Nope, these aren’t two gorgeous models in a styled photoshoot here, folks. These INCREDIBLE images from Mariah Milan Photography are simply capturing a couple of real-life darlings celebrating their engagement. Having married my high school sweetheart myself, this couple’s story had me near to tears and filled with joy for the lasting love they share. This spontaneous (if you can believe it!) photo shoot on the sands of Big Beach, Makena, Maui wouldn’t be complete without those ah-dorable American Apparel suspenders and the cutest frock from Bebe with all the feathery-glittery goodness you could ever want. Click here for even more spectacular images in our gallery.

Click here for the FULL engagement session!

From the Bride-to-Be… Our story began six-and-a-half years ago when I was in grade 10, and Kev (my absolutely adorable fiancé) was in grade 11. We were both too scared to talk to each other, so I was forced to settle with a few smiles and simple “hi’s” while passing by each other in the hallway. From the moment I saw him, I was completely enamored by his charm and good looks, but I really didn’t think anything would come of it since he was quite shy, and, well, I was just too scared to talk to him! One day while I was on MSN (way back in the day!), I started a conversation with one of his best friends, Jordan. To my surprise (and luck), I received a message saying “This is Kev, I’m just on Jordan’s account.” I cannot express how nervous and excited I was that I finally was talking to my crush. Kev and I chatted for quite some time and finally arranged to go on a date.  We would see movies and play video games so we didn’t have to talk to each other too much (just in case things became awkward). Once the awkward phase was over, our relationship evolved into the loving and nurturing relationship we both share today. He is my best friend and soul mate, and I knew he was going to be the one I would say “yes” to!

This past year we planned a vacation with both of our families to go to Maui during my reading week (Canadian spring break for universities). I’m currently in the faculty of nursing, so time away from the books was much needed! While packing and finishing up last-minute errands the night before the trip, Kev walks up the stairs and says jokingly, “Kels, I can’t go to Hawaii anymore — my passport is expired.” I gave him a doubtful look, called his bluff, as he laughed and said “Just kidding!” (How mean!) Anyway, five seconds later, he looks at his passport for real, and his passport had expired three days before we were supposed to leave! We were both in a state of complete and utter shock and heartbreak. We had no idea what to do. Kev frantically searched emergency passport numbers to call and was on the phone all night since our flight left at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. I was completely crushed, but he forced me to get on the flight the next morning anyway, promising me he would make it there no matter what. I kissed him goodbye and prayed for a miracle. When I landed in Denver, I received a text message from Kev saying that he was able to get his passport renewed! My eyes filled with tears — I was just so happy.

He finally arrived in Maui and told me that the next morning we were going on a “hike.” I got all ready in my hiking gear and was looking forward to seeing all the beauty Maui had to offer. Little did I know we were NOT going on a hike. Kev had arranged to take me on a helicopter ride over looking the Haleakla side of Maui. When I found out he arranged this for me, I was shocked and so excited! The views were absolutely breathtaking, and since it had been raining a little in the morning, there was a beautiful rainbow in the distance. All of a sudden the pilot says, “Kev, I have a spot picked out here for you!” (#1, why the heck did the pilot know Kev’s name?, and #2, why did he have a spot picked out for him?!) My questions were soon answered when he flew over an amazing waterfall, and Kev pulled the ring out from his pocket. He told me I was his best friend and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him. I broke out in tears and said yes! This was one of the most romantic moments of my life and Kev could not have made it any more perfect.

We arranged for Mariah to take our photos, and could not have been happier with the way they turned out. She does wonders with a camera and, may I add, is one of the sweetest people I have ever met! The three of us each brought some props and made our photo shoot dream into reality!

Photography: Mariah Milan Photography / Photo Shoot Location: Big Beach, Makena, Maui, Hawaii / Feather Dress: Bebe / Suspenders: American Apparel / Beige Pants + White Button Up: Club Monaco