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Trace Title_key Andrew

Engagement
gallery Oct 19 2016
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How We Met:

Our story is a bit unconventional, but we would have it no other way. We met in October of 2010 at a dive bar on karaoke night — one of the few places that we were likely to have ever connected. At the time, Trace was working as a host at Chili's while finishing his undergraduate degree, and his coworkers Lisa (one of the wedding attendants) and Steve (the officiant) convinced him to go to Bout Time — an admittedly dingy hole-in-the-wall with a LOT of personality, to say the least. Andrew, who was working as an event specialist at a catering company, attended the same bar for the first time while actually on date with someone else (go figure). As luck would have it, mutual friends of his date knew mutual friends of Trace’s and the two began to frequent karaoke night weekly within this social group, though never really interacting. Truth be told, when we met we did not hit it off right away; Andrew found Trace to be extremely cute, but also extremely loud and obnoxious. Trace was still living the college life, after all. Though we eventually began to draw closer to each other thanks to a mutual love of horror movies, it took some serious work before Trace could convince Andrew to take their relationship from casual hangouts to official dating status. Many karaoke outings and movie nights later, Andrew finally agreed to make things official with Trace on April 11, 2011. Naturally, our first official date as a couple was a trip to the movies three days later to see Scream 4, an appropriately planned event since we both held an undying adoration for the Scream series and had bonded over it many times before. From there, we began a long and oft adventurous journey of courtship. Our years have been filled with laughs and fights, steak dinners and bottles of wine, TV binge nights and film festivals, and— above all — growth and love. Our mutual decision to solidify our partnership for life was made a reality when Trace proposed on January 31, 2016.

The Proposal from Trace's Point of View:

So, I had to be the one to propose because Andrew had always requested that I be the one to do it. I’m the less romantic of the two and am generally pretty terrible at sentimental moments. I’m just a little awkward. Because of this, Andrew thought it would be more romantic and meaningful if I faced my insecurities and be the one to take that leap since he had already made it clear that he would say yes. It took about two more years(!) for me to get up the nerve to propose.

It took me a while to finalize a plan. A major contender was setting up a puppy play date with a friend and attaching the ring to our dog’s collar before sending him into Andrew’s arms. I eventually decided that was too complicated and decided to use a colleague from my work in the event industry to surprise him. I contacted my friend Brittany, a photographer, and asked her to text both Andrew and me and ask us if we would model for a mock engagement shoot. This made sense because, with the recent Supreme Court rulings, everyone in the industry was trying to get more marketing materials with same-sex couples. Andrew bought into the idea and agreed to do it to help Brittany out.

There were some hurdles along the way. I bought the ring right before Christmas but was told I was going to have to wait six weeks for it to come in. At that point I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to wait until after our annual Mardi Gras trip in February to propose. We set a date for mid-February. As fate would have it, I got a call in mid-January informing me that the ring had come in, a mere three weeks after I bought the ring. Wanting to propose before our trip, Brittany and I scrambled and we set a date for January 31st. Unfortunately, when we mentioned this to Andrew we learned that he had already made plans with a friend for the same day. I immediately contacted that friend and told her my plan and ordered her to cancel her plans with Andrew. She obliged. We were set for January 31st so I picked the location: a levy behind the first apartment complex we lived at together.

On the big day, we arrived with our dog Coach McGuirk (aka the cutest dog in the world). We met up with Brittany and her assistant, but I said I forgot my sunglasses and wanted to run back to my car to get them. Her assistant followed me and I grabbed the ring box from the car and handed it to him. Finally, the shoot began. After spending about 45 minutes taking a few shots in different areas (it was surprisingly hot, even for January), Brittany told us that she wanted to get a shot of a faux proposal (this was my idea) and handed me the ring box. While doing this, she told me that it was grandmother's ring so be very careful with it, (that was her idea) in order to sell the idea even further. I was visibly nervous but I think Andrew was so annoyed with the heat that he couldn’t tell. I then got down on one knee and said, "Andrew, I know you think this is fake, but it's actually real. Andrew Steven Arriaga, will you marry me?" It took Andrew a second to realize that I was serious, and he just stood there for a minute before finally (finally) saying yes! We kissed and hugged and I drove him to the Driskill Hotel (where Andrew had always wanted to stay since it’s haunted) and we spent our engagement night there.

The Proposal from Andrew's Perspective:

After being together for about four years, I knew I wanted to marry Trace. Historically being the one of us who is keener on planning everything out—and definitely the more sentimental of the two of us—I made these feelings quite clear, hoping that Trace would realize he was in the same boat sooner than later! Though I tried not to be too pushy about wanting to get married, I did inform Trace that if we were ever to be engaged, I would love it if he would be the one that proposed. I figured I had made my feelings pretty clear over the years, and just thought it would be nice to see him make that kind of gesture that was both grand and out of his comfort zone. Truth be told, I had already decided to propose myself if he didn’t do so by our fifth anniversary, but he didn’t need to know this!

