Desiree and Mike’s Laguna Beach Engagement Shoot

Brittny Drye Founder + Editor-in-Chief of Love Inc. Magazine | On-Air Wedding Expert | LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in the Wedding Industry

Complete with caves, tide pools and fine sand, Thousand Steps Beach was the perfect, hidden gem of a spot for Desiree and Mike to celebrate their love. These impeccable engagement photos, taken by Victoria Johansson Photography, not only feature vivid colors and majestic waves crashing upon the rocks, but most importantly, a couple that finishes each other's sentences and share a bond that will last a lifetime.

The Love Story

Desiree was just about to delete her online dating profile for the umpteenth time when a special someone reignited the flame of love. “I had a love-hate relationship with online dating and was about to delete my dating profile yet again until I saw Mike's account. I instantly fell for his beautiful eyes and there was something about his smile that was just so intoxicating! It wasn't like me to be the first to reach out to someone, especially after how much I'd been rejected in the past, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk to him! I sent him a message and the rest is history!” For Mike, he knew Desiree was The One from the second he saw her infectious smile for the first time. “We were on our first date, and once she smiled at me, I knew she was The One. I needed to get to know her more! She was and is the most amazing woman,” Mike gushes. “There were always little moments where I knew he was meant for me,” Desiree reminisces, “but the exact moment was when I had to have a very serious conversation with him. As we were sitting in his car and I was pouring my heart out to him, crying probably the ugliest cry I have ever cried, he held my hand, wiped my tears and simply said, ‘You will never have to deal with this alone again.' It was right then that I knew I found my life partner. I have never felt alone since.” Nine months later and without a tinge of doubt, Mike and Desiree were engaged.

The Proposal

Being that the couple has enjoyed many a date night at Disneyland, Mike knew that this would be the perfect place to propose to Desiree. “For me, the night was just a whole lot of being nervous and anxious,” Mike describes to us. “I had the ring in my pocket and I felt like I was carrying a mountain of emotion with it. I told my best friend and mother that I was going to do it that night. I needed to get to the spot I picked out months back when we first went to Disneyland together. I wanted to make that night as special as I could.

“We started out our evening in one of the gift shops looking at the jewelry since Disney had just started carrying Pandora charms and we wanted to get one to add to the bracelet Mike gave me many months prior,” Desiree explains. “Bummed that they were sold out, we decided to get some dinner. As we're holding hands and navigating the crowds, Mike says that before we eat he has a gift he wants to give me and purposely bumps our hands against his pocket so I could feel some kind of box inside. I didn't think much of it, honestly. I thought he went ahead and already bought the Pandora charm I had previously picked out and was going to surprise me with it. Then he says that he wanted to find a somewhat quiet, secluded spot to give it to me, and that's when my heart started racing and my whole body starting shaking! In my mind, I was screaming ‘OH MY GOD IS THIS IT?! IS THIS ABOUT TO HAPPEN?!' I tried to keep my cool as we kept walking through the crowds. Mike was guiding me somewhere, but I had no idea where this secret spot of his was. We walked into the new Princess Fantasy Faire area off to the side of the castle, which happened to be playing ‘A Whole New World', my absolute favorite Disney song. The place was surprisingly empty since the parade was about to start — he could not have planned it better if he tried! Mike found a quiet corner and we stopped. He pulled the small box out of his pocket and before I can freak out, I see that it says Pandora on the lid. My heart finally starting beating at a normal pace and the shaking suddenly stopped when I realized that my original assumption was right and I was just getting another charm to add to my bracelet. I opened the lid, but in the dim lighting, I could only see that it was in fact not a Disney charm, but it was a cute little trinket box charm. So I opened the lid to the trinket box and as I'm tilting and leaning it to try to catch the right lighting to see what's inside, I finally see it — a tiny ring! And it suddenly hits me: this is the exact charm Mike picked out seven months prior and said ‘That's the charm I'm going to get for you to commemorate the moment we get engaged.' I turn around to face him and that's when he pulled out the second box he had in his pocket, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!” 

The Ring

“The ring is beautiful! I absolutely love it. It has a single, round cut diamond that is surrounded by six smaller diamonds along each side of the white gold band. The diamond is his motherā€™s, too, which is all the more meaningful to me,” Desiree says. “Ever since I was a little girl, I had always dreamt about getting proposed to at Disneyland. I never told Mike about that dream, but somehow, he already knew heā€™d make that dream come true.”


Wedding Date: November 29, 2015


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