I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Since it’s way-crazy-super-freezing-cold over much of the country, we figure it’s the perfect time to share this striking winter engagement session from Taralynn Lawton. Valerie and Vince are adorable (not to mention their sweet pup!) and together they perfectly pulled off a relaxed-chic winter wardrobe for the shoot. We love the whole thing and, for a second, are embracing the cold. Enjoy!

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From the Bride: About a year after Vince and I met, we were skiing in Homewood at Lake Tahoe, which has some of the most incredible views in the area. I was struggling with the whole skiing thing, basically just cartwheeling down the mountain, which isn’t nearly as athletic-looking as it sounds (trust me). Exhausted and exasperated with snow in my eyelashes, I sat on the verge of tears overlooking the lake when he came and sat next to me, commenting on my “interesting technique” for getting down the mountain, making both of us laugh. We knew then that we’d be together for a long time.

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Six years, three apartments, and one puppy later, he was taking me to the Chateau Char Marron peony gardens in the hills of San Jose during peak blooming season, knowing peonies are my favorite flower. We were making our way through fields of blooms the size of softballs when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It was our puppy running toward us through the gardens. I was both excited to see him and confused as to why he was there, when Vince untied a satchel from his collar and got down on one knee. The details from that point on are pretty fuzzy (my memories are through eyes filled with happy tears), but I must have said yes because he slipped the most beautiful vintage engagement ring on my finger and pointed to my parents making their way out of the bushes, joined by his mom who had flown in from Colorado. Buckets of tears ensued. It was a perfect day.

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From the Photographer: I knew that Tahoe was a special place for Valerie and Vince, having bonded on skiing trips early on in their relationship, so I wanted to take them back there to spend an afternoon exploring the natural wonders of the area. And it seemed only fitting that we include their adorable pup named Ribs, who played a vital role in bearing the ring for Vince’s proposal! We caught an insanely gorgeous time of year, just days after the first snowfall, which made for an exciting mix of crisp late-Autumn and a magical winter wonderland. We strolled through different trails in the South Lake Tahoe region, stumbling on an array of beauty from fields of fresh snow to gorgeous Aspen groves, and finding a few patches of golden leaves hanging on from Fall. Valerie and Vince’s easy and adventurous spirit made them a joy to shoot, and they were such troopers braving the chilly air and stomping through the snow for me. I can’t wait to be back in the Tahoe area next year for their wedding!

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Calm, pure, romantic. These were the three words textile designer, Kristen, gave photographer Heather Payne to describe the mood she and her groom, Jeremy Elrod of King of Pops, were after with their engagement shoot. Heather obviously nailed it. We LOVE the relaxed and dreamy vibe of this session—it’s so simple and the couple were totally in their element which resulted in a super authentic and beautiful series of images. Take a second to relax and enjoy this pretty shoot.

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From the photographer: I had an amazing time photographing Kristen & Jeremy’s engagement session in South Carolina. When scheming ideas for their session, I asked them to choose 3 descriptive words that best represent how they want to feel during their session. They chose calm, pure and romantic.

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Kristen has a love for industrial buildings so we chose a venue that had great light for purity and blank space to help create a calm environment. We ended their session outdoors in a nearby park where the streams of light coming through was so warm and ethereal.

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Kristen and Jeremy had great chemistry and embraced the carefree mood we were aiming to create. I turned on some music to help them feel at-home and find their natural rhythm. These images are so honest to their love; carefree and playful.

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Photography: Heather Payne Photography //  Engagement Ring: Jessie Jordan Jewelry // Dress: Anthropologie // Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab // Bride: Kristen Elrod, Designer of Alanah Textiles // Groom: Jeremy Elrod of King of Pops // Venue: 701 Whaley

 

We’re so excited to share this super-fun and vivid engagement session with you guys! Deidra and Pete were the lucky winners of a complete Sorella Muse wedding package back and June. We love Deidra’s description of Nicole, of Sorella Muse: “Like a hummingbird flitting about, she moved between angles, shots, and genial suggestions to bring out our most authentic selves.” Sounds like a good team! We can’t wait to see photos of their big day!

