On the Easter long weekend, I traveled to Gabriola Island for Maria and Tim’s wedding with my friend and fellow photographer, Taliah. She second shot Maria and Tim’s beautiful wedding and I was thankful for the company while we traveled! Taliah and I have been friends for years now… originally we met through church and quickly bonded over our shared career. Throughout the years, we’ve met for ‘work dates’ at Starbucks on our laptops, or coffee and walking dates to catch up on life and of course, she’s been a faithful second shooter when I need to travel out of town for destination weddings! I’m so thankful for her!
About a year ago, Taliah mentioned a man she had met named Dustin. In the off-season, Taliah worked one day a week at David’s Tea in the mall – a great chance to meet people and get out of the ‘home office rut’ I know all-too-well in the rainy winter months! Nearby, Dustin worked at the Telus store. He started coming into David’s Tea after noticing a beautiful tall brunette with a gorgeous smile… his visits increased in frequency, until he asked for Taliah’s number! Shortly after, the two were official and it’s been so fun to hear from Taliah about the progression of their relationship over the last year.
Taliah and I had coffee about four months into their relationship and halfway through our conversation I said, “Not to freak you out or anything, but I really do think you guys will get married.” She stopped and laughed, shifting in her seat. “Really!? Why do you think that?” I shared similar emotions and I-don’t-know-processing thoughts during my dating relationship with Randy… and sitting back listening to Taliah share how she was ‘unsure’ but liked where it was going… I just knew.
From the stories Taliah shared I could see so clearly how crazy Dustin was about her. (I hadn’t even met him!) When she was in California for a month, he drove down to surprise her and meet all of her friends. He constantly seemed to be ‘available’ to her, emotionally and literally – making time for Taliah was easy and a joy for Dustin. It made me so happy, all those months ago, because that’s what I want for my single friends. A boyfriend SO crazy about them and so in love with who they are. Seasons change and engagement may be more complicated and difficult than dating and marriage may be even more complex than being engaged.
But when you start with a foundation like Taliah and Dustin’s, it makes me SO excited to see them start their journey in marriage. They will have a beautiful future together as they live out a beautiful story through their vision, goals and love! Can’t wait for you both.
Marriage has been the greatest gift in my life.
Okay, back to the story.
About a month before the proposal took place, Dustin emailed me about capturing it on camera. He told me he was thinking about the ‘weekend of March 25 to 27.’ I emailed back a resounding, Yes! Of course I’d love to photograph your proposal! But… did he know Taliah and I were away March 25 to 27, the exact weekend he was planning to propose?
Haha. No. He didn’t.
Taliah and Dustin were flying to Hawaii with her family for a week-long vacation on the evening of Monday, March 28th. We determined the only way to make this work was the morning of March 28th. Dustin got to work making the exact plan to get Taliah to Cascade Falls, the location of their first date and I got to work perfecting my ‘lying skills.’
As mentioned earlier, Taliah and I hung out for 48-straight-hours before her proposal. As a married girl and a single-girl-who-knows-she’s-getting-engaged-soon do, we talked a lot about Taliah and Dustin’s future. When he would propose… what kind of dress she would wear… where the wedding would be… what season she wanted to get married in… newlywed changes, etc. It was a big, big topic of conversation that weekend – because obviously, Taliah knew she was approaching engagement!
But she had no idea that I knew.
She even told me Dustin told her they were going to go for a walk the next morning. To do something ‘active’ before their six-hour flight to Hawaii. She told me how he ‘insisted’ that she be fully packed for Hawaii before our weekend trip. “He’s so worried and anxious about the trip!” she laughed. (Looking back, of course he wanted to eliminate any excuse she could have to not go for a walk Monday before their flight.)
My sister in law Jen and I drove out early on Monday morning to Cascade Falls Regional Park in Mission. We double checked Dustin’s plan (he sent us a video showing us where to hide, etc) and I tested the light with Jen as a model. (Her photos of ‘pretending to propose’ are really a sight to behold!) My heart was beating so fast when T+D approached and boom, it happened! They were engaged!
One of the best parts was seeing how surprised Taliah was to see me there.
What can I say? Expert proposal photographer.
I can hang out with the bride all weekend and not let one thing slip.
So, so thrilled for you both! Can’t wait to continue to be a part of your lives in the future.