Tag Archives: California Lesbian Engagement Photos

Engagement: Natalie & Susanna

From the couple:

How We Met
Natalie and Susanna met at the University of the Pacific after a Pep Band gig. Susanna was in charge of the instrument closet and was bringing Natalie’s roommate an instrument to borrow. For years Susanna thought she was carrying a tenor saxophone, and Natalie said it was a trombone. True to form, Natalie was right.

After a year of friendship, Natalie and Susanna started taking a music history course together on Romanticism. It was through that course and their camaraderie in their music fraternity that they began to fall in love. (It didn’t hurt that Susanna had to borrow Natalie’s textbook constantly either!)

At first it was a cute joke. Natalie soon become Susanna’s fake girlfriend because everything in the universe seemed to say they should be together. From their love of The Court Jester to sharing the same shoe size and a love of words and grammar, they seemed to be a perfect match.

Within a month of “fake dating” they realized that what they had was real, and with a bit of pushing from friends and some liquid courage they moved from “fake dating” to just dating.

The Proposal
Four years later, Susanna and Natalie knew that they both wanted to propose to each other, so they decided that one would go first, and the other would go right after. Like the planners they are, they decided they would go to University of the Pacific, where they first met, to propose. Conveniently, Susanna had a choir concert in Stockton the night of 9/24, so they went to Pacific after the concert. (Well, after they had a drink first so they weren’t as nervous…)

When they were “fake girlfriends,” Susanna would walk Natalie to her car after their Romanticism class. Susanna would even carry Natalie’s books for her while walking to her car! They went back to that classroom after 4 years of absence and started their walk. Most of what was said on the walk is now a blur, but the part Natalie remembers the most is when Susanna said, “When we were walking to your car 4 year ago, I had no idea that I was walking with my future wife.” She stopped walking, turned to Natalie and said, “Will you marry me?” And through much crying she said, “Yes! Of course!”

Then it was Natalie’s turn! She took Susanna on a walk to a beautiful part of campus called The Columns. It is a circle of Ionic columns, with circular benches all around. Natalie wanted to bring Susanna there because the architecture reminded her of their trip to Italy together, and how in love they felt there. She had always wanted to bring Susanna back to Rome to propose by the Pantheon, and the columns reminded her of their special place. She took out a card, and handed it to Susanna. The card talked about some of the themes from their Romanticism class, and how the music they listened to was circular in form, with no end, just like their relationship. At the end of the card, she wrote, “Will you marry me? Check yes or no!” Of course, she forgot to bring a pen! But Susanna had one and checked yes.

Photos courtesy of Bill Quinn Photography.

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Event Credits

Location: University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA engagementPhotography: Bill Quinn Photography
Posted in California, Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Engagement: Dalene & Victoria

Back in the fall of 2015, Dalene and Victoria celebrated their engagement with this photo shoot in Ventura, California—stay tuned for the story of their wedding on the blog later this week!

Photos courtesy of Horse & Feather Photography.

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Event Credits

Location: Ventura, CaliforniaPhotography: Horse & Feather Photography
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Engagement: Holly & Becky

From Becky: Holly and I met in the fall of 2005 when both of us were students studying music at Santa Barbara City College. We’re both singers, so we sang together in a couple of choirs at school, and eventually joined a few more choirs around Santa Barbara. I was in a relationship at the time, but I always felt something different when I was around Holly. We saw each other most days of the week and shared a lot of mutual friends, so as the years went by, we grew closer together. By early 2016, the timing was right and it was painfully obvious we liked each other. One night after hanging out with friends, she brought up the elephant in the room and we admitted feelings for each other. The rest, as they say, is history.

We got engaged in March 2017 in Santa Barbara, where we live. We’d been talking about getting engaged for a while, and even picked out rings together. I thought she might propose during a choir trip to Ireland over St. Patrick’s Day, but the trip came and went without a proposal. Then, the following weekend, we went hiking, which is a favorite pastime of ours (Santa Barbara has some of the best hiking trails in the world). The mountains around town are especially beautiful right now because of all the recent rain we’ve had after years of drought, so everything was covered in flowers, the nearby Lake Cachuma actually had water in it, and every square inch of ground was a vivid green.

We drove through the mountains to a trail that leads to Knapp’s Castle, an old ruin of a house that had been built there decades before but had since been abandoned. The views from it span both the Santa Barbara back country and the Santa Ynez mountains. When we got to Knapp’s Castle, I pulled out Holly’s phone to take a pano shot of our surroundings. She told me to take another one, and when I got to her about halfway through the pano, she was down on one knee! Well, obviously I ditched the phone and gladly agreed to marry her! We exchanged engagement rings on the top of a mountain, just the two of us, which is exactly what we both wanted.

