In late October Stephanie and Mark, along with Rachel Solomon Photography, went out to the desert dressed in their finest and brought to fruition this glamorous picturesque desert engagement shoot.
Personally we adore their ideas of mixing soft clothing with the hard elements of nature and glamorous attire among the rustic outdoors. What a perfect shoot indeed!
Photographer: Rachel Solomon Photography // Fashion Designer: Cardigan Empire // Event Designer: Creative Occasions // Event Planner: Duran Events // Floral Designer: Hoot & Holler // Makeup Artist: Jessica Fierro // Submitted via Two Bright Lights
From the bride:
How we met
Mark was working as a personal trainer and one of his clients was my boss. After one of their sessions they decided to go downstairs and have a protein shake and chat. While they were waiting for their shakes my boss was flipping through her Facebook and happened to be on my Facebook page. He leaned in to see what she was looking at, my boss explained to him I was her nanny. After finding out I was single he asked my boss to set us up. Shortly after she came home and told me about her day with her trainer, the next thing I know we exchanged info and we hit it off instantly!
It was one day before my vacation out of the country so it would be one long week before we could talk again. When I finally got home from my trip we planned on meeting up at a local wine bar, but I do have to admit I was really nervous to meet him! After several cancellations and a few pep talks from my closest friends, I mustered up the courage to meet Mark for some drinks. I figured I would go on the date, and he would realize I wasn’t his type and I would never hear from him again, boy was I wrong!! It was honestly the best first date I ever went on we sat and talked about anything and everything. It felt like the first time I could be myself.
We spent almost every day together after that so now every year we celebrate the anniversary of our first date because it was that day that changed our lives forever! We are so excited to have our “matchmaker” speak at our wedding!
How he proposed
Mark created a very careful and thought out plan. My dad happened to be in Arizona the same week I was out of town on business for a week. He met with my dad while I was away, and asked him for my hand in marriage. In just one short week Mark’s plans were set into motion. With the help of Pinterest and my sister he designed the most incredible custom ring for me!!
When I finally got home from my trip we talked about going out and celebrating Mark’s career change. After traveling and working non stop I was exhausted and suggested just staying in and watching movies with some In-N-Out burger, or spending time with his family since so many were in town for his younger brothers graduation, but he was very persistent on going out on the town. So the day was set we would go out to dinner and celebrate, only problem he wouldn’t tell me where we were going!
The big day came and I decided to go get my hair done and with the suggestion of my sister get my nails done as well. When I got home to get ready for our date after hours and hours of pestering him to tell me where we were going (because I needed to plan my outfit accordingly) I walked into my bedroom and found a dress and heels all laid out with a card that said: “Put this sexy red dress on and be ready by 5pm. Love, Mark” like any girl I quickly posted the sweet display for all to see on Instagram. I soon got calls and texts hinting that maybe tonight would be the night I became a fiancé. I tried to brush all their ideas out of my head, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I hate surprises. I’m the worst at waiting, so I figured if I was getting engaged I would definitely know about it.
At 5 o’clock on the dot Mark rang the doorbell all dressed up in a suit, complete with a hot pink shirt, which was also my favorite color. I walked out to see a car service waiting. We arrived at the Phoenician in Scottsdale for dinner. As we walked into the restaurant I wondered when he would propose, possibly with dinner? Or maybe dessert? But of course Mark being Mark he had everything covered. He called ahead and told the hostess that he would be proposing that night, but to play it off as a new career celebration.
We were sat on the patio for dinner with the most amazing view, we saw so many bunnies hopping around the golf course I told him they remind me of my mom who passed away, whenever I see a bunny I think of her. All through dinner course after course and nothing happened. Finally Mark went to the restroom. I thought this must be the big moment he’s going to come back and propose to me. When he sat back down he paid the bill and we left. We met our driver and proceeded to leave. Mark was trying to stall for time so we drove around and asked our driver to take pictures of us on the property.
Finally after we made it home I walked through the front door to see rose petals and candles everywhere leading to the back door and John Legend’s “All of me” playing on a loop in the background. We walked outside to a light and candle filled backyard complete with tiki torches, rose petals in shape of a heart, and vases of peonies, my favorite flower, all around. Suddenly all the most important people in our lives came from behind the shadows, his family, my boss (that set us up) my family… Mark even flew my dad in for the occasion! Mark got down on one knee and asked me to be his forever!
After, we all went inside and celebrated with champagne and Sprinkles cupcakes. Mark chose to propose to me on May 10th, Mother’s Day weekend, so I would have a happy memory and a new reason to celebrate since that day is always a hard day for my since my mom passed away. I honestly could not have written a better proposal. Mark is so loving and thoughtful. I am so grateful I got to spend that night with everyone that matters most to us! Seeing those bunnies at dinner reminded me my mom is always with me, and I know she would definitely approve of my husband to be!
Inspiration for our engagement shoot
One our favorite things is getting all dressed up! Being a girly girl I love anything with tulle and sparkle. I’m just so thankful Mark dresses well! We had fun highlighting our favorite accessories like my awesome necklaces and Marks watch. We always joke that we are Peacocks, we love being different and never blending in.
With the amazing suggestion of location from our photographer, we decided to do a desert glam shoot. We were a bit apprehensive at first, but once we saw photos from the location we were in love! We collaboratively came up with the idea of placing “things where they shouldn’t be” with our photographer and stylist.
The mix of hard and soft elements turned out amazing! I loved the idea of dressing a little more formal and sitting back and having a cocktail with the desert as our background. Our shoot was so fun and exciting! I loved trying something out of the box and not your typical engagement session. I must admit it takes talent trying to walk and balance on rocks while wearing high heels! We are so grateful to work with such a wonderful photographer and her team! They helped create an epic engagement session, and helped us let our love shine through photographs!
Thanks for stopping by!