Gracie Withers Photography is based in Loudoun County, Virginia.

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What a Weekend


Between our schedules, a weekend together is hard to come by for Dan and me. So, a few months before the weekend of July 7th, we decided to set up a little trip together. We ventured to one of our favorite areas, Nellysford, about 3 hours south. It’s a place that we have visited many times together and the first stop this time was Bold Rock Cidery.

We had planned to leave at 8 in the morning but we were about 10-15 minutes behind schedule because I was gathering a tasty breakfast for the drive down. As usual, Dan was ready right when we planned to hit the road, waiting in the car for me. I could tell he was a little peeved that I was rushing into the car with breakfast a wee bit behind schedule. On the way down, I mentioned wanting to stop at a country store, a farmers market (excitingly in fact), but Dan just said “we will hit it after Bold Rock.” I was so excited about a full weekend off with Dan that did not think anything was suspicious… so far. Little did I know Dan was clearly on a schedule that he had no intentions on breaking.

When we arrived at Bold Rock, we ordered a drink and noticed a table that had a free tasting. I mentioned to Dan, “hey let’s do a tasting!” Dan casually said, “Naw let’s head down to the water.” The spot we were headed to by the water at Bold Rock is one that we both love, so of course I just continued with Dan’s desires. As we were walking down the hill about to pass a bench overlooking the view I said to Dan,”Let’s just sit for a minute,” AND so we did. Looking back on it i’m surprised Dan consented to this. After sitting for about 15 short seconds, Dan said “Alright let’s go..” We continued to walk down to the water and while I did convince Dan to let me take one photo of him, afterwards we finally arrived to the water. This probably felt like the longest walk in the world for Mr. Savage.

After walking around by the stream, Dan and I finally arrived to a certain spot where he began walking a few steps behind me. Then he touched my arm, I turned around and he was already down on one knee. At this point I have honestly never experienced so many emotions at once; including shock, happiness, nervousness, and the feeling as if my legs were going to collapse. Then Dan said how he had a whole speech prepared but, like that very morning, as he waited in the car for me, he knew he would wait for me forever (cue the awws).

After my whimpering “yes,” as Dan calls it, we had a long hug, I was still speechless, and I heard someone walking up behind us. His brother, Chris, was hiding in the woods the whole time taking photos. While Dan and Chris were going over the whole morning and the previous ten minutes, I just stood there, still speechless. After hanging out and taking some pictures down by the water for a few minutes, we ventured back up to the building.

On the walk back, my legs still felt weird and I couldn’t believe what had just happened.

When we got to the building, we walked in and to the left I saw both of our families. Again, still speechless and in even more shock, and then to see our families was absolutely unreal. I am still unable to describe how I felt in that moment but I couldn’t have been happier to see everyone at that time.

That morning Dan and I had made plans to go on a hike after we went to Bold Rock but I knew at that point that wasn’t happening anymore. However, Dan did rent an awesome house for some of the family to stay at that night and it even had a nice donkey across the street with some amazing views nearby. We spent the rest of the day hanging out at the house and having dinner at Devil’s Backbone, another one of our favorite spots.

In all seriousness, I hadn’t thought about the day that this would happen, I hadn’t imagined where or when it would be, and I had no idea that I would ever be so surprised. The only thing I knew about this story before that day is that I knew it would be Dan. I truly cannot thank Dan enough for the greatest weekend of my life and for pulling every surprise together so well. I know May 9th, 2020 will be here before we know it and we are so excited! Thanks for reading friends!

Shout out to our families for joining and for keeping the secret, to Lilly Bird Baking for some amazing cookies and to Chris Savage, our hideaway photographer!


love, Gracie




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  1. Sarah says:


  2. Christine says:

    So Happy for you both! Perfect couple, and I love reading the story of the day. So exciting can’t wait for the Wedding! Happy NY! XXXO

  3. Cathy & Peyton says:

    Gracie, this is such a sweet story. I love proposals when you least expect it! So very happy for you both!