Joel & Ariana // Rustic engagement in Yucaipa, CA

how he asked-torrance wedding-photography

FROM THE BRIDE //  Nothing says opposites attract more than me and Joel. We actually met as silly, quirky pre-adolescents on a missions trip to Mexico with our church. He wanted to date me early on, but I said no because I wasn’t allowed to until I was 16! Joel had to wait a few years (poor guy), but this was good because we got to know each other as good friends. My feelings for him took time because I was raised in a family that took relationships and marriage very seriously. During high school, I was drawn to how Joel projected integrity and maturity to me and our peers. He was a strong believer in Christ like I was, and he was selfless in his serving towards others. I remember in 10th grade, there was this time of day when Joel and I would cross paths on the way to classes, where he would always stop to give me a hug. As days passed, I became more and more excited for his hugs. They were always what got me through that drooling hour of math class. Finally, when I was 16 1/2, Joel asked me to be his girlfriend on the way to a Sixth Flags church trip. We shared both of our first kisses with each other and have been dating ever since (6 years now!).

I love that in our relationship we complement each other’s differences. I am very enthusiastic, spontaneous, and outgoing, while Joel is very stoic, calm, and quiet. He has been my rock in my most stressful times, and I have been his joy in his most broken times. Though we have our differences, we know that what we share is our love for God. We are definitely competitive with each other, especially in sports and games. And we also love to go on walks, go to the movies, and play with my nieces and nephew. Joel has always been very patient in sharing me with my family and friends, and he has always encouraged me to pursue my own passions and dreams. I love how God has grown and molded our high school sweetheart relationship into something so beautiful and complementary.

FROM THE GROOM //  I met Ari on a bus ride to Mexico for a missions trip when we were 12 years old. As crazy as it sounds, I knew then and there that she was a girl that I wanted to pursue. It didn’t happen immediately, but 4 years later our lives and friendship had developed to the point that we were able to start our romantic relationship. We started dating in 2008 and I can honestly say that these past 6 years have been the best of my life, and that is in large part to the amazing girl I have been able to spend them with.

Ari is the most empathetic person I have ever met. It is probably the quality that made me really fall in love with her. She feels so strongly for other people, and she is an inspiration to me every day take others needs and feelings into account when I am living my life. I also love how willing she is to challenge me to grow in areas that I struggle in (usually having to do with social settings). I think that is a really special aspect of our relationship. We can challenge each other without ever fearing backlash. We trust each other and want to continually grow as a couple and as individuals. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life growing with my best friend.

HOW HE ASKED //  My family had planned a big trip in June to my one of my favorite places in the world, Lake Powell. This was Joel’s second time coming on the trip. I wasn’t anticipating an engagement yet, thinking it would happen later in the year. I went ring shopping for fun a few months before with a mentor of mine, and I showed Joel a few pictures of rings I liked. Little did I know he would buy one of those rings weeks later. He kept my family in suspense, having asked my dad’s permission back in April, so whenever my family knew we were hanging out, they thought this was it, Ari’s engaged for sure. Of course, I was completely oblivious to all this, so I went to Lake Powell thinking it would be a fun trip spent with family and Joel.

So, on our second day at Lake Powell, Joel took me on a hike up Rock Creek Canyon. We got pretty far and decided to rest before we went back down the trail. We talked and enjoyed the beauty around us. It was a nice, peaceful moment. Then I asked Joel if we should head back down, to which he replied “Hold on, I have to go to the bathroom first.” (Very romantic right? Haha) So I’m waiting and he comes back from behind a boulder and says “Ari, I found a cool rock over there, I brought it over to show you.” And then I look down and notice a ring in his hand. It hit me, Joel’s proposing, right now, right here, that’s not a dirty, brown rock, it’s a diamond rock! And all I could say was “Joel what are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing? JOEL” He then asked me if I would marry him and my first response was, “Did you ask my dad first?” After I got the confirmation, I said yes. And finally, after 5 ½ years, we are engaged! I am beyond excited to begin this new adventure together!

©2014 Sun & Sparrow – photo & film // Rustic engagement in Yucaipa // Shot by Ellie Fuqua from Sun & Sparrow

©2014 Sun & Sparrow – photo & film // Rustic engagement in Yucaipa // Shot by Ellie Fuqua from Sun & Sparrow

FACEBOOKPINTERESTTWITTERINSTAGRAM