Vote for your favorite finalist!

To vote, scroll to the bottom of this post. Lance & Julie:

Lance&Julie Their Story: Lance and I met back in middle school and he will be the first one to tell you how big of a crush I had on him back then (warning: he exaggerates). It wasn't until our sophomore year of high school until we finally went out on our first date. I asked him to our annual TWIRP dance (the girls ask the guys) and he said yes! We had a great time and finally started dating later that fall. We graduated high school, went to rival colleges (he to NC State and I to UNC), have been working in separate cities and have stayed together throughout. It is going to be so exciting to finally live in the same place as a married couple!!

Their Engagement: Lance proposed over Memorial Day weekend. We we were supposed to be going to the lake with his family for the holiday weekend, but his work schedule "suddenly" changed and he was no longer able to go. I was sad he couldn't make it, but I wasn't going to miss out on a fun-filled weekend at the lake! I got up early, drove to his parents house and when I arrived they told me plans had changed. Lance had left a note for me which said he had been thinking of how we would propose for a long time and that he didnt' think he could truly surprise me without me having a hunch as to what was going on.

A close friend of ours was my driver (and he even dressed up like a limo driver!) for the day and he even had a basket of snacks and a cooler full of drinks for me just like a normal limo. Lance's sister also came along for the day to keep me calm, hand me tissues, and hold my hand when needed! The first clue led us back to high school, where it all began. My cousin and her 5-yr old were waiting for me with my next card that clued us to go get our nails done. The card said "Can you imagine getting engaged and having your nails looking ugly and damaged? Me either!" After getting our nails done, the next clue card indicated we were going back to some of the best years of our life - college! We end up stopping at a restaurant and Lance had arranged for my college roommates to be there to surprise me. Funny story - my roommates got a flat tire on the way to lunch and were afraid they were going to be late. Luckily a very kind policeman stopped to help, they explained the situation and he drove them to the restaurant to meet me! They surprised me even futher when they told me they would be spending the rest of the day with me.

My next clue card sent me to my favorite cupcake shop - Gigi's (a must try)! We enjoyed our cupcakes and I was then given my next clue. It said our next spot would be the place we would start our future life together and that a special gift would be waiting. I knew we were going to Charlotte, NC where Lance currently lives. We end up stopping at a nearby park and my best friend was there waiting for me with a box of chocolate covered strawberries and a big hug! I was so happy to see her! She gave me my next clue which told me to go shopping for a new dress and shoes to wear for the proposal. After buying the new dress and shoes, we made our way back to Lance's apartment to get ready. He had snacks and champagne waiting for us all. After getting ready, I was given my next card which lead me to dinner with my Mom at one of Lance and I's favorite restaurants. We had a wonderful dinner and a had a great time catching up on the amazing day I had. My driver came back to pick me up and gave me my next card that finally lead us to the lake. We get to the lake and a close friend of ours is waiting for me with my final clue. He was going to take me to my final destination and I was to be blindfolded as Lance wanted this final spot to be a surprise. We take off and ride for about 15-20 minutes before the boat finally stops and my blindfold is finally removed. To my surprise, Lance was on the boat on and had been driving the whole time. He was down on one knee and proposed right in the middle of the lake! After the proposal, we went back to the lake house where all our family and friends were waiting to celebrate. It was the best day of my life! :)

Giancarlo & Karima:
Giancarlo&Karima

Their Story: We met in San Francisco, in August of 2010, while working at the Hyatt in Embarcadero. Giancarlo was the restaurant manager, and Karima had just finished school and was in a management training program. Everyone kept suggesting that we meet, because we were both born and raised in Miami, but we didn't pay much attention to our friends! During her management training program, Giancarlo was responsible for teaching her everything she needed to know about the restaurants! We quickly realized we had lots more in common than our hometown! Before long, we were spending time together "extracurricularly". The sparks flew quickly, and by the wintertime, we were already starting to meet each other's families. Turns out our parents back home live about a mile away from each other, and we have lots of mutual friends! Somehow, though, it took us moving all the way across country to meet in California! We lived in San Francisco about a year together, before Giancarlo was promoted & transferred to Chicago. Karima followed him there, and we lived in Chicago for about a year, before deciding to do something totally and radically different and change jobs, companies, and location. So we decided to move to Hawaii to work for the Four Seasons Hotel!!

