When Dilena and Derek met on a blind date they had no idea their first conversation would lead to a lifetime of love. When Dilena saw Derek she immediately had butterflies. Their connection has immediate and from that day on they’ve been together. For their engagement session, they wanted their photographer to capture them doing the things they love to do at the locations that mean most to them.
Read all about Dilena and Derek’s blind date, surprise proposal, and meaningful and mesmerizing engagement session in Rhode Island.
Bride & Groom: Dilena & Derek
Occupations: Process Manager & Department Manager
Wedding Date: December 3rd, 2017
Wedding Location: Playa Del Carmen Mexico Azul Fives
Location of Engagement Shoot: Providence, RI
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Derek and I met on New Years Eve.. a complete blind date! I was flying back to Rhode Island after visiting family in Florida. My plans for the night consisted of driving to my friend’s house and having a sleepover to watch the ball drop. As soon as I landed, one of my friends called and demanded I come over. I had a long trip and was just exhausted and had no interest in getting ready to meet someone. My friend Lilly handed the phone to her mom and her mom demanded I come over to meet someone. She would not take no for an answer. I took a quick shower, put on simple dress and didn’t even bother to blow dry my hair or do my makeup and went straight over. As soon as I arrived Lilly brought me upstairs and did my makeup and hair. She told me this was the guy that she mentioned a few months back. He rented the downstairs of her house and her mom knew we would be a good fit. I told Lilly if I’m not interested I will give her a hand signal. On the other side her mom was telling Derek that he needed to come upstairs before he headed out to his party. When Derek walk through the door my stomach instantly had butterflies. Once we started talking it was just so easy! We talked about our love of traveling and aviation. We didn’t have much time but my friend got the thumbs up from me. Derek said his goodbye and headed downstairs. My friend’s mom asked me if he asked me for my number and I said no. She went straight downstairs and made him come up to ask me! She even made us take a picture together! After all that we both headed to our separate events but from that we started talking and eventually got engagement! Every year we go back to that house and take the picture in the same exact spot!
The proposal was amazing. I just finished my Master’s and Derek wanted to plan an adventurous vacation for us. He booked an all inclusive hotel in St Lucia that had endless activities. We were suppose to travel in August but we missed our flight! He was so upset and at the time I had no idea why he was upset. We booked our trip for November at the same location. We spent a week at the resort doing all sorts of activities volleyball every day, sailing, wake boarding, knee boarding, dancing and water skiing. Derek knows I love to hike and had been wanting to hike the Pitons. On the last day he asked if I wanted to go and I had said no. Since we had such an active vacation I figured we could take a day of rest but he was adamant the we had to go. We literally hiked the day we were suppose to catch our flight in the afternoon. We woke up 6am and hiked up the mountain for 2 hours. It was the most challenging hike I have ever done. There were several times I wanted to turn back but we kept pushing each other to make it. When we finally made it to the top our guide was taking pictures of us. Derek told me to go on the rock for one last pic before we headed back. As I was positioning myself on this rock I turned around and he was on one knee! I could not believe it! I was so surprised that this happened. Especially since this was our fist hike together and he planned this whole trip knowing my adventurous style. It was the memorable location and most importantly such a challenge for both of us to push each other to make it to the top of this mountain. He was planning this engagement for months and waited for that perfect opportunity! After the proposal I was excited and it was so easy to make it down the mountain. I told everyone I passed you can make it and that I just got engaged! It was incredible. We literally rushed back to the hotel and headed straight to the airport. Again almost missing our flight…just our style!
Describe your engagement session. We wanted to do something out of the ordinary for our engagement session. We decided to have our photographers follow us through the day and capture our moments together. We both love to be active, spend time with our dogs, coffee, breakfast, and of course some rock climbing. Additionally, we wanted to incorporate our love of travel. Our first conversation when we met at our blind date set up was about our love of aviation. My fiance flies private planes and I flew helicopters. We decided to have our shoot at the place he received his license from and took classes. All of the locations were meaningful to us. I hope you will see that in our pictures!
What did you do on your first date? We watched a movie at his place! He was sick and I brought tissues, medicine, and cough drops..he was allergic to me!
How has wedding planning been so far? Great! Destination weddings are a lot easier to plan
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day. The moment I get to see him look at me as his wife!