Category Archives: Lesbian Engagement Shoot

Engagement: Nikki & Jojo

From Jojo: Nikki and I met in the middle of the ocean. Quite literally, actually. Jillian Michaels, America’s toughest trainer, held a fitness and wellness cruise in 2010. Being a fan of Jillian and someone into spending time on a boat to learn about fitness and wellness, I attended this cruise along with 1700 other people. [Sidebar: I’m also a fan of traveling alone—I suggest everyone try it once in their life!] To get everyone riled up for the next few days of learning and sweating, Jillian and her crew held “Deck Wars” as we left Miami—pretty much a fun competition of the strongest men/women on the boat. In the end of the strong woman squat-off, there was a girl who held a sumo squat for about five minutes with Jillian yelling in her ear. She had some pretty cool threads. Her sneakers were awesome. She had a presence on the stage. She was just badass! From that point on, that girl, Nikki, became the person to meet on that ship.

It was the next night, 80’s night, when our lives would change. I was eating alone in the cafeteria, dressed in a ridiculous 80’s outfit, and someone with a big rocker wig and a mid-riff shirt came up to me. She asked if I wanted to sit with her, her mom, and her friend. It was Nikki — she asked me to join her so I didn’t have to sit alone, and I gladly joined. We absolutely connected over food and fitness, and after the cruise we went back to our lives in Chicago and in Utah. Through the next months, we kept in touch. Eventually, she made her way to Chicago, and it went from there.

Once we started dating, I knew that this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. We’ve been together for just about six years, and I’ve been planning this surprise proposal for a long time. With the global traveling that Nikki does as an international trainer, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to make amazing friendships around the world. I wanted these people, along with our friends and family, to be a part of the proposal. The concept was simple: before I gave Nikki the ring, I wanted to pass it along to the very people who love and support us every single day. And they would pass it on to one another, until it came back to me.

While she was on a work trip to New Zealand, I began executing my plan: I created an instructional Youtube video to explain how they should send in their video clips in January, sent out emails with deadlines, and began compiling the video as the clips came in. I setup a meeting with her boss at work to stage a fake work dinner at the venue, so she knew she had to show up. The venue was close to my office so I could go during my lunch hours to hammer out details and logistics. I worked with a jeweler in Chicago to pick the perfect stone and setting—without knowing exactly what her ring size is, we made sure it was just big enough to go past the knuckle. I hired my colleague to capture every surprise moment (she and her husband also run a wedding photography business). I flew in Nikki’s parents from Utah to be in on the surprise. Every detail was worked through during the time she was away.

We got to dinner with her work colleagues that evening. The venue greeted us at the door with wine and sat us down at our table. City Winery often offers tours of the winery (it’s the only winery in the city of Chicago), so we grabbed our drinks and went on the tour. First stop was their wine and barreling room, next stop: the upstairs private event space where everyone was waiting. As we walked up the stairs, I distinctly recall thinking that I should have put on more deodorant… As we turned the corner and saw the crowd, Nikki didn’t immediately register it was a crowd she knew. She thought, “Oh, there’s a party up here, we should probably go.”  And then she saw her father. Once she saw him, the waterworks started. Then she started to recognize more people: her mom, my mom, my brother, our closest and dearest friends. As we worked through the crowd, and I grabbed her hand and said, “It’s okay, I want to show you something.”

I pressed play on the video that I had worked on for months, and together with our friends and family, we watched as I handed the ring off to one side of the screen, and it was passed around the world, from one person to the next, screen to screen. When it got back to me at the end, I turned to her and said, “There are a million things I wanted to say at this very moment, but I can’t remember any of it, and I’m not even sure what words are coming out of my mouth. But all I know is that I love you, Nikki. Always have, always will. And it would be amazing to spend the rest of my life with you.”

I pulled the ring box out of my pocket, got down on one knee and looked up at the love of my life as I said, “Nicole Ann Snow, will you marry me?” Through the happiest of tears, she said “YES!” and I couldn’t get up fast enough to pull her in my arms and hug my future wife. Our friends and family shouted in joy as I slid the ring on her finger.

