Real Couple // A Fijian-Mexican Engagement Shoot in Oakland: Falisha + Jorge

Real Couple // A Fijian-Mexican Engagement Shoot in Oakland: Falisha + Jorge

We chose to have our engagement photos in Oakland because it's special for both of us. My grandparents migrated from the Fiji islands to Oakland, and his parents from Mexico to Oakland. It was the landing place for both our families – their first taste of a foreign culture where they longed to be and the start of the American dream. 

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Real Wedding // A Brooklyn-Themed Bar Wedding: Abby + Joey

Real Wedding // A Brooklyn-Themed Bar Wedding: Abby + Joey

Joey and I met at The Cove, a dark and dirty bar in Williamsburg. We met on the dance floor... not the place you imagine meeting your husband, but we lucked out! And oddly enough our close friends who married a year before us met on the very same night at the same club! We were sad to see it shut down a few years back. 

Our wedding venue was TBD, which also closed down now. We loved the mixture of indoor and outdoor space and it ranked high for "dance-ability" as well. Aesthetically, I loved the mixture of cement, greenery, metal, and street art; it felt really "Brooklyn" which we both loved!  And since we had a lot of friends and family we wanted to attend, the size really fit our needs.

As some of our photos suggest, we really tried to include "the city," and namely Brooklyn in our wedding photo story.  Street art, hip hop, and the backdrop to our single lives before and now married life after. 

Rima was a huge part of that, including the memories we'll hold onto forever. She came to us with high recommendations and did not disappoint! We also found out that not only did she used to work with my best friend Kat in television, she also photographed a friend's wedding in Wheeling, WV as well. The coincidences felt too significant to ignore!

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Real Couple // Fun-Filled Carnival Love Session in Durham, NC: Brittany + Deon

Real Couple // Fun-Filled Carnival Love Session in Durham, NC: Brittany + Deon

Deon and I (Brittany) work at a North Carolina-based health insurance company, and are happily married with three kids.

We met at a high school football game (my school vs. his). I noticed him right away in his white Avirex jacket, black jeans and Diesel shoes. I thought he was staring at me all night (he disputes this!), so I sent my friend to get his number.

We talked on the phone for a few months, then we lost contact when I moved to Charlotte. I don’t quite remember how we got back in touch, but we did. We had a conversation about taking our relationship to the next level and have been inseparable ever since.

We told our photographer Nikia Williams that we wanted to do something different and have a background that we felt captured our personalities. A photo session at the carnival allowed us to re-live our high school days!

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Real Couple // A Tented Garden Wedding in Louisville, KY: Elle + Suzy

Real Couple // A Tented Garden Wedding in Louisville, KY: Elle + Suzy

We met six years ago through mutual friends while I (Elle) was visiting my sister in L.A.. Between Suzy battling food poisoning and my already being half asleep with my PJ's on, it's safe to say that neither of us expected to meet our future life partners that night when Suzy walked into the room. It took no time at all before we were able to find everything and anything to talk about.

Our whimsical crushes on one another could have easily fizzled once I returned home to Kentucky; however, after numerous visits to see one another back and forth across the country, it was pretty clear that our “crushes” were much more than what we had thought. Our mutual adoration, curiosity, and yearning for one another only grew stronger with distance and time. 

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Real Couple // A Natural Setting Engagement Session in Mount Airy, NC: Ashley + Ruthie

Real Couple // A Natural Setting Engagement Session in Mount Airy, NC: Ashley + Ruthie

I'll never forget the moment my whole life changed. As I came down the escalator to the baggage claim, the woman of my dreams was waiting. She had my favorite flowers, hydrangeas, and the most heartfelt card in hand. Her legs were shaking as I approached her, kissing her before exchanging words. I've never lived a more romantic moment than that one. We really haven't been apart much since.

Two girls means two proposals! I asked first, on Elon day, right in front of her college dorm where she had a brick made with her name on it. She graduated there, under the oaks, and so did my dad when he went to Elon in 1972 (another thing that drew me to her). Elon is a special part of our story because it's part of what brought us to NC and allowed our paths to cross. I had flowers, a note, and a necklace with Ashley's married initials monogrammed waiting for her to find at the brick with her name.

