Real Couples // A Lush Maine Engagement: Jessica + Lauren

Lauren and I met through an online dating service ;). Lauren sent me an email to initiate communication, and I was immediately interested after reading her email and profile. Our back-and-forth emails on the first day quickly turned into back-and-forth text messages, and about an hour or so into our conversation Lauren invited me over for dinner the following night. She cooked a complete meal from scratch, including homemade buns for our veggie burgers. Dinner, a friendly board game, and instant chemistry made for the start of our love story.

A year later, Lauren and I moved across the country together so she could pursue her career. It was shortly after getting settled in Boston that I knew Lauren was the person I wanted to spend forever with. One morning over coffee I asked her if she wanted to go ring shopping on Black Friday..... she completely lit up. We researched and found a family-owned jewelry business downtown. After Lauren found her perfect ring, I secretly let the jeweler know I'd be back to make a purchase. Over the next two months I spent most of my free time brainstorming how to create the perfect proposal and engagement weekend. It needed to include many of Lauren's favorite things: a beautiful, romantic setting preferably near the water, a fancy hotel room complete with a deep soaking tub, and a fireplace, amazing food, a place for manicures and spa services, and of course the RING! Having heard Maine was a gorgeous place to visit, I came across Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Their staff worked with me to create the perfect engagement weekend.

Lauren was excited to go on a winter getaway, so I planned my proposal for February, right after she finished her software engineering program. When the time arrived, Lauren knew we were going to Maine but none of the details. Inn by the Sea was the absolute perfect getaway for us! On our first night, we got dressed up and headed into Portland, ME for a romantic dinner at Fore Street. I had the ring in my coat pocket and was SO nervous! Shortly after sitting down for our meal, I asked Lauren to sit next to me for a photo. We took a couple selfies, and then I asked her to take one. As she was holding the phone ready to capture the moment, I held up the ring for the picture. Lauren's jaw dropped and she froze. In true Lauren fashion, rather than taking the picture, Lauren accidentally turned the phone off. I turned to her, shared some beautiful words, and asked her to marry me. Lauren immediately said "YES!" We finished our incredible meal, including a surprise dessert from the staff that included "congrats" written in chocolate. Lauren requested I immediately drive her to the nearest store to pick up wedding magazines!

The next 2 days were filled with lasting memories: exploring historic lighthouses and the town of Portland, enjoying unforgettable meals at fine dining restaurants, sitting bundled up in blankets on our private balcony overlooking the winter white ocean scene, and enjoying each other's undivided attention. We were the happiest that we'd ever been. 

Words by Jessica, Photography by Shewanders Photography

Shewanders Photography


Shewanders Photography is a San Diego-based photography studio that travels globally to capture weddings and events for creative types who see things a bit differently.