Jenks Lake Engagement Session from Blissfully Illuminated Photography

We wanted our engagement photos to capture who we are naturally together: lovers of all things outdoor, and each other of course. One of our favorite mountains to hike is San Gorgonio, so we decided upon the location of Jenks Lake, a small lake on the other side of the mountain. We were SO grateful that our amazing photographer agreed to this longer day of driving and exploring. We were at the lake the day before it opened back up for recreational use (fishing, picnics, etc), so there was not one person in sight! It couldn't have been more perfect. 

We bought some vintage gas lamps on Amazon, brought a blanket from home, and flowers I had from testing which flowers I wanted in the wedding, actually. We didn't want it to be too styled or posed, so we kept the props to a minimum and are glad we did! I (Emily) did have my make up done by Jessica of J Hue Makeup, and was so happy with the natural look she did. Abbygale Bedson of Blissfully Illuminated Photography is so talented, creative, and made us feel so comfortable. We feel that we can call her a friend and are so excited for her to capture our wedding! -Emily & Nick

Their love story: Our story goes all the way back to our years of elementary school, believe it or not! We both grew up attending the same elementary and Jr. High school, until high school set us on different paths. Throughout the next 4 years, we would only see each other once, by surprise, at a high school dance where Nick attended with a mutual friend. We love to reminisce on that time, because neither of us would have ever imagined spending forever together, but we had the greatest time that night, getting down to "Apple Bottom Jeans" and being so naturally goofy together. After that fun night, little did we know that our lives would intersect again in 2 years.

We both attended the Cal Poly campuses- Emily at San Luis Obispo and Nick at Pomona (4 hours apart). In December 2008, we ran into each other while Emily was working the Jewelry department at Nordstrom. After a disappointing and failed attempt to get Emily's number, we were finally able to connect. And thus began a friendship that would develop to the greatest trust, companionship, mutual love for God and people, and ultimately a deep and committed love to one another.

How he proposed: Oh my {Emily's} favorite part! There are so many layers to this story, so I will do my best to adequately capture the whole thing. Nick and I knew we wanted to spend forever together as husband and wife. We also both wanted to graduate college first and land jobs after graduation before pursuing wedding plans. So in a nutshell, we had both learned to be patient. As I was struggling with being jealous of other couples moving forward with plans, Nick was up to something big...

He had connected with a friend's dad who was skilled in jewelry design and production, and had all the necessary tools in his home. As Nick and I would look around at rings, he would carefully and so intentionally take note of what we liked, what was unique, special, etc. then let his creative juices flow! From the beginning of November through Christmas of 2013, he would spend late nights and who knows how many hours blow torching, gold spinning, ring molding, diamond placing, and so many other processes I am still learning about! He was MAKING the perfect (and most stunning) symbol of commitment, devotion, and love. 

Nick had given me the gift of horseback riding in Big Bear as my Christmas present (something I love doing!). As we were trotting through the mountains, the big question was certainly on my mind! But I wondered how in the world that would even work. Our ride came to an end, and I was thrilled to have the experience, but a bit disappointed that it hadn't happened. After all, I thought I was so clever and knew everything (not even close! Remember, I still have NO idea about the ring). After riding, we went off-roading (another one of our favorite things) in Holcomb Valley. After arriving at a flat valley with a beautiful tree to walk to, we stopped and walked toward the tree together. After seeing that the path was lined with lanterns, and a bench was waiting for us at the end, my heart leaped (and raced). Nick proceeded to share his love and commitment to me, got down on one knee, asked, i don't even think i could verbally say "yes" through the tears, then he sat me down to another surprise... A video of all our closest friends and family, some who I had not seen in years, individually sharing what they admired about us together, why they valued me as a friend, etc. I get chills even thinking about it again! Certainly something I will treasure forever. As if that wasn't enough, he put his hand on my newly beautified left hand,, and said "I have one more thing." He handed me a photo book, documenting the end tire process of creating the beautiful ring on my finger. I was stunned. Shocked. Amazed. And completely in love with a man who would sacrifice so much to make this so special. We were so ecstatic to FINALLY say we were engaged to be MARRIED!

Vendors: Photographer: Blissfully Illuminated Photography

The following vendor is a member of our Preferred Vendor Guide. Click here for more information on how to become a preferred vendor.