The same words in my note she had engraved on the ring box she used to propose to me two days later at the airport where we first met (she's definitely the more romantic one). "Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat, I'll keep choosing you."

Being in our thirties, we both feel like we've waited a long time for the right one. We're thrilled to start our lives together, make our own traditions, get through school these next two years, and work on growing our family. We look forward to the depth of companionship that time will bring to our relationship, knowing that things won't always be perfect or easy, but that we are a team and we will love each other through any storm we may weather.

We chose to have our pictures done in a natural setting because we wanted the focus to be on us and our connection. We are often told that "we look so in love" and wanted that to come across in our pictures without distraction from a busy background.

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Real Couple // A Tattooed Feminist Elopement in NYC: Frank + Inger

Real Couple // A Tattooed Feminist Elopement in NYC: Frank + Inger

Our fairy tale wedding was the perfect prelude to our fairy tale life. I can say this with certainty, not because we will have any particular experiences, any particular successes, or any particular things, but because whatever happens to us will be met with a spirit of gratitude, partnership, learning, and wonder.

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Real Couples // A Winter Snowfall Wedding in the Poconos: Mamta + Hirsha

Real Couples // A Winter Snowfall Wedding in the Poconos: Mamta + Hirsha

Mamta and Hirsha's wedding at the Camelback Lodge in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania was this past December and all of us had our fingers crossed for snow! We had a backup plan, of course — wander into the snow machines for the slopes. But the weather was on our side and we didn’t just get snow — we got a snow STORM! Though the weather said “just a dusting,” while Mamta was still getting ready, it started snowing heavily! It stayed that way through their first look! They were so excited for snow photos that they stayed out for more than 45 minutes for portraits. (Mamta in those open toed shoes!) Hirsha’s family had a blast arriving in style — and in the snow! With the mountains as our backdrop, they had a beautiful and emotional ceremony filled with family.

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Real Couple // A Diablo Lake Engagement Session in Washington: Iyanna and Michael

Real Couple // A Diablo Lake Engagement Session in Washington: Iyanna and Michael

We got engaged on our four-year anniversary. Ever year we try to outdo each other with gifts on our anniversary. I was sure that I would win this year as I planned on gifting Michael, not one, but two Seattle Sounders jerseys because they are his favorite MLS soccer team. I had planned to record his reaction live for all of our family and friends to witness his priceless reaction. However, I did not realize that Michael had planted all of these ideas into my head through various family members. 

Michael played along with the surprise and had a small gift to give me so that I felt I had won that year’s gift exchange, and at the very end of it all Michael got down on one knee and proposed to me while all of our family and friends watched from all over the country. It was a magical moment that we’ll have forever and can relive whenever we want because he made sure that I had recorded it.

Diablo Lake was chosen as our photoshoot location by suggestion of our photographer, Meghann. It had been on our list of places to visit and therefore it was the perfect opportunity.

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Real Couples // A Joyful, Intimate Wedding in Baltimore: Hope + Meg

Real Couples // A Joyful, Intimate Wedding in Baltimore: Hope + Meg

Our wedding venue is the most beautiful, timeless space that combined historical significance with updated charm. It was also conveniently located not too far from where we lived. We drove by it several times a week and felt comfortable there. Since we aren't native to Baltimore, we decided that we would marry here and bring all of our loved ones to the city we call home.

Our ceremony was short and simple, officiated by our sister-in-law, Colleen. Everyone in our immediate family walked down the aisle in pairs with flowers. Meg walked down with her mom and dad. Lovey ran down the aisle and joined our bridesmaids up front in one of her favorite camping chairs. We had small wedding parties with a few friends and involved other close friends and family in our ceremony with our readings. We also worked with a great caterer, Copper Kitchen, that we knew would make our wedding food something to always be remembered.

