Tag Archives: lesbian proposal

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
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Venue | Also tagged , | 1 Response

Popping the Question: Put a Ring On It

Welcome to Popping the Question, our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this past summer, we’ll be tackling some questions unique to wedding planning as a queer couple.

This time, we invited you all to share your engagement ring stories, and today, we’re featuring a few of our favorite responses—thanks so much to everyone who got in touch!

From Annie:

img_9036Photo courtesy of Karen Krogh Photography.

“Once we realized we were on the path of forever we started looking for rings.  Sandy said she wanted “something simple with a small solitaire.” I wasn’t sure what I wanted but I knew when I saw it I would know.I was looking at pawn shops and classified ads. Then, I found it!  It was absolutely beautiful and so “me”:  a center diamond with baguettes on either side and a thin band with small inset diamonds.  I contacted the seller.  The engagement ring and wedding band were soldered together, so we negotiated a price for the set. Then, we made arrangements to pick up the rings in a town about 3 hours away but a snow storm prevented us from being able to travel, so we had to rely on United States Postal Service. While waiting to receive my set I began to search for the solitaire for Sandy.  I found a beautiful half karat round diamond on a narrow gold band. Ideal!

When my set arrived I took it to a jeweler to be separated. On the day we were to pick up my set, now an engagement ring and a wedding band,  our plans were to go to a small quiet park on a nearby lake. We faced each other and spoke from our hearts. We each proposed to the other.  We took out the rings.  I had Sandy’s small solitaire and Sandy had my…. What’s this? A beautiful half karat round diamond on a narrow gold band. I hadn’t seen my ring since we’d picked it up at the jeweler, but the rings were practically identical! It turns out the band to the set was actually a wrap or guard.  The baguettes were attached to it. Once separated it left a solitaire on a thin band as the engagement ring. This was one of those “meant to be” moments.

With our matching engagement rings we went to our special restaurant. Our waitress was the first person we told we were engaged.”

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From Emily:

“After much prodding and begging from me, my girlfriend of four years and I went engagement ring shopping together on a random spring afternoon. We had a great time searching through the different stores and eventually found exactly what we wanted. It didn’t matter to us if the rings matched, just that we liked them, and we split the cost of both to make it fair. Our rings have been safely stored in a lock box under our bed for the perfect proposal moment (though we take them out occasionally to try on and admire again!).

It took us a while to figure out how we wanted to propose. The main issue was that we both wanted to be proposed to and have it be a surprise, but we also wanted to be able to start wearing our rings at the same time, not months apart. We have tentatively decided to do it on a vacation in the summer, where we will visit Madrid and propose to each other at some point on the trip. I am so in love with her and while I’m VERY ready to get engaged, I’m willing to wait for the perfect moment to show her how much she means to me.”

From Anlin:

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“In February 2011 Denise arranged a weekend away in the Drakensberg Mountains for us for the weekend. We went for a grueling walk, which was supposed to have been an easy 2.5 km walk… At the highest point she presented me with a beautiful diamond ring. This was not an engagement, as Denise did not feel the need to get married, but it was a promise to love me forever, and that was perfect for me. So in April that year I bought Denise a ring to do the same, promise my love in a way that the world could see.

About six months later, we went on a road trip around South Africa. We drove 6000 kms and spent many hours together with family and my daughters. When we returned to Johannesburg we went about the New Year as one does, busy with work, overseas meetings for Denise. At the end of January I received a SMS from her asking if I would marry her. I said yes of course, but I did not for one moment think she was serious.

2 days later, when I received a bouquet of flowers at the office and the card read “Please will you marry me?” I realized that she had been serious. I phoned her and said YES!!!!

We had our rings we had given each other and did not want another ring to add to that. But a few months later I lost the ring she gave me, and that gave us the opportunity to have matching rings made in time for our wedding.

Unfortunately I seem to have bad luck with diamond rings, and when our daughter was 2 months old I lost my ring in a parking lot. Must have been the porridge brain that goes with having a newborn baby to look after.  I still have my wedding band, plain Jane, but I need no more… Needless to say, a ring is just that, a symbol to show the world you are someone else’s. We show the world our love for each other in many ways, so we don’t feel the need to replace the lost ring.  Maybe one day when our ship comes in?”

Read more about Anlin & Denise’s love story here!

From Hannah:

“We did forego the engagement rings, since both of us are pretty practical and frugal. We found some really great wedding bands on Etsy though, made from tungsten and Hawaiian Koa wood. The shop has free engraving too, so we are already thinking of what to inscribe on each other’s rings as a gift for each other. This has been one of our favorite parts of wedding planning.”

From Mel:

“Rachel and I had been together 3.5 years before she surprised me and popped the question. Years ago I pinned a ring on Pinterest, but it was so different and so beautiful I never thought I would actually have one like it. Rachel remembered that ring and tried to track it down, but it was originally made in Japan and no longer available as a design. So she asked her college roommate’s uncle (who lives five hours away!) to design the same ring, nervous every step of the way whether it would turn out. I’ll never forget the day she proposed, and how absolutely gorgeous my ring was! Mine was made in yellow gold, and she liked it so much she received the same ring in white gold when I proposed a few months later. Before those rings people assumed we were just friends, but now strangers notice our matching rings and want to know the story of them, and the story of us – it makes me proud to have an outward symbol of our relationship.”

mel1mel2Photo courtesy of Jason Worrell Photography.

