Good morning lovelies! We noticed last week that it’s been a while since we featured an engagement shoot and so this morning, we wanted to make up for it with this absolute winner! We can’t get enough of travel themed weddings and engagement sessions so it was with pure delight we opened these fab pictures from Volatile Photography a few weeks ago. For a change, our groom Carlos was put in the hot seat and today, he tells us all about he and his beautiful bride to be, Justine, met and fell in love.

Travel Inspired Engagement Session

Travel Inspired Engagement Session

“Justine and I met in an Italian Class at San Diego Mesa College, I was getting ready to transfer to San Diego State University (SDSU) from Mesa College and she was finishing her language requirement to graduate from SDSU. We sat close by during class and after our first exam we realised that we parked our cars in the same parking lot so I started walking her to her car after class and that was always the highlight of the day. We immediately kicked it off and discover that we both have a silly sense of humor.”

Travel Inspired Engagement Session

“Towards the end of the semester we started to hang out more and one night after having dinner at Caffé Bella Italia in Pacific Beach with our classmates and friends from Italian, we spent almost two hours getting to know each other. I should mention here that Justine and I were at opposite ends of a long table and we ordered the exact same dish–Parpadelle with walnut and Gorgonzola sauce–of a 10 pages Menu. Talk about meant-to-be.”
Travel Inspired Engagement Session

Travel Inspired Engagement Session

“That night we talked about everything but most importantly we discovered that we both LOVE Lucky Charms. Once I found this out, I said to myself:”She is the one”. I might be exaggerating a little but seriously this was important to me!! I asked her out on a date and I took her for a picnic at the Roses’ Garden in Balboa Park. The main course, of course, was Lucky Charms.” -For those of you who don’t know, lucky charms are a colourful cereal in the States – totally yum. They also have a leprechaun on the box which I found amusing!

Travel Inspired Engagement Session

Travel Inspired Engagement Session

“Shortly after graduating Justine took a job with Virgin America and she had to move to San Francisco. Like everyone else, we were a little worried about a long distance relationship but we knew we had something very special, so we decided to give it a try. Keeping the relationship going was easier than we thought, plus I got to travel for free which is always a plus! One year of amazingness went by. Justine came back to San Diego to move-in with me and July 2nd was again around the corner, our first anniversary. I decided that a lucky charm picnic will always remind me of the great time I had getting to know Justine on our first date, so it just seemed natural that we had a lucky charms picnic again, but this time we it had at a Wilson’s Creek winery in Temecula.”

Travel Inspired Engagement Session

Travel Inspired Engagement Session

“The following year, on September 7th, 2011,  Justine and I left to go to Temecula again for our usual day full of wine and our special picnic. We arrived at Temecula and it was boiling hot which made the day that absolutely perfect for a the picnic and our first stop was Maurice Car’rie winery. It was 9am so we had to wait for the wine room to open so it just made sense to go ahead and get ready for our picnic breakfast. My picnic basket was full; it had strawberries, coconut juice, pomegranate juice, crostini, smoked Gouda, coconut milk and of course Lucky Charms. All of the sudden we were approached by an artist who asked us if he could sketch us. After ten minutes the artist asked if we wanted to see what he had been drawing and he showed us what he had been working on and it was the sketch I had attached to an email 3 weeks before… I hired this artist the month leading up to the picnic and had been working with him to capture how the entire setting would look like. Once Justine grabbed the sketch, I got down on one knee and I asked her if she would spend the rest of her life with me, the same way it was drawn in the sketch, crystal slipper included! I also brought a box of Chuao (her favorite chocolatier) to celebrate as this was something I promised I’d get her the day I proposed.Engraved inside her ring you can read the words: “insieme per sempre” (Together forever in Italian). After Justine said yes we spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon going to wineries in Temecula. It was an awesome day.”


“By that time, we already knew we wanted Kristy to take our pictures. We were fascinated by her work. We just really didn’t know what to do. We wanted them to be different and to reflect our wedding as we are getting married in Playa del Carmen so we ended up choosing a travel theme for our engagement pictures. At first we entertained the idea of taking them at a Train Station but it didn’t seem private enough and would have been a bad idea on the Thanksgiving weekend. Finally, we thought it would be a great to go to a small airport – an idea that was exciting for us but that we didn’t know if could manage to organise We found people that owned planes and could get us into Petaluma Airport but three of them fell through. The week of the photo-shoot Justine’s mom talked to a friend of hers and her friend talked to another friend who had a plane; he agreed to let us use his plane and to get us in. We drove from San Diego to Sonoma County to meet with Kristy over Thanksgiving weekend. The Friday before the photoshoot we went to Downtown Petaluma to get a few  vintage bags and a vintage camera. On Saturday we met with Kristy and then we went to the hangar to see the plane for the first time. We were blown away. The plane was an astonishing 1943 bi-plane, used to train pilots during WWII. We couldn’t believe it. Kristy was incredible, too. She made us feel very comfortable while she was taking all the pictures. The process was smooth and it wasn’t awkward at all (which was important for me as a guy that does not get a lot of professional pictures taken). The pictures were incredible, they were everything we ever wanted and more.

“Right now, we are working on coordinating the details of our wedding. We’ve decided we will get married in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and we’ve found a great wedding coordinator. Right now we are in talks with the restaurant that will hold our reception. The ceremony will be a non-denominational ceremony designed by us and it will take place on May 11th next year.”

Big congratulations to both Carlos and Justine – we are certainly looking forward to seeing their wedding pictures next year! Another thanks to their wonderful photographer Kristy from Volatile Photography for allowing us to share their fab day! We will leave you today with the painting that Carlos secretly arranged for Justine the day of their engagement!

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  1. Friday’s FAB 5 | Fly Away Bride

    […] so we started off with some pretty Tea-Length Dresses on Monday, then we moved on to a gorgeous travel-inspired engagement session with a real propellor plane as a prop! Our Wednesday Wishlist had some feather inspiration to add a […]

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