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Real Couples // Intimate, Spectacular Elopement in NYC | Teddy & Vanessa

Real Couples // Intimate, Spectacular Elopement in NYC | Teddy & Vanessa

After prepping at the hotel, we made our way down to the pier. It had been overcast and threatening to pour all day, but we'd yet to have any rain and we crossed our fingers and prayed to Mother Nature to hold out until after the ceremony. Lo and behold, those grumpy grey clouds were the best thing to happen to our wedding because when we arrived at the site around 4 p.m. it was absolutely deserted! With the exception of a group of teenagers and a lone, very chilled out pot-smoking cloud gazer who was occupying the only skyline facing corner of the entire pier (and who kindly conceded it when approached by our ever efficient, polite and diplomatic officiant), we had the whole pier to ourselves! It was incredible. We felt as though we were in New York City's most exclusive spot, set against the backdrop of one of the most iconic skylines in the world. The breeze was blowing, the water was lapping and the city was just starting to light up—we were on Cloud 9! 

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Real Couples // Joshua Tree Engagement Photos: Eda + Matt

Real Couples // Joshua Tree Engagement Photos: Eda + Matt

Matt had been carrying a ring around for over 4 months and proposed on the last day we were in Copenhagen. We were at a dessert bar and he asked the waitress to hide the ring in my pastry, but they almost brought my dessert to the wrong couple! He told me that this place specifically puts gold in their desserts and when I found the ring, I thought it was part of the tart until he got down on one knee. Good thing I didn't eat it! I was surprised to hear that all our family members already knew except me. He nailed it!

We planned this trip just for leisure and our lovely photographer just so happened to have time to meet us in Joshua Tree for a quick engagement session. It was so nice to have such a different landscape in these shots.

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Real Couple // A Sweet, Fun Wedding in Pittsfield, MA: Jenn + Mark

Real Couple // A Sweet, Fun Wedding in Pittsfield, MA: Jenn + Mark

"We knew we wanted to have it in the Berkshires since most of my family and friends back in Virginia had not been there yet, and we wanted to give them a chance to experience the community and see why I decided to live in this area. We decided to go with the simplest (and most affordable) wedding venue option so that we can spend the money to customize a few details to our liking.

"I hate being the center of attention, so if I had my way, I would just magically appear at the front of the aisle, say "I Do", and then immediately poof away. Unfortunately, technology isn't there yet. So we settled on a very short ceremony so that there was minimal looking at me. But it was a very special moment because we had our dear friend, Ethan, perform the wedding ceremony. He quoted Bob Dylan, as requested, and really made the ceremony specific to us."

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Real Couples // A Dreamy, Fun Wedding in Saratoga Springs, NY: Daisy + Sam

Real Couples // A Dreamy, Fun Wedding in Saratoga Springs, NY: Daisy + Sam

I met Sam in my pajamas. PJ's with pink elephants ice skating on them. She loves to remind me. I was picking up a friend and she was walking with them. She was so beautiful. I found myself holding my breath as she walked up to my car. She never left my mind after that. I was such a fool too. I kept stuttering and getting tongue tied. I just wanted to be around her.

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Real Couples // Evening Garden Engagement Session in Shelby Township, Michigan: Genevieve + Maurice

Real Couples // Evening Garden Engagement Session in Shelby Township, Michigan: Genevieve + Maurice

Maurice and I met while attending Central Michigan University. After passing each other a few times on campus, exchanging smiles each time, we decided it was time we spoke. Maurice asked me to be his date for Sweetest Day, and five years later, on that same day, he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Breakfast in bed and a trip to the movies was just the beginning of our day. Maurice surprised me with a photo shoot at our local park. As we walked onto a wooden bridge overlooking the creek, I was shocked to see both of our parents approaching us. Seeing as how my parents don't live in the area, I knew something big was about to happen. Caught on camera was my guy on one knee, and myself emotionally overjoyed with the fact that I'll be spending the rest of my life with my best friend. We then celebrated with a family dinner and headed home. To my surprise, there was even more to come. I walked in to find hundreds of photos of us surrounded by string lights, candles, and a bottle of wine. Am I not the luckiest girl in the world?!

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Real Couples // Elegant, Heartfelt Wedding in Alexandria, VA: Tim + Tom

Real Couples // Elegant, Heartfelt Wedding in Alexandria, VA:  Tim + Tom

We reserved the Lorien's Presidential Suite which has a beautiful roof top terrace. After the official wedding reception ended, we had all our family and friends join us for drinks and light snacks on the terrace. It was a time for us to relax, get comfortable and unwind on a beautiful summer night with views of Old Town. The last guest left at 3:00 AM so we would say fun was had by all!

