Lauren and TJ’s love story began while both were in pursuit of masters degrees. During a study session, Lauren came to find out that her study partner was the friend and college roommate of TJ. Lauren and TJ “instantly hit it off becoming best friends.” Over time their feelings evolved from friendship to love. It wouldn’t be long before TJ realized he had found the woman of his dreams, and began preparing their perfect proposal in California during the week of their anniversary…
Continue reading all about Lauren & TJ’s love story, proposal, and wedding aspirations, in their timeless romance engagement in Connecticut – beautifully captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member Timefrozen Photography.
Bride & Groom-to-be: Lauren & TJ
Engagement Session Location: Waterford, CT
Engagement Session Date: Oct 01, 2017
Tell us how you met. Back in 2012 TJ and Lauren both started Masters Programs in the Boston area. TJ was pursuing a Masters in Public Health at Boston University and Lauren was pursuing a Masters in Biomedical Science from Tufts University School of Medicine. TJ’s best friend from college and roommate, Brandon, was in Lauren’s Masters program. Lauren and Brandon became friends and began studying for exams together at Brandon and TJ’s apartment. Brandon casually called TJ out of his room to introduce him to Brandon’s new energetic, extremely intelligent, and beautiful friend, Lauren. That is when Lauren met Brandon’s handsome, charming and QUIET roommate, TJ. Lauren and TJ instantly hit it off becoming best friends. Everyone around them noticed the chemistry accusing them of having a “secret love affair” but TJ and Lauren insisted they were just great friends. Eventually TJ could no longer resist Lauren’s incredible charm and beautiful mind…he broke down and wrote her a poem. Lauren, an avid fan of spoken word poetry and TJ’s smile, immediately realized she was in love.
Tell us all about the proposal. The proposal took place 6 months later than intended. I planned out an entire day of activities for our trip to California that would end with me popping the question during the summer months when I could count on the weather being consistent. Unfortunately, our trip needed to take place in December for unforeseen circumstances. The silver lining in this scenario was that we would be in California during the week of our anniversary. Knowing that Lauren is all about having a plan in place for any trip we take, I went through the grueling process of setting up an itinerary with activities that held just enough potential for romance but not so much that it would raise suspicion. What helped make the planning process so much more exciting for me was the fact that Lauren would throw in what she considered to be subtle hints about getting proposed to, all the while I’ve already purchased a ring and have planned out how the proposal would go.
I didn’t want to leave much of anything up for chance so everything we did for the day of was set within very wide time frames that allowed for enough flexibility for me not to sweat through my clothes worried about making it to the next destination. I knew I would have to appeal to her sensibilities to make sure again she wouldn’t be too suspicious so I decided the best place to pop the question would have to be a location with an appreciation for well-kept old things and wine. I found a winery in Napa Valley that uses stones from old castles in Europe to construct and add on to a new castle in the same mid-century design on the vineyard. Knowing that she deals with a lot of pain on a regular basis as a result of old injuries from a car accident years ago, I decided to schedule a deep tissue couples massage to work out any kinks and make sure she felt relaxed and ready to take on the day in Napa Valley. After the massage, she mentioned feeling great as if she just received the best massage of her life!
We stopped by a farm to table restaurant and while there Lauren mentioned feeling as though our lives together would only get better and feeling like everything has been going so well (to which I could only smile and laugh to myself). We went to check into our hotel to get ready for the wine tour we were taking through what is known in English as the “Castle of Love.” After convincing her to dress up a bit through a bit of reverse psychology we traveled to the vineyard. During the tour our guide would make jokes about us being a married couple and how much we must be enjoying our anniversary. Anxiously checking the time to make sure we finished the tour and left the gift shop in time for me to ask her, we got lucky because a group of young women were standing outside of the gift shop taking pictures right before the sun would reach the perfect spot. Lauren mentioned how beautiful the backdrop was and how it would make for a great picture (again I smile and laugh to myself). She asked the girls to take a picture of us in the axact same spot. This is where I saw my opportunity. As I handed my phone over to one of the young ladies, I tell her my plan to propose and that I would like her to record the moment to which she happily agrees. As we set up for our pose, I pulled out a sheet of paper that I used to write a short poem as a part of my proposal. She immediately knew what I was doing as I began reading and put her hands over her mouth. After finishing the poem, I bent down on one knee to ask the question to which she responded with a resounding YES! She also kept saying “you got me” because she had no idea this would be the day. Many hugs, kisses, smiles and happy tears followed as we finally took a couple pictures at that same spot as a newly engaged couple. It was one of the highlights of my life.
Describe your engagement session. We wanted a timeless and elegant look for our session with a high fashion editorial edge. As we both feel we have “old spirits” and that “our love is ancient” we wanted to take a blast through the past with some photos that had a vintage touch. The first half of the shoot we were dressed to the nines standing in front of a mansion as a demonstration of how truly rich the bond we share with each other is. We also wanted to include a fun-loving theme with a relaxed look and atmosphere to provide some contrast to the more formal setting and attire. A time in which cell phones didn’t run the lives of so many people and music had to be played by someone who knew how to play an instrument instead of projected out of a small device. The overlaying theme within that part of the session was focusing on each other and only needing the simple things to enjoy each others company.
How did you know they were “the one?” From TJ: So one of the first things anyone will notice about Lauren when she walks in a room is this incredibly strong and confident presence that commands your attention. It sounds strange thinking about it but one of the first things I noticed about her was her posture. Every movement she made struck me in a way that made me feel as though I was watching a masterclass in elegance. The effortlessness of her movements are what drew me in, and then she spoke. This beautiful woman who spoke volumes with her presence elucidated to me in only a few conversations how brilliant, perceptive, and compassionate she is. I knew she was the one the day I had a hard time looking away from her on a day she came over to my apartment to study with my roommate at the time, and that’s the night I decided to write a poem about her.
From Lauren: I knew there was something special about TJ the day I met him. I felt this strong almost electric connection to him and I just felt calm, comfortable, and happy in his presence. As our friendship grew I suspected I was falling for him but tried to conceal my feelings. One evening we were hanging out and talking about spoken word poetry. He mentioned he had written a poem recently but said he was too shy to share it with me. After begging him to perform it, he eventually built up the courage and performed a poem that to my surprise was written about me. In that moment I knew he was the one. He embodies the intelligence, compassion, strength, and creativity I had always dreamed to find in a man but had given up on finding long before I met him. And it doesn’t hurt that he is extremely attractive! When he read that poem it was clear that we felt the same way about each other and both decided to suppress our fears that had been nurtured by failed past relationships and take a leap of faith, together. I was 100% certain that TJ would be my husband after living together for about 6 months and realizing he is the only person in this world, family included, that I could be roommates with and not end up hating. I realized one day I could not imagine my home, my heart, or my life without him in it.
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day. We’re overwhelmingly excited! A bit nervous because neither of us craves the spotlight or having all eyes on us but can certainly perform if the time calls for it. A day of elegance and grace followed by a night that while still appearing classy in its design, brings with it an element of letting loose for a good time. Our ceremony will begin outside on elevated earth, not just for the scenic view but representing the legacies and foundation we stand on, as well as the heights we can climb together. With a gold and ivory décor symbolic of royalty and the richness of our heritages, we felt that not only do these colors work well together, there is an innate beauty in their simplicity. In the same way that our communities are often stronger in struggle together, we walk hand in hand through the fires of life slightly scorched yet persevering and ready to celebrate what we’ve overcome and what we have to look forward to.