Fast-forward to January 31st, 2016, three months before our fifth anniversary… Trace and I had agreed to help out our photographer friend Brittany as models for a faux engagement photo shoot for her portfolio. I really thought nothing particularly significant about her invite, as Brittany had actually shot photos for me a while back and we are always happy to help her out. To make things a bit more effortless, the shoot was going to be held nearby at the levee behind the apartments where Trace and I used to live with some friends. When we arrived at the outdoor shooting location that day with our dog, I was less than thrilled that it was especially hot for wintertime, even for Austin. We toughed it out in the heat though and spent a little less than an hour taking a number of different shots while staving off sweat in between. It was admittedly less romantic than any of the resulting photos might suggest, and I was growing pretty restless in the sun if I’m being completely honest! I was doing my best to remain in good spirits, but I am sure my grumpiness was starting to show. Likely noticing this, Brittany requested one last shot: a faux proposal photo op with Trace being the one to go down on one knee. I was definitely all about this, figuring this would be good practice for him! Little did I know that this was no faux proposal at all; in a whirlwind of about 20 second, Trace caught me completely off guard by getting down on one knee and uttering the words, “I know you think this is all fake, but it’s actually real. Andrew Steven Arriaga, will you marry me?” Needless to say, I was in a state of complete shock! I have felt this kind of genuine surprise in my life maybe once or twice before, and most definitely not in such a tremendous way. In the moment, I was overcome with emotion and awe—but of course said yes as quickly as I could!

To make things even more special, Trace also planned a wonderfully romantic evening for us that continued right after the shoot at one of the most gorgeous and historical Austin locales, The Driskill Hotel; he had even been in communication with my boss so that I could have the next day off of work as well! Being the very intuitive and detail-oriented person that I am, I never expected that Trace would pull off something so sneaky without me even remotely becoming suspicious. Needless to say, I am so unbelievably glad that he did. It is a moment I will remember with the utmost joy for the rest of my life… or, more appropriately, the rest of our lives together!  

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Tagged: engagements, engagement shoots, proposals, surprise proposal, brittany jean photography
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Sarah Title_key Elle

Engagement
gallery Sep 7 2016
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Sarah and Elle met in a typically modern way...online - although both of them were very wary of the e-method and so they struck up a conversation (or 10) before actually going on their first date. Elle challenged Sarah to 'surprise her’ for their first meeting - and Sarah succeeded in taking Elle to the one of the most iconic views atop Cypress Mountain in Vancouver. Numerous jokes were made about Sarah being a potential axe murderer taking her into the woods - but a much sweeter chord was struck by the end of the night when they talked for hours on end.

A series of rather serendipitous events led to them to moving in together - and rather reluctantly at first - only to discover that they were truly perfectly matched in ways that neither of them had ever expected. (It's funny how these things work out, isn't it?)  Throughout their time together, more than a few tests have been thrown in their direction - and without fail, the trials only proved that iron sharpens iron.

On September 5th, Sarah once again surprised Elle by collecting the efforts of their close friends (many of whom are in their wedding party!) to pull off a proposal. Sarah took her into the old growth forest of Sproat Lake, off of a secluded beach, and into a circle of candles that lit up the area in a way that felt truly magical - it was perfect! There, Sarah asked Elle to be her wife (on one knee even!) - and although slightly taken off guard - Elle said 'yes'. From there, they returned to the houseboat, filled with their friends who had champagne and some great cheers to share! It was an incredible day.

Elle and Sarah’s wedding was on September 3rd, 2016 at the Permanent, one of Vancouver’s iconic Heritage Buildings located in Gastown. They stumbled upon the venue and the moment they walked in, they knew it was for them. The classic art deco floors, vaulted stain glass ceiling and 16 foot heritage bar are just a few of the special features that caught their eye. The Permanent was built in 1907 and was a bank before recently being converted into an event space, the building’s original vault is still in place. The pair live in a heritage walk-up in central Vancouver and it was only fitting to match their classic style in this venue.

Sarah and Elle feel that Sara Rogers captured the picturesque nature of the proposal site perfectly, while back home at West Vancouver’s Lighthouse Park. It feels like one of many amazing memories to come - and both brides feel so lucky to have such stunning photos to highlight their joy in finding each other.  

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Tagged: engagements, engagement shoots, canada, sara rogers photography
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David Title_key Jeremy

Engagement
gallery Jun 13 2016
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The proposal...

