Many times, lasting love is rooted in deep friendship and shared spirituality.
Paulin and Sophie’s love story exemplifies just that. They were friends for six years, communicating long distance and attending church together when they could, until one day at a pool party, they kissed. Five years later, Paulin pulled off an epic proposal with the help of their friends.
To celebrate their upcoming nuptials, the couple had an engagement session that showcased their passions and sense of style. They had three outfit changes including one look that honored their professions as a physician and an engineer.
See their glam engagement session and read more about their love story below.
- Couple: Dr. Paulin Gotrace & Wildine Sophie Philippe
- Occupations: Paulin: Physician; Sophie: Engineer
- Wedding date: Saturday, March 27, 2021
- Wedding location: Unique Palms, Miami FL
- Location of Engagement shoot: The Society of 4 Arts, Palm Beach, FL
Tell us how you met
Sophie flew from Haiti to Miami in April 2009 for her oldest brother, Edson’s graduation. A few days before the graduation, Edson wanted to give Sophie a tour of his College to show her where he spent most of his time (computer lab). My brother and another brother of Sophie’s were standing by the computer lab. He introduced us to each other. We chatted briefly, and then she took off with Edson. I had been friends with her brothers and knew her parents, but this was our first meeting.
After Edson’s graduation, there was a Kompa party. We dance the night away to Haitian music, although she barely knew how to dance at the time. A couple of days after her brother’s graduation, we met again at my sister’s birthday party. Sophie flew back to Haiti the next day. We would stay in touch, talking on yahoo messenger until she permanently moved to the US. We became close friends.
While Paulin was away at College, we continued to communicate. We always made sure we spent time together by going to church or hanging out. We were friends for six years until one day at a pool party, we kissed, which led to a proposal five years later.
What did you do on your first date?
We went to IHop in Gainesville, Florida, on our first date.
Sophie used to say that she will know precisely the day the proposal will happen. I had to be very discreet about the entire thing so as not to ruin the surprise. This past October, she made plans to have a game night at my friend’s place for her birthday weekend. Our usual spot for game nights because it is convenient for our friends. I thought it was a perfect time as she planned it, and she wouldn’t suspect a thing. I called her best friend to tell her about the plan. She was elated and thought it was a great idea to do it that day. I received the ring about six days before the proposal. To ensure that she was dressed for the occasion, her friends told her they would go to a nice bar in Wynwood/Midtown Miami after the game night. She told me about it, and I acted like I did not want to dress up and did not want to go out after the game night. She “convinced me” to agree to go and even picked my outfit as she was told it is a fancy place. All along, she thought her friends just wanted to go out with her for her birthday.
I had friends helping with the decorations. Two days before the big day, we had a run-through to make sure everything was perfect. When we got to our friend’s house, where the game night was supposed to be, I told her that her friends were not coming to game night while standing at the front door. I said I asked them to cancel it, so she and I could have a nice romantic dinner, then we would join them in Wynwood. She had no idea what was coming.
How it went down?
-Made a path with flower petals from the front door leading to a heart in the living room
then continue to the balcony
-On the path, I had a timeline of the relationship with pictures we took over the years
-Had tealight candles on the floor along the path
-In the heart at the center of the living room, I set up a nice collage with beautiful pictures of us
-With soft Kompa music playing in the background, I had two friends hiding under a table in the living room waiting with their camera and one camera recording everything. She was so focused on the pictures on the floor; she did not notice the camera.
-We walked to the balcony where I had a lovely table with flowers and two glasses of wine. She thought we were going to sit down for a nice dinner until I told her to look
down, then she saw her friends holding the big signs with letters that said, “MARRY
ME”. When she turned around, I was already down on my knee. She was in shock and tears. I asked, she said “yes.” We both were shaking. It was such a beautiful moment.
Describe your engagement session.
Our engagement session was awesome! Johny Luc was from Redlightphotos was excellent to work with and did an incredible job with our shoot. We had a lot of fun! We didn’t have a theme, but we had three different outfit changes, one formal, casual with leather jackets, and lastly, one that reflects our profession.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
It is always a competition with Sophie. Compete in games (table pool, cards etc.), cooking, watching movies, dancing Kompa.
How has wedding planning been so far?
It has been great so far. Our Wedding planner has been helping us every step of the way. She is the best! It would have been very stressful without her, given that we are very
busy with work.
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day.
We are looking forward to hearing the following sentence, “I present to you, Mr and Mrs. Gotrace.” We are looking forward to the first dance and having a great time.