Their Engagement: Giancarlo moved to Hawai'i a month before Karima to find a house and make arrangements. Karima landed in Hawai'i on February 13, 2013 at 8am, after a looong redeye flight. She was exhausted! But that didn't stop her from enjoying every minute of the day Giancarlo had planned. It started with some off-roading in our awesome Jeep Wrangler, and a drive all the way to Naha Beach (Hawaiian for "the end of the road"). We stopped at a tiny, remote beach for a picnic lunch. Then, Giancarlo mentioned that he wanted to show Karima his favorite beach on the island. It is called "the fish pond", due to the fact that with the rising and falling of the tides, small fish get trapped in this rocky enclave, making them easy to fish! He set up the camera, pretending to take a self-timer picture, but actually caught the whole thing on tape. He has told her later that he rehearsed his "speech" thousands of times in the shower, but when it came down to the moment, his mind blanked! The second she started crying without him having to say anything, he already knew the answer was "yes". The rest is history, and can be seen here!! http://youtu.be/odmrUUQRN-Y

Kyle & Brittney:

Kyle&Brittney
Their Story: Kyle and I met in high school English class eight years ago and have been together ever since. We feel for each other very quickly (we starting dating after less than two weeks) and could not imagine a better person to be sharing my life with, we were so lucky to meet each other so early in life and am very thankful that we did.

Their Engagement: Last year on Canada Day long weekend Kyle decided to surprise me with a trip to the mountains, we went with friends however he said that he had a great surprise for me and we went alone for a drive. We ended up at a heliport and I was so excited to be going on my first helicopter ride. When we were up in the air he told me that he had another surprise, he told me we were going to get to land in the mountains! It was a fantastic surprise. We then landed in the mountains and got to explore the mountain tops. We ended up finding a fantastic frozen lake with an Island that happened to be the only area that was free of snow. It was then that I turned around and saw Kyle down on one knee asking me to marry him, and of course I said yes.

Severin & MJ:

Severin&MJ
Their Story: We met in 2005 when we were just 15 years old! We are highschool sweethearts and have been together now for over 8 years :) We met in high school. I went to the all girls school, St. Lucys in CA and he went to the all boys school, Damien in CA. My brother who is a year younger than we are became friends with Severin from their HS soccer team. One day at one of their soccer games, Severin saw me walking across the field and noticed me ;) He asked the guys on the team if any of them knew who I was. My brother immediatly said, "That's my sister!" and Severin asked him if he would introduce us. About a month later my brother did just that. He introduced us and we have been inseperable since then. The funniest part of it all is that my brother has always been so protective and never liked me talking to guys. Severin was the ONE guy he was ok with me talking to and it turns out, he knew a good guy when he saw him because now Severin will soon be my husband and it will be all thanks to my brother!

Their Engagement: We were celebrating out 8 year anniversary in February 2013 and Severin planned a trip to Santa Barbara for us to celebrate. We went to Santa Barbara because Severin grandparents lived there and he spent many weekends and summers growing up there, so Santa Barbara is a very special place for him. We got up to Santa Barbara the day of our anniversary. We checked in to our hotel and then went out for lunch. We spent the rest of the day going to places Severin had been to growing up and reminiscing about our relationship. We went to city hall and up to the tower to overlook Santa Barbara and the ocean. It was beautiful! We then headed to Butterfly Beach (Severin's favorite beach in Santa Barbara) to watch the sunset. I was having a great time and the day could not be more perfect. The beach was empty that day so it was just the two of us enjoying the sunset. Right as the sun was coming down, Severin got up, faced me and started telling me how much he loved me....thats when it hit me! This was the moment! I got so excited I began to cry and I could not believe it was happening! He asked me to marry him and I say yes a thousand times. It was perfect! We were both so excited and overwhelmed with emotions. Our engagement had been a long time coming and that day was just perfect! After he proposed we took a lot of pictures and took in the moment together. Once the sun went down we got up to head to dinner, where Severin had made special reservations at one of his favorite places he used to visit with his dad and grandma. After dinner I immediately called my parents to tell them the news. When they answered they said, "we were waiting for you to call...". It turns out Severin had asked for their permission back in December and told them about his plan to take me to Santa Barbara, so they knew all along and were anxiously waiting for the call. That made it all the more special for me to know that they were so happy and so excited to celebrate this special moment with us.

Sasha & Megan:

Sasha&Megan
Their Story: We met in July of 2011. My sister was living in Boston with her husband and called me to let me know she had met a sweet girl who had an amazing brother that I had!!! to meet. I told her she was crazy and that I would not be leaving California to go on a blind date in Boston. She then told me that was the best part – he also lived in California. So with no pressure and the hopes of at least making a new friend I accepted his email and his date offer. A week later I met Sasha at an Irish pub around the corner from my house. This is where we spent the next 6 hours laughing, talking, and getting to know each other. Sasha offered to walk me home after our date which is when we realized that we had been living only a block from each other for the last year. Over the next 12 months our relationship grew and became more serious. Sasha is an Officer in the Military so a year later when he got orders to South Carolina he asked me to move with him. This for me was a no brainer! So almost 2 years and 2 coast later, I was through the moon when Sasha proposed to me last month.

