Alyssa Snodsmith and Collin Hewett met during their undergrad years at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois, where they each played soccer.
Snodsmith, 24, wasn’t immediately smitten with Hewett, 23, but love eventually found a way.
“He kind of just kept pursuing!” she told BuzzFeed News.
“I chased her for a bit,” he joked.
The pair have now been dating for three and a half years, with Hewett popping the question on a bridge in August.
After setting the wedding date for June 2020, they’re now beginning to organize their save the date cards and wanted some nice engagement photos to send to loved ones.
So on Saturday, they went with their photographer friend, Chandler Lefever, to Greene Valley Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois.
Lefever had told them to prepare some ideas for poses, so Snodsmith looked around on Pinterest for inspiration, stumbling across a fun photo of a couple celebrating with champagne that she wanted to emulate.
The photo of this couple was taken in Bend, Oregon, in October 2018 by photographer Brianna Bender, who specializes in couples photos and boudoir pictures.
“We just thought it was fun. It kinda just matches us,” said Snodsmith. “We just like to have fun.”
After taking just a few introductory pictures, they put down a blanket, popped some champagne that friends had given them, and Hewett poured a little into Snodsmith’s mouth for the camera. But Lefever couldn’t get the right angle, so they had to try again.
“Well, we found the right angle, but I didn’t find the right angle with the bottle,” Hewett said. “I was super hesitant the whole way and then it started to just dribble out the end. So I kind of over-adjusted.”
The result was...not exactly romantic.
Hewett estimated that about a quarter of the bottle came gushing out all over the bride-to-be.
“We were dying laughing,” Snodsmith said. “Our photographer fell on his butt because he was laughing so hard. He managed to still snap pictures of us!”
“I was prepared to be in the dog house,” Hewett added.
Luckily, Snodsmith had brought a second outfit so the shoot could continue.
“Before I changed into my second outfit, we just took some pictures of us walking from behind so you couldn’t see my front was covered in champagne.”
The photographer knew he’d struck gold, but didn’t want the couple to see the pictures until he had edited them.
When they got the final version later that night, the pair couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
“I think I laughed for about 30 minutes straight,” Hewett said.
At a friend’s urging, Hewett uploaded the photo to Twitter, where it blew up big time — more than 300,000 people have since liked the tweet.
Other couples even shared their own champagne fails.
Snodsmith said she thinks the photos have become so popular because they show the couple as their authentic selves.
“People don’t know us and I think it’s cool that just by those two pictures, it kinda captures us,” she said.
She also responded to her fiancé’s tweet with one of her own, showing her covered in champagne but still smiling.
“I really was not mad!” she said.
If it makes the couple feel any better, the woman who took the original photo they were trying to emulate recalled to BuzzFeed News that they, too, struggled to get the shot right.
“I think he just poured it very slowly and carefully,” said Brianna Bender. “He spilled it on her a little bit, too, but it’s not in the photo. It’s not as perfect as it looks!”
As for Snodsmith and Hewett, they’re not sure yet if they’ll use the champagne fail as their official engagement photo, but they fully expect their friends will broadcast it at their wedding.
Snodsmith also said she doubts they’ll recreate the moment on the big day.
“Probably not,” she said. “I have a really nice dress picked out.”