FINALISTS for Engagement Shoot Giveaway


In the Fall 2012 issue, we partnered with David Blair Photography to bring our readers an AMAZING giveaway ... $1,000 Engagement Shoot!!!  Here's what one of these lovely finalists will receive: * An all afternoon photoshoot within 100 miles of Louisville {must be completed before your wedding and by end of 2013.}

* An online gallery to view all photos

* A FRAMED 16 x 20 print of your favorite photo

* and of course, the option to purchase any other photos that catch your fancy.

Before I get to the FIVE FINALISTS, I first want to say a wholehearted THANK YOU to each and every couple that submitted.  There were 59 of you, and all of your proposal stories were very sweet and touching ... this was literally one of the hardest decisions that David or I have had to make ... we appreciate you all!!!

One more thing before we get to the FIVE FINALISTS ... the RULES {I know, the not so fun part} ...

* The winner will be chosen by the community - the couple with the most votes, WINS!

* Make sure you READ each proposal!

* VOTE for your favorite - each person can only vote once!

* Share this post with everyone you know ... the more votes the better!


FINALISTS {in order of when proposal was submitted}

Couple ONE: Parisa & Christopher

Chris and I have known we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together, from the first day we started dating. We said we were either going to do this for real and forever or not at all. For years we had been “really really good friends” but had never crossed the boundaries of friendship in fear of losing what we had built. 

Condensed portion: They planned a weekend to Indianapolis for a game and shopping with friends.  She was suspicious  but her sister convinced her that it was NOT that weekend, which was good, because Parisa DID NOT want to get engaged in Indiana! Great dinner with friends Friday night and set up what they were going to do on Saturday. In the middle of the night, Chris wakes Parisa up and says, "Honey get up, we are leaving for the airport in 20 minutes!"  After being concerned about the plans, their dog, and more, Parisa realized that maybe she should just relax and enjoy. Chris handed her the boarding pass ... New Orleans!  Now she knew it was the day - this is where their love blossomed since this is where Chris lived for five years and they both fell in love with the city. They were staying at The Roosevelt, a hotel they had only admired never stayed at. We went for lunch at Jackson square ...

I was just admiring a caricature hanging on the garden gate when Chris asked if I wanted to have one done. I was surprised but excited it was not something Chris was normally willing to do but we did have a few hours to kill. Eagerly we walked around searching for who we agreed to be the best caricature artist on Jackson Square (a high title in the French Quarter). Chris targeted the guy and I agreed he did have the best samples out.

Chris joined me on the bench and the artist got to work drawing a goofy black and white big-headed version of us. He started with the small talk: Where are you guys from? …Louisville, KY. You guys married? …not yet. Oh yea how long you all been together? … about 9 years Chris said…9 and a half I corrected. That’s a long time, you think you two will get married soon? …probably one day I replied. Then he started with the stories “Yea I get couples here all the time proposing and stuff. I just drew a portrait not a caricature of this one guy holding the engagement ring and he’s going to propose tonight by giving her the portrait.” “That is really sweet “ I replied “Yea and I got this other guy coming later today that wants me to do a caricature of his girlfriend and him and write on the picture Will you marry me? So when I turn it around for them to see it he can propose.” My southern twang came out “OH MY GOD that is the sweetest thang!” “Yea but I know it’s not you guys because they were flying in this morning and their plane didn't land until 11 and they aren't coming this way until 1 o’clock. I hope the weather holds up for them.”…hmm I thought well our plane landed at 11 and I’m not sure what time it is but it should be after 1:00 by now. We sat for a little longer when the artist finally asked if we were ready to see our drawing, when he turned it around there it was … a black and white goofy big headed version of Chris and I.

I was admiring our new wall art when Chris came walking up “let’s have another one done in color, so we can give my parents this one to match the one of me they have up in the hallway at their house.” I didn't remember the caricature he was speaking of at his parents’ house but sure enough it does exist and something was telling me to just go with it…so I did. We sat back down and our oh so talkative artist began again. This time in color he drew us, only towards the end more people stopped to make fun of us. Chris kept me distracted asking what I was going to have for lunch or what I wanted to do after lunch. Finally it was time for the great reveal again. This time it felt a little more exciting however because a little crowd had gathered around…we must be some goofy looking fools I thought.

When he turned the picture around this time the bright colors drew me in and there it was in the top right corner “Will you marry me?” When I looked over Chris was down on one knee spilling his heart out. All I could get out at first was “Were we the 1 o’clock he was supposed to draw?” Chris smirked and said “Yes we were! Parisa you are my best friend and I want you to spend the rest of your life with me!”

I screamed ...I cried.., I laughed…and I said Yes! 


Couple TWO: Kerstin & Adam

This year for Christmas we decided to cut down our own Christmas tree and start a new tradition.

We walked around the tree farm for a while and then finally found the "perfect" tree. When I said, "How about this one" He agreed and then asked, "Is this the one". After I said yes he told me that we needed to make sure it could hold up an ornament.

He reached in his pocket and pulled out a small gift bag, I opened it to find an ornament in the shape of a ring that said, "WILL YOU MARRY ME".

I looked up in utter disbelief and he was on one knee asking me to spend the rest of our lives together. Obviously, I said "YES"!! 


Couple THREE: Megan & Kendrick

On Christmas Eve, my dads side of the family was over and we had opened all of our gifts, and Kendrick (my now fiance') asked if we could all play a little game. He knew that we all love to play games, so of course we said yes.

