Bellingham & Vancouver Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer Mikaela Ruth »

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indoor picnic: my sister’s engaged!

We all knew this day would be coming, but it didn’t make it any less memorable, any less perfect. It was Thanksgiving two years ago when we first met my sister’s boyfriend Manolo, and it was on that same day that, collectively, we fell in love with him. He has a warmth and an authenticity and hugs for all and most importantly, cares deeply for Whitney.

When it came time for Manolo to pop the question, his plan was this: to redeem a coupon Whitney had given him for an indoor picnic. Well, Whitney has a tendency to go all out in her planning and crafting (she was my maid of honor, so I know first hand!) but little did she know, she was actually doing so for her very own proposal…

“I knew when it came time for Manolo to propose, that he would put a lot of thought and creativity into it and make it a surprise, something he has proven to be very successful at. It was his perfect plan for me to be so wrapped up in planning my own surprise “indoor picnic” for him, that I was completely unaware of the fact that he was also planning something very special, our engagement. I walked into his apartment to find it completely transformed into a romantic, rustic and oh so cozy indoor picnic spot complete with a photo timeline of our relationship. I slowly made my way down the timeline, and when I got to the end it said “engagement”…I turned around and Manolo was already on his knee holding out a ring:

‘I just want to tell you that I love you so much, and that you are the love of my life. This ring means to me forever and I hope it means the same for you.”

I couldn’t believe it was happening! I was in shock and Manolo was slightly nervous, so I might have had to remind him to ask the question before eagerly slipping the beautiful ring on my finger. I said yes! Of course :)’

The family was lucky enough to get to crash their romantic picnic afterwards in celebration and I had my cameras┬áto document the joy and the details…

To Whitney and Manolo, we are SO excited for you! It’s been amazing to see God work in you both and see your relationship grow and while you, Manolo, have long felt like a part of the family, we can’t wait to see it made official. Love you two!

  • Cassandra Eldridge - January 7, 2013 - 10:46 am

    OH my gosh – this is so stunning!! and you & your sister look exactly alike :) Congratulations to your family! Manolo did a beautiful, beautiful job. I can’t wait to see the wedding!ReplyCancel

  • alanna - January 7, 2013 - 10:48 am

    SO incredibly excited for these two!! May God bless you both as you begin this exciting new journey called marriage :) XOReplyCancel

  • Shane - January 7, 2013 - 11:00 am

    Felicitaciones por su compromiso! Te quiero tanto! :)ReplyCancel

  • Steph - January 7, 2013 - 11:05 am

    Gorgeous! I al smiling ear to ear! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey Loewen - January 7, 2013 - 11:16 am

    So beautiful you guys!ReplyCancel

  • jamie - January 7, 2013 - 11:53 am

    gorgeous, how special! i love this.ReplyCancel

  • whitney - January 7, 2013 - 12:35 pm

    YAY! Thank-you (&Shane) SO much for capturing our engagement! Love you:)ReplyCancel

  • Kari Jeanne - January 7, 2013 - 12:50 pm

    Stunning! Every photo looks like it should be in a magazine – the perfect engagement story!!! Thanks for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • jaimee - January 7, 2013 - 12:53 pm

    Great post, beautiful engagement, stunning couple!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi Peters - January 7, 2013 - 1:08 pm

    Sweet, sweet, sweet!! How lovely and romantic, brought tears to my eyes…Manolo sure blends into the family well. His creativity is unbelievable. Wish them all the happiness in the world!ReplyCancel

  • emily - January 7, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    Wow, wow, wow! This is such a beautiful engagement story. Loved all the photos!

    And can I just say that your parents are going to be so lucky to have the most beautiful bi-racial grand-babies one day!!!! I can only imagine how cute both you and Whitney’s kids will be!!!ReplyCancel

  • jenn - January 7, 2013 - 1:39 pm

    ohhh CONGRATULATIONS! so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa Schroeder - January 7, 2013 - 1:57 pm

    Aww, so sweet and cozy! I love the s’mores with the candles. Congratulations to them :)ReplyCancel

  • Risa (Mom) - January 7, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    We are sooo happy for you two. We’re happy for all of us, and everything that Manolo has brought to our family. Looking forward to the next few months of planning and preparing. Sweet proposal, and thanks for letting us in on your little picnic! Thank you, Mikaela, for capturing it all! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy Connolly - January 7, 2013 - 4:56 pm

    Congrats Whitney and Manolo! so happy for you both! Thanks Mikaela for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith Adams - January 7, 2013 - 5:17 pm

    SO exciting! Wow, he did an AMAZING job and I love the photos! Wishing them a lifetime of happiness!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth - January 7, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    Just awesome photos!! Love the cozy atmosphere. It’s spanish-romantic :)ReplyCancel

  • Barb - January 8, 2013 - 10:30 am

    What a blessing. He did a wonderful job, sigh. Congratulations to your sister. Beautiful photography. Inspired me. God Bless you Mikaela. Happy 2013!ReplyCancel

  • Corinna - January 8, 2013 - 6:46 pm

    Wow, that nearly tops your engagement, Mikaela (nearly)… so incredible, and the attention to detail is incredible. So cool that you captured it all- what a great memory for Whitney.

    When’s the wedding? Will you be shooting it, or in it?

    As a total aside, your mom looks like the funnest, trendiest mom ever… you are lucky to have her :)


    • Mikaela - January 9, 2013 - 9:10 am

      hi corinna! the wedding plans are in the works! and yes, we all agree that we’re pretty lucky to call her our mom :)ReplyCancel

  • Risa (Mom) - January 11, 2013 - 5:27 pm

    Thank you Corinna, but I think I’M the lucky one! :)ReplyCancel

  • Adolfo - February 7, 2013 - 8:33 am

    What can I say? I am very excited about my best friend getting married, specially to Whitney, who is trully a great girl. This next step in you lifes will be amazing. We miss here in Mexico and hope to see you soon, big hug!ReplyCancel

  • Matt Brown - November 28, 2013 - 1:28 pm

    This is incredible. I wanted to do a similar thing for my girlfriend but didn’t have the skill or time to set this up. In the end I used the services of a romance planner ( to arrange this for me :) It looked amazing and similar to this proposal we added lots of sentimental touches linked to special moments in our relationship. Thanks for providing such a great idea!ReplyCancel

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