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Real Couples // A Natural Engagement Session in Boca Raton: Kelsey + Kris

Real Couples // A Natural Engagement Session in Boca Raton: Kelsey + Kris

Kris and I met during high school track and field. We have always been polar opposites of one another, but like opposing sides of magnets, we were drawn together. Kris has a way of mellowing out my high-strung nature and keeping me grounded to the here and now. And I like to think that I bring happiness and structure to Kris's life. We've been together (on-again, off-again) for going on 17 years. Being apart during our college years made us both aware of how much better we are together than apart.

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Real Couple // Fun and Flirty Amusement Park Engagement Session in San Diego: Angela + Jamie

Real Couple // Fun and Flirty Amusement Park Engagement Session in San Diego: Angela + Jamie

Jamie's cousin, Glenn, told me to come to his housewarming. I really didn't want to go because I was already in my pajamas and I knew Glenn didn't have a new place. Our friend Jesus ended up picking me up so I had no other choice. It turned out to be Jamie's housewarming—I met Jamie and thought he was cute and shy. Later after I left, Jamie asked Glenn about me and the rest is history.

I (Jamie) had asked her parents for their blessing a few months back. It was her birthday weekend and she always talked about going to Catalina Island so I wanted to surprise her with a day trip.

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Real Couples // Randall's Island Park Engagement Photos in NYC: Hari + Jen

Real Couples // Randall's Island Park Engagement Photos in NYC: Hari + Jen

I (Jen) am a San Francisco native living in New York for the past seven years. I'm a book editor, and passionate about fiction, traveling, animals, good TV, and Vietnamese food. Hari is from India and moved to New York four years ago. He runs a creative agency that works to develop, design, and brand companies. He's a fan of cricket, podcasts, pets, whiskey, and animated films.

Hari took me to the New York Public Library (one of my favorite places) under the guise of meeting up with a friend. He arranged to have one of the security guards let us into a restricted section and he got down on one knee.

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Real Couples // A Jovial Urban Wedding in Brooklyn, NY: Andrei + Starsha

Real Couples // A Jovial Urban Wedding in Brooklyn, NY: Andrei + Starsha

Andrei and I met at a "horsewarming party" (or at least that was what the Facebook event was called). One of my best friends from Sarah Lawrence was moving in with her boyfriend, Andrei's friend from his youth. They threw a housewarming party in Lefferts Garden. It was a blistering hot day in the dead of summer, and earlier that day I helped a friend move a used air conditioner (read: heavy) from a tiny East Village apartment to her apartment in Bushwick. I could feel a "throat thing" coming on and was really tired, but mustered up the energy to go to the party. I laid on the couch for the first hour I was there when three boys walked in and the music stopped and everyone looked at them in 20 seconds of silence. Not really, but I did become upright embarrassingly fast once I spotted him: Andrei, the man I was going to marry. I accidentally exclaimed out loud, "WHO IS THAT?" He and is friends immediately went to the fire escape because it was unbearably sweaty inside and I followed them. I introduced myself immediately. I ultimately had to leave the party early before having the proper chance to declare my desire to marry him one day or at least get in a kiss. But I told all of my friends before I left—middle school style—to "tell that boy I like him." And they did!

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Real Couples // Sun and Nature Filled Engagement Session in Lafayette, IN: Alexis + Megan

Real Couples // Sun and Nature Filled Engagement Session in Lafayette, IN: Alexis + Megan

There weren’t many sentimental locations in our city that we could use for our engagement session (unless we did it at Steak ’n Shake where we had our first date) so we decided to leave it up to our photographer, Jasmine. Jasmine amazed us yet again. She gave us a few suggestions and showed us previous engagement sessions at each location, and we loved the look of the battleground, so that’s the one we chose.

One thing I'm looking forward to about being married (other than the typical cliché of spending the rest of my life with my best friend) is being able to call Megan my wife, sharing a last name, and knowing that she will forever be my family.

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