Rochelle and Christopher’s Romantic Sunrise Engagement

After living the single life for a couple of years, Rochelle was ready to jump back into the dating scene. With the suggestion of a co-worker she created an account on a popular dating website. It was hit or miss for some time, with the hits never truly developing beyond a date or two. The deep and meaningful relationship she was searching for seemed to remain just out of reach, and when she was finally ready to throw in the towel, a message appeared in her inbox from a man named Christopher...

Continue reading all about Rochelle & Christopher's love story, surprise birthday proposal in Bali, and wedding aspirations in their romantic sunrise engagement session in Virginia.

Bride & Groom-to-be: Rochelle & Christopher
Occupations: Social Worker & Christopher
Wedding date: 9.15.18
Wedding location: Greenbelt, MD
Location of Engagement shoot: Old Town Alexandria, VA

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal: Rochelle: Prior to falling in love with Chris, I was very much single! Seriously, I barely went on dates and no one was coming for me. For a minute I thought something was wrong with me. Can you believe that I probably went on one or two dates in a year's time frame? I was going through a drought. So in 2012 my friend and I made a pact that we would give the dating life a try. We went to bars, networking events and lounges, and nothing happened. My friend ended up finding her guy like two to three months into 2012 and my ass was still SINGLE. At this point, I said "The hell with it! I'm going to focus on myself and grind," and this is what I did. I was working two jobs, and spending time with family and friends. Then I got tired of this dry life and decided to try the dating scene again (now this is in November 2012). A coworker suggested I try online dating. I immediately shrugged it off until he told me he found his girl online (now he is married). I thought about it and took a chance. I signed up with OKCupid and I didn't have any expectations. Overall, I had a good experience and met some really good guys. I chatted with a couple of guys but there was no chemistry so nothing happened. Suddenly, I got a message from Mr. Chris Dickerson...

Chris: Prior to falling in love with Rochelle, I was in a relationship that was ending. As a result, I needed something new and fun. I heard about OKCupid from the fellas and I started copying and pasting messages to different females. I wasn't looking for anything serious. I met up with a couple of chicks and we had fun but I didn't have a connection. I started strolling through the app and I saw Rochelle's profile. I sent the copy and paste and waited...

Rochelle: Chris sent his copy and paste message and I responded (this happened in December 2012). I learned that he went to Delaware State University (the college I went to in undergrad). Chris would argued when he sent his message that he didn't know me. In reality he knew who I was because on our first date he expressed how he remembered me from Delaware State (I didn't know him). Anyway, we talked over the phone and finally went on our first date at a gay bar. We went to Nellie's which is a popular spot in DC that is known for there happy hour deals. At the time, my coworkers and I frequent this spot so I was comfortable. Overall, we had a great time and talked for hours. We started dating more and eventually we fell in love.

Proposal story: Chris and I went to Bali, Indonesia for my 30th birthday. We traveled with family and friends to Bali. My birthday is on August 6th and I remembered waking up in Bali waiting for my birthday gift. I learned quickly that Chris didn't have a gift because he left it at home in Virginia! I was a little frustrated but we were in Bali and I was going to enjoy my 30th birthday. Throughout the day we went to this amazing private beach, had drinks and food. The scenery was amazing. Later on we went to Rock bar and watched the sunset which was amazing. The Rock Bar is a dramatic cliff-side bar with an inclinator and features a glamorous sunset vibe, and a seductive after-dark ambience, with views of the Indian Ocean. The sunset was so romantic! Then our driver took us to this beach where we had a candlelit dinner. While at dinner, it dawned on me again that Chris really didn't get me anything for my birthday, not even a card. At this moment it's later in the evening and I'm getting tired due to our eventful day. Again, I'm not going to let the thought ruin dinner but I did have an attitude inside. During dinner, my mom decided to have everyone go around the table and give me a speech for turning 30. Everyone gave heartfelt speeches. Now its Chris' turn and he decides to standup and read a poem he wrote. At this point, I didn't think he was going to propose. I thought he was reading his poem because he felt bad about not getting me a gift. As the waves of the ocean crashed in the background, I was listening to the poem and noticed certain key words such as "forever," "lifelong," etc.. Then he got on one knee and asked me the million dollar question. Of course I said "YES!" After the proposal I was in shock and couldn't believe this just happened. I was all smiles. It was the perfect way to end my 30th birthday in Bali!

Describe your engagement session. My engagement session was awesome. I didn't have a theme but I knew I wanted Old Town to be the location. Our photographer was amazing and came up with the idea of starting our session with the sunrise. I agreed and our pictures turned out amazing. I love the historic town of Old Town and it gave us different opportunities to capture different pictures.

What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? Travel, game nights, watch movies, laugh, and take part in outdoor activities.

How has wedding planning been so far? The wedding planning has been a little annoying and overwhelming. There's a lot of decisions and details that goes into planning a wedding but I'm managing it well. It was very time consuming trying to identify a venue.

Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day. I'm looking forward to marrying Chris, dancing, feeling beautiful, and being happy!

Photographer: Arising Light Photography

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