There is knowledge in the soul—a point of recognition—where two souls meet in instantaneous binding familiarity. It’s almost as if one sees the other, and the heart sighs as if to say, “There you are.” and suddenly… they’re home. Raquel & Chris found home in one another on a serendipitous trip to paradise. Many years and countless adventures together later, they are on their way to becoming man and wife, and asked their friend Mallory of Mallory Dawn Photography to document this sweet season in their life! Adventure awaits, you two!
From Mallory Haren of Mallory Dawn Photography:
“Raquel is actually a really dear friend of mine. Her and Christopher couldn’t be more perfect for one another. Their chemistry is just undeniable. They met right after high school and will be married in beautiful Yosemite in a few months. They love adventure, so we traveled to Santa Ynez to take their engagement photos! Jackie of Penelope Pots Floral Design created a beautiful floral bouquet for Raquel to hold which added the perfect amount of color to their images. I am very honored to get to stand by Raquel’s side on her wedding day as one of her bridesmaids, so getting to photograph her engagement was super special!”
From Raquel & Chris:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Raquel: “When I graduated high school I travelled to The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas with my mom and some good friends to celebrate. Chris is my friend’s cousin (who lived in Texas at the time) and whose family also joined us on our Caribbean vacation. There was instant chemistry and our personalities just clicked. One evening we went to explore the Atlantis Resort and got caught up talking for so long we had no idea our parents and security were looking for us! Sadly the vacation flew by but we made sure to exchange our AIM screen names before we left. Yes, it was that long ago.”
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship!
Raquel: “Over the short vacation in the Bahamas where we met, Chris somehow was bragging to his brother and dad how he could do a backflip. As a gymnast myself, I would have been pretty impressed, but I had a feeling it wasn’t going to turn out so well. I was right, because Chris tried to flip and completely ate it and landed on his head. He was just fine, but he was so embarrassed because I was watching. I found it hilarious.”
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
“My favorite part of planning our wedding is implementing elements of ‘us’. We are a pretty adventurous outdoorsy couple, so planning our wedding in Yosemite National Park has been a dream. We can’t wait to explore the trails with those that we love.”
What part of your wedding day is most important to you?
“The most important thing about our wedding day is making sure we spend time together and are stress free. We plan on doing our best to not get distracted by things that may go wrong. We want to remember that the day is about making a lifelong commitment to each other and celebrating our love with those who are most special to us.”
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Chris: “My favorite thing about Raquel is the love and kindness she shows me. But aside from that I like her zest for trying new things and experiencing new places. And her passion for things she cares about.”
Raquel: “My favorite thing about Chris is how supportive he is of my passions and how he teaches me new things about life on a regular basis. He is the type of guy that is always there for you when you need him. I am always impressed by his athleticism and commitment to achieve his goals with his profession in the military. It also doesn’t hurt that he loves travel as much as I do.”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship.
“Throughout our relationship we have had to overcome long distance. We are still working through it now. I worked for a cruise line, took a job in the airline industry and now cheer for the NFL. He was stationed with the Marine Corps, went to college, and now is in the Air Force, so multiple deployments are in our future. But no matter the obstacle we know we will make it through. You make sacrifices for who you love. And since we’re experts at long-distance, it makes spending time together 10x better! However, we are much looking forward to having a normal life together, whenever that may be.”
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
Chris: “Best thing I have learned is when you trust another person with your love, life is more enjoyable. Making that commitment means you get to share your happiness together but you also have a shoulder to lean on during life’s hardships. Loving someone else completely has given my life great fulfillment.”
Raquel: “The best thing I have learned from Chris is that life is full of the unexpected. But when dealing with life’s changes, he is always there for me. And that has meant so much throughout the course of our relationship. He keeps me centered around what is truly important and is constantly teaching me to see life in new ways.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
“Travel together! There’s nothing else like it. Travel as much as you can, as often as you can. You get to understand your partner on a deeper level and it helps you see the bigger picture in life. Plus you come home with unbelievable memories that only you two will ever have experienced.”
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
“Love isn’t easy. It takes work, lots of it. It’s a commitment that you have to wake up each day and recommit yourself to. But it is also the most beautiful thing that a person gets to experience in life.”
photographer: Mallory Dawn Photography / floral designer: Penelope Pots / film lab: Goodman Film Lab