Dream San Diego Engagement Sesh with the Beach, the City and, of course, a Dog!

From the get-go, Lauren and John’s relationship has never been easy. John’s military commitment often took him away and they had to quickly figure out how to keep dating while they were apart. They came up with having “wine and scotch dates” through FaceTime. This made it so cool and meaningful to incorporate that into the session; Lauren had her glass of wine and John had his glass of scotch! Cheers to being together!

Before heading out to the beach for the sunset, they brought out their fur baby for some pictures. Have you ever seen a double doodle!?!? Says Photographer Camila Margotta, “He [meaning the dog!] is just the cutest and, from the minute I met him, I wanted a double doodle for myself. It was awesome to be able to get some great pictures of the three of them, together. Ending the session on the beach in Coronado was amazing. The good thing about a Coronado beach engagement session in January is that you pretty much get the beach to yourself! We even found a random boat that had washed up on shore and made for a pretty cool photo prop!”

Save a Dance for Us! A gorgeous engagement session that celebrates true love, true courage, and the wedding vendors who love our military!!

We celebrate true courage and real heroes on May 1, Silver Star Banner Day the official day to honor wounded, ill, and injured Veterans by Congressional ruling. Thanks to Leah Marie for this gorgeous engagement session and heartwarming story of true courage, true love, and dancing through life no matter what! Chris is a war veteran who served his country proudly and gave more than most will ever have to.  In an accident involving an IED, Chris lost both of his legs and was left a paraplegic. Chris was awarded to be the receipt of an all expenses paid wedding through Los Willows Wedding Estate [thank you Los Willows!!]. Photographer Leah Marie along with quite a few other vendors will be donating their services to them on their special day. See Chris' full story on Jockey: http://www.jockey.com/showem-chris

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How we met by Samantha: "I was living in Illinois and Chris was living in San Diego. He always came back to Illinois because it's where his family lives. I was working at a local gym at a personal trainer at the time and Chris came in to work out while he was visiting. I remember seeing him from across the gym doing pull-ups, I couldn't see his prosthetics, but I knew there was something different about him. I asked my friend who was working the front desk who he was and after she told me I said "that's going to be my boyfriend one day." We both saw each other the next couple days but didn't say anything to each other. We then became friends on Facebook and the rest is history!"

How Chris Proposed: "At the beginning of June we decided to go back to Illinois to visit both our families. My birthday and Chris's "alive day" (the day he got injured) is June 13th and we were going to be in Hawaii with his family. So Chris and my mom threw me a birthday party to celebrate my birthday early. With both families and close friends there I started opening presents. My sister in law got me the same gift I got her when she got engaged, she got me a wooden hanger with my future last name on it. After I opened that present, Chris looked at me and said "I guess we would need to be engaged to have that work huh?" And that's when he got down on one knee and had a whole beautiful speech planned." <3!

Other Location:Old Town Temecula//Photographer: Leah Marie Photography//

Tender Couples Joshua Tree Engagement Session by Parallel 33 Photography

We love the tenderness and intimacy evident in this gorgeous Joshua Tree engagement sess! Photos like these really show more than the subject’s emotion- they capture the artists’ heart as well. Scroll down to get to know Parallel 33’s Artist photographer Bree Hulan.

And the couple? Says Photographer Bree: “Dave plays like 15 instruments or something and even has recorded with some bands for their albums! He also has battled some gnarly things and is still ridiculously positive and upbeat.

Tully has a super adventurous spirit and has moved all over the place. Wisconsin to Nashville to San Diego and now to Virginia. I love her no-fear attitude and go with the flow style. She has a peace about her I can’t describe!”

Bree, we think you described both of them perfectly with your artist’s eye and your camera lens.

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Hey! I'm Bree Hulan, a born and raised San Diegan photographing adventurers and people down for a freaking awesome time.  I’ve got a country and wanderlust spirit, and I’m not afraid to get a little dust on my jeans. Traveling and photographing people out in nature is my jam. I am especially in love with the ocean, warm light, the mountains, and running around in meadows with my shoes off. Also, hammocking and burritos, duh.