We had a regular "date night" every Monday, so David had planned this to be during one of those nights. Jeremy actually almost cancelled that week's date night, but felt some reason why he shouldn't. We met up at a bar, where David downed a shot of liquid courage, and we walked around the Castro for a while, killing time until the lighting would be right for the surprise photographers. David asked Jeremy if he wanted to go on a little urban hike, which was totally out of character, but Jeremy said sure, why not? We walked up the Eureka Valley hills to a secluded open space, where we had a beautiful view of the city, the Castro flag, and the fog rolling in from the West. After taking a few selfies, David pulled out a few pieces of paper where he had written his proposal, and got down on one knee. In tears, Jeremy said yes, and then got down on his knee, saying we should both get to be able to be proposed to. David broke down into tears, and also said yes, of course. 

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Tagged: engagements, kyla gold, proposals, studio simplicity
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Val Title_key Tyler

Engagement Shoot
gallery May 4 2016
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How they met

A group gathering on 5th avenue in Park Slope lead to a chance meeting where neither Val nor Tyler were interested in a new love affair. As the night went on, however, it became obvious that they had much to talk about. Tyler was confident she knew the elements of felony murder and was insistent that soccer was the far superior sport. Val didn't pretend to understand Tyler's profession, but was steadfast in her belief that basketball demands more talent than soccer and, thus, basketball players were, and remain to be, far superior athletes. There was also Crossfit versus Ironman triathletes; Republicans versus Democrats versus Libertarians; Country music versus Hip Hop and R&B; Green pastures versus the Concrete Jungle; The dreaded Tupac versus Notorious BIG conversations; Blue eyes versus brown; Anywhere USA versus NYC... and before you knew it, everyone else had left the bar.

Thus began Val and Tyler's journey of disagreement on just about everything except that they liked being with each other. After just over a year of blissful arguments, Tyler proposed to Val on the island of Santorni following a week's long adventure of searching for Val's Greek ancestors on the mainland. They have since traveled the Country in search of a city that feels just right. They keep coming back to Brooklyn.    

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Tagged: engagements, engagement shoots, maggie marguerite photography, brooklyn
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Rachel Title_key Kristin

Engagement
gallery Mar 16 2016
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From Kristen...

I met Rachel in college. We had declared the same major so we were enrolled in a lot of the same courses. To me, she was the pretty girl I recognized in class but had no business talking to. Luckily, she rushed Alpha Phi Omega (a co-ed, service-based Fraternity) in the fall of our Junior Year, and I had an excuse to interact with her. For a long time, I thought I was full of myself for thinking she was interested in me. I can't express how happy I was when she proved me right. Things moved slowly at first. We both had church communities, families, Greek organizations and friends that needed to be brought into the fold as we became more serious about each other. I proposed to Rachel shortly after we graduated college at Yorktown Beach, the site of our first "official" date. As we shared our love with others, we received varied responses. Throughout the process, I came to know and love Rachel's bravery, compassion, and sense of humor all the more.

We now belong to a loving and affirming church community and are embraced by family. The beautiful women of Gamma Phi Beta (Rachel's Sorority) have exceeded my expectations in their support and excitement for us, and we are humbled by the generosity and acceptance of the Brothers of Alpha Phi Omega. I often joke that I don't know how I functioned before Rachel came into my life. The further we move forward the less I can imagine spending life without her. While we both take some pride in our independence and individuality, I know I'd be lost without Rachel by my side as I navigate my civilian career, higher education, and my duty with the Virginia Army National Guard. However, it's not just thinking about life without Rachel that makes me appreciate her. It's knowing that everything I have going for me is better when shared with the vibrant, beautiful, loving woman I am blessed to spend the rest of my life with. Together, we will explore every major museum that features dinosaurs, cook everything with quinoa at least once, and travel as far and as long as we can pack for.

One day, Rachel will teach me how to appropriately sample whiskey, and I will finally get her to lick an envelope (because there is nothing to fear). We will live happily ever after with our two ornery cats - and possibly children - if we can learn to keep a cactus alive.

From Rachel...

I officially met Kristen when I was rushing a service fraternity during my junior year of college. She was the President and I was just a pledge, so it was all very scandalous! Although we had been in a few classes together, the first time we really met was through the fraternity. After that, we continued talking and I developed the biggest, most embarrassing crush on her. Luckily we were in a few classes together so I could ask her to study with me without raising any suspicion. She was very reserved around me at first and I was determined to change that. The first time we went to dinner together I flat out asked her to tell me everything about her. I didn’t think she was going to open up, but she did! We continued talking for hours and I couldn’t help feeling this overpowering connection with her. Soon after, I knew I loved Kristen, but it took me a while to convince her that I was serious. One day she overheard me making plans for dinner that Saturday. When I got off the phone, Kristen informed me she had planned our first official date for that Saturday. I thought it was very presumptuous for her to assume I would go on a date without her asking me! I told her that IF I were to go on a date with her, she would need to ask me in a special way. When she finally asked me with roses, I excitedly agreed. It was the perfect beginning of “us”. Since we first met, I have come to know so many things that I love and admire about Kristen. Her strength, wisdom, and compassion inspire me to be the best version of myself. Her humor, sense of adventure, and passion remind me that each day is special. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her, one great adventure at a time.   

