Lauren and Jesse

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How We Met

I fell hard and fast for Jesse Shane, the man of my dreams and now my future husband. We met in Vegas, but not like you might think. We both worked for the same fashion brand in Los Angeles and were at a trade show for the week in Las Vegas. Jesse was a newly hired graphic designer who quickly became the office heart throb. I was the marketing director who booked the travel and accommodations for everyone.

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We were seated next to each other at dinner, which I later learned was not by accident as he purposefully snagged the seat next to mine. We began our relationship over a bowl of lobster bisque, which he ordered and was terrible but has been a topic of laughter ever since. From the very start the synchronicity in our relationship were truly fateful. After dinner we attended a party where we both knew the host, and discovered that we knew many of the same people. There were too many similarities to discuss and we ended up talking until 3 am at a spot called the Heart Bar, none the less.

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The next day Jesse was supposed to fly back to LA but somehow missed not one, but two flights, and had to call me so I could re-book his flight for the following morning. During this chat he asked me on what would be our first official date, and once again we talked all night and needless to say, we fell madly in love. From that night on we were pretty much inseparable. Over the past eight years of togetherness we’ve lived in five cities, added four awesome dogs to our family, started three businesses, and built one magical, beautiful, perfectly crazy life together. After several years of moving around we have settled down in Temecula wine country, and simply cannot wait to get married and start our forever together.

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how they asked

I always knew I would marry this man, and I knew his proposal would be just as perfectly planned as is everything he does. But I was still unprepared for the amount of pure love and patience that went into every detail of his most wonderfully romantic year long proposal. On Christmas 2014 Jesse gave me the greatest gift I thought I could ever receive, twelve carefully written love letters each with a noted month and instructions to open one on the first day of each month.

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Each love letter detailed something about our relationship, something that we loved to do together and a corresponding super special date for that month.

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From a Dave Matthews concert in San Francisco to apple picking in the fall, each love letter was a token of why we were meant to be together forever. For New Year’s Eve 2015 we planned a trip to New York to watch the ball drop over time square and bring in the new year. Little did I know this was all part of his masterfully planned, sky high proposal. We wanted the full experience of the ball drop so we found what we thought would be the perfect black tie affair at the R Lounge in Times Square (and it was!).

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Jesse worked with the event coordinator, a wonderful woman named Carol who will probably be a friend forever, to set up the last little details for the absolutely most perfect proposal I could ever imagine. During the evening Carol came over and said she would love to take us on a tour of the newly renovated floor of the Renaissance hotel and said she would come get us right after the ball dropped. So after the most exciting countdown to 2016, the best part was still yet to come. As promised she came and got us and took us up to the top floor. Still under renovation, the floor was most deserted. She took us into a room and out onto the balcony which overlooked all of Times Square and the party below. The balcony must have been five inches deep in confetti and more was still falling from above. Carol excused herself to the bathroom and said she would be right back for us.

With the sounds of celebration all around Jesse pulled the final love letter folded into the shape of a diamond out of his pocket and handed it to me. Despite the fact that all the signs were there, I still hadn’t fully realized what was happening yet. In all of the excitement I opened the letter and began reading. As I neared the end of the letter it read “this is where I get down on one knee…” and that is when the tears gently started rolling down my face. I never wanted this feeling to end. I turned to see him kneel to one knee, then he opened a custom lit box with the most gorgeous ring I had ever seen. In an instant my whole life was changing, and I tried to soak it in to every ounce of my memory. Wishing I could stay in this moment forever, I said yes yes yes!

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As I fell into his arms, a million thoughts and emotions, I could feel the relief in his embrace. After over a year of planning and carefully planting hints, we were finally engaged. It was totally worth it. The world feels more possible together. And even though we’ve been busy building a life together for eight years, it feels even more real now. Like our life together is just beginning, and the possibilities are endless. I am so lucky to get to spend eternity with this most thoughtful man. Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite.

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We knew we had to trek back to the Big Apple to shoot our engagement session in the same place we got engaged. So we talked our awesome wedding photographer into taking a trip with us and she totally made all of our engagement photo dreams come true.

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Special Thanks

Toni Larsen
 | She shot our destination engagement photos.
James Allen
 | Ring