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A Golden Hour Fall Engagement │ Bethany and Nick │ Grand Rapids, MI

March 18th, 2018

Happy Saturday, Friends! In the middle of a busy wedding season, I’m excited to share Bethany and Nick’s Golden Hour Fall Engagement Session with all of you today!

Bethany graduated from college in 2019. She had been a CrossFit athlete for years and was in search of a new gym. That is how she found herself walking into Friction, the gym that would become her new home and where she would meet her future husband. Nick was the head coach at the time and coached her first class there. She remembers immediately thinking that he was very handsome and feeling a little bit nervous for him to be her coach.

Bethany quickly became more and more comfortable around Nick as she went to the gym daily. He would always say “Hi” to her as she came in, even if he was coaching another class, and they would briefly chat before and after. Even though they didn’t have long conversations, their short exchanges over the course of a couple years made a huge difference.

There were a few times throughout those years that Bethany thought maybe Nick was interested in her. But whenever she would invite him to do something, he would politely decline. She eventually decided that it was probably due to their large age gap and the fact that he was her coach (it turns out he was dating someone at the time, but she wouldn’t find that out until later).

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the gym was forced to shut down. Nick would film workout videos, and the athletes would all do them from their homes. Even though he would post the workout in writing online, Bethany liked to watch the videos so she could see him. At the time, she was competing in a virtual dance competition with her younger brother. They ended up being on the news and winning $2,000!

Bethany vividly remembers the first day they were allowed to go back to the gym to workout. Nick was leading a warmup where they would do a couple of movements, and then run a lap around the gym, do a couple of movements, and then run a lap around the gym. Every time Bethany would get back from the lap, he wouldn’t stop talking to her! It was more than their usual before and after class talks, so Bethany was a little shocked. He then went on to tell her that he had watched all of her dance videos and voted for her. Turns out they had both been watching each other the whole time!

Their conversations after class got longer and longer until one day, they were talking about a CrossFit competition that they were both competing in. They made a bet about every scenario: he wins, she loses; she wins, he loses; they both lose; they both win. No matter what the outcome, they were going to go out for a drink!

The competition came and went (Nick did in fact win), and it was time for them to go out! They spent the evening talking, and talking, and talking. Bethany was pleasantly surprised to hear him talk so much about his family. She was shocked by how “nerdy” he was, as he spent a long time telling her about superheroes and comic books. Nick was surprised by how “good she looked” cleaned up, as he had never seen her outside of the gym. He knew she was chatty and smart but was shocked at how messy she was. He expected chemist to be organized and clean (boy was he wrong about that!) After dinner, he asked if she had time to stop at one more place. He took her to a lookout over Grand Rapids. There they sat on a swinging bench, and he asked her to go to the drive-in the very next day.

That next day, Nick picked Bethany up from her parent’s house (where she lived at the time), and he met her mom. Bethany was a little embarrassed for him to have to pick her up from her parent’s house (she was dating an older man after all). Right from the beginning he showed her that he was taking their relationship seriously, and he has ever since. Nick proposed to Bethany on October 7, 2022 after taking her on a repeat of their first date (same restaurant and lookout spot). She said YES, of course! She was overwhelmed with emotion and started crying (which Nick had probably never seen her do). Nick told her that they could go to their favorite brewery and start FaceTiming different friends and family members to tell them the exciting news! He asked who she was going to call first: her mom, her sister, or her best friend. Lucky for her, Nick surprised her with an engagement party when they arrived at the brewery, and she wasn’t forced to make the decision at all. He knew how much her family means to her, and this was the greatest surprise of all because it showed his love for her and how much he understands her.

Bethany and Nick: your love story is SO cute! In the midst of the pandemic, I love that the two of you still found ways to connect with one another. Your Fall engagement was SO much fun and I cannot wait to photograph your wedding next August! Enjoy this glimpse into your Fall engagement session.


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