We’re well on our way with planning our fall wedding, which will be here in Santa Barbara. In keeping with our passion for singing, the ceremony will include a choir of 50 or so of our closest singer friends.

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Event Credits

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted in California, Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States, Venue | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Engagement: Mckenzie & Tori

From Mckenzie: Tori and I met for the first time in March of 2012 at a monthly queer women’s dance party in Washington, DC called She.Rex. We connected over music (she’s a bass player and I’m a singer), and had an amazing time playing together in a rock band for the next year and a half before finally starting to date. Once we got together, we talked a lot about the future -marriage, kids, where we might live – but we always skipped over the getting engaged part. I decided it was time to act, so I got some advice from Tori’s sister and brother-in-law, and got to planning!

Shortly after Tori and I had started dating, we went on a trip to San Francisco. It was there that I remember really falling hard for Tori and found out later that she had felt the same way. Because this place was so special to us, I knew I had to do the proposal there, but how would I get her there, especially without it becoming suspicious? Well, luckily enough, a month or so prior to my planning, Tori and I had booked flights to Oregon to visit my family in late August. This was the solution: I could change the flights to fly into San Francisco instead, and she would not have to know! I barely told anyone that the proposal was coming, so it would be a surprise. The day of the flight to ‘Oregon’ came, and I was out-of-my-mind nervous. I thought I had it well-planned down to the last detail, so all I could do was go with it. I was able to get her all the way to Oakland without any suspicion. When we got there I was like, ‘So we’re not actually changing planes here; we’re staying here in San Fran for the day!’

We had a lovely day in San Francisco, where we had a scrumptious lunch at one of the best taco places in town, shopped around the Mission District, and relaxed in the sun at Dolores Park. Later that evening, we hopped in an Uber to head to ‘dinner,’ and she had no idea where we were going. The driver took us through Golden Gate Park, which was so lovely. As we exited the park, we came upon Ocean Beach. When Tori figured out where we were, that was the first time she got suspicious about what was happening. We walked around on the beach collecting rocks and shells for a bit while the two of us were trying not to act super nervous.

Our photographer Danielle was on the beach with us catching candids, and Tori had no idea she was there; she looked like she was just out there on her own capturing the sunset. Danielle’s cue to know I was about to propose was when Tori and I compared our seashell findings. This was the only trip-up! There were basically no shells on the beach that day. Tori thought it was pretty weird that I was so insistent on finding shells when there weren’t really any to be found, but she was so nervous with hopeful anticipation that she just went with it and channeled her nerves and excitement into the task. I was so grateful for this!

We found a few shells, and we stopped on the beach to compare them and pick our favorites. I had placed the ring under the stack of shells in my hand, so when I got to the bottom of the stack, I said, ‘Okay, I have one more,’ and I opened up my hands with the ring sitting there and asked her to marry me. She said ‘Yes!’ And Danielle captured the moment beautifully. It was perfect.

We had our moment, and then Danielle came over and we told Tori what was going on. She was in disbelief. We had a whole engagement photoshoot right after the proposal had occurred. Danielle was so amazing at calming us down and making us not look completely weird (because of course we were feeling super giddy and ridiculous at this point). After the shoot, Tori and I went to the most delicious sushi dinner and just soaked up the loveliness of it all together.

The next morning, we had a way-too-early flight to Oregon, but we made it! We then got to make the big announcement to my family in person, which was super cool, and later that week the pictures from Flytographer got to us, just in time for us to put them up on Facebook and share the experience with everyone! The pictures that Danielle took were exactly what we had wanted, and we feel so grateful to have them as a memento of this special day.

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Event Credits

Location: Golden Gate Park, San FranciscoOther: FlytographerPhotography: Danielle in San Francisco for Flytographer
Posted in California, Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Other, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Engagement: Kallie & Lauren

From Paige, Kallie & Lauren’s photographerI first met Kallie working on my college newspaper. She is a fellow photographer, and I’m so happy we stayed in touch all these years. I was introduced to her fiance Lauren when the two of them entered an engagement session giveaway I hosted last summer. Here’s the story of how they met and the proposal:

Lauren and Kallie started out as friends. They met in the summer of 2012 when they were both working as interns in L.A. Lauren moved out from Mississippi. Kallie was intrigued by her Southern accent- the first she had ever heard in person.

The two started spending more and more time together, going to dinner after work and staying out talking until they were kicked out of closing restaurants. Somehow Lauren’s living situation unraveled and she ended up moving into Kallie’s guest room for the rest of her internship.

At some point that summer Kallie had fallen head over heels. Not wanting to make the first move, she stewed in romantic tension and waited for Lauren to kiss her. Unfortunately, the summer ended too soon and Lauren was due back in Mississippi. Like an awkward lovesick teenager, Kallie texted Lauren her true feelings before she was gone.

