Julia and Ben

Raleigh, North Carolina


Photography | f8 Photo Studios@f8photostudios

Venue | North Carolina Museum of Art @ncartmuseum

Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

Julia: We met at school, Queens University of Charlotte, a little over 3 and a half years ago. We were on the residential quad on campus, and he was sitting in a hammock talking to some people. I went over and introduced myself (awkwardly) and we immediately hit it off.


What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. (example: pushing each other to new limits, love to travel, huge comic book fans, foodies, etc.) What makes your relationship unique?


Ben: We are two big foodies. Julia has her own food blog @cltchomp and we love to explore. Also, brunch. Julia: We’re best friends and we laugh with each other a lot. We also are each other’s biggest supporters. We are always down for new experiences and adventures.

How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship?

Julia: When I first met Ben I had this weird feeling that I needed to go over and talk to him. Even though I was super awkward and rambling during my introduction, I had a feeling deep down that something special was about to happen.


Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?

Julia: We had talked about getting married but I didn’t suspect it was going to happen when it did. I had told him that I had two stipulations for the big day: my nails needed to be done and we needed a secret photographer capturing it all so we can remember it always. It was during my finals week, and I swear it was the most stressful week of my life to date. I was sleep deprived, super mean, emotional, and spread super thin as I worked to pass my exams. My birthday was Monday of that week but there wasn’t time to celebrate. Ben and I had discussed taking a day trip to Asheville that weekend to celebrate. The day before I left, my best friend tried to take me to get my nails done but I shut her down because I was so stressed and pressed for time. The next morning, we departed early in the morning. I was exhausted and happy to be along for the ride. We stopped at Biscuit Head for breakfast and were first in line. Ben ran to the car because he “forgot his wallet” which scared me because we definitely needed his license for the planned activities for that day. He was in the car for two minutes “looking” but moving the ring from the box into his wallet. He “found it” which was a huge sigh of relief. As soon as breakfast was done, he suggested we head to the Biltmore Estate to avoid the crowds. We got there, got our tickets, and Ben suggested we go to the Diana statue that overlooks the property. We park and walk out there, and a few tourists are starting to arrive. We aren’t the only ones out there; there was a woman taking pictures of her son near the statue. We start to take pictures with my camera and call her over to ask to get a picture of the both of us. Ben hands her my camera and proceeds to start talking to me about, “I have something important to ask you.” I blink and he’s on one knee. I’m shocked and I guess I didn’t realize how much time passed before the woman (secret photographer!) yells, “What do you say?!” And I of course, say yes. She takes the shot and runs down the hill to hug us. Lo and behold, it’s Ben’s family friend who lived next door to him as a child. We had a wonderful rest of the day exploring Asheville, as an engaged to be married couple! Let me tell you, it’s a lot of fun bonding with ladies on their bachelorette trips at breweries when you tell them that you just got engaged!


We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!


Julia: My family has been going to local jewelry store CMI for years. My mom found my ring there, and I completely fell in love with the design. It’s from designer Fana, and I love the tiny sapphire in the band that is my “something blue”. The center stone was Ben’s grandmother’s and was passed down to his mom who then gave it to Ben.


Are you excited to start planning your wedding day? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?

Julia: The wedding planning is done! It was completed in a little over two months. My mom Suzanne used to plan corporate events, so she immediately jumped into the planning process with me. The ceremony will be at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Raleigh, which is the church I went to growing up. The reception will be at Bay 7 in Durham at the American Tobacco Campus. I have a celestial theme planned for the big day, and I allude to it with my star dress in my engagement photos!