My purpose is to stay true to the world and people I photograph. I want the real YOU and your relationships to shine. I want to facilitate and capture the incredible outpouring of joy that happens when you’re just being you with the ones you love!

Those candid, fun, running/dancing, laughter-filled moments. Don’t worry, I’ll give ya some posing guidance too!

Bride and Groom and a Dog Named Toby - an Ocean View Engagement Session in Del Mar California

Every time wedding and engagement photographer Paul Douda was with Ariel & Jeremy, everyone was full of giggles! Says Paul, "We had the best time with them at Seagrove Park in Del Mar, California for their engagement session. We were also joined by their pup named Toby, who is VERY excited that his humans are getting married this September 2018! You can tell just by the look on their faces how happy Ariel and Jeremy are as well." It was such a special moment to close the session out on their very own stadium seats from Fenway Park. These seats are very special to Jeremy not only because they remind him so much of his life in New England attending games at Fenway Park (before the remodel) but also because Ariel proposed to him on these very seats on the balcony of their home in San Diego! Check out their "how we met" and how SHE proposed story below as told by the bride-to-be, Ariel!

How We Met by Ariel Vollero: "I (Ariel) had just moved to San Diego in late July 2016. It was my fourth day at my first real job and my co-worker Noah was taking me around to the different courthouses to become familiar with my role. That Thursday, we were in El Cajon courthouse in front of Department 4 when he stopped to talk to an attorney named Jeremy Elias, who had a client on our program. We were briefly introduced and then I stood by silently as they had a conversation. The next day, I was observing in Department 9 in the Downtown courthouse. I walked in, took a seat in the second to last row and who should be at the podium doing his thing, but Jeremy, the attorney I met the day before. I was so excited because I didn't know many people in San Diego and was excited I recognized someone after my first full week at work! And to make matters even more exciting, he recognized me and came and sat down next to me! He started asking me what I was doing, helped me with my observations, and invited me to spend Thanksgiving with him, you know, casual first conversation stuff. He then gave me his business card and said to text him. we talked for a little more and then he got up to leave and said again, 'no really, text me'. So I did just that, but from my work cellphone. That is, until I realized he was definitely (maybe?) trying to ask me on a date. I eventually gave him my personal cell phone number and we agreed to go out on Saturday night! And we have been together ever since!"

How SHE Proposed by Ariel Vollero: "It was like any other night, Jeremy and I were sitting outside on our balcony on our bleacher seats. We were talking about eloping, a conversation we had been having for awhile. He then made a comment, 'well, we can't elope yet. We aren't even engaged yet!' So I said, 'well, maybe I can change that!' And I got down on one knee, professed how deeply I was in love with him, and asked him to marry me. He was speechless and just nodding his head. He asked me (jokingly) if I had a ring for him and I, unfortunately, didn't. We found a keychain flashlight, took the key ring off, and I got down on one knee again and asked him again! Of course, he said yes again! The next day, we were going to the Barrister's Ball at his law school, so we were getting all dolled up. Early in the day, we went to Robin's Brothers The Engagement Ring store and I bought him a real engagement ring. That night, before the ball, when we were all dressed up, I got down AGAIN, with a new speech, and asked him to marry me, officially! Later on, once we selected our wedding venue (Tom Hams Lighthouse) Jeremy surprised me at the altar in front of a few of our friends and our moms and returned the proposal with an engagement ring for me as well." 

Downtown Engagement Session Shows Off San Diego's Cool Urban Side

Engagement session are so fun for showing off a couple's personal style!  As New York transplants, Ryan and Kelsey love the big city and wanted an urban setting for their engagement photos! San Diego wedding photographer Paul Douda decided to photograph their session in downtown San Diego. Ryan & Kelsey met through mutual friends 4 years ago in Atlantic City. Their chemistry was immediate and undeniable so they moved in together only 3 months later and then moved to California in 2016. One year later, while picnicking at Sunset Cliffs, Ryan proposed to Kelsey and she said yes! They plan on marrying in America's most cool and urban city....New York City! We love this shoot - who knew crossing the street could look so stylish and sweet?! 

Photographed by one of our favorites; Wedding Photographer Paul Douda, whose artist background really shows in the composition of these shots, in The San Diego Gaslamp.