Lauren wasn’t too happy with the idea of a long-term relationship, so they continued to be “just friends.” They texted and Skyped every day after Lauren moved home. Three weeks after she had moved back, Lauren told Kallie she wasn’t afraid of the distance anymore, and so they made it official.

As broke college students, all of their extra money went toward plane tickets. Five months later, Kallie flew to Mississippi for the last time to help Lauren move back to California. They have since moved in together, work for the same company and have three cats.

In April last year, Lauren surprised Kallie with a weekend trip to Coronado and proposed to her at night on the beach– the same location of their second date. It seemed fitting to venture back to Coronado where the surprise proposal happened for their engagement photos. We rode the ferry over and spent the afternoon gallavanting around the island from sunset to nightfall.

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Event Credits

Location: Coronado Island, San DiegoPhotography: Paige Nelson Photography
Posted in California, Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, photographer, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Engagement: Rebekah & Shawna

How We Met

(by the couple)

In the Spring of 2009, Rebekah & Shawna met randomly at a Women’s Center function at Western Washington University, but it wasn’t until Fall 2009 that they saw each other again and began their unexpected (and amazing) journey together. Rebekah had just started graduate school, and Shawna was in her senior year of college. Before the school year started, they ran into each other in the Student Union and struck up a conversation. Later that same night, through mutual friends, Rebekah formulated a plan to meet Shawna out. After dancing their hearts out to Michael Jackson’s P.Y.T., Rebekah asked Shawna to coffee, to which Shawna responded, “I don’t drink coffee… but I drink hot chocolate!”
And the rest is history. Through wooing Shawna with a combination of homemade pizza and newly learned cribbage skills, they started on an adventure of a lifetime. After two years together, they decided to continue their adventure down to California, so Shawna could attend graduate school and Rebekah could start her career. 5 1/2 years later they are getting hitched!


Though they knew we wanted to spend our lives together, Rebekah was adamant that they would not have a wedding until they could legally be married. WELL ,Prop 8 (the anti-gay marriage bill in California) and DOMA (the federal Defense Against Marriage Act) were both struck down/overturned by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, and Rebekah couldn’t wait to propose.

Our Proposal

(by Shawna)

I always told Rebekah that I didn’t know if I wanted to get married. But secretly, I did. I just had some prerequisites. First, I told her that I needed to graduate from graduate school and get a job. Then, I told her I wouldn’t get married until my home state recognized same-sex marriage. Turns out all of these things happened in 2014. So I was prepared for the proposal, in some ways more than others. Every small trip we took, every event, every holiday, I was on the lookout. I had it all planned out in my head and told Rebekah exactly what I wanted it to be like. Turns out, I was wrong.

We planned a park day for Saturday, December 14th—reading at the park and hanging out all day. On Saturday morning we woke up very early (unusual for me) and decided to watch one of our favorite movies, “White Christmas” (the movie we watched when we first said I love you 4 years earlier), and prepared to go to the park. Rebekah told me to look nice and prepared our bag. Finally, we made it to the park, walked around, and finally agreed on where to lay our blanket down and have our little picnic. 

After a bit, we started talking about our friends who recently got engaged. In the middle of our conversation I interrupted Rebekah and asked what was taking her so long to propose— actually I think I said, “so what’s your deal?” Rebekah said something along the lines that rings take time, etc. and not to worry. Though disappointed, I accepted her answer and went back to reading my book. Only a few moments later, Rebekah told me that before I got too upset, she had a gift for me and handed me a present. Pleasantly surprised, I opened it and it was “The Hobbit”; right when I turned to tell Rebekah “thanks, but you know that I own this book, right?” Rebekah was on her knee holding a ring box and asked me to join her in an adventure of a lifetime and marry her. Or at least I think she did. By then, I, the person who said I would never get married, was crying so loud that I couldn’t hear anything. So after saying a few choice words (apologies to the children playing soccer nearby) of surprise, I said “yes.” In the middle of the park we proceeded to call many of our family members and friends. We got some pretty good reactions from them, especially Rebekah’s sister Ruth who cried immediately and said that she wanted the same ring.

When we were deciding where to take our engagement photos, we knew we wanted to be somewhere colorful, outside, and in the heart of San Diego. There really is no better place than Balboa Park. Our photographers Jeff and Betsy of La Vida Creations were amazing at capturing us in our element- laughing and playing cribbage together. We couldn’t have asked for a better team to photograph us. Thanks Jeff and Betsy!








Posted in California, California, Credits, Legalize Gay Marriage, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Region, Uncategorized, United States | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Engagement: C & H

From H: We met up with our photography for a magical Point Reyes engagement photo session. Lyndsay Undseth Photography is amazing! 

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Event Credits

Location: Point Reyes, CaliforniaPhotography: Lyndsay Undseth Photography
Posted in Beach, California, California, Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Also tagged , | Comments closed
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