We spent the rest of the night celebrating our love, surrounded by the people who mean the most to us. It was absolutely a magical night. I pulled of the surprise of our lives and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Now *that’s* a proposal! Watch Jojo’s video and footage of the big night here.

Photos courtesy of Adhikari Photography.

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Event Credits

Photography: Adhikari PhotographyVenue: City Winery Chicago
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Engagement: Kelli & Heather

We love Kelli & Heather’s idea of including friends in their engagement shoot—what a beautiful way of documenting our communities along with our love!

From Kelli: Heather and I met playing roller derby for the North Star Roller Girls, in Minneapolis, MN. Roller derby tends to become more of a lifestyle than a hobby, so we spent a lot of time together at practices, traveling to away bouts, attending PR functions, and just hanging out with our mutual friends on 8 wheels.

Eventually our friendship turned to more, and after a few years of dating, we decided we would spend our life together. I proposed to Heather in August of 2016, by hanging one yellow streamer in our bedroom for each day that we had been together and a blue streamer for each day since I knew I wanted to marry her. It was a lot of streamers and I think I nearly gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome cutting them all. However, it was definitely worth it for the look on Heather’s face when she came home from work, opened the door and walked into a sea of blue and yellow.

We went into our engagement photos knowing that we wanted them to be an honest reflection of us and who we are. We took our photos in two sessions. We first did pictures outside our home in Minneapolis, the city that we love. We included some shots in our roller skates and derby attire, since that played such a vital role in the early days of our relationship.

In October we did a second session at Afton State Park, just a short drive outside of Minneapolis. As surely any true blue Minnesotans must be, we are avid campers and hikers so being outdoors in this location felt very natural (pun intended). We have a little “inner circle” of close mutual friends from our roller derby team that agreed to come along and take part in some of the photos. They are often our companions on hiking and camping trips, so it was really fun to be able to show that connection in our pictures.

We were so happy with how the pictures turned out and feel like they really capture an authentic version of us our life together so far. Our photographer, Tamika Garscia, is also a dear friend and does amazing work. We are looking forward to our wedding in January of 2018, which will also be held in Minneapolis.

Photos courtesy of Tamika Garscia.

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Event Credits

Location: Minneapolis, MNPhotography: Tamika Garscia
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Engagment: Mackie & Kala

From Mackie: Kala and I met at a burlesque show in Indianapolis. She and I were both dating other people, so we shook hands and went on our way. A few months later we reconnected through Tinder (yes, it’s good for something!) and realized that we had been neighbors for a full YEAR and never knew it! Needless to say, we were inseparable after that.

There is a bridge in my hometown where high schoolers hang signs like “Sarah, will you go to prom with me?” or “Go Vikings!” I never had a sign up there for me. One evening after visiting my parents, we took a walk and I look up: “Mackenzie S., will you marry me?” She got down on one knee and I couldn’t stop smiling.

We live together with a house full of pets and a whole lot of love. We wanted to capture a few moments together before we start planning our June 2, 2018 wedding. I couldn’t be happier.

Photos courtesy of Rogue Images Photography.

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Event Credits

Location: Indianapolis, IndianaPhotography: Rogue Images Photography
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Engagement: Kayla & Lauren

From Kayla: Lauren and I met in college. We were engaged in October of 2015 when Lauren took me to an art museum and we stumbled upon a serenity garden downtown. After a few minutes of talking Lauren got down on one knee and proposed. I answered with “only if you say yes to me” and pulled out her grandmother’s ring. I had been carrying it around for two weeks waiting for her to ask. She was totally surprised. When we first found A Bicycle Built for Two it provided so much positivity and light for us. Almost five years later, we’re sharing our engagement photos in celebration of our wedding this summer.

Photos courtesy of Karen Huang.

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Event Credits

Location: New York CityPhotography: Karen Huang
Also posted in Credits, New York, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States, Urban | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Gallery: Loving You Was Red

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a gallery of all things red!

We’re sending thoughts of love and chocolate out to all our readers today (and everyday!) and wishing one and all a very happy Valentine’s Day!

For more LBTQ wedding inspiration, check out our other galleries here.