Their Engagement: We took a trip up north to Sasha's Granny's home in Barrington Rhode island. Granny's is a special place because Sasha's parents as well as his sister were married there. We woke up the following morning after we arrived to the pouring rain. Our big plans of laying on the dock and enjoying the June weather were out. We decided to go into town for lunch. As we were getting ready to leave, Sasha asked me if I could help him because Granny asked him that morning to move pots from the end of the dock and he had forgotten. Obviously I was not thrilled about the idea of running down the dock in the pouring rain but after a few minutes of resisting he finally talked me into it. We put our rain jackets on and made our way out the very long dock, once we got to the end, Sasha turned around and told me " Clearly there are no pots down here." He then got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him.

Voting Rules: You may only vote once a day. One vote per household each day. Voting ends on Sunday, July 28th at Midnight (EST)

Finalist for the free wedding photography!

Yay!! Kristin and I have narrowed the entries down. I must say, every time I do this it's always SO hard for me to narrow them down to my finalists. I just wish everyone could win! : ) With that said, we decided to increase the finalists from 3 to 5. We just couldn’t narrow it down to just 3… it was way to hard. So here are your top 5 finalists! Lance & Julie

Giancarlo & Karima

Kyle & Brittney

Severin & MJ

Sasha & Megan

Congratulations! Now the fun begins. Tomorrow at 9am EST I will be posting each individual couple’s story along with a picture of the couple. At the bottom of that blog post you will find a poll with each couple’s name listed. You will then be able to start voting for your favorite couple! So be sure and check back tomorrow to get your vote in!

2014 Free Wedding Photography!

2014-Free-Wedding I’m so excited to announce that REP will be doing another free wedding photography giveaway in 2014! See below for details on what is included with the wedding package as well as rules of the giveaway and how to enter. Even if you aren’t getting married but know someone who is, then share the love and send them a link to this post. We are looking forward to shooting the wedding of last year's winner, Kathryn and Andy, at the end of this month!

Details:

- 6 hours of coverage photographed by ME - A disc of high resolution images on DVD + print release - Engagement session or day after session - Location doesn’t matter - I love to travel! (Keep in mind that ALL travel fees will be the client's responsibility if the wedding is farther than 2 hours from Boston, MA.) - This giveaway is a $3000 valued package!!!!

Rules:

- Wedding must be taking place in 2014 (January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014) and not on a date that I am already booked. If you submit an entry for one of those dates I will be sure to let you know. - You must not be booked with another photographer. - All travel fees (if travel is required) will be the client's responsibility. 50% of the travel fees will be due within 1 week of announcing the winner or the prize will be awarded to the runner up. - Cash value of prize is subject to federal and state income taxation as a prize earning. - Entries will be accepted from Monday, July 1st to Friday, July 12th (at midnight). - Top 3 finalists will be announced on Monday, July 15th at 10:00am EST. - Voting for the top finalists will be open from Monday, July 15th to Friday, July 26th (at midnight).

How to enter:

Please email the following information to ruth@rutheileenphotography.com with the subject line “Free Wedding Photography in 2014”.

- Names - Your wedding date and venue - A recent picture of you and your fiancé - The story of how you met and got engaged (check out the 2013 finalists for some guidance!) - Tell me what you envision your wedding to look like. I'd love to hear about all the details you have planned or are hoping to incorporate into your special day. Be as detailed as possible! - *Optional but not required*: Submit a short video of you and your fiancé so I can get to know you a little bit better. :)

After 2 days of thoughtful consideration, Kristin and I will narrow the list down to the top 3 finalists. I will then announce those 3 finalists on the blog Monday, July 15th. The voting will be open to all friends, families and strangers! Cast your vote for your favorite finalist before July 28th at midnight EST. The winner will be announced on Monday, July 29th at 10:00am EST!

Nicole Yang Design | Giveaway!

I'm so excited to announce this giveaway for Nicole Yang Design! Nicole and I met through the Making Things Happen ("MTH") Core Groups. All of the MTH alumni, including us, had the opportunity to sign up for these Core Groups, and as a result we were connected through the group and teamed up as accountability partners. Since then we have been encouraging and challenging one another in our passions and business goals. I LOVE her design work and thought it would be so fun to give away some of her beautiful products. Check out the giveaway treats below!

nydgif

Polka-dot Heart Stationary / Dated To-Do List Notepad

2013-05-28_0101.jpg2013-05-28_0104.jpg

Today Will Be Smashing Notepad / Watercolor Succulent Stationery

2013-05-28_0102.jpg 2013-05-28_0103.jpg

To enter the giveaway, comment on this blog post and mention which paired item (notepad + stationary) is your favorite, and I will randomly select a winner this coming Friday, June 7th. Check back on the blog to see if you are the lucky winner of Nicole's work! Also, head on over to Nicole's blog and give her lots of comment love!