Featured in MunaLuchi Bride Magazine, Issue No. 26, Larelle & JoJuan’s love is as infinite as the sprawling landscape at their White Sands, New Mexico, engagement session.
As individuals, both Larelle and JoJuan have been through their fair share of struggles, including periods of homelessness and growing up in the foster care system. However, when they met in 2005 while working at Burger King, everything changed.
Larelle shares, “The first time I saw Jo I knew he was special and I was drawn to him instantly.” On Jo’s end, it took him three months to finally work up the courage to ask her out! But the wait was worth it. They made things official on February 27, 2006. Ten years later in 2016, while on a romantic vacation to Greece, Jo asked Larelle to be his forever. Without hesitation, she said yes!
Prior to [Jo], I felt myself giving up on life, but he was my mustard seed and I developed a totally new outlook, joy, and faith in life.”– Larelle (bride-to-be)
Captured by our very own, Reem Photography, their engagement session was shot at 3 different locations with 3 outfit changes, including classic glam, relaxed, and evening looks. More sweet details on their love story and stunning engagement photos at White Sands, New Mexico, below.
- Couple: Larelle Malveaux & JoJuan Cranson
- Occupations: Larelle is a Bodily Injury Adjuster and Entrepreneur and JoJuan is an Operations Manager and Entrepreneur
- Wedding date: September 4th, 2022
- Wedding location: Houston, TX
- Location of Engagement shoot: White Sands, New Mexico
How they met…
We met in 2005 as teenagers while working at Burger King. It was definitely a teenage love affair.
Larelle: The first time I saw Jo I knew he was special and I was drawn to him instantly. I would get so excited to go into work to see him and be in his presence. It literally took him like 3 months to finally work up the nerve to ask me out and when he finally did ask me out he had a whole speech prepared explaining why I should go out with him. It was so thoughtful and exactly how I knew him to be. We made it official 2/27/2006 and have been inseparable ever since.
Their first date…
Larelle: Geez it was so many years ago and we were so young and thoughtless we genuinely can’t remember. We met in 2005 in a world of much simpler times and neither of us was technically looking for “the one.” We were also teenagers with limited resources and I also was not allowed to date openly lol so by the time we had a real first date I think we had already been a couple for some months.
Their proposal story…
Jo: In 2016 we decided to book a trip to Greece to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. It was while in Santorini I decided to surprise Larelle with popping the question. Around this time we had adopted the tradition of sending out annual Christmas cards to friends and family using images of places we’d travel to that year so I was able to use that as a cover to get her to unknowingly participate in the proposal.
I was able to hire a photographer, have her get her hair and makeup done and wear a beautiful formal dress as well. She’s always told me over the years whenever I propose it had to be in a beautiful location & to make sure she looked perfect. To me it was a dream come true. Some of the images from that shoot actually went viral and were made into memes.
When Larelle knew she found “the one”…
TBH I hated life before I met Jo. Around the time we met there were so many things going on in my life that were negative that I had no control over. He was also in a similar situation where we were the underdog so we bonded closely over our misfortune (we both had lived in foster care before and had also been homeless for a period of time).
I felt as if we had our own world that only we existed in and he was the only person I ever felt comfortable talking to about my life and its complications. Prior to him, I felt myself giving up on life, but he was my mustard seed and I developed a totally new outlook, joy, and faith in life. I undoubtedly knew Jo was the one when he made all my problems his problems.
He wasn’t only interested in the good or beautiful parts of me but he was also willing to get his hands dirty and put himself in uncomfortable situations that would help me and make my life better. He was willing to do anything he could to contribute to my happiness or overall well-being. Even in parts of my life that didn’t directly involve him, he involved him. Jo literally solved all my problems within a year or so of us meeting. He literally became my superhero. He became the 1st person in my life that I could undoubtedly depend on. 16 years later he’s still here giving me something to be grateful for and making miracles happen daily.
When JoJuan knew he found “the one”…
So I was hanging out late with my friends one night and I got this call from a number I didn’t recognize, so I let it go to voicemail. When I checked the voicemail it was her calling me from a payphone; as soon as I heard her voice I dropped everything I was doing and rushed to her.
I immediately went into protective mode even though she wasn’t in danger and I felt sad that I missed her call. I felt like I missed the most important call of my life. Even though in her voicemail she was just calling to say “Hi” lol, but this was the day I realized she was the one. I felt responsible for her safety, happiness, and well-being. I bought her a cell phone the next day so she would never have to use a pay phone again. 16 years later she still has the same phone number.
Larelle: We really wanted our engagement session to be 3 things. Timeless, Classic, and something we’d never done before as we are lovers of new experiences. We’d never been photographed in a desert-like area like White Sands, New Mexico before, so it was exciting and perfect for what we were looking for. Jo kept it classic with a black tuxedo and I opted to wear a classic sparking gown.
Reem captured us beautifully and he was a joy to work with. He gave us so much direction, and attention. He even took the time to make little behind the scene stories of our session for us to post on IG! Reem is a MASTER of his craft and we’re so grateful we were able to work with him. We’re so in love with our photos and without a doubt, we know they’ll age beautifully! So MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Larelle: We didn’t have a theme per se, but we did do 3 outfit/location changes as we aimed to capture 3 different styles to include classic glam, relaxed/natural & evening/sensual.
Favorite thing to do as a couple…
Both: We love to travel. We bond so deeply through the new adventures and experiences. We’ve had the pleasure of vacationing in France, Italy, Greece, Columbia, and all over Central America and the Caribbean. We’ve also visited 36 of 50 U.S states. We hope to knock out the final 14 before we start having kids.
Wedding planning so far…
Larelle: Wedding planning this time around has been a breeze since we hired Daryl of Dconcierge. With his services we’re kinda on the outside of the process ( thank God) otherwise I probably would just quit again lol. This is actually our 3rd time on the wedding planning journey. We started initially when we 1st got engaged in 2016 and I quit when things became too overwhelming (I’m kinda big on self-care), then again in 2019 when covid broke, so of course that halted us. So it’s 2022 and now we’re here and I’ve always heard the 3rd-times-a-charm so we can’t wait to get to the aisle. Currently, we’re just selecting vendors from options that are sent to us by our planner and paying invoices.
What they’re looking forward to most on the wedding day…
Both: Getting Married!!!!! Finally tying the knot, celebrating our love, and moving forward into the next phase of life. Both of our families think we’re pretty overdue for children so we’re looking forward to starting our family as well.
Looking for more inspiration like this White Sands, New Mexico engagement session?
- Photographer: Reem Photography
- Wedding Planner: Darryl of D Concierge
- Makeup: Charniq G
- Hair: Tenia of Black Eyon Beauty
- Venue: White Sands National Monument & The Plaza Hotel Of El Paso
- Brides Attire: Me for Me
- Grooms Attire: Nifty Niche & Company
- Brides Shoes: Amina Muddani, Tom Ford
- Grooms Shoes: Christian Louboutin, Gucci