Charming Engagement Shoot Shows off a Fun and Vibrant True Love Under the pier

Thanks Paul Douda Photography for sending us this dynamic and charming engagement shoot at Scripps Pier in La Jolla. Jillian & Dax have an undeniable chemistry and we just love this couple (and this oh so San Diego shoot) that is so playful and genuinely full of vibrancy and love. 

Says photographer Paul, "Working with them for their Valentine's Day mini session at Scripps Pier in La Jolla was so much fun. For two people who are generally uncomfortable in front of the camera, they had a blast laughing and playing at the beach."

Jillian & Dax got off to a slow start when they met at a San Diego nightclub, Atomic, where Jillian was a bartender. According to the both of them, they couldn't stop staring at each other for months of going there every Tuesday but were also too shy to make the first move. Finally in December of 2016, Jill decided to make the first move and ask out Dax out on a date. From then on, their romance has blossomed and was on the fast track to their engagement on New Years Eve 2017! Congratulations Jillian and Dax! 

San Diego Featured Engagement Shoot: Stormie + Katie's Secret Garden Shoot

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was the inspiration for Katie and Stormie's engagement session at the Felicita County Park in Escondido. It's also been the inspiration throughout the entire wedding planning process-- Stormie even proposed to Katie during the "Garden of Lights" Christmas celebration at the Encinitas Botanical Gardens! Lush, romantic landscapes and twinkling lights have been a staple in everything so far, so we can only imagine that they will be present at the wedding as well, keeping with the theme. What a fun way to cherish something that the couple loves so much!

San Diego Featured Proposal: Rustic Romance

Paul Douda Photography has done it again. He beautifully captured this couple's best day (so far!) of their lives. However, pretty soon they will share an even better day when they say, "I do." Take a peek at this fun loving couple and their romantic, rustic proposal at Baileys Palomar Resort!

The quintessential San Diego engagement shoot celebrate bikes, bays and beaches!

The quintessential San Diego engagement shoot celebrate bikes, bays and beaches! Happy First Day of Summer!

San Diego wedding photographer Paul Douda spent a perfect San Diego day (with a very San Diego couple) capturing the quintessential San Diego engagement shoot, starting at The Coronado Ferry Landing. Melissa & Adam decided to do their engagement session on Coronado Island because it reminded them of all the times they spent there when they were first dating.

Since Adam lived in Downtown San Diego, on the weekends they would take their bikes on the ferry over to Coronado to do some exploring, which ended up leading to a beautiful relationship- these easy going and local engagement shoot locales were the perfect fit! 

It's Marry Me Monday with a Surprise Beach Proposal [spoiler: She Said Yes!!]

Marry Me Monday starts with a surprise beachside proposal at Bird Rock La Jolla. 

Marry Me Monday!

@Bird Rock, La Jolla

Ryan had planned his proposal to Leslie for a long time. Everyone around them knew it was happening but no one knew when. Wedding photographer Johanna Kitzman of Studio Frejya (who happens to Ryan's sister-in-law) had shown up earlier to this beach, a spot that holds special meaning to the couple and to Leslie's family, to put some writing in the sand. Of course a written proposal in the sand ended up being a big attraction for everyone who arrived at the beach and everyone wanted a snap of the message!! 

Says Johanna, "Luckily, Ryan texted me as he arrived at the location and I was able to ask everyone to step away and we instantly had the beach for ourselves. Under the pretense of helping me with a family session, Ryan led Leslie down to the cliffs. Nervous as he was, he barely made it to the spot before he got down on one knee, and with shaky hands pulled out a stunning diamond ring."

It took Leslie a few moments before she realized what was going on and when he pointed at the text in the sand her hands flew up to cover her mouth as she screamed out in joy. A resounding YES and a few tears later they celebrated with some champagne at a spot that will always hold a dear place in their heart.

Congratulations Ryan and Leslie!!&nbsp;

Congratulations Ryan and Leslie!! 

This Joshua Tree Engagement Session is Just What We Needed Today!

