California Highway 1 Engagement Session at Bixby Bridge
When we talk about How to Have the Best Engagement Session, we always love it when a couple plans out their best day of just simply having fun together. What would you do if you had a day to spend together? Couple Brooke & Reid spent their ideal day together waking up at a cute modern home in Carmel, CA, sharing a drink together, then taking a drive to the beach in a vintage convertible via Bixby Bridge, Big Sur. I mean, isn't that the best day ever? Keep scrolling for the video and film images by Fine Art Curation members Mon Soleil Weddings...
From the Bride, Brooke: "The short of how we met is we met at a karaoke bar, (hah!), but the timing and how it happened is something we still talk about to this day. I was on my 3rd annual New Orleans trip for my best friend’s birthday (very much a girl’s trip!) and Reid was in New Orleans for the first time for his friend’s bachelor party. My girlfriends and I had popped by our usual spots - Mr. B’s, Longway Tavern, and Cane and Table and decided to make our way to a karaoke bar on Bourbon, Cat’s Meow. We stumbled into a group of guys on the balcony who had claimed their spot overlooking Bourbon for several hours (this comes into play later!). Michelle, the best friend/birthday girl, pulled me over to talk to one of the guys because he lived in San Francisco...I had been working on the East Coast for a San Francisco startup for the past 2.5 years traveling to San Francisco often. I’m not much for small talk but for whatever reason, Michelle forced me into it. Fast forward a couple of hours of Reid and I being glued to each other, the girls decide it’s time to go get ready for dinner and the guys are still hanging out at Cat’s Meow. As we leave, Reid rushes over with his friend’s phone, his had been stolen the night before (thanks, Alex!) and got my number. After getting ready, going to dinner, and trying to find the bar Mumford and Sons were hanging out at...I finally responded to Reid’s text and convinced our group to meet up with the guys again. Sure enough, they were still at Cat’s Meow - approximately 8 hours later!! Once the weekend was over, I went back to Philadelphia and Reid went back to San Francisco. One month later, I was scheduled to be in San Francisco for work and for my company holiday party. I told Reid that we would maybe have time for one dinner. That one dinner turned into sneaking out of the office for coffee and dinner all week and a very spontaneous return trip booked for the following weekend to go to Calistoga."
The Proposal: "From the beginning, there was something very special about the time we’d spend together in the mornings. I’m not sure if it’s because we were in different time zones or overall not being the same city, but it was like this unspoken rule that we’d make sure to start each morning catching up together whether it was over the phone or during a visit (thank goodness Reid was the one in the earlier time zone ;)). To this day, morning’s with Reid with no distractions is at the top of my list of favorite things. With that said... the only thing I hinted at for an ideal engagement was that it took place at some point in the morning! Preferably not before I brush my hair (HA!)...but before we really check into the day. Reid’s parents have this cozy cottage in Carmel-by-the-Sea that we had traveled to together before. If you’ve been to Carmel/Big Sur you know that it is equal parts cozy and absolutely breathtaking. Morning’s at the local coffee shop and a walk along the beach are the normal start to the day. That day, we decided to grab coffee and head home before a day at Pebble Beach. We were sitting on the balcony at the cottage having a slow start to the morning when Reid randomly goes inside. He comes back with a bottle of champagne and glasses and I just think “oh! A pre-driving range drink!”...I reached to help open it and quickly realized this wasn’t just a random bottle. Reid asked if I knew where it was from… I had no idea. Turns out Reid had bought an extra bottle of champagne from our first trip to Calistoga to hold onto for something just like this. Reid always says he knew very quickly that he wanted to get married, but it wasn’t until this moment that I really realized the truth in that…also wondering how he hid this bottle in our condo for so long! The next couple of hours were spent calling all of our friends and family from the balcony, in our PJs...the best morning!"
Inspiration for our Engagement Session: "Originally, we were very conflicted on whether we wanted to have photos taken in Miami, Big Sur, or somewhere else. Our wedding will be in New Orleans so we know we’ll get plenty of footage in the city we owe everything to! After discussing at length with our photographers, Marissa and Devin, it was clear that going back to where it all began would be unmatched. Also - Marissa and Devin had their wedding in Big Sur so it seemed like a no brainer to go back to a location that we had mutual love and a connection to. We knew we had a couple of firm goals - a vintage car, the gorgeous Big Sur bridge, a formal look, and the perfect timing on a quiet beach. We wanted to strike the right balance of timeless photos to share with family for decades to come and photos that just the two of us would cherish forever. The combination of Marissa and Devin’s familiarity with Big Sur and insane talent, they were able to put together locations that managed to be classic, intimate, candid, modern, and timeless all at the same time."
"Lucky for me, Marissa is almost equally obsessed with fashion as she is with photography! She absolutely had a vision for lighting, colors, texture, and movement based on the location whether it be a slight pop of color on the beach or the tulle dress sleeves driving over Bixby Bridge. With plenty of help and guidance from Gabrielle Hurwitz, we landed on looks that matched the overall direction of the photoshoot while remaining authentic to my everyday style. It was very important to me that each outfit was thoughtfully styled and stood out, but also very true to me and my natural pull towards neutrals and understated looks. Gabrielle and Marissa may have thought I was crazy but I was so set on incorporating this Cult Gaia lounge set which ended up pairing perfectly with the secluded, modern home we shot at. Opposite of the prep that went into my looks, Reid’s came together quite organically and were spot-on for his everyday style. One thing that really sticks out to me in the photos that was totally unintentional is Reid having a more relaxed approach when I’m wearing the white tulle dress - I ended up really loving the mismatch of relaxed/understated and dressed up."