Lauren was a 6th grade girl with a burgeoning crush on the coolest boy in school. Michael, an 11th grader, was on the step team, won “Best Dressed,” and had a brilliant smile. For 2 years she sat on the school bus admiring him from afar. But nothing came of her admiration. Seven years later, while an 18-year-old Lauren was studying at Fisk University, she ran into the “coolest boy in school.” Michael, then 23, had recently graduated from Morehouse and was living in Atlanta. He wasn’t interested in starting a relationship with Lauren but their chemistry was undeniable. They started a long-distance friendship that turned into dating when Michael moved back to Los Angeles and Lauren was home for winter break. The two eventually relocated to L.A. permanently, where they officially became a couple.
Three years later, Michael surprised Lauren with a Grey’s Anatomy themed scavenger hunt in Seattle, ending in the proposal that would make them man and wife. The couple took to Joshua Tree National Park for their picturesque engagement session. Using the rich elements of the desert and their unwavering love for each other, Elizabeth Burgi captured their beautiful e-session. Take a look at this desert of love engagement session in Joshua Tree National Park.
Bride-to-be: Lauren Royal McDonald
Groom-to-be: Michael Moss
Wedding date: 03/20/2016
Wedding location: Marina Del Rey MarriottTell us about the engagement session. Did you have a theme?
We chose Joshua Tree for our engagement shoot because of its breathtaking view and atypical location. The juxtaposition of fancy clothes in the desert appealed to the couple who like to describe the theme of their wedding as “classic with a twist”. It was a fun day filled with lots of kisses, laughter, creativity, and strange looks from the people who came to hike or camp in Joshua Tree.
What did you do on your first date?
We spent countless hours talking on the phone and texting each other as friends but it took a long time to actually go on a date since we were rarely in the same state and hesitant about dating long distance. After Michael moved back to Los Angeles and while I was home for the the summer we started going to Jerry’s Deli for late night cheesecake, after Michael got off from work, which became a regular reason to see each other.What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We love to go to Disneyland. In fact that’s the place where we officially became a couple. We even considered it for our engagement shoot location.How has wedding planning been so far?
Wedding planning has been a journey to say the least. We lead very busy lives and planning a wedding is a full time job! Luckily, we hired a rockstar wedding planner who has been so dedicated, finding time outside of her regular hours to meet and have conference calls. Looking for wedding venues and dresses and picking out gifts for the registry have been fun because we as a couple LOVE to shop! Choosing who makes the final guest list and turning down vendors has been less fun. Overall, it’s a wonderful journey that we cherish because we know this is the only time we will make it.Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day.
I’m looking forward to the look on Michael’s face when he sees me walk down the aisle. We are also looking forward to starting our happily ever after.Vendors
Photography: Elizabeth Burgi