This stunning Joshua Tree engagement photography session with San Diego wedding and engagement photographer Paul Douda is just what we needed today! This shoot clearly went the extra mile [literally since Joshua Tree National Park is over 150 miles from San Diego!] resulting in breathtaking engagement photos, with lots of breathing room and nature's gifts of amazing light and views for miles... well done Paul! 

Photographer:  Paul Douda Photography//Dress Designer:Abyss by Abby//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Hugo Boss//Other Location:Joshua Tree National Park//

Puppy Love: Engagement Photography Sessions Featuring Man's Best Friend

Everyone knows the saying that dogs are man's best friend, and we couldn't agree more! So, today we want to focus on the newer trend of featuring your best friend in your engagement and/or wedding photoshoots! The idea couldn't be any more perfect: it's a photoshoot that already features two people so in love, that they chose to spend the rest of their lives together.  So, why not include the non-humans that have been there for you throughout all of your ups and downs?  The ones who have sat beside your bedside when you weren't feeling well. The ones who are always so excited when you walk in the door from work. The ones who are just as excited for your wedding day as you are. We are saps for a good love story here at SanDiegoWedding.com, and adding dogs to the mix just makes us melt. Check out our list of top San Diego wedding and engagement photographers who would be tail waggingly happy to do your engagement session with your best furry pals! 

Photographer: MKL IMAGES

Attention engaged couples one of San Diego's fave engagement shoot locales is now open!

One of SanDiego's most popular engagement session photography locations is open for the season! The famous Carlsbad Flower Fields welcomes hundreds of engaged couples each year looking to capture their love amongst the beautiful endless fields of flowers.

Amateur photography is free but professional photography requires an advance application, a photography fee and proof of insurance so be sure to read and follow their rules for photos in advance.

Colorful Ranunculus are a beautiful pop of color

Colorful Ranunculus are a beautiful pop of color

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MCAS Miramar Engagement Shoot Summed up in Two Words: Elegantly Honorable

San Diego, California is proud to be home to many of our armed forces and those that serve. So today we give our military couples an idea on how to incorporate this large part of their lives into an engagement session.  Engagement sessions are where couples are able to show their true colors through photography and Luke and Regen Ward's true colors just happen to include red, white, and blue! In order to properly show the world what is important to them as a couple, the Wards wanted to have their first location during the engagement session to be where Luke works, MCAS Miramar and we are in awe over how their photos turned out.

Local wedding photographer Brit Jaye Photography  managed to perfectly capture not only the Ward's rugged and patriotic side, but also their soft and romantic side. We salute this gorgeous engagement session and as always say 'thank you for your service!' to all our armed forces and their spouses and spouses-to-be! 

Lavender Fields and Lots of Love Fill this Joyful Southern California Engagement Session

Beautiful lavender fields and dappled sunlight through oak and pine tree branches at the Highland Springs Ranch and Inn (famous for its lavender festival) make this joyful engagement session with photographer Rosanna Hanson a treat. Rosie & Israel wanted to incorporate lavender in their wedding and take advantage of these beautiful California lavender fields at the end of the season with this romantic day of love.

Gorgeous Styled Shoot Turns Into a Surprise Proposal that will Leave You Smiling

Dillon thought it was just a styled wedding shoot, but it turned out to be one of the most joyful days of her life. Photographer and Videographer Elle Lily tricked Dillon into wearing a microphone and being interviewed for a "blog post" for her website. Dillon happily details their relationship and all the reasons she loves Hayley, moments before Hayley surprises her by popping the question! We love this surprise proposal and styled shoot rolled into one with all of its love and emotion beautifully captured on film. Be sure to watch Dillon's hilarious and adorable reaction in the video too.


STYLED SHOOT VENDOR CREDITS:

Photography: Elle Lily Photography and Videography 

Videography: Elle Lily Photography and Videography 

Florals: Sweet Stems Florist

Hair and Makeup: Sandra Michelle Artistry

Cakes: The Batter up Bakery

Custom Invitations: CC Shirock Paper

Custom gown: Scr Murrieta 

Bow tie: Knotty CO. Bow Ties

Furniture Rental: Nomad Nuptials

Airbrush Tan: Land and Sea Beauty