Santa Barbara Engagement Session | Mariana and Ivan

Now that the engagement season is just around the corner, I want to show you an adorable couple that I photographed in Santa Barbara. Mariana and Ivan are hosting their wedding at the Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo. I love this venue! The ceremony will take place at the San Fermando Mission. What a beautiful place to photograph a beautiful bride. I spent a great afternoon with Ivan and Mariana. We laughed and had a great time. They are sweet and I love it when they look into each other’s eyes. It melts my heart.

How we met: I met Ivan when we were five years old through a mutual family friend. Every time this family had a get together, we would see each other there. We didn’t catch each other’s attention until a party in December of 2008. From across the room I could feel Ivan staring at me. When I would turn and look at him, he would abruptly turn the other way. I couldn’t help but smile and continue my conversation with my cousins. That night when I went to bed, I kept thinking about him and how handsome he was. His smile is what got me. In the morning, when I woke up, I rushed to the computer and logged onto the then popular social networking site, MySpace, to see if he was my friend. Luckily he was and I nervously sent him a message saying hi and that it was nice to see him the night before. I remember checking my messages throughout the day to see if he responded. The next morning when I got to work, I noticed the message icon and was happily surprised that Ivan was very happy to see me and wanted to know my plans for the New Year. We exchanged numbers and I waited anxiously for his first text. I still remember; I was walking around my favorite store, Target, when I got a text from an unfamiliar number. I got the biggest smile on my face, and from this day on, the smiles have never ended.
How he proposed: In August of 2012 we decided to take a family vacation to Walt Disney World. It was 12 of us going and we were all looking forward to it. The week consisted of rides, food, thunder storms, being sticky from the humidity, but most importantly a lot of laughs. On Friday, August 19, we decided to go to Epcot Center. The day could not have been more beautiful. It had been the least humid day of the week and we could not wait to see the popular fireworks show at night. We made sure to save a good spot and ate some ice cream while we waited for the show. It had just finished raining, and I had my big yellow Mickey poncho on. Ivan kept mentioning to me to take off the poncho and I didn’t understand why. But I listened, and thank God I did. While we were watching the fireworks, Ivan kept looking at his watch, I even mentioned it to him to enjoy the fireworks and stop looking at his watch. He asked me to turn around to take a picture. When I turned, he had the biggest smile and he hugged me so tight. He began to whisper in my ear how much he loved me and how happy I made him. Before I could even process what he was telling me he had gotten down on his knee and pulled out the ring. He asked me to marry him and I screamed yes with no hesitation. The cheers of my family and the crowd just made the experience that much better. I looked over to my parents and my family and they were all crying and that is the moment it hit me that I was engaged. I know he worked hard to make the proposal special for me and it could not have been more perfect.

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