After almost a year of planning, I can finally say that Jenn & I are engaged.
For some of our couples, friends and family you know that this has been a long time coming. Jenn and I have known each other from high school and have been dating for the past 5 years. 3 of those years were long distance as Jenn was finishing up her biology degree in Texas. After graduating, she moved up to Rhode Island and made the commitment to live with me. Just after Jenn and I started dating I felt like I knew this woman my entire life. She helped me through some tough times, she encouraged me when I needed it most and she’s always been there for me…even when we weren’t dating. Right away I knew she was the one. I just had to wait for the right time.
May 3, 2018
After about 6 months of planning our trip to Barcelona & Paris, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to propose. Who can say they’ve gotten engaged in Paris before? After hearing dozens of engagement stories I had to be unique, and not overly clique. Jenn and I both love to travel and I couldn’t have thought of a better place to propose than Europe. We’ve both always wanted to go but never had the chance to. This was our chance, and this was my chance to propose. Paris was the original plan but it didn’t end up working out.
We started our trip in Barcelona, we spent 1 week in that beautiful city and then we headed off to Paris for a week. Originally I wanted to propose in Paris. It was more romantic, beautiful and just surreal to be there in person after seeing hundreds of movies of the Eiffel Tower. It was the perfect place. However me being me, I wanted our proposal photographed. Its a moment that I want to always remember, and I want images to bring me back to that day and that trip. After searching around I soon realized that Paris photographers are some of the most expensive photographers in the world. Don’t get me wrong – being a photographer myself I would’ve spent anything to hire the right person and to ensure that moment was photographed. But I would have to trust this person, I would have to have followed them for awhile, known their work, know who they are and so much more if I was going to spend over $2000 on a 2 hour engagement shoot (yeah, I’m not joking). Plus – we were on vacation, and we wanted to do a lot (Disneyland was where we spent most of our money haha) so I didn’t want to spend a ton being on vacation. I was fine with spending what I normally charge, if not a little over. So I brought in my team of photographer friends to help me out.
A lot of people actually expected Paris. Jenn’s co-workers said it would happen, my family said it would happen there, and some clients even emailed me and said “I KNEW IT!” So Paris was expected. Which got me thinking “What if I did Barcelona?” Barcelona was the start of our trip and more importantly, the first place we’d ever be traveling to for vacation together. It was memorable, and unexpected. That’s when I found our amazing engagement photographer, Lena.
Lena and I started speaking at the beginning of March, just after I bought the ring and hid it in the house! After months of planning, changing where I would actually propose, what we would wear, how we would make it a surprise and and much more we finally decided on Sitges, Spain on May 3 (the second day we were going to be in Spain). Lena planned to meet us at the train station (without Jenn knowing I knew her) and follow us around Sitges where I would find a street and drop down on one knee and propose. I got to admit, I was a little worried. We were heading to a place I was unfamiliar with, with a photographer I found through Instagram, in a country we both don’t speak the language of. The plan seemed destined to have some hiccups. Surprisingly – it went off perfectly. We got on the train, Lena followed us around, and when I dropped to one knee Lena captured it all. The next 2-3 hours we were walking the streets of Sitges hand in hand, and more in love than I ever felt before. It’s actually hard to explain and I don’t think I could even if I tried. We felt like we were the only two people in this small little beach town. It was absolutely perfect.
Being on the opposite side of choosing an engagement photographer gave me a LOT of perspective. I never realized how crucial it was to answer someone within the same day, to showcase a full wedding or a full engagement session, and to be able to connect with them not only in a photographer-to-photographer way but also hopefully to become best friends. It’s everything I already do in my business but just going through that experience has already opened my eyes to how important it is and how crucial it is to every couple’s decision. But now the real planning begins.
You might be wondering “whats their wedding going to look like? They’re wedding photographers and have been to so many!” and you’re right. We’ve been to over 20 weddings together and I’ve been to over 100 maybe as a photographer. So we definitely have a good idea of what we want and what we don’t want. All in all throughout the years we’ve seen a lot of couples have giant weddings, at beautiful venues, with beautiful photographs but for us having the closest family and friends we both know is more important to us than having this “picture perfect” wedding. However, I can guarantee whoever we hire for our wedding photographers they’re going to have the best time because I’m pretty sure it’ll be picture perfect.
We’re both excited to start planning and to join our 2019 couples in that adventure. I hope you love some more photos of our engagement session posted below. If you haven’t already give Lena some love on Instagram because she was amazing. Cheers to a successful engagement, and to a beautiful wedding to come!
Meet: Ryan & Jenn