Dreamy summer engagement photo session in Steep Rock, Manitoba
Kim and Jace had a lot of plans for their early July, Steep Rock engagement session. This location is a popular tourist spot a 2.5-hour drive from their home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Bringing with them three outfits, a gorgeous fresh-cut bouquet, and Kim’s oval-cut Noam Carver diamond ring, we started with the couple’s semi-formal look which consisted of a dusty blue, off-the-shoulder full-length gown for Kim and a short sleeve, printed navy dress shirt and gray slacks for Jace. This first outfit was backdropped by the clear blue water and sky, with photos taken on a small cliff overlooking the lake and beach (which was busy with swimmers and sunbathers on this sunny day). For the second, more casual look, we took a walk along this rocky beach, dodging photo-bombers along the way. And finally, for their last look, Kim and Jace recreated outfits after their favorite Korean drama, “Guardian: The Lonely and Lost God,” along with poses/scenes from the show. This full-day engagement photoshoot produced some truly dreamy photos for the couple.—Christina W. Kroeker
HOW DID YOU TWO FIRST MEET?
The way Jace and I met is kind of a wild story. I worked at Anthropologie, a store in the mall we both worked at, and Jace worked at Starbucks. For MONTHS all I knew about Jace was that he was my favorite barista because whenever he was working, my drink was made perfectly! (Trust me, I can tell the difference when my drink is made differently). What I didn’t know is that Jace secretly had a crush on me FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS. Long story short, eventually the stars aligned and we messaged each other on Instagram, became friends and eventually started dating. Also, he officially asked me out by wearing a T-shirt that said “Kimberly, will you be my girlfriend?” with a “YES” check box and a no “NO” option to turn him down. Ha ha! From the very first time we hung out, everything just clicked. I know that sounds cliche, but that’s how we felt. We knew we would end up married one day.
WHAT MAKES YOUR RELATIONSHIP SPECIAL?
We both care passionately about LGBTQ+ rights, have attended our local Pride celebrations together every year, except this past year, ’cause you know… COVID-19. We do almost anything together. He supports me while I geek out and cosplay at Comic Con (he even cosplays with me!), and we both love to go out and eat and try different restaurants. We have a HUGE love for Korean Dramas and even recreated our favorite kdrama in our engagement photoshoot (Goblin/Guardian The Lonely and Great God).
HOW DID YOU KNOW YOUR PARTNER WAS THE ONE?
We both knew almost from the first date that we had something special, and about one month of dating, we both started seriously thinking we were each other’s “The One.” We talked about getting engaged/married early into the relationship, setting the expectation that while we couldn’t afford to do either of those things at that moment or within the next couple months, we wanted each other to both know we were on the same page. When you know you know, right?
TELL US ABOUT THE PROPOSAL
I was SHOCKED. So, because I had actually picked out the ring, I knew that a proposal was coming at some point, but I was completely shocked when it actually happened, I thought it was still going to be a couple months out. He actually managed to trick me for the first time! I actually almost threw all his plans off by springing it on him, last minute, that I planned to get my eyebrows microbladed on the same day he was planning to propose. How was I supposed to know?! He panicked and looked up microblading to see if my eyebrows would be all red for the pictures. Lucky for us, they always look the best the day they’re done. Crisis averted. During my appointment, I got a text from “his brother” saying that he was drunk at his friends house downtown and needed to be picked up by Jace. Annoyed that he didn’t just call or text Jace, I called Jace asking him to call his brother because he was apparently “drunk” and I’m in my appointment so I can’t be texting or calling back and forth. Jace’s brother isn’t really a drinker, so it was weird he was drunk, but I just brushed it off. I finish my eyebrow appointment and call Jace to come pick me up. I meet Jace in our car, expecting to either head home or go to eat but he tells me we still have to pick up his brother, okay cool. Because Jace is awful with directions, I man the Google Maps app on his phone to the address he has already put in, which is less than 10 minutes from where we are.
We drive up to the building that Google is set to, but instead of stopping at the building, he pulls into a parking lot. I ask him, “Why aren’t we just picking up your brother from the front door of the building?” Jace replies, “No, we have to go upstairs.” I am now again annoyed and confused because: A) why can’t his brother just come down? B) we don’t know any of his friends so why are we going upstairs to their place?
We finally make our way to the building and take the elevator up to the proper floor and Jace knocks on the door, all the while, I am thinking, “Damn, I know this condo building, it’s expensive… Jace’s brother must have some rich friends. Jace knocks on the door and starts to push me forward toward the door. I immediately get mad and ask him why he’s pushing me towards the door?! I don’t know these people! I don’t want to go first! I’m really shy when I first meet people just for reference. The door opens and our friend and photographer, Christina appears in the doorway!
At this point, I still have not clued in… I was still thinking, “How does Jace’s brother know Christina?” Also, “this is not where Christina lives…” I nervously say “hi…..?” as Jace tries to push and ease me into the doorway. As I walk in, I start to see balloons and decorations in the living room behind Christina. I have now clued in that this is a proposal and don’t know what to do. Luckily Christina and Jace had planned it all. Christina motions me to the bathroom right by the front door and asks me to change into the dress hanging off of the shower bar. *Bonus points for having the dress I said I wanted to wear for my future proposal. I change, freak out a little, and then meet Christina and Jace in the living room of the condo he’s rented. Jace is fumbling to play the planned music and I read the words “marry me” written in white rose petals on the floor and there’s balloons everywhere.
At this point, Jace is taking too long with the music so I just start sobbing. Classic, right? He hugs me while I sob and he manages to get the music playing. I eventually get it together and there’s an awkward silence between us before I say, “You still have to ask!” He wasn’t even holding the ring. It was across the room on the couch with a sign that read, “Will you be my wife?” Because Jace and I are awkward, Christina takes the lead and leads Jace and I to the perfect spot and Jace gets down on one knee. He doesn’t know what to say at first and I laugh because that’s so classic Jace. A few seconds later, he finds his words and says the only thing he wants for his birthday is for me to be his wife. I start to ugly cry—there’s a good picture of it—and I say yes!
TELL US ABOUT THAT RING!
The ring I originally had my heart set on was from a jeweller in the USA, and being from Canada, the eventual cost of the ring with the exchange rate and duties and taxes to get it across the border made it just not financially feasible to make that happen. So Jace and I worked together to find a jeweller who could custom-make a close design with a moissanite stone as the star of the show. Not having a diamond was something I wanted. The price point of getting a high-quality diamond for the size I hoped for in the main stone just didn’t seem worth it. We ended up choosing Appelts Jewellers who has a designer named Noam Carver to custom make the ring I dreamed of. I only got to see the rendering of the design and pick the moissanite, so it was just *fingers crossed* from there that I was going to turn out how I dreamed. It did. It was BEAUTIFUL. Rose gold, 1-carat moissanite, halo of diamonds, and a half diamond band in a vintage style design. Couldn’t have been more happy with how it turned out.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR WEDDING PLANNING?
Because I’ve worked in the wedding industry, I was quite familiar with how planning should be, which made things mostly a breeze. I’m sure like most brides, the thing I was excited about the most was dress shopping! I was pretty certain that I was set on a certain brand, which I only carried as an exclusive in one bridal store in my city, but that still didn’t stop me from trying on probably close to 50 dresses. Now I just can’t wait to see Jace’s reaction the day of when he gets to see me in it. If I had to pick a second thing to look forward to, it would definitely be sampling all the food at our venue for the day of.
Kirsten Ott Palladino
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