Real Couples // Downtown Tampa Engagement: Michael + Nicholas

Michael:

I’m originally from Port Orange, a town near Daytona Beach, where I lived a laid back beach-town lifestyle. I’ve been transplanted into the fast-paced environment of the Tampa Bay Area to be with the love of my life. I’m still your cliché bohemian spirit at heart and love all the creative aspects of life. I enjoy reading books about spirituality and/or herbalism while sipping a hot cup of tea. In my spare time I run a spiritual business doing intuitive card readings and creating custom crystal jewelry. When I’m not doing one of those things you’ll find me in my usual spot—relaxing on the couch with Nicholas.

Nicholas:

I’m the funniest person you’ll ever meet. Yes, I’m serious—the funniest! I’m a natural born super star and the biggest fan of RuPaul and Lady Gaga. I enjoy creating art, making people laugh, and watching movies. I'm a Tampa native, born and raised, and I'm here to stay. I’m so excited to be marrying Michael come April because love is the very core of my being and I’m excited for what our future holds.

Michael and I met on Facebook actually! We met through a mutual friend while we was living in Daytona and I was living in Tampa. After years of being friends online, he decided to drive down and we had our first official date at a Red Robin in the mall near my apartment at the time. We connected so well that first meeting and began our relationship soon after.

Our proposal was stressful. I planned it in February of 2016 and then proposed in December, so I had to keep the secret for a very long time. Michael's family was all going to Texas for Christmas, so I figured he would be distracted with the holidays and that was the best time to do it. Michael really wanted a rustic and less traditional ring, so I found a company that made rings out of antler and wood. I had it shipped to my soon to be sister in law’s house so it would be ready there and waiting on Christmas. On Christmas morning when everyone was doing presents, his sister pretended to give me a gift, but it was really the ring. I opened it and proposed then.

For our engagement photo shoot, we tried to keep it casual, but still photographable. I wore my Scottie dress shirt and Michael wore some new clothes he got for Christmas. We tried to stick with the theme of blue so it wouldn’t look too off with the save the dates. As for choosing Jennifer, I asked Tiffany, my maid of honor, to comb through all these potential photographers we were mulling around and she ended up looking through about 70 different options. We ended up narrowing it down to just two, and after meeting with Jennifer, she was the clear choice. She seemed to genuinely love photography, had an incredible portfolio, and has been such a dream to work with.

I've lived in Tampa my whole life, and Michael found a new home here in Tampa, so we wanted to keep it local. The suggestion from Jennifer to do it in Downtown Tampa was such a good idea. It’s such a mix of modern and historic and that really matches mine and Michael’s aesthetic. 

I can’t wait to enjoy the wedding we are working hard to plan and to dive into the new chapter of our relationship. I think the most exciting part is that I’ll be able to introduce Michael as my husband instead of boyfriend. I’m also excited that the dates line up so well. Our wedding day will actually be on our six years anniversary so we won’t have any problem remembering it.

Words by Nicholas as told by Amber Marlow. Photos by Jennifer Maginness.

 downtown tampa engagement michael and nicholas on bridge over lake
 downtown tampa engagement couple posing and looking off camera
 downtown tampa engagement michael and nicholas on steps   
 DOWNTOWN TAMPA ENGAGEMENT KISS ON LEDGE
 DOWNTOWN TAMPA ENGAGEMENT KISS SHOT THROUGH BUSH LEAVES
 DOWNTOWN TAMPA ENGAGEMENT COUPLE HOLDING HANDS ON BRIDGE
 DOWNTOWN TAMPA ENGAGEMENT EMBRACE ON BRIDGE
 DOWNTOWN TAMPA ENGAGEMENT MICHAEL AND NICHOLAS HOLDING HANDS
 DOWNTOWN TAMPA ENGAGEMENT MICHAEL AND NICHOLAS IN FRONT OF TAMPA MURAL

 Jennifer M Photography Jennifer Maginness

JENNIFER MAGINNESS

I am a wife, mother, and RN who found a creative outlet in photography. I quickly realized I loved the couples, engagements, and weddings, getting fully emotionally involved and loving every facet of their stories together. I'm a hopeless romantic who loves love in all forms! My style is clean, timeless and warm, and I hope to reflect their love and their life in their photos.