I could honestly go on and on about these two. But let’s starts with their engagement story. Because it’s one of my favorites – which let me just add, I was in Mexico at the time (where I met Dave for the first time) shooting a mutual friends wedding. By the end of the trip, I kept telling him “you should propose!” as they were staying later to celebrate their engagement. But of course, Dave being the humble man he is, kept the secret from me! When I returned home a few days later, I received a text from them saying “LOOOOOK we got engaged!”
Engagement story told by Kaelyn – Tulum, Mexico – April 23rd, 2018
Dave wanted to propose on our actual anniversary date (Earth Day- April 22nd) but the location of the Airbnb was in the Mayan jungle. The complications were that we were scared of the wildlife (snakes, huge spiders, centipedes, screaming monkeys, etc) and had to leave early. Dave, having picked the ring months ago, having traveled all the way to Mexico, had suddenly had to choose a different location and come up with another plan. So, he did some quick research and found a better place to stay in the city of Tulum. He found an amazing taco restaurant right off the coast with a huge rock overlook.
After a few beers, appetizers and nervous conversation on Dave’s part, he asked Kaelyn if she’d like to check out the view on the rock overlook. Kaelyn had no idea why he was acting the way he was and was hesitant to leave their table to “check out the view”. Eventually, she followed him to the overlook, where he got down on one knee and asked Kaelyn to be his wife. She said yes!!
There was clapping and hollering from the nearby restaurant. After arriving back at the table, a couple of Canadian tourists revealed that they had taken a few pictures to share with Kaelyn and Dave. They lived happily ever after!! Awwwwww.”
So after they got home, planning began and they picked me to be their photographer! Over the course of the next year, we kept in contact, helped plan, I even attended Kaelyn’s bridal shower. Fast forward to the weekend of the wedding, I was honored enough to stay with a bunch of friends including the couple where we had the rehearsal dinner, made all of the floral arrangements and just had a great time.
Come the day of, the weather was absolutely perfect and everything went off without a hitch. I woke up to the smell of fresh donuts being baked (so really, how can we go wrong) the property we stayed in was stunning and provided the best scenery for portraits. Kaelyn + Dave wanted to keep it traditional and not see each other before the ceremony. The boys got shuttled up to the beautiful venue tucked in the trees of Lake Tahoe first and the girls shortly followed. When we arrived, it was drizzling rain. But that didn’t stop the party! Friends and family had been setting up the venue for a few hours prior (and they did an amazing job) while everything was being finished, we did a first touch to keep up the anti before the ceremony.
A friend of the couple did an amazing job narrating the ceremony. It was funny, personal and so sweet. Kaelyn and Dave wrote their own vows and there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. We had so much fun taking beautiful portraits in the environment they choose and dancing the night away under the cool summer night sky. After my shooting time was over, I hung out for a while and decided to leave with some of the other people in the house to surprise Dave and Kaelyn. We went back, hung string lights all over their room, used the leftover flowers from the bouquets – making a trail from the front door, down the hallway, into the bedroom where they had a huge heart on the bed that had K + D in the middle. Kaelyn got back and was a tad upset we left early (at first) until we walked her down the hallway to show her and Dave the surprise! Both were shocked, and Kaelyn cried in excitement. The cutest video of the whole thing is on my insta highlight!!
Kaelyn + Dave, thank you so much for letting me be apart of your special day. I wish you both the best. I know you two will have the sweetest and longest-lasting marriage! My crystal ball told me so 😉
Ceremony/Reception Venue- Galena Creek Fish Hatchery
Photography- Karissa Russ
Videography- Elena DeSantiago
Catering- Tarzans Taco’s
DJ- Tim Wainer
Make Up- Katie Smith
Floral Design- Costco
Jewlery/Rings- Michael and Sons
Cake/Deserts- Shayanne Nelson
Tuxedos/Suits- Mens Warehouse
Bridal Gown Designer- Allure Bridal
Bridal Boutique- Celebrations Bridal & Fashions
Rentals- Camelot Party Rentals