The Journal

Wedding planning: Our engagement story

Guys! This is a special and kind of weird time; being engaged has given me a fresh perspective on being a wedding photographer, which is actually pretty amazing. I love the opportunity to experience first-hand what our clients are experiencing in their wedding planning journey.

I thought it might be kinda fun to share the story of how we got engaged! Jeremy took me completely by surprise (to his own smug delight) and I love the way he decided to propose — it was perfect for us!

In February, I photographed a wedding in New Orleans, and Jeremy accompanied me on the trip so we could make a little vacation out of it after I was done working. As we settled into our seats on the plane to New Orleans, Jeremy surprised me by telling me he had booked spa treatments at The Ritz-Carlton for the day after the wedding, which he KNOWS is my favorite thing (getting a massage and pedicure after working on my feet for a 10-hour day is SO my jam!).

After I finished the wedding at the Beauregard-Keyes House on Saturday, Jeremy met me at the venue to walk me back to own room at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter. As we rounded the corner at Royal Street, Jeremy turned to me and said, “we actually aren’t going to be staying here tonight.” After a couple of seconds of confusion, I squealed, “are we staying at The Ritz?!”

Our proposal story

Film scans from around New Orleans, taken the day before Jeremy proposed

Now, an important note: when we went to Maui together in 2017, Jeremy had pulled a similar romantic surprise by booking a few nights at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, so this change of venue in New Orleans wasn’t an immediate signal that he was planning anything extra special. I just thought he was being sweet and spoiling me after a long day of work!

ANYWAY. Jeremy grabbed our bags from the room at the Bourbon Orleans (he’d already packed my stuff!) and we took a Lyft over to The Ritz-Carlton. He had already checked into the room on the top floor, and when we came into the room, there were red rose petals in the entryway. No, I STILL didn’t suspect that a proposal was coming; he’d told me the week prior that he didn’t have the ring yet, so I believed him. Jeremy pointed out the bedroom area of our suite, where there were more rose petals on the bed and a bouquet of flowers on the table, and then gestured to the balcony. We stepped outside and admired the view of Canal Street all the way to the Mississippi River. After a few moments, I asked him, “when did you decide to do this upgrade for us? This is so sweet!” Jeremy replied, “about the time I decided to do THIS…” and pulled a small black ring box from his jacket pocket.

My first words were, “SHUT UP, are you serious? You’re such a liar!” All said with excitement and joy, of course. Jeremy asked, “will you marry me?” and I said, “YES!” and hugged him. I ran inside off the balcony, because I had a real fear that I would drop the ring outside off that damn balcony (AND I wanted to get a better look at the beauty that Everett Fine Jewelry created for us in the light of the hotel room). I stared at it in disbelief (I wanted a unique engagement ring, and it was EXACTLY what I wanted!) and waited for the reality of what just happened to sink in (which wouldn’t happen for several days).

unique engagement ring

We ordered room service for dinner (complete with beignets, duh), opened a bottle of champagne Jeremy had secured during the day, and I called my parents to share the news. I was SO surprised and Jeremy had the sweetest smug look of satisfaction on his face for pulling it off.

Honestly, it was PERFECT and the rest of the trip (including the champagne-filled spa day on Sunday — I may have gotten a lil drunk at the Ritz Carlton spa) was a wonderful celebration of our engagement. Coming home was a bummer, but now we’re digging into wedding planning and trying to soak up every minute (I know it’ll go by SO freakin’ fast). Stay tuned for more wedding planning prep and stories — I think I’ll make a little series out of it!

Film scans: Richard Photo Lab
Engagement ring: Everett Fine Jewelry 

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