Engagement sessions like this one from Jessica Danielle Photography make my heart sing. I mean, does it get any more darling? A sweet session on Big Bear Lake with an oh-so-adorable couple and a pup so cute you can barely believe he’s real? That’s the definition of darling, and you can see even more here.

From the Bride to be…We were inspired to have our engagement session in Big Bear Lake after taking a spontaneous trip there one day. We paddled around all day in a canoe and fell in love with the view. When we were trying to come up with a location for our engagement shoot, this immediately came to mind. We knew this location would best help us illustrate our relationship and personalities. Although the scenery provides its own picturesque qualities, we wanted to include certain props that we felt enhanced our personal style. The shoot just wouldn’t have been the same with out our dog, Bryn. She is a member of our family so it was essential that she came. Lanterns are a central theme for the wedding so it was only fitting to bring them as well. We loved the idea of having pictures of us sitting on a blanket so my mother suggested a quilted heirloom that my fourth great aunt Erma hand made in 1929, as well as a few other cutesy things like an ampersand sign and red heart balloons. Our photographer, Jessica did an amazing job at guiding us through the shoot. Making sure to keep it fun, light hearted, and deeply romantic. She exceeded all of my expectations. Mark and I still agree, that our photo session was one of the best dates we ever had. Not only were we able to celebrate our love, but the moments were captured forever..

Like our parents, we met in high school. I was a junior and Mark was a senior. Although at the time we weren’t dating, there was definite chemistry. We were both part of the associated student body and worked on several projects together. Seeing that we were both in relationships we didn’t pursue anything…until the following year. After Mark graduated high school he moved to Northern California to go to college. I didn’t know it at the time, but even though we were hundreds of miles apart, as he says, he didn’t forget me. Mark would call me out of the blue and check in on me every once in a while, always listening and giving advice. I’ve come to realize now that those phone calls weren’t as random as I once believed. He didn’t forget me, he was making sure I didn’t forget him. One day in the summer of 2006 I received another call, but this day was different. Going into my senior year of high school I was assigned the organization of our Homecoming dance. The dance was approaching soon and my boyfriend at the time was no longer fit to satisfy that role. In the midst of a very exciting and unfortunate time I looked down at my phone and saw my future. It was Mark; what excellent timing. I explained my situation to him and that I no longer had a date to the dance. Him being the guy he is, nonchalantly tells me, “I’ll fly down and take you”. I tried to detest due to the cost but he simply replied, “Don’t worry about it, I have nice ass pants”. He flew down, we went to the dance and now we get to plan the biggest dance of our life.

The Proposal, from Mark’s point of view…The two weeks leading up to the proposal were the worst two weeks of my life. All of a sudden I’d start to sweat when it was just her and I, worrying she was going to find out and ruin the surprise. Planning her proposal was a very funny experience because it changed so many different times due to my impatience. I finally decided to bite the bullet and ask her as soon as possible, which happened to be the night before her finals. Although to most this may seem like a strange time to propose, but I needed the element of surprise and due to my inability to hide my feelings she was starting to suspect something. After a brief argument and some heavy convincing she agreed to have dinner with me. I put on my best fitting shirt and jeans and asked her to wear this little mint green number that I love. We arrived in long beach just before sunset and approached a dock near Naples island. Meg’s has been in complete suspense the entire trip because she was not allowed to ask any details of our date. At the end of the deck we met a young man waiting with a gondola. We both took a seat and our escapade through the canals of the island began. We hardly reached the first bridge when my nerves and excitement got the best of me. I reached in my coat pocket and pulled out her ring and took a knee while we were still moving. I looked in her eyes and asked her to marry me and she said, “of course”.

Photography: Jessica Danielle Photography | Groom's Attire: America Eagle | Bride's Black Dress: Forever 21 | Bride's White Dress: H&M