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How they met: In January 2008, Pete was celebrating a transition from grad school with a trip to Costa Rica. Packed and ready, he needed only a map of the country. He stopped into his local Barnes and Noble, where Deidra was working part-time to save some extra money before heading off to law school. She was covering the cash register for a co-worker who was taking a break when Pete approached to pay for his map. Deidra was feeling extra friendly that evening and decided to strike up some small talk in Spanish. After engaging briefly and warmly, Pete asked for her number under the pretext that they might meet up and practice Spanish together. Pete wasn’t deterred after Deidra canceled their first date, supposedly “too tired to meet up,” and they finally did dinner about a month after meeting. Fast forward seven years, and they are thrilled to be planning their wedding.

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The Proposal: Our engagement weekend was our definition of a perfect weekend. We started off with lunch at Hopscotch, one of our favorite restaurants in Oakland. Next, we made our way through the grey rain toward Aptos and a cozy-modern guest house on a vineyard overlooking the Pacific. After just settling in and with a bit of feigned whimsy, Pete suggested a pre-dinner toast of Deidra’s favorite grape juice and cupcakes. Each cupcake was in a box of its own, but the last box contained a ring box instead of a cupcake. Deidra was happily surprised when she opened that third box and Pete began to tell her all that he felt, asking eventually whether she would be his partner in marriage and in life. A happy yes followed, and we enjoyed the rest of a long weekend with comedy, sea kayaking, walks, the new Hobbit release, morning tea, a visit to the Santa Cruz Surf Museum, and of course, ice cream.

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Our Engagement Session: Our engagement session with Nicole was better than we could have imagined. From start to finish, it was organic and uniquely us. Oakland and the East Bay have been our home for 10 years, so it was fitting that we toured a sun-filled Temescal coffee shop, a local ice cream shop, and a favorite park—spontaneously pausing in between midway to enjoy a mural. All the while, Nicole accompanied us like an old friend. She made us feel so comfortable and at ease. Like a hummingbird flitting about, she moved between angles, shots, and genial suggestions to bring out our most authentic selves.

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Photography : Sorella Muse N. Anderson Studio //  Makeup: Tamara Locke // Hair: Liz & Company Oakland, CA // Deidra’s Skirt: Sam & Lavi // Deidra’s Top: Banana Republic // Sandals: Cocobelle via Shopbop // Pete’s Shirt and Jeans: J. Crew // Pete’s Sandals: Chac // Location: Arbor Cafe, Temescal Alley, and Piedmont Park //

Well, if this isn’t the cutest, little engagement shoot! Lacee and Matt had recently moved to Texas from New York and had fond memories of their long drive. So, when their awesome photographer, Jenny McCann, suggested incorporating a road trip into their engagement session, they jumped at the idea. Everything about the resulting shoot is adorable—the couple, the relaxed styling, the vintage car and, of course, their scene-stealing French bulldog. This one’s totally got us itching to take a fall road trip!

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Photography: Jenny McCann // Vintage suitcases: Rent My Dust // Film processing: Indie Film Lab // Location: Erwin Park

We’re loving this engagement session from Eileen Liu Photography. Yep—Diana and Ivan crushed their engagement session. The images are gorgeous enough to be a wedding portrait session and the dress is amazing enough to be a wedding gown! Now we’ll just have to wait in suspense to see some even-more-beautiful images from their big day!

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From the bride: When we first visited the Greystone Mansion, it completely took our breath away. We chose this location for our engagement photos because of its serene environment, lush gardens, and breathtaking architecture. We felt like we were being whisked away to a fairy tale castle in the heart of France! Luckily, my best friend has a natural talent for floral design, so she arranged a gorgeous bouquet for me; we even went lace-hunting in the fabric district to find the perfect ribbons to tie around the flowers. Our vision for color was to feature soft tones of pink, green, and cream.

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Our second shooting location was chosen for sentimental reasons. When Ivan and I dated for the first time 7 years ago, we carved our names in the rocks of Malibu. When we separated a year later, we swore to return to this very same beach one day and come back together. Now that we are getting married, we thought it would be the perfect place to take photos to commemorate our relationship. We will always cherish this incredible piece of California that holds a very special spot in our hearts. To our great delight, we caught the most unforgettable sunset that evening!

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Photographer: Eileen Liu Photography // Flowers: Flowers by Chanstein // Dresses: Catherine Deane Needle & Thread // Venue: Greystone Mansion //