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Jay Title_key Brian

Engagement
gallery Feb 10 2016
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The love story...

It was a cool rainy (yes, rainy) day in San Francisco, and Brian was waiting for his bus at a bus stop. Jay, who was also there waiting for his bus noticed that Brian was wearing shorts, and made a remark about how it was such an 'un-shorts' kind of day. That made Brian laugh, broke the ice and soon they were having a lovely conversation. They met again at the same bus stop the next day, and rest, as they say, is history.

Jay and Brian have been together for nineteen years. Yes, nineteen! It takes a special kind of relationship, full of love, patience, understanding and grace to cultivate a relationship, and knowing Jay and Brian, this is no surprise. One of the main reasons Jay and Brian waited so long was because they wanted to get married when same sex weddings became legal across the country, not just in a few states. They could have easily eloped to Vermont to get married, but they waited. And, that wait was over on June 26, 2015 when Supreme Court passed the law that made same sex marriage legal in all states in the US.

So, this year, Jay and Brian will be finally tying the knot knowing that equal love is everywhere and that their celebrations will have true meaning.

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Tagged: engagements, california, san fransisco, shhivika chauhan
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Sarah Title_key Jess

Engagement
gallery Jan 20 2016
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Jess's side of their story...

Sarah and I met in 2008 at college. From the moment I met this girl, I was love struck. She still doesn't believe me when I tell her she was my love at first sight. We were introduced through mutual friends and hit it off right away, but I never imagined that it would have turned into forever. From our tiny one bedroom apartment, to now having a home and three perfect fur babies. From the first kiss I stole when we were watching a movie in our dorm rooms to the one I had this morning before I left for work, our love is ever strong. A relationship and being in love is not easy, but it is worth everything to me. We have had some obstacles but we have had so many wonderful adventures. No one makes me smile the way she does. We still have so much to go through in life and as cliche as it may sound- it will be great because we will conquer it together. You are my dream come true.

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Tagged: engagements, engagement shoots, goldie & christine
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Chrissy Title_key Lindsey

Engagement
gallery Dec 2 2015
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The love story...

Lindsey had recently graduated from Providence College & began working at a Medical Software company. Chrissy was told by management she was getting her first mentee. Little did either of us know this would be the beginning of a wonderful mentee/mentorship.

We were immediately drawn to each other & it was love at first site for Lindsey. It took Chrissy a little longer to come around, but she was always drawn to Lindsey. After any work event or weekend plan, Lindsey was the first person Chrissy would invite. Lindsey is kind, caring & positive. Chrissy has always describe Lindsey as a “bright light” & knew there was something special about her. We spent the majority of that fall together drinking pumpkin lattes & wearing flannel. We took things slow & enjoyed the time we spent together & officially started dating on Thanksgiving via Skype while Lindsey was visiting her sister in Ireland & Chrissy was visiting a friend in San Francisco.

We’ve spent the last four years enjoying living in the city of Boston, spending time with friends & traveling. Some of our favorite trips have included Seattle, Chicago, Ireland, St. Croix & our most recent trip was to London & Paris this past Thanksgiving. Our wedding is this coming April on 4/16/16 at the Providence Public Library. Plans are easily falling into place & we are solidifying our honeymoon plans to Thailand. We cannot wait to marry the person we are each meant to be with!   

Our engagement shoot took place in historic Charlestown, MA, a small neighborhood in Boston. We captured shots around the Bunker Hill Monument before heading to the Charlestown Navy Yard overlooking the city. We got engaged in the Navy Yard so it is a very special spot for us! It was so much fun to pop a bottle of champagne mid photo shoot and celebrate US!

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Jesse Title_key Kara

Engagement
gallery Nov 4 2015
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Jesse and Kara met while working at a fine dining steakhouse in downtown Portland, Oregon. It was Jesse's first day and she was extremely nervous. Kara saw her, instantly had a crush on her, and decided she would make Jesse her girlfriend. They started dating two days after they met and have been inseparable since then.

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Stephen Title_key Clinton

Engagement
gallery Oct 21 2015
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From the Stephen...

Somethings in life are just meant to be. Ten years ago, I left my world in Toronto and moved my life to Ixtapa, Mexico. It was on a beach there where I fell in love with a man who would change my life forever. The sweetest part was that he was from Toronto as well, and we had no idea. We had to move across the world to meet someone who was right in front of us the entire time. Ten years later, we are flying our loved ones in from around the world to the beach where we met to commit our lives to one another forever. In all the ways my life would be different, if it wasn't for Clinton. 

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