Living in Orange County allows for me to have access to all of Southern California. The beaches, the mountains, the trails and even the big cities and Main Street Downtown areas. For my recent engagement photo session with Petra and Taylor we took advantage of our living conditions and headed up to Big Bear Mountain, where we took some amazing pictures in the snow. It was cold, but they stayed close together and were glowing with excitement. On our drive up there, I had a great conversation with them about their first date, which I don’t think they ever wanted it to end.
For this Big Bear engagement session, we had a lovely flower crown and boutonniere provided by one of our favorite florists, Flower Allie, while our makeup artist Stephanie did Petra’s hair and makeup. It all just made for a beautiful day together. In addition, I was incredibly excited as during this shoot I tried some new things out, such as using smoke bombs and a prism to give a cool effect to the photos.
I love word of mouth referrals, primarily because it’s a great indicator that a client was happy with their whole experience. And that’s how Petra found me as I did a photo shoot with her soon-to-be sister-in-law last year, which you can see their photos HERE.
Petra & Taylor are getting married in Murrieta at the Bella Gardens Estates and our team is very excited to be a part of their special day.
Sometimes everything just works together so perfectly you know right away you found something special. I believe that is true for these two.
Petra and Taylor’s Love Story
Q: How did you first meet Taylor?
A: We met at Horizon Christian Fellowship in North County. He was a graphic designer there and I grew up at that church. My mom worked in the front office with my roommate and they were both dying to set us up.
Q: Upon first meeting Taylor, what were your first thoughts?
A: I showed up for a ministry meeting at Horizon and I was freezing. He didn’t really know me, but he immediately offered his jacket without hesitation. I definitely felt cared for, but I also had my guard up because I just met him. Throughout the meeting I remember feeling like he and I were totally on the same page (opinion-wise) and I accepted a dinner invitation to hang out with him and his friends afterwards. Throughout the night his friends gradually left and went home, but he and I stayed up all night and eventually ended up at the beach to watch the sun rise. He was so easy to talk to and I just constantly wanted to know more. We just kind of clicked.
Q: Tell us about your first date. What was your favorite moment?
A: Our first official date was at Taylor’s favorite restaurant, Roy’s. It was way fancier than any dinner place I had ever been to, but it was the best meal I’ve ever had. At this point, I had been getting to know Taylor for a little while and he loves to make romantic recap speeches when we go on special dates, so that was my favorite moment. It was also a taste of all the sappy speeches he would make in the future. LOL
Q: What is it about Taylor that sets him apart from the rest?
A: Honestly, his love for the Lord and for other people truly exemplifies God’s desire and definition of love. He is SUPER patient and very kind. He is very trusting (not envious), truly humble and he can usually keep his pride in check. He loves to put others first and he is extremely slow to anger. He is a pastor at heart and loves to point others to the truth. He protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. His love for the Lord looks different and sometimes it even rubs people the wrong way. His faith challenges me and although at times that has been uncomfortable, it’s exactly what I want in a husband.
Q: What do you and Petra do for work?
A: Petra is an Engineering Manager for Callaway Golf. She rocks at analyzing the development of the company’s newest and improved golf ball technology. You’d be surprised at the amount of science the R&D team puts into those things. I am a Creative Arts Manager and Graphic Designer for New Venture Christian Fellowship in Oceanside. We stay pretty busy in the marketing department with over 20 ministries and weekly events going on at the church. Most of all, I love why I do what I do and with who too. I do a little freelance design and consulting on the side as well.
Q: Besides your proposal, what would you say was the best date you ever planned for Petra?
A: Petra isn’t the biggest fan of surprises, but I absolutely love surprising her anyways. A couple dating anniversaries ago, I discovered just the right amount of surprise by having flowers and chocolate with me when I showed up at her work right when she was getting off. Work had been particularly busy for her so I prefaced that I thought it would be great for both of us to put our work down for the evening. She had forgotten that it was our landmark day on the calendar so her face, when she stepped into the car, reflected how loved she felt. It was fantastic.
Q: What is it about Petra that made you realize you wanted to marry her?
A: It wasn’t too long into one of our first conversations that I recognized that I wanted to marry her. We connected early on in our relationship that stemmed from synchronized perspectives on theology, to similar outlooks towards life problems and to the seemingly endless interesting stories scattered throughout Petra’s life. In talking with her, it doesn’t take long to pick up on the wisdom and godliness in her character. Also, I definitely don’t want to leave out the fact that she’s stunningly beautiful, which is probably the first thing that caught my eye.
Q: Planning weddings can be stressful but there are good times as well. What have you enjoyed most about the planning process? How have you both grown closer together?
A: I have absolutely enjoyed planning the wedding. It’s been awhile since I’ve organized a large event and it made me realize how much I love it. The process of planning a wedding with someone else is a different challenge though. Petra and I started out ready to take over the world until our first conflict of opinion came up. Like learning how to dance, it took a little awkward maneuvering and plenty of apologizing after stepping on each other’s toes— to say the least— but we’ve been getting pretty good at it over time. It has been a joy learning how and why Petra makes her decisions, plus, seeing each other’s strengths rise to the surface as we learn to exploit them in each other.
Q: Why did you propose the way you did and do you think Petra knew what you had planned?
A: Ah, yes. I love this story. I was struggling with coming up with a plan to pop the question without completely tipping Petra off to see it coming. So, I thought taking her out to her favorite restaurant and the place we celebrate our anniversaries, would be perfect. Yeah, she saw it coming a mile away and actually two weeks prior asked me not to propose to her that night. I ensured her that I simply wanted to love on her because she rarely celebrates her birthday without sharing the attention due to the fact that her birthday is on Halloween. Turns out, because she had called it out, it made for the perfect cover up to follow through anyway. I was about to push the proposal back a couple weeks per her request until some outside influences encouraged me to do otherwise. I wanted to make sure she felt special, loved and cared for, and I think she would say she agrees.
Q: What is your number one tip to couples that are thinking about getting married?
A: Pray about it. From day one in my relationship with Petra, I have made it a priority to go to God for wisdom and direction. Not only has this proven to be extremely successful, but the timing has been perfect. So perfect that only Someone outside of time and space could have planned it. So, my number one piece of advice is to pray it through. Also, I’m thankful for the many friends and family members that have been supporting us through prayer, guidance and accountability all along the way as well.
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