Chanel and Vlad are indeed the perfect match. The pair met in 2009 when Vlad “poked” Chanel on Facebook. “I had to write him asking, “Do I know you?” shares Chanel. Next, in true shy guy form, Vlad went on to say, “Oh my cousin thought he requested you on his Facebook, but I guess it was really my Facebook that was signed on”. Which was of course, not true. “He was attracted to my pictures which he found posted in one of his friends Facebook albums” says Chanel. And next, as the saying goes – the rest is history!
Vlad proposed to Chanel in the cutest (and surprisingly funny) way and the pair are now sharing their sides of the story with us! Scroll on for the proposal video and check out their engagement photos captured by Woody Joseph of The WJ Image! The couple selected several special areas throughout Florida to hold their e-session in as a way to pay homage to their love, heritage and special moments they’ve shared together throughout their 7 year relationship!
Bride-to-Be: Chanel Phuphanich
Groom-to-Be: Vladimir Megie
Occupations: Chanel: Registered Nurse, Nursing Education Specialist | Vladimir: Ocular Recovery Coordinator
Wedding date: 12/11/2016
Wedding location: Clearwater, FL
Location of Engagement shoot: Downtown Tampa, Thai Temple in Tampa, FL, & Disney Springs in Orlando, FL
Chanel’s Proposal Version: We have been through a lot together and we had always talked about getting married but the time was never right. Well, the night before my graduate graduation, I made plans with one of my out-of-town friends to go to a local bar for drinks. Vlad wouldn’t be in town until later that evening to go to a company party with me. So I would hang out with my friends and go out with Vlad later. My friend Brittany picked me up from my house and we met up with our other friend, Cassie, at the Fly bar. Cassie had her baby with her (which I thought was odd). She asked us to come with her to her car to change the baby and we agreed. As we walked down the sidewalk I noticed a crowd of people around, what I thought was a homeless man, playing piano and singing. Me being nosy I went in closer to listen, since I love the piano.
As I stepped in closer, the crowd parted and there he was. All our friends were wearing masquerade masks as disguises. Vlad was singing and playing my new favorite song,“In Love By Now,” by Jamie Foxx. Vlad was dressed in rags, had broken sunglasses on, and had his legs tucked under him in a wheelchair. At this point all I could do is laugh and smile. This is so Vlad – full of surprises and not doing the ordinary. I had fallen in love all over again, he never ceases to amaze me.
My friend gave me a couple dollars to place in his collection hat. I walked over to place the money in the hat and there it was! The ring was in the hat! At this point Vlad got out of the wheelchair, took off his disguise, and popped the questions after making a joke! He did it! He asked me to marry him and of course I said YES! December 11, 2015, marked the day I can call this man my fiancé.
Vlad’s Proposal Version: Chanel likes to be the center of attention, surprises, and being somewhat famous. So, I had to think of a way to do all 3. The original date of the proposal was February 22, 2015. So it would be 2-22 because the number 2 is her favorite number. But I couldn’t get the ring in time. She was expected to graduate December 12, 2015, so I made that my expected proposal date instead. I purchased a keyboard from Craigslist because she loves the piano so I figured I would incorporate that in my proposal. I was watching Martin one night, the episode where he proposed to Gina and Brian McKnight sang “Never Felt This Way” – and she likes that song as well. So, I wanted to do something epic along the same lines.
A couple months later my job transferred me to Jacksonville. I went to a Party City the day after Halloween for discounted candy (this is my favorite past time). I saw there was a beard, mullet and other things for a dollar so it hit me – I should dress as a homeless street singer and throw her off! As the days came closer, I got more ideas up until November 30th. I reached out to her best friend, Brittany to help me set it up – because I knew she could keep the secret. She contacted her other friends and co-workers to tell them about what’s happening and when it’s happening.
Because I know Chanel never goes out, so I told her friends to get her out the house and say they’re going to a party that day. I planned on that day to ask her parents for their blessing, because I know if I told them earlier they would tell her. I thought the 12th (which was her graduation date) was too cliché to propose, so I decided to do it the day before. Since my parents were coming up also – it made things even sweeter. I drove from Jacksonville to Tampa on December 11, 2015 and Chanel thought I would be there late in the evening. Little did she know I was there setting things up and I made arrangements to have all our friends and family there. Dressed in my disguise, as she walked closer, I began singing and playing the piano. She realized what was going on after she put money in my “begging hat”, she saw the ring and that’s when I proposed!
Describe your engagement session Did you have a theme?
We wanted to incorporate my culture (Thai) and things we love doing. Downtown Tampa was the first location. We met in Tampa and would go there for events or just for stroll in the evenings. It was the perfect location since in front of the Tampa Theatre there is a sign that read, “TAMPA”.
Then we moved on to the Thai Temple. My mother is from Thailand and father is from New Orleans (African American). Vladimir is from Haitian background. The Thai temple has a beautiful temple with gold embellishments which was perfect for our photos. We plan on displaying his culture at the rehearsal dinner.
Then lastly we went to Orlando, FL to Disney Springs. This is one of our favorite places to go on a date. It has so many restaurants, activities, live entertainment, and shops. All locations have meaning to us, since we have adopted these locations as our go to date spots throughout our relationship of 7 years! We had so much fun posing for all the photos! You will really see our personality and love shine through!
What did you do on your first date?
We wound up going on our first date, July 17, 2009 to Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Originally, he was going to push back the time of our date seeing he had an errand to run. I told him I had to work in the morning so he had me run the errand with him. The first time seeing this guy and I was driving around his car while he delivered another car. Once we got to the restaurant, sitting across the table from one another, Vlad would take “imaginary” notes on his hands of things I liked and did not like. He was a comedian and I loved it. I thought to myself he is a fine man, funny, conversational – we’ll see where this goes!
After dinner Vlad had to make a stop at the local drug store for a special type of Tylenol. We stopped at CVS – no luck and then we went to Walgreens and the special Tylenol was really a dozen roses! He surprised me with flowers – something I had not expected and he just knew the right thing to do to end a perfect night! From the day I met Vlad, he has been nothing but full of surprises. I cannot believe I will get to the spend the rest of my life with him!
What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We love to try new things and adventure to new places. So being able to take road trips, even if it’s just through the state of Florida, are the best times we share together. We learn to listen to each other during the car rides and share stories the most during these times.
How has wedding planning been so far?
The wedding planning so far has been easier than expected. We began going to bridal shows on January 3, 2016. Not even a few months into our planning and we have already booked out venue, photographer/ videographer, caterer, attire, decorator/planner, DJ, and jeweler.
It helps that we have many common interests and are able to compromise. We have talked about getting married for the longest so executing our vision came naturally.
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day!
I am looking forward to seeing Vlad at the end of the aisle and finally getting to say, “I am ready to spend the rest of my life with you, I DO”.
Take a glimpse of the video from Vlad’s winning surprise proposal captured by 1007 Films!