Guess Who's Engaged...
Updated: Apr 19, 2019
That's right, it's me!
Oh man. Where do I even begin?! I have been in the wedding photography business for going on 4 years now and I knew one day I would be on the other end of the lens, having her day captured and now that that day has come, I'm not sure where to begin!
I have always been behind the camera, on the business end of the wedding business and now I am stepping into the role of bride. Since I provide those of you who read my blog with some insight into what it is like to be in front of the camera, I feel I might as well share my own personal journey of wedding planning. And to all other brides, to those who I have photographed on their big day, can I start out with a round of applause? This process is way harder than I thought it would be, and I considered myself pretty damn knowledgeable about it all. I was wrong!
I guess one place to start, is the story. Our story, to those who may not know it already.
I met Jérémy when we were two high school kids, working at our local Fry's Food store. We were baggers, the lowest on the totem pole! Although we worked together for about 6 months, I don't actually have that many memories of our work days. However, one that is permanently imprinted in my mind was a single, one sentence interaction on a rare rainy day here in Phoenix. I was set for cart duty just as it was starting to rain. Not wanting to get soaked, I used a bright orange pancho that fry's provided for these rare circumstances. When my hour was up, fate set Jérémy in my path. He was next on cart duty and not wanting him to get soaked either, on my way in I shook off the raindrops and passed the orange pancho to him and said "you're not a courtesy clerk until you do carts in the rain." I think he laughed but that's it.
When I left to start college at NAU, I said goodbye to my friends at Fry's and moved to flagstaff. Somewhere in between we became friends on facebook and for two or so years we watched each other through posts and status updates. He visited NAU campus once and I meet up with him for an hour or so. I walked him from North Campus down to my dorm room to show him what they looked like. I can't even remember what we talked about. We sat on my bunk bed for maybe 5 minutes before his dad called and they went off to continue the tour. Steamy stuff, I know 😂 He didn't end up going to NAU, but stayed in the valley and went to ASU.
We watched each other go through relationships and breakups and checked in with each other every couple of months through messenger and made plans near college breaks to meet up, but never did. Then for no particular reason, winter break 2012, I reached out and suggested we meet up. He had just switched out of a business major into a creative one which meant we had something more in common and warranted a meet up to chat. So, one night on my winter break, I dressed up for our "not date" date, meaning I wore a tight mini skirt, sweater and black vans. Because that made it casual. I met him on mill avenue at Corleone's to grab a bite and talk about our creative majors.
Oh to go back and watch how that "not date" date went. At the time, I didn't particularly care for red meat, but also didn't have the voice to speak up and say anything. So we sat down with our Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and began catching up. He enthusiastically ate his sandwich and told me about his graphic design major and I carefully ate the bread and cheese, taking small bites of the rest as I nodded, smiled and laughed along as his talked. He's always been the talker, so not much has changed!
After dinner, he said some of his friends were having a party near by and asked if I wanted to join. Realizing that our "not date" date was turning more and more into a date, I thanked myself for having "dressed up". So off we went. His friends picked us up and because it was college and a time for risks, when there wasn't enough room in the car, I sat on his lap in the back seat. Yeah, how I ever thought we weren't on a date, is beyond me. But am I ever thankful for it now.
The rest is sort of history. We did what a lot of couples do in the beginning. We dated long distance. He surprised me with visits to Flag and I surprised him in Tempe. We went on a couple of trips, continued to date and learn about ourselves as a couple and then moved in together. It was extremely hard and there were a couple momentary breakups. But we grew together, learned A LOT about each other and pushed through. Six years later, well nine if you count from when we first met, a new journey began.
At the start of 2019, Jérémy had the chance to move to San Fransisco to grow his business. With that came relocating to SF for 3 months while I stayed in Phoenix to hold down my own business. It was at that time that both of us realized how much we didn't want to be apart if we didn't absolutely have to be. But we sucked it up and pushed through and I ended up going out to visit for our sixth year anniversary. Because it's SF and I had never been, there was a little thought in my head that Jérémy might propose, but I told myself not to get my hopes up and to just enjoy the trip. Ladies, we've all been there at some point in a relationship right? A holiday comes up or a trip gets planned and we think, maybe, just maybe this will be the trip that he gets down on one knee and asks. And then when he doesn't, we've gotten so excited that we can't help but be disappointed and it ends up ruining parts, or all, of the occasion. So I shoved my feelings of a possible proposal down and flew out to SF to spend a wonderful 4 day weekend with my love.
The day of our six year anniversary (2/22/2019) started as any other. We made breakfast and enjoyed each other’s company before setting out on a hike in the redwoods, one that Jérémy planned, furthering my suspicion of a possible proposal because he rarely comes up with our date ideas! He even came up with the idea of a homemade picnic lunch. After a quick stop at the store for some bread and a "secret desert" that he wanted to get, we headed out to find us some Redwoods. When we got to our trailhead, we sat and ate and talked about our current usual topics, such as how we want to be as parents, what we’ve learned from our relationship, how much we are growing, you know, the usual. After filling up we headed out in search of the perfect Redwood trail.
We were stunned by how giant these redwoods were turning out to be and just grateful to be hiking with each other on our day. We zig zagged higher and higher. The forrest was quiet except for the crunching of leaves under our shoes and Jérémy's excited conversation. When the path was wide enough, we walked hand in hand next to each other. When it narrowed, one of us took the lead our pointer fingers hooked together. As we hiked higher and higher our conversation slowed. At the beginning of the hike, we had seen a place called "Hikers Hut" and we were determined to find it, so we kept walking until we happened upon the most glorious, sunny field right outside of the forest at the top of the hike. We stepped out into the sun soaked meadow and just took in its beauty. We hugged and smiled and suddenly Jérémy was grabbing something from the camera bag on my back that I had been carrying. When I turned around, there he was on one knee. My hands flew to my face, his laugh filled the quiet meadow as he knelt there trying to find his words. And in that field, at the top of the redwoods mountain, Jérémy asked me to marry him. And I said “Oui,yes!”
Of course I did!!