Planning an engagement this holiday season? Eager for more queer engagement stories and photos? Check out our gallery of proposals here and read more in this Buzzfeed round-up, featuring several A Bicycle Built for Two couples. Or leave a comment on this post to keep the conversation going! We love hearing from you.

Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Other | Also tagged , , , | 1 Response

Engagement: Chelsea & Emilee

From Emilee: Chelsea and I both went to a small private school, and she graduated the year before I did. We met again in our hometown almost four years after my high school graduation; I was going to a local university, and she was home after having graduated from Georgia Tech. Two months after an impromptu Starbucks date, we started dating. Seven months later, she moved nearly three hours away to go to medical school. Despite my initial qualms about a long-term relationship, dating Chelsea was one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever decided to do! Our three-year anniversary is coming up in January, and I’ve known I wanted to propose for almost a year now. Chelsea played in the marching band in college, so I wanted to incorporate that into my proposal idea. With some coordination and a lot of favors from friends of Chelsea, I rewrote the words to one of Georgia Tech’s fight songs, turning it into a personalized proposal song. When the band director pulled Chelsea from the alumni band at Homecoming, she knew the big moment was coming! In a circle of our friends and family, I led Chelsea through the words to the song as the alumni band played in the background. When the song was over, I got down on one knee and heard the best “yes!” of my life. Chelsea and I are thrilled to be engaged and look forward to the many years of happiness ahead of us.

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Heath Photography.

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Event Credits

Date: 10/29/2016Location: Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GeorgiaPhotography: Stephanie Heath: http://www.saheathphotography.com/
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Engagement: Tajia & Margaret

From Margaret: My name is Margaret, and I am an educator and Southern belle, excited to share with you our engagement/wedding story. I have been gifted the pleasure of marrying the woman specifically made for me: Tajia, a barber instructor.

“You’re going to be my wife!!!” That was her pick-up line four years ago that still causes laughter to erupt from deep within. Seriously though, in January 2012 I went to DC to cover the 2nd inauguration of President Obama and in between doing the journalist thing, I hung out and connected with new people. Tajia saw me and inquired with my friend Dana, rather boldly, “WHO IS THAT?!?!?!” Our friendship started there. We even tried to “date,” but it didn’t work because she was full of it and I wasn’t ready… It wasn’t our time. Instead, she intently stood by, being the watchful friend, and checked on me occasionally. Whenever I would visit the DC area, we would meet up for dinner and drinks and just hang out. Fast forward to 2015: doing one of her watchful friend checks, she asked me if I was ready to be her wife yet, and then went on to tell me that she was coming for me… as she had planned to move to Dallas soon. She did, and well…I’m—we are telling this story! After a year-long engagement, we will relocate back to Washington, DC following our wedding.

Our wedding will be the first LGBTQ wedding held at the White Chapel Estates in North Richland Hills, Texas on July 15, 2016.

The Proposal

It was a Saturday night: August 13th, to be exact. TJ came down to Houston after work. She came in as normal: put her bag down, kissed me on the lips. The only thing different was the conversation. She sat down next to me with a “look” on her face. She says, “You know, I love you, and I told you when I first met you almost 4 years ago that you were going to be my wife… Well, I talked to your Grandma and Mom and they have given me their blessing. Now all I need is yours…. Will you marry me?” I looked at her as she pulled out the ring, smiling bigger then a Cheshire cat and began shaking my head uncontrollably. I said, “YES,” and as I hugged her as tight as my arms would allow me, I whispered…”You went to Jared’s”!

We will honeymoon in Hawaii.

Photos courtesy of Katrina Lewis of Kategory 5 Productions.

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Event Credits

Location: The Woodlands Waterway in Houston, Texas (The Woodlands, Texas) Photography: Katrina Lewis of Kategory 5 Productions (www.K5Now.com)
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Texas, United States | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Engagement: Maidel & Erica

From Maidel and Erica: We have been together for almost 4 years, engaged for 7 months, and have been traveling as a couple since 2012. Travel is a big part of who we are. We feel that deciding to travel together from the beginning is one of the best choices we ever made for our relationship. Many say that traveling as a couple will either ‘make or break’ a relationship and of course we can see how that may be the case. You’re literally with the other person 24 hours a day and you really do get to know each other on a deeper level. Traveling together has enriched our togetherness and our relationship. We both share a nomad heart and an adventurous soul. So much of our relationship is exploring new cities together. We have a unique bond. She’s my anchor and I’m her sail. We balance each other. 

