It was a few minutes after Randy and I became husband and wife, during the family photos following our wedding ceremony, when Brandon turned to Jen & I and pointed. “Hey! You guys are sisters now!” We both stared at him. “Brandon,” Jen said, “Nothing has changed.” We all burst out laughing. “Yeah,” I said, “Brandon, you, need to do something for Jen and I to become sisters. Me marrying Randy has nothing to do with it.”
Jen has felt like family for a long time. Brandon and Jen started dating two and a half years ago, in November of 2011. She’s been in our family’s life ever since. We’ve traveled to Arizona together, spent weekends in Whistler and on the lake in Bellingham and six months ago, Jen and Brandon were a very special part of Randy’s proposal to me. Even more recently, Jen stood beside me as a bridesmaid on our wedding day. My almost-but-not-really-sister.
Now she really is an almost-sister. Soon to be just “sister.”
Brandon asked two of his best friends, Michael and Luke, to be involved in the set-up of his proposal. He asked me to come along and photograph the event as it happened – incognito. I’ve photographed three proposals before and I love them.
Around 6:30pm, the boys and I went to Queen Elizabeth Park to set up the table and chairs. Brandon had collected all of this beautiful stemware, candle holders and tea lights for us to set up and even showed us how he wanted it done the day before at my parent’s home. He had pink champagne, beautiful flowers and a scrapbook he had carefully made over a couple of days. Inside the scrapbook was memorabilia of their dating relationship: concert ticket stubs, mix CDs, scrawled notes, mini-golf scores, letters. It was beautiful.
Jen and Brandon had dinner reservations at the Dark Table and Brandon snuck out to the washroom to call Michael to let him know their ETA. 25 minutes. Those 25 minutes seemed like an hour. We all didn’t want to mess anything up! Plus, people are SO stinkin’ curious and were flockin’ around this table like it was a pile of gold. I kid you not, about 8 times Luke had to ask people to back up or clear the area and two ladies even approached the table, picked up the bouquet and TOOK A PHOTO WITH IT. Geez.
We hid. The boys far, far away, but I climbed down the stairs off to the left and waited. In order for me to see where Brandon and Jen were coming from, I would have to walk out too far and they could see me. It was a risk. (Just how the set-up worked, no way around it.) For that reason, I tried to listen so so closely (ahem, which was DIFFICULT because Michael insisted I tuck all of my blonde hair into my black hood and put the hood up, so my ears were very covered) to hear the key moment. I would move to the right literally just enough to snap a photo and go back. Over and over again.
They sat down at the table (the first place they said “I Love You” by the way, right there in Queen Elizabeth Park) and Brandon poured them both a glass of champagne. Jen opened up her scrapbook and knew what was coming. She was pretty overwhelmed. I believe she told Brandon not to talk. Hahah. When she got to the last page of the scrapbook, there was a page titled “Engagement” with a blank space for a photo. Brandon got down on one knee, asked Jen to be his wife, and presented her with a stunning 14K gold, 0.91 karat diamond ring. It is seriously amazing.
Engagement rings never get old. I want 10. One for every finger.
Love you guys. Enjoy this season.
This would be the moment where Brandon pointed me out and I revealed myself. They look so happy.
The three of us!
Thank you, to the following assistants for their help with light testing.