Wilkins & Monicawilkins & monicaBrittney & KaraBritney & KaraErica & AlexErica & AlexIlina & Kristin:
ilina & kristinLauren & JessieLauren & JessieTara & MeganTara & MeganCecily & Alaynacecily & alaynaRebekah & Shawna: Rebekah & ShawnaLindsay & AngelaLindsey & Kara

Also posted in Colorful!, Gallery, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Real Wedding Inspiration, Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Engagement: Hannah & Nicole

For our first engagement feature of 2017, here’s a beautiful session from a warmer season! Enjoy.

From Nicole: “Excuse me; can you hold that door for me?”

“What’s the magic word?”

“Uh, I love you?”

This was one of the first exchanges Hannah and I had with each other. At the time it seemed like just a smart aleck exchange between two people who had spoken only a few words to each other. In reality, it was a foreshadowing of what was to come.

I was in love with Hannah from the moment I met her. She has an infectious smile and an energy about her that makes you feel completely at ease. When I held the door for her at work we exchanged those words and I have to admit, even though it was a joke, I felt my heart skip a beat. The two of us connected instantly. I know that people say that they fell in love at first sight, but I was a cynic and did not believe in any of that, at least not until I met Hannah. Early on in our dating I found this quote that perfectly sums up our connection, “You were you and I was I; we were two, before our time. I was yours, before I knew; and you have always been mine two.”- Lang Leav. Getting to know Hannah was like becoming reacquainted with a long lost soul whom I had known before.

Given both of our love for the outdoors, our first date was in the Arb in Ann Arbor. What was intended to be a short stroll turned into a 5-hour journey in which we climbed trees, walked barefoot, skipped rocks and philosophized. I truly believe that Hannah and I fell in love walking through the Arb that day, and from there we never looked back. The past year and a half has been full of love, joy, sadness—through losses of loved ones, the birth of a niece, and, of course, our engagement.

Hannah asked me to marry her while we were camping one weekend (one of our favorite things to do). We were on Good Harbor beach right outside of Leelanau for the day. While enjoying being the only ones there, sitting by the water reading on the beach, Hannah nonchalantly said, “So, I talked to your parents a while ago about marrying you. I asked them for permission and they said they were all for it.” I found this interesting because even though we had discussed getting married, I had no idea where this conversation was going. Confused, I said to her, “Awesome! So one day here soon I’ll be expecting that question from you.” When I looked up from my book and over at Hannah she had a beautiful birch tree candle that swiveled open. She then swiveled it open to reveal the words, “Will you marry me?” It was perfect. Little did Hannah know that I had already purchased a ring for her and had planned on asking her to marry me on our next trip up north. So, a few weeks later, while sitting in our hammock watching the sunset over Lake Michigan I gave Hannah her ring and asked her to marry me as well.

On October 7, 2017, we will say I do, which is the most exciting thing ever!

Photos courtesy of Justine Castle.

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Event Credits

Location: St. Clair, MichiganPhotography: Justine Castle: http://www.justinecastle.com/
Also posted in Credits, Michigan, Photography, Region, United States | 2 Responses

2016 in Review: “We Just Don’t Do Things By the Book”

This post is the final installment in our end-of-year round up! To see the other entries in this series, click here. We’ll be posting new weddings and engagements again starting next week, so don’t forget to submit your stories and photos!

Today’s Engagement Shot

Emilee’s marching band proposal involved a personalized song and an assist from the Georgia Tech alumni band! Of course, Chelsea said yes!

chelsea-emileeToday’s Story

As mature college students, our budget was tight, but our wedding turned out simplistically beautiful. Our church family rallied around us, and friends and a little bit of family from far and wide came to support us and surround us with love on our special day. We couldn’t have asked for a sweeter group of people around us and had so much fun dressing up in colors while our bridesmaids wore white. We just don’t do things by the book.”Katie & Sheila

Today’s Wedding Detail 

Today, we’re highlighting two dress + pants weddings that incorporate both traditionally masculine and feminine details: Carrie & Claire‘s flowing white outfits accented with a navy blazer…

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…and Taylor & Taylor‘s lace gown & rad floral bow tie!

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Today’s Kiss

Sarah & Kelly‘s engagement shoot in Denver, Colorado, featured a beautiful park, a stop for beer, and a kiss in front of this colorful mural. 

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Also posted in Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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