Our engagement took place on one of our many amazing trips, and our honeymoon is set to occur in Maui. Of course we knew we’d want our engagement photos at a special unique place, so we took a road trip. We started in Boston and made our way up the coast to Bar Harbor, Maine. Our engagement photos were taken in Massachusetts, in Gloucester at the Eastern Point Light House, and in Rockport, in the little town of Bare Skin Neck. We both share the love for all things nautical, and this place was a nautical postcard. We hired an amazing local photographer and made nautical photo magic. I’m so lucky that I’m not only marrying my best friend but the best travel partner one can ask for.

We were both born and raised in Miami and have Cuban parents. We both had a mutual close friend for many years and never met. We work only 2 blocks from each other. Erica had gone on a weekend girls’ trip with Maidel’s sister a year before they actually met. It took one lucky night for us to meet on our own terms, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Life is funny that way: you have to be in the right place at the right time. Maidel works as a Chiropractic Assistant/ Office Manager for the Miami Heat basketball team chiropractic office, and Erica is the Senior Manager at a Parking Firm. We have a dog/fur-son named Frankie that fills our life with joy beyond words. We’re pretty in love with this li’l guy. He’s a rescued Boston Terrier and he’s spoiled rotten.

Erica’s Proposal: I’m impossible to surprise, maybe because I’m nosy. I have a knack for being a little too curious. (What can I say? I like to know things…) Turns out, my nosiness was a bit of a challenge when it came to proposing to me. Erica was smart. She waited to have my focus elsewhere. I was so focused on planning everything for her birthday cruise to the Bahamas that I never suspected a thing. Right after the captain’s dinner and the unavoidable cruise photos we ended up at the cruise’s martini bar, complete with nautical decor. We met up with some friends we had made in the days before, including a lovely couple, Kat and Filipe. The piano player/violinist happens to also be a lesbian and an amazing musician. We are all drinking these gourmet martinis, with beautiful music in the background, when the violinist starts playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on a real ukulele. It’s my dream “down the aisle” song. Erica gets on one knee holding a box I had given to her on our travels years before, and Kat films the whole thing. I was so confused I didn’t move. She proposed and for the first time ever I was speechless. I, needless to say, said yes.

Maidel’s Proposal: Maidel told me we were going to a fancy dinner near a lighthouse. On the way there, as we entered the very upscale street of mansions, all I could see were signs that read “Private Road,” “Private Property.” I was concerned. Where were we going? We got into a little dispute and when we arrived I wanted to go see the lighthouse, but it was closed. It was almost sunset. Why did we come all the way out here if it was closed, and where was the restaurant? Frustrated and cold at this point, she said, let’s just set the tripod and take a picture while we are here. And out of nowhere comes a lady who asked if we wanted her to take the picture for us. I replied, “no, thank you,” and thought “how strange, we have a tripod and she’s the only one here.” Maidel fumbled with the camera for a little while and seemed slightly frustrated; she approached me to take the photo and then sat on a rock and pulled a box from the camera bag. It all made sense at that point. She was proposing back, and the camera lady was our photographer. Sadly, Maidel could not get the camera to record, which explained her frustration, but we had wonderful pictures to remember that special moment. The surprise proposal then turned into a two hour engagement shoot. (I was eventually fed, LOL.)

Funny Photo Facts:

  • Because I was wearing a dress, I could not kneel down—so I sat on a rock to propose. Girl Problems.
  • While it looks like perfect weather in the photos it was actually in the low 50’s. FREEZING for two Miami Girls.

Photos courtesy of Cassandra Lauren Photography.

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Event Credits

Location: Rockport, MAPhotography: Cassandra Lauren Photography
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Massachusetts, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Gallery: Life’s a Beach

For those of us who live in the places where February means snow, sleet, and the dreaded “wintry mix,” here’s a little escape to warmer climes—a visual piña colada of sand, sea, and love!

Need even more seaside inspiration? Keep an eye out for our beach wedding galleries coming up in the next week or two!

Kallie & Lauren:

E Kallie & Lauren
Kristin & Arlene:

E Kristin & ArleneClaire & Nathalie:

E Claire & Nathalie Lauren & Christine:

View More: http://nicolebarrphoto.pass.us/lcwedAnikka & Tara:

E Anikka & TaraElicia & Karen:

E Elicia & KarynMia & Maura:

E Mia & Maura Mckenzie & Tori:

E McKenzie & Tori Morgan & Cameron:

E Morgan & Cameron

Posted in Beach, Beachy, Gallery, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Style | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Engagement: Kirsten & Emily

From Kirsten & Emily’s photographerEmily surprised her fiancée Kirsten with an engagement photo session! I followed them around Maymont Park in Richmond, VA for a few minutes, and Emily re-proposed at the place where she had originally planned to do so. I popped out with my camera shortly after, and we spent our time wandering Carytown in Richmond, a city that holds special meaning for this Virginia Beach couple! Kirsten is obsessed with Starbucks, so we made sure the session included a stop for coffee. The props were also a surprise made by Emily for the shoot!

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Event Credits

Date: 11/13/2015Location: Richmond, VirginiaPhotography: www.capture-weddings.com
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States, Virginia | Also tagged , | 1 Response
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