As mentioned in previous blogs of mine, I LOVE shooting engagement photo shoots because it’s not necessarily the big day with so much going on, but rather it’s just myself, along with the bride and groom. There’s no stress of the day so the two of them can just be themselves and very natural with each other. You can see the true relationship between them more clearly in this setting than on the wedding day itself. Of course, by the time I shoot the wedding, I already have a great idea of who these two love birds are and THAT makes my wedding photography stands out that much more.
This couldn’t have been more prevalent than the day I spent shooting Nicollette and David’s engagement photos. We traveled to a wilderness park located in Irvine, CA that has open fields, forestry trees, and hills in the background. David loves to laugh and displayed that well as he was constantly laughing during our session. Nicollette loves to be playful with David, and of course, make him laugh. Both of them were so fun and playful with each other that it made my job feel like I wasn’t working at all, but it made me feel that I was just hanging out with them.
Really looking forward to seeing these two get married in May 2016 at Vista Valley Country Club.
So what do the bride and groom think?
How did you first meet David and what were your first thoughts upon meeting him? Was he goofy, weird or just Prince Charming?
“I first met David at a birthday dinner I had planned for my best friend, Laney. At that time the three of us were in the Greek system at Cal State Fullerton and Laney was David’s Big Sis. When I was first introduced to him I thought he was very outgoing, loud (but in a good way) and goofy. As the dinner continued I saw he was charismatic and very kind and thoughtful. The restaurant wouldn’t split checks and he took it upon himself to meet with the waiter and work it out so there was no chance Laney would be left to pay for anything that night. At the time, I never pictured myself with him and I never thought we would end up together. It actually took several months for us to start talking and hanging out.”
What is something that you find totally cute about David?
“His butt! Haha, but also the way that he lights up over the simplest things. Something will be funny or excite him, and seeing his face light up with a smile can always turn my day around. He makes it his mission to share a smile with everyone and he just has this ability to invite people in; he can make a new friend everywhere…. I mean everywhere we go.”
Tell us how he proposed and how it all unfolded. Were you surprised?
“I WAS surprised! And let me just say that surprising me is not an easy thing to do, haha. A couple of months before our three-year anniversary we were discussing about us getting married, and we even checked out a few ring stores. I kept hinting for him to propose on our anniversary and he kept saying no, that was too soon or no it would happen until next year. As our anniversary finally rolled around and it landed on a Tuesday. As I was headed out of my house to go to work I heard the doorbell ring. As I answered it (angry I might add, because I thought he would wake up my roommates, but I found out they happened to be in on it) David was there. He handed me a bouquet of flowers saying “Happy Anniversary.” We had shown up at each other’s places for events like this before so I just thought he was being romantic and I did not think anything of it. Looking back I should have realized his voice was high and he looked nervous.
He then handed me a card and a present. The present turned out to be a scrapbook. As I opened the cover, the first page had a picture of us along with the words “Will you marry me?” After gaping at this for several seconds I looked down to find my future hubby on one knee with a ring in his hands. After several, “Are you serious??” were stammered out I said YES! As if he wasn’t cute enough, I soon discovered he had called me out of work for the day and had planned a whole list of things for us! First was breakfast at a quaint, little coffee shop, followed by horseback riding, a walk around the Irvine Zoo/Park, lunch, a movie at Cinopolis, a trip to Fashion Island and a surprise dinner with my family and our closest friends at Maggiano’s. He did real good.”
As you plan your wedding, what has this experience been like? What’s your advice to others as they plan their wedding?
“On the day of our wedding, our engagement will have lasted 20 months. So far planning has been a little stressful (we looked at 21 venues!), but exciting. David has been with me 100% of the way, dutifully attending all the venues and events I can find, as well as helping me call and email potential vendors. Wedding planning is definitely not what I thought it would be, but I am blessed to have him by my side! My advice to other couples would be to take some moments and relax, enjoy this time and don’t let it pass you by. It can be a joyous time of growth as a couple, with new experiences if you let it be.”
Describe Nicollette in one word and why did you choose that word?
“Compassionate. That might not even be the best word to describe Nicollette, but she is so kind and loving, even when she has had a rough day at work or is just exhausted by day’s end. Nicollette makes sure the needs of others are met before hers and she always has this ability to light up everyone’s world by just being around her.”
Tell us about your first date, what did you do? Were you nervous?
“On our first date, I was more traditional, meaning I planned on taking Nicollette out for dinner and then a movie after. To make it a little more interesting, I took Nicollette to a Malaysian restaurant since I wanted to introduce her to a little bit of my culture. I was nervous about what she would think about Malaysian food, but dinner was enjoyable and we talked about our many interests which quickly dispel my nervousness.
After dinner, we went to watch a movie. Now, not knowing anything about the movie except that it featured Ryan Gosling, I picked that movie for us to watch. It was a good movie but if you have watched it, you’d know that Ryan Gosling’s character, Driver, barely spoke. It was definitely one of the weirdest movies we have watched together.
Was Nicollette surprised when you proposed? Why did you choose to propose the way you did?
“Nicollette was definitely surprised when I proposed. A little peeved too since I rang the doorbell while people were still asleep.
I proposed to Nicollette first thing in the morning on the day of our third anniversary. I knew that keeping the proposal a surprise from her would get harder as the day goes by and Nicollette is very smart at figuring out surprises before they happen. In fact, she had already made me change my proposal idea once when she told me what she thought would be a great idea for a proposal. She didn’t realize it but she literally outlined every detail of my initial proposal idea word for word, step by step.
That was two months away from our third year anniversary; then I just made it a mission to plan something that would definitely catch her off guard.