Couple: Elezaveta and Michael

Photographer: India Earl Photography

Engagement Shoot Date: 19/02/2017

Location of Shoot: La Push, Washington, USA

Wedding Date: 21/07/2017

Couple on La Push beach

What’s your proposal story?

“In 2016 Michael and I (along with another couple) were on vacation in the Dominican Republic for Spring break. Throughout the trip Michael planned the proposal without me having a clue on what was going on. He would be doing research on where to buy dozens of roses and candles, driving into town to buy these items, and reserving a spot on the beach so it can be more intimate for us. I was distracted by the beach, pools and, of course, tanning.

“On March 21st we all decided to wake up early to catch the sunrise. It was my sister’s birthday and it was something she requested we all do together. The sunrise was magical to watch, and as my sister and I were off taking photos, Michael and his best friend were setting up the proposal.

“Unfortunately, I was sort of a pain in the ass because I wanted to go to the opposite side of the beach where Michael wanted to propose. My sister looked at me and said “No Liz, we HAVE to go to this side.” I gave in. I had only walked a few feet when I noticed there were rose pedals on the sand. I looked at my sister and said, “It is happening.” She just looked at me and smiled.

“Up ahead I saw a pathway to a beautiful gazebo where Michael was nervously waiting for me. As I got to him he hugged me tight and told me all the reasons why he wanted to marry me and then got down on his knee and asked. It was a beautiful moment.”

La Push beach

Engaged couple having photo shoot on La Push beach

Couple laughing together

Woman laughing with fiancé

How’s your wedding planning going?

Since I’ve had over a year to plan the wedding, I would say everything has gone super smoothly. People often ask me, “how are you not even stressed out?”.

“I would recommend you start at least a year before the actual wedding because it gives you time to plan it all without rushing. Plus, wedding venues book up so quickly. The first thing I did was book the venue and photographer; everything sort of fell into place after that. It’s been so much fun!”

Couple with heads against each other

Couple on La Push beach

Couple kissing

Couple cheek to cheek

Man kissing fiancée's shoulder

What has been the hardest part of planning your big day?

“The hardest thing has been the RSVP responses — people have been taking their precious time with them. I keep double checking and trying to confirm with everyone but some of them just don’t have a yes or no answer yet, so that can be frustrating.”

Couple with hair blowing in wind

Man holding woman from behind

Woman tipping head back laughing

Man kissing fiancée's shoulder

Man kissing fiancée's head

Why did you have an engagement shoot?

“I love pictures — I think they are amazing memories that we can create and look back to. Every time I go back and look at our photos they make me so emotional. I cannot wait to share them with our future kids and have them visually experience our love story as we share it.”

Engagement ring on woman's finger

Couple sitting on felled tree on La Push beach

Woman kissing fiancé on cheek

Man kissing fiancée's shoulder

Couple with blanket blowing in wind on La Push beach

What made you choose your photographer?

“Our photographer was India Earl. Let’s be honest, she is one of the best photographers around. I’m very picky with photos. I feel like I knew what I wanted and she would be able to give that to me. I wanted very real, in the moment type of photos. Nothing super ‘posey’. That is my favourite type of photo.”

Couple laying on sand of La Push beach

Couple laughing together on La Push beach

Couple laying down kissing

Man giving woman piggy-back across La Push beach

Couple having fun during engagement shoot on La Push beach

Why did you choose La Push as the engagement shoot location?

“I was going for the ‘beach feel’. La Push is a gorgeous beach in the Pacific North West surrounded by amazing rocks in the ocean, forest and beautiful sand. We both love the ocean and decided we definitely wanted it to be our photo shoot location.”

Couple walking holding hands on La Push beach

Man playing guitar to fiancée

Couple with guitar

Couple walking from La Push beach

Man kissing fiancée's head in snow

How do you feel having an engagement shoot will help with having your wedding pictures taken?

“I think having an engagement shoot really helps the couple loosen up and figure out how to be together behind a camera. As we were going for the natural feel, we did our best to make each other laugh, compliment one another and just have a blast with it. Now in our wedding pictures we won’t look like it’s our first time taking photos together.”

Couple walking in snow

Man holding woman from behind

Man lifting fiancée up in snow

Couple approaching water in the snow

Couple standing in snow next to water

Which is your favourite picture?

“My favourite picture is a close-up of us where my hair is blowing in the wind and Michael’s face is against my cheek. The light is very golden and warm.”

Man kissing fiancée on head

Couple standing next to water in the snow

Engaged couple

Couple holding hands in the snow

Engaged couple touching heads

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?

“I am looking forward to our first dance. Every time I hear our song come on, I tear up. I feel like that moment will be so special and intimate, and something only we will share.”

Engagement ring on woman's finger

Couple standing in woodland in snow

Woman laughing as fiancé holds her from behind

Couple on jetty in snow

Engaged couple having tender moment

Images © India Earl Photography