This styled shoot turned into a real proposal in the most romantic way
“In April, when I originally started planning this styled shoot at The Olana, I knew I wanted my friends Ali and Cait to model for all of us. They are so in love, so warm and so beautiful. Their love is radiant and there was no question of how their chemistry would come across on camera— all the vendors were thrilled! The venue and I set a date for mid-October, and off I went daydreaming of color schemes and wedding gowns to play with. I knew I wanted to incorporate Cait’s background as a ballerina to add a real romantic element to the styled aspect of the shoot.
In May, Ali came to me asking if I would help plan and photograph her proposing to Cait. We spent a lot of time going back and forth finalizing the details, and on June 23, Ali got down on one knee and asked Cait to marry her.
It was always their plan to propose to each other at some point, so when Cait reached out herself asking if she could propose back to Ali at the October styled shoot, I was ecstatic (for all of us, honestly). Ali is a hopeless romantic through and through, and I felt in my heart that being surrounded in a sea of gorgeous flowers, dolled up by a dream-team of glam-vendors, in beautiful wedding dresses…I just felt Cait had picked a perfect time to ask the perfect question back to Ali.
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?
Cait: I was working as part of the leadership team at Lululemon in Southlake, Texas, at the time. The Saturday before Thanksgiving, Ali strolled into my store looking for a gift for her mom. She caught my attention right away but I didn’t necessarily understand why—just that I needed to know more. I was in charge of hiring for the holiday season so I did what I could to ensure that I would see her again: I invited her to a group interview scheduled for the following week. I would have hired her on the spot!
What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. (example: pushing each other to new limits, love to travel, huge comic book fans, foodies, etc.) What makes your relationship unique?
Our commitment to improvement sets us apart from other couples. Ali is always inspiring me to be better, and she always reminds me that I have the potential to be everything I want to be. Friendship as the foundation of our relationship has kept it fun for us—coming home to my best friend every night is the absolute best! Our commitment to fitness and healthy eating is also a theme for us. We love to cook and try new recipes, although if we find one we like it quickly gets added to our tried and true lineup.
How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship?
The lack of fear I had when opening up to her. I had never been involved with a girl before, but there was a level of comfort early on that I had never experienced in any relationship. On Christmas night we joined a few friends to see a movie (Pitch Perfect 3) and she held my hand the whole time. It was game over; I was all in.
Give us all the details of the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?
I proposed while on a photo shoot at The Olana. I reached out to Cortnie knowing that this photo shoot would be the perfect opportunity to really catch my girl off guard. It was so fun and different to be all glammed up and in the “wedding mood” with hair and makeup and gowns. I wasn’t nervous at all, which is a shock! I just wanted so badly to show Ali how much I love her and have her wear the ring that represents forever. Luckily, Cortnie set the day up so that I could propose early on and spend the rest of the day celebrating with my bride.
We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!
Interestingly enough, Ali and I worked with the same jeweler to design each other’s rings. I like to think our hearts are so intertwined that even our diamonds are related! Ali had shown me a picture of what she liked but I exchanged a ton of emails and phone calls to make sure that it was perfect for my princess. Ali deserves nothing short of the best. The ring turned out stunning: A white gold band with diamonds embedded, rose gold halo, and a diamond that is to die for, but Ali still shines brighter than any bling!
Are you excited to start planning your wedding day? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?
The name of the game is simple; we’re keeping our ceremony to just family in a location that holds special meaning to me. My late grandmother lived on Lake Texoma for the better part of her life and it will always represent her for me. There is a spot close to the water where we will say “I do,” and it means everything to feel like my grandma is there. Even better is the date—September 12—which is Ali’s dad’s birthday. I am excited to have that day to forever celebrate him, and celebrate our love.
Photographer: Cortnie Dee Photography
Dress Designer: Hayley Paige
Event Venue: The Olana
Culinary: Alchemy Pops
Event Planner: Deep South Affairs
Floral Designer: Lizzie Bees Flower Shoppe
Hair Stylist: Hair by Kelsie
Beauty: Makeup By Krista Ann
Alaina Leary Lavoie
HOT OFF THE PRESS
- Intimate DIY Airbnb Wedding for Two Brides
- TV host and personality Ross Mathews marries Dr. Wellinthon García
- Be on the lookout for these wedding scams
- Gorgeous peacock-colored wedding bash in Washington, DC
- An intimate wedding at Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati, OH
- Good Omens–inspired styled elopement with angelic forms, red poppies, goblets and crosses
- Intimate Mountain Wedding in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada
- Intimate garden wedding and “booze cruise” boat dance party in Salem, Massachusetts
- Engagement session at Matheson Hammock Park in Miami, FL
- Why Taha’a could be your dream honeymoon destination
- Boho garden wedding inspiration at Haiku I Do, Asheville
- Magical Moorea enchants for LGBTQ+ couples