He had made up a bunch of envelopes and asked us all to stand in a circle. Then he handed each of us an envelope and read a Christmas story. Every time he said RIGHT in the story we had to pass the envelope to the person on the right of us, and every time he said LEFT in the story we had to pass the envelope to the person on the left of us.

At the end of the story he told us to open our envelopes, and my step mom (Marla) opened her envelope with a note to her. So after thinking the game was completely rigged and we started booing the game. So she opened an envelope in the bag and it said to give to Marty (which is my father). He opened his letter and it said: Will you allow her to accept this gift? Well, my dad knew what was going on since they had already talked about it, and played along acting like why would he need to let HIS wife accept a gift. So, Marla opened the gift bag and in it was the ring box.

At that time Kendrick looked at me and said, "Actually the ring is not for you, but for Megan", and then turned to my dad and said, "Actually what I was asking Marty, is will you allow your daughter to accept this gift."

My father said yes! I broke down in tears, I was so surprised and hid behind my sister Sierra. So Marla ended up handing me the ring box. My answer to the question was: Yes, if you will put it on! He did right there in front of everybody and asked me to accept the ring and spend eternity with him!

That's our story and I can not believe how much THOUGHT he had to have put in it to make the envelopes fall in the hands of the right people and everything, I was in shock for probably a few days. He is such an amazing and hard-working man and I am blessed to have him in my life!


Couple FOUR: Lauren & Clay

It was the day of my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary and my aunt had decided to host the party at her house in Cincinnati to honor my grandparents. I come from a nice size family of about 45 family members, and we all enjoyed the evening with a nice dinner and drinks.

At the end of the evening my fiance orchestrated with my mother a toast to my grandparents and during the toast each person in my family, yes all 45 people, were to say a special memory of each grandparent and why they are special to us. Of course EVERYONE was smiling and at times crying. After everyone had gone it was my fiances turn (yes, that was orchestrated).

Clay, started his speech saying to my grandfather that he loves that he has the gift of gab and that is one of his favorite qualities about me. That he's never met a stranger and of course that is one of his favorite qualities about me; and the look of kindness that is always in his eyes and that was when he knew he was in-love with me - when he first looked into my eyes. Then he went onto my grandmother and told her that he loves that you always know where you stand with her and her since of humor (we are talking about an old polish lady from Chicago here, mind you) and that was one of his favorite thing about me.

Then ... HE GOT DOWN ON A KNEE AND Proposed ... I wish I could tell you from there what he said but I was sooo flabbergasted at that point that he could of said nothing at all and I would of just been screaming, YESSS!!!! 


Couple FIVE: Marisa & Joel

In order to give you the proposal story, I must first give you the background! Here is the very abbreviated version: Joel and I have known each other since 3rd grade. We met in Sunday School at our local church and grew up to become middle school/high school sweethearts. After graduation, we went to different colleges and decided to take some time apart, which turned into almost 10 years. Our paths crossed several times over the those years but we were always dating other people and the timing never seemed quite right. We had both moved away from our hometown but found ourselves back in town on the same weekend, both attending our childhood church at both of our parents urging. When I saw him, it was like time had reversed and I was once again that girl with thick bangs and braces but feeling beautiful by the way he looked at me, nonetheless.

Now, for his amazing proposal! Fast forward a couple of years. It's a few days before Christmas and Joel decides that we should start a tradition of going to see a movie on Christmas Eve. We've decided to stay with my parents that night so he suggests that we invite them as well and go to the movie theater that is nearby, where we went on our first "date" in middle school.

Being a romantic, I pick up on this detail. Being a guy, he appears to not. I mention that we should just recreate our first date and go to the same restaurant. My family has plans before the movie and I laugh that this time, we won't have chaperons sitting just one booth over. This guy knows me too well; I was playing right into his plan. Dinner runs a little late and my brother texts me on the way over to the theater to tell me that they are sitting in the first row and that we better hurry if we don't want to miss the movie. Thankfully, Joel had stopped by the theater to pick up tickets earlier that day so we rushed in, the attendant took our tickets and we ran into grab our seats.

The previews were just starting but Joel said that he wanted to go get something to drink. The first preview comes on. It's for a cute new movie called "The 5 Year Engagement". Aww, engagements are so sweet. Joel is going to have to take me to see that, I think. The next preview that comes on is for a Jim Carrey movie. It's called "The Yes Man" and looks like one that he's already made but I don't think too much of it; a lot of his movies look the same these days. The next preview that comes on is for "The Proposal". WAIT. I've seen that movie before. I'm picking up on a theme here. Somebody is about to get engaged!!!

I'm starting to get anxious that Joel is going to miss it. He won't understand how great it was unless he is there to see it himself. And why is it taking so long for a DRINK?!? When a preview for The Notebook comes on, I know. I get butterflies and realize that this is for me. I first saw this movie during our what we now refer to as our "10 year relationship hiatus" and even then it reminded me of him and the first part of our love story. Years later, other parts would became eerily familiar as well.

Then the pop ups on the screen start. They include bubbles about how we met, an inside joke about Prom (we don't have time for that story right now) and God's ultimate timing which finally led us back to where we belong: with each other. At that moment, I wanted to jump up and scream "She says YES!" but he still wasn't back to his seat yet and I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the rest of the theater. The next preview that came on was for the first movie that we saw together in that same theater (Man in the Iron Mask - random, I know) and then a love note, much like the ones we used to write to each other.

This one said "Marisa, I'd love nothing more to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me? Check Yes or No." At this point, he finally appeared and asked me to marry him. Absolute perfection. When the lights came on, I turned around and saw that everyone in the theater was someone who we loved who came to share our special moment. By the way, I checked "Yes"! 

VOTE ...