been spending so much time down in Savannah with Hayden. It’s been SO much fun to get acclimated to the new city I’ll call home in just a few more months!! If you missed it, I shared a full proposal recap on the blog just a couple weeks ago…and I’m back to share a recap of the ENGAGEMENT PARTY!! If you didn’t read the last post, you should…because I’m going to be picking up where I left off there!!

Hayden and I had each planned a surprise date day for our time in Atlanta (or so I thought!!) We spent all day Friday exploring the day I had planned: the aquarium, tacos, PuttShack and so many fun memories. Once we got engaged, he told me his surprise date day was that we were going to be traveling back to Charleston to have dinner with my parents to celebrate! I thought that in itself was SO thoughtful. But, as we got closer to leaving on Saturday and got closer to Charleston on our drive…I started to get suspicious. Hayden seemed a little too eager to get back, and my parents and Hayden were giving me different times for our dinner reservation. I am SO hard to surprise…so I knew SOMETHING was up. But I had NO IDEA what I would be walking into!!!!

We stopped at my house first to freshen up, and I walked into my room to find 3 different white dresses that my mom had gotten me. She told me she thought I’d want to wear white to celebrate…but this was the moment I KNEW it wasn’t just a dinner with my parents!! Who the heck would get me 3 dresses just for a quick dinner!? It was SO thoughtful!! We changed quickly and headed over to my parents house just 5 mins down the road. There were a handful of extra cars in their driveway that I didn’t recognize. We ran inside and I was SO SURPRISED!!! All of our favorite people, including Hayden’s ENTIRE family from Virginia, had all traveled in to celebrate us. They put together the most beautiful, thoughtful engagement party for us both…I just don’t even have words to express how loved and grateful I felt in the moment I saw them all standing there to surprise us.

We spent the evening catching up, celebrating with champagne, eating a delicious dinner by the pool and taking so many photos! Erika and Josh came in from PA, Kristen and Natalie drove from VA AND BACK in the SAME DAY, Hayden’s best friend came up from Savannah, and his parents and younger brother drove down from Virginia. But, the icing on the cake was about 20 minutes into the party when his older brother, Ryan, and his wife, Sophie, quietly crept in through the front door. Ryan is in the military and currently stationed in Washington state. He wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to come, but he got a ticket last second so he decided to surprise both me AND Hayden!!! Seeing Hayden’s reaction melted my heart all over again!!

I’ll never be able to thank everyone enough for putting this together for us. It was such a highlight of the entire weekend to get to celebrate with all of our favorite people on the planet. I just love them all so, so much!!! And, here’s a list of the amazing vendors my mom worked with to make it happen:

Rentals: Event Works

Crest: Simply Jessica Marie

Balloons: Holy City Party

Cake: Bakies at I’on

Photography: Erika Lynn Photo

Our two families and our friends spent the entire day together setting up!! I had NO idea…but Hayden’s family flew in the night before, so our families had spent the whole weekend together before we even got there! Just thinking about that makes me tear up!!

Personality pic 😂😂😂

My people forever and ever ❤️ Love you all so much more than words!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also love:

Hope + Hayden | Proposal + Wedding Update

Romantic Air Force Wedding at The Farm at Ridgeway 

Starting a Photography Business at 17: My Business Journey


hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!



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