Everyone has had an embarrassing moment, the kind that inches its way into your mind every once in a while only for you to fully re-live that secret humiliation. Eventually, you learn to laugh about it, maybe chalk it up to clumsiness or a bad case of foot-in-mouth. It’s rare, however, for one of those moments to become a very, very pivotal moment in the trajectory of your life — unless, of course, you’re today’s bride-to-be!
A word from photographer Jenzel Velo:
“This engagement session was shot by the shore, right next to the airport; a perfect metaphor of a couple whom has found a deep love and passion for travelling the world throughout the years they’ve been together. In just a few months, Kayla and Shahem become one in Florence, Italy. I knew I wanted to capture their story in an intimate and romantic setting. The sea called for that.
They selected the incredibly talented Kerri Pfeifer of Rogue Florist who created a gorgeous summer bouquet, and we were graced by some wonderful and delicate lace pieces made by Fern and Moon and Truvelle.”
Love notes from the couple, Kayla & Shahem:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Kayla: “This is my favourite question to answer! I remember the first time I saw Shahem like it was yesterday. I was working at Cactus Club Café and during a moment of downtime I was standing by the back of the restaurant talking to my friend when Shahem walked in and took a seat at the bar. I blurted out ‘WHO IS THAT?!’ to my girlfriend. I only dropped my gaze off Shahem after my friend followed my question with ‘my best friend’. You could say I went 50 shades of red in the face and was the real life version of the palm to face emoji. Talk about embarrassing!
After being introduced and joining them for dinner I would go on to see Shahem from time to time in large groups of friends. It wasn’t until two years later we finally admitted we liked each other and started dating.”
What part of your wedding day is most important to you?
Kayla: “Shahem and I are used to big family weddings and decided instead of having a wedding at home we wanted to turn our wedding day into a wedding week vacation. We visited Europe last year and while on vacation we talked about how amazing it would be to get married there. Having our families involved and joining us in more than just a wedding but a vacation was so important to us. We could not be more excited to express our love through personally written vows and start our next chapter as husband and wife in our favourite country we’ve visited.”
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Shahem: “My favourite thing about Kayla is the way she so loves love. She is the most selfless human I’ve ever met, she is constantly putting the needs and wants of others above her own and would drop anything she’s doing to help someone she cares about. She is always one step ahead of me and goes out of her way to make sure things in life are already tackled before I need to ask.”
Kayla: “My favourite thing about Shahem has to be his patience and willingness to understand what drives me. From the beginning of our relationship he gave nothing less than 100% effort. Every relationship takes a sense of work as you navigate your similarities and your differences. He has mastered the art of understanding my love languages and filling my love tank and realizing things that push my buttons and avoids doing them. The love he shows me on a daily basis has shown me the definition of true and unconditional love.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
“From the beginning, knowing each others intentions and creating a rock solid foundation that doesn’t have you wavering as soon as life throws you a curve ball. We both entered our relationship knowing ourselves and having those honest talks with willingness to improve in areas that become prioritized once you enter a relationship. I think that is the key to any kind of long term success. Life and love aren’t always easy but the genuine friendship you establish gives you a partner to lean on for life.”
photographer, stylist, planner, and designer: Jenzel Velo / venue: Iona Beach / floral designer: Kerri Pfeifer / dress designer: Fern and Moon / accessories and decor: Truvelle / film lab: Photovision