Temecula Engagement Session – Yuliza + Tommie


You know why I love this session so much?

Because there is a story behind it. And I love stories.


If you don’t already know, Yuliza and Tommie are really close friends of ours. Tommie was Justin’s best man in our wedding and Yuliza was a bridesmaid in mine. Now they’re about to get married (TOMORROW to be exact!), and Justin and I are both standing up next to the two of them as they exchange vows! I thought to myself, what better day to share this story than today?!


So it was just last fall when I was doing mini sessions at a pretty little park by my home office, and I told Yuliza that I’d gift her and Tommie a couple’s session if she wanted to hang out with me all day while I photographed all of the lovely families that were doing their Christmas photos. She agreed of course, but first she had to somehow convince her then-boyfriend to come do the session with her. We were both surprised when he shrugged and said, “Sure, why not?”

See, the thing is that Tommie and Justin have a lot in common, and as much as Yuliza and I value and cherish the memories and beauty that a photograph holds, our significant others just don’t see what the big to-do is (any of you ladies feel us on that?!). BUT… they love us, and so, on special occasions, they do it for us (thank you guys!).


But here is where the story gets good.

Yuliza and Tommie had been dating for quite a while and friends for even longer. Everyone who knows them has been teasing and nagging since day one about when the wedding day would be. At first it was funny. After a while, it was probably a bit annoying. And then after a while longer, it started to sound like a good idea to both of them.

They are always taking exciting trips together, and at the time of this session, they had a big one coming up for New Years – Canada! They were going for a big hockey game and decided to make a whole trip out of it. As we started getting closer to New Years, Yuliza and Tommie kept joking that they were just going to come home from the trip married.

“Oh, we could just skip the engagement and get hitched over New Years in Canada. Sounds like a good plan to me!”

So when we started planning this session, Yuliza and I kept joking that this was their engagement session, and Tommie just didn’t know it yet. Well, funny story that turned out to be…



Unfortunately, Tommie and Yuliza had to cancel the Canada trip due to some passport issues, but they decided to make up for it by planning a fun adventure to Orange County for New Years, Disneyland fireworks included. And guess what? Yuliza came home with something shiny on her finger that meant so much more than diamonds and gold.

They got engaged! (You can read the whole proposal story here on How He Asked.)


PS… I love that Yuli and Tommie have such a big height difference like Justin and I! When we go on double dates it’s double the fun! Yuliza and I always send each other funny memes about cute tall guys. We get each other.



And so, guess what photo they ended up using for their save the dates?! None other than that black and white photo below. Funny how things turned out. I couldn’t be happier for them.



In just one day, these two are going to be standing up in front of their closest friends and family members, pledging to love each other through the good times and the bad, promising to put each other first, and committing to live a life full of love in action, not just love mad of words or romance. They are in incredible example of deep friendship within the realm of marriage, and we are so blessed to call them our friends.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m photographing the wedding, too?! Be sure to stay in the loop to see some sneak peeks from their big day soon. Until then, you can catch Amber and Matt‘s engagement session here, because I’m on my way to capture their big day right now!

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