UW-Madison Lakeshore Engagement by Catherine Furlin Photography

UW-Madison Lakeshore Engagement Session

July 29, 2022

AnnElise + Gradon

Gradon and AnnElise met during their freshman year at Wartburg College, where they were both biology majors. AnnElise says that she developed a huge crush on him, and wanted to find ways to hang out with him more and more. Gradon said that they quickly turned from friends that only studied together, to friends that did everything together.

“He became my go-to person, regardless of my mood or how my day was going. He became my rock and my constant.” – AnnElise

Officially Engaged

[as told by AnnElse] Gradon proposed to me on November 3rd, 2021. He started the day off by telling me that he called into work to take the day off (it was a Wednesday). He asked if I wanted to go out for lunch, which I’ll never turn down! 😂 We went to lunch at Pizza Brutta, a wood-fired pizza restaurant similar to where we went on our first date.

He then took us to the Midwest Clay Project, where we had a personal ceramics lesson. We both got to complete a piece and keep it as a keepsake of the day. 😊

After that, we went to a nature reserve, where we spent some time exploring. This is where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Of course, I said YES!

Gradon had made reservations at Eno Vino in downtown Madison, where we enjoyed a celebratory dinner with a gorgeous view of the capital. We ended the night surprising family and spreading the exciting news.

Gradon said of that day, “Wednesday, November 3, 2021, is a day I will never forget. It was an amazing day from start to finish.”

AnnElise + Gradon’s laidback Madison engagement session.

For this engagement session, we wanted to include some of their favorite places and some of their favorite things to do.

We kicked off their engagement session with a walk down Monroe Street in Madison and wood-fired pizza from Pizza Brutta.

Afterward, we headed to UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve for a little stroll and plenty of puppy snuggles.
AnnElise and Gradon’s dog Murphy was such a little ham! If a doggie modeling career is in his future, then he’s got plenty of headshots for his portfolio.
Scroll all the way through to read about AnnElise & Gradon’s love story, and then meet their adorable pup, Murphy!

couple eating pizza brutta on monroe street in madison wi

3 words to describe Gradon, by AnnElise | Loyal. Family-oriented. HOTTIE.

couple eating pizza on monroe street in madison wi

3 words to describe AnnElise, by Gradon | Caring. Selfless. Beautiful.

monroe street madison engagement session couple exploring monroe street

I knew I wanted to spend forever with my love when…

AnnElise: “I realized that he was my best friend. When I was always wanting to spend time with him. When he became my go-to person, regardless of my mood or how my day was going. When he became my rock and my constant.”

Gradon: “I knew I wanted to spend forever with AnnElise when I discovered she made me the best version of myself. AnnElise is my best friend and I am so thankful that I get to spend the rest of my life with her.”

playful photos of couple during madison engagement session engagement ring and couple embracing lakeside madison

What is something you both have in common?

AnnElise: “We’re both pretty introverted and neither of us are big planners…which makes planning a wedding together interesting!”

Gradon: “We have very similar personalities and could eat pizza for every meal.”

a couple walking their dog at uw-madison lakeshore nature preserve a couple walking their dog at uw-madison lakeshore nature preserve a couple playing on the beach at uw-madison lakeshore nature preserve a couple sitting on a log at uw-madison lakeshore nature preserve

What is something that’s totally different about the two of you?

AnnElise: “Growing up, I was in choir and learned how to play three instruments…Gradon can maybe play the kazoo.😊”

Gradon: “AnnElise loves to read and I hardly ever read books.”

uw-madison engagement photos beach engagement photos at uw-madison lakeshore engaged couple on beach with madison skyline engaged couple running on lakeshore beach madison

What is a fun fact/something people might not guess about your fiancé?

AnnElise: “Without fail, he always pronounces “pumpkin” as “punkin,” and “folk” with the “l” sound despite how much we like to tease him about it.”

Gradon: “She makes the best homemade pizza in the world.”

sunset madison engagement photos

These two are so sweet together! I can’t wait for their outdoor Iowa wedding tomorrow! I’m not going to lie, I’m also VERY excited to see their pup, Murphy, again.

If these photos resonated with you, & you’re getting married in Iowa, Illinois, or Wisconsin click over to my contact form & drop me a line.

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Located in Bellevue, Iowa
Serving Eastern Iowa +
Madison, WI + Galena, IL

Modern wedding photography & family documentary sessions in Dubuque Iowa, the Quad Cities, and beyond. Located in Bellevue. Documenting love stories in the everyday moments & the life changing ones. Focused on creating honest images.