Stacy & Dave: Anniversary Photos at Lakewood Forest Preserve

Stacy and Dave’s anniversary photos at Lakewood Forest Preserve made such a special session for me to photograph. These two have been close family friends of ours for years, and Stacy has been my dedicated associate photographer since 2019. It was so fun and refreshing to capture their love for each other on one of the first sunny and warm spring days of 2021!

Read on to hear how their love has grown since they first met in 2005…

How they met

Stacy and Dave met by chance way back in 2005. It was a warm summer night when they bumped into each other at evening gathering at a mutual friend’s house. Fast forward to 2021, and they’ve been together for 16 years!

How they fell in love

Stacy says, “As cheesy as it sounds, it was love at first sight. We met at that party and then three days later we were dating.” And then the rest was history!

How did he propose?

Stacy accidentally found the engagement ring in Dave’s truck one day when she was driving it alone. And naturally, she had to take a peek at it! She didn’t tell him she knew about the ring until after he proposed with a romantic home-cooked dinner at their home.

Anniversary Photos at Lakewood Forest Preserve

We planned to do Stacy and Dave’s anniversary photos at Lakewood Forest Preserve because it’s one of their favorite outdoor walking spaces near their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. The Lakewood Forest Preserve is Lake County’s largest preserve, with exclusive equestrian trails, as well as separate trails for hiking, skiing and other winter sports.

From about 1835 to 1865, many portions of this large preserve we sectioned off into smaller parcels that local farmers used as a source of firewood and lumber. After the Civil War, many small farms dominated this property.

Now, the Lakewood Forest Preserve is filled with natural flora fauna, including dramatic stands of both deciduous and coniferous trees, as well as a historic whitewashed barn.

Q&A with the Couple

What is your favorite memory from your wedding?

The dancing! Our wedding was one big party! We had friends and family we haven’t seen in years come. It was amazing. The dance floor was packed at all times!

What do you love most about him?

What I love the most about him is his generosity and willingness to do anything and everything for people. Strangers or old friends. He always cares about people whole heartedly.

What does he love most about you?

What I love the most about her is her unconditional love. She a “MAMMA BEAR!” Do not mess with her family! Everything she does is to keep the family united, functioning, loving, caring and she instills these values into our two beautiful children so that they can have the best possible life.

What are your favorite hobbies to do together as a couple?

Working out together in our garage gym is one of our main hobbies. We also love to fish, do anything active outdoors.

Describe your relationship in 5 words or less.

Adventurous. Loving. Caring.


Stacy’s lovely gown was crafted by Baltic Born.