Always heard wedding planning can take over your life but didn’t really understand until…we started planning a wedding. Completed our engagement photoshoot and it was everything I wanted it to be: Black love, sneakers, and luxury. Authentic to Keenan and me, not staged and the embodiment of love and overall excellence. But I’ve been so busy that I realized I never wrote about the proposal itself, so let’s start there!
Okay, so tell me all the details already!
Keenan mentioned the idea of having a really nice family dinner for our parents to meet about a year into dating but they met at my parents’ house last summer. It went so well that I just sat there in the backyard staring at them in amazement. I’ve always pictured my husband’s family meshing well with mine. It’s important to me to have a big family that all love each other. To see it happen in real life was just…surreal but beautiful.
Fast forward to December 2020. We are planning that same nice dinner, but for the holidays. I’m definitely a planner and love aesthetics but letting Keenan do his own thing because this was originally his idea. He asked me to come to check out the event space at Sween Shots Studio (an amazing creative space by some amazing people by the way). I helped pick out place settings, chairs, and flowers. No big deal…except I was unknowingly “planning” the decor for my own engagement dinner!
The day of the holiday dinner is here and Keenan is all over the place and super stressed out. Totally not himself, but I figure he’s just having an “off” day because this dinner is something he’s wanted to do for a while. He was short-tempered, irritable, and kinda mean. By that evening, I figured something had to be up because he’s never like this with ME. When I heard he was a little snappy on the phone with his mom, I KNEW something was up lol.
He put a ring on it. Like…really nice ring.
Long story short, I had just bitten into a lambchop when he walked up behind me and wanted me to stand up for a speech. I’m literally mid-chew but okay whatever lol. The rest is honestly a blur after that. All I really remember is slapping him on the shoulder once he dropped to one knee haha! But it was beautiful. Intimate, simple, and the ring I wanted…but bigger and better! Hearing the details afterwards…he was SOOOO protective of me (as always) that he barely told anyone. That’s why he was so stressed!
A few people asked me if I suspected it was coming. I won’t lie…definitely used to wear rings on my ring finger but decided to not do it that night because I had a tiny feeling. Turns out I was right and he did an amazing job. Look at the quality!
I wasn’t in a rush to start planning our wedding. We just wanted to bask in the engagement for a while. But once I found my wedding dress and we decided on a destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, I started itching to plan the engagement photoshoot.
Engagement Session Planning Process
Sneakers, a bit of a luxury, and a feeling of carefree, but strong love were necessities. That’s who we are. I treated this engagement session just like any other photoshoot for content creation and I’m so glad I did. If you know me, you know organizing is my peace. A shotlist of certain poses, angles, etc. was a must to ensure we captured the essence of “us”, so I searched thru Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration pictures. Added photos, a list of props, outfit info, and notes to a spreadsheet that I sent to our amazing photographer.
We chose Rome Goodson to shoot our session. He’s a friend of Keenan’s, so there were no awkward moments working with a photographer we didn’t know. As an editorial/visual creative, he had zero interest in a cheesy photo shoot. Our visions aligned and everything went smoothly! I also had my future sister-in-law come along to shoot behind-the-scenes footage and assist us (mostly me). TikTok taught me to always have a second shooter whether it’s a professional or someone using my phone. Best decision ever because she captured small moments that added to the story and I’m forever grateful!
Location, Location, Location!
I wanted Keenan and me to be the focus of the photos instead of a venue or location that stole the show. It’s ridiculously hot in Houston, so an outdoor location was completely out of the question. Our overall way of life is simple, so an open loft with minimal decor and a lot of natural light was an ideal choice. I knew it having that natural light would complement our brown skin well too. All of that melanin!!!
The second location took longer to hit me, but when it did…I immediately said “DUH BRITTANY!”. Keenan and I technically met on social media, but finally met in person for happy hour. Pistoleros is where our story began, so what better location was there? NONE! We stopped by the next day and they were down for it. One of my favorite things about Pistoleros is how chill it is. All of the staff is cool as ever and extremely down to earth! Tacos and tequila will obviously be a major part of our wedding in Cabo.
Back where the love story began & Jordan 1s only…
Nike should definitely sponsor us because look at the quality haha! One thing Keenan and I bonded over from day 1 is a love for Jordan 1s. While I’m newer to the game than he is, we both have a love for them and they just HAD to be part of our shoot. For the first look at Pistoleros, we went casual. I pulled out my Jordan 1 Satin Snake Chicagos to pair with a Saint Laurent tee & skirt. It was important for me to have a look that had a hint of luxury but casual & comfortable. He wore Jordan 1 Retro Chicagos (2015) with jeans and a tee from Zara.
Being back at Pistoleros was definitely nostalgic for me. April 5, 2019, was not supposed to be our first date. Keenan and I met up as friends to hang out for happy hour that day. I was planning to go home and watch the ID channel while folding clothes lol. Being back at the exact location we both sat, but for this purpose was so nostalgic.
Pistoleros allowed us to come in before the restaurant opened to the public. The staff was extremely accomodating. Alcohol isn’t allowed before noon on Sundays in Texas, so the staff made some mock tequila shots and margaritas for us to use in photos lol. We wrapped up after 12pm, so we bought a round of tequila shots to celebrate!
We’re basically models now. Book us.
The second location was a clock tower/loft combo I found on Peerspace. I loved that it was bright and airy in the loft space, and distressed and moody up top where the clock was located. Studied the space online, then practiced my angles and facial expressions in the mirror just for this location. It worked lol.
We mixed high and low clothing items. Keenan wore Common Projects sneakers with a suit he found for $20, then had tailored. Talk about a steal!!! I paired a perfectly sleek & sexy one-shoulder dress with Amina Muaddi dupes (I couldn’t get my hands on any!) and a pair of large chandelier earrings I’ve had for years. One of the earrings is superglued because it broke into two pieces days before. Shoutout to Gorilla Glue for saving my life! I kept the same makeup, but switch the lip to a neutral.
Keenan and I love a glass of good champagne and it’s a celebration, so that had to part of the photos. Love how it turned out! I had no idea there was a suitcase in the space. We’re having a destination wedding, so it was perfect the touch. For more romance, I decided to have a bouquet made and Bloom Bus absolutely killed it. I randomly stare at this photo because I’m in love. It was important to showcase Black-owned creatives. Rome Goodson & Bianca Craigwell of Bloom Bus did not disappoint!
We could not WAIT to get these photos back, but they were totally worth the wait. We wanted to portray various dimensions of not only our relationship but Black love in an authentic way. Strength, intimacy, style, and lots of melanin. I believe we accomplished that. The experience was everything I hoped for and I have a lot of tips and lessons learned. We will be using a few for our save-the-dates, wedding website, and of course additions to the family portraits in our home.