Sponsored Post: Chi-Ling Wang Photography & Giveaway


Sponsored Post: Chi Ling Wang Photography & Giveaway | A Practical Wedding

When Chi-Ling Wang Photography dropped me an email about becoming a sponsor, my first reaction was, “Ohh, pretty pictures! Long time reader! Photographer building her business, how perfect.” And then I asked her where she was located, and Chi-Ling said Los Angeles…. and then I felt my heart start to pitter patter in my chest. Other than New York City and San Francisco, there are more APWers in LA than in any other city. But yet…. it has been like pulling teeth to find sane, awesome wedding elves and photographers in the LA area. Pulling. Teeth. And LA is so creative, it’s so confusing to me. But, as of today, we’re adding Chi-Ling to our team in LA. So Southern California ladies, this is your lucky day.

Sponsored Post: Chi Ling Wang Photography & Giveaway | A Practical Wedding

Chi-Ling has been reading APW for a long time, so hilariously, when I asked her why she wanted to work with APW couples, her response was a very boggled, “Whaaaaa? Who wouldn’t want to work with APW couples, why are you even asking me that?” Or to quote her directly, “When Meg posed the question of why I want to photograph APW weddings, I thought it strange. The answer seems so obvious. Anyone who has read APW knows that the wedding grads, and the undergrads (I especially enjoy these since I am happily unengaged and unmarried to an awesome significant other), and the postgrads are thoughtful, intelligent, level-headed people. I tend to have lots in common with these kinds of people, and really enjoy their company. Although I have yet to check the market research, I am pretty sure having clients I thoroughly enjoy makes for a good business model.” Ha. Indeed. And having a wedding photographer that you thoroughly enjoy is also a pretty good wedding plan.

Sponsored Post: Chi Ling Wang Photography & Giveaway | A Practical Wedding

Chi-Ling Wang Photography is in the beginning of building what’s sure to be a red-hot wedding business, judging by her portfolio, which is full of really clean, modern, gorgeously set up images. And her use of light is so lovely. But since she’s still growing her business, her wedding coverage starts at $1120. In LA. I knooooowwwww. Affordable LA wedding photography is pretty rare, and I can tell with a glance at her portfolio that these rates are not going to last forever, so you should be running not walking to check her out.

Sponsored Post: Chi Ling Wang Photography & Giveaway | A Practical Wedding

Before we get to the giveaway (Yes! There is a giveaway coming!) I wanted to share a little bit with you about why Chi-Ling Wang does what she does. She told me,

“Wedding photography is the convergence of many of my interests. I have always been fascinated by love. I like reading about it. I like observing it. I like seeing how love is always different, and yet somehow always the same. Having the opportunity to witness and capture the union of two people is awesome. I have been photographing since I was a teenager. High school journalism is where I started. During the summer after my freshmen year of college, I was lucky enough to take a B&W film photography class. I loved it, and I thought it loved me back enough to where I considered not majoring in something as practical as business economics. As it turned out, my well-intentioned first generation Chinese immigrant parents did not understand my need to be more creative. Coincidentally, I actually really enjoyed supply and demand curves, and the whole debits and credits dance. So yes, I don’t think this is said much, but I also enjoy the business half of wedding photography. I am, after all, a nerd, one with a strong affinity for love stories.”

Hooray, right?

Sponsored Post: Chi Ling Wang Photography & Giveaway | A Practical Wedding

But best of all, Chi-Ling is offering a free engagement/portrait session to an APW couple. Her requirements are that you be madly in love with each other (because that’s kind of her thing) and that you leave a comment with your love story (pragmatic love stories included, says the girl who has one). The shoot will take place in the LA area, in December or January, so get ready to have your pictures taken NOW.

Sponsored Post: Chi Ling Wang Photography & Giveaway | A Practical Wedding

So go check out Chi-Ling Wang Photography, and leave a comment, LA ladies (and gents). You’ve got an engagement session to win.

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  • http://emilytakesphotos.com Emily

    Wooohooo! So excited to have an LA photog on board!

  • Mariana Preciado

    An LA photographer who is affordable and takes beautiful photographs… I am a little overwhelmed with happiness :)

    My partner Bob and I first met when I was being recruited to enroll in the Ph.D. program in social psychology at UCLA. I did enroll and now, 4 years later, Bob and I are both Ph.D. students in the program. I consider myself lucky for so many reasons, but the one stroke of luck for which I am so thankful is that Bob and I are able to share so much of our life together: we go into work together everyday, have lunch together everyday, and drive home from work together everyday. Additionally, our little dog Cooper, our child-equivalent and the subject of much adoration, also frequently comes into work with us. I can’t imagine not being able to see the two of them throughout the entire day. The fact that I am able to spend the entire day with the person (and dog) with whom I am wildly in love makes me one of the luckiest people around.

  • IrMcK

    Hooray for LA photogs! Husband and I live and work in DC, but we got hitched in LA. They say that you can find anything in LA, but during wedding planning, I can’t say I believed it. Husband researched every photographer listed by theKn*t.com as being in the LA area, and I was sad that there wasn’t a LA-based APW elf to make our long distance planning easier. Seeing sane, talented wedding elves come out of the woodwork in LA is magical, if too late for us.

    While we have some lovely shots and the guy we picked did a great job of the portrait pictures, but ultimately, we didn’t end up with quite what I wanted. Because I’m not used to settling, I’ve been considering a post-wedding photo shoot (NOT “Trash the Dress” – I really hate that phrase) to get some frame worthy photos of us in our wedding finery away from the altar where you can see our happy faces. (Because, yeah. All of them are on the altar. From far away. Sigh). I haven’t decided if this is crazy high-maintenance late onset wedding insanity or something that we will be glad we did, but you can bet your boots that any post-wedding photo shoot will ABSOLUTELY be an APW photographer. Hooray Hooray Hooray!

    • Sarah

      I just had to chime in, lady … you’re not the only one that feels this way. Crazy coincidence that it is, my husband and I also live/work in DC, and were married in the LA area! And while there are many many many photos of our backs (at the alter), and two lovely artsy ones (where you can barely see our faces), we’re pretty disappointed with out shots, too. And we, too, have been considering a post-wedding shoot. Can’t hurt that he owns his suit, can it? ::smiles::

  • Tracy

    It’s awesome to hear people cheer for LA, it gets such a bad wrap sometimes. The stereotypes may be true, but there is an awful like to like too. My story is that my partner and I are both from the rural northeast and met in college (in the NE) where he studied film. His dream was to give working in the film industry a try and with my blessing moved out here after graduating. I was a prejudiced-against-LA environmental science major who was sure I would just despise LA but, as planned, after finishing grad school I took the plunge and followed him. We’ve been happily living together here for 5 years now. We decided this year (as the big 3-0 approaches for us both) that we want to move back to the NE – where we both grew up, both our families still live, and where we want to be a family and put down roots. In light of this, he decided to surprise me utterly with a proposal in front of all our friends, and now we’re planning a wedding for next summer. So, we are leaving LA in February with lots of happy dreams for the future, but a fair amount of sadness for leaving LA, where we have been happy and where got to become adults together and cement our relationship.

  • Amy

    Hi, just stumbled across this website a little while ago as I’m just starting to plan for our wedding sometime next year! I guess step one is finding a photographer!?!

    My fiance and I met on valentines day 2009 and have been inseperable ever since. Went on our first 3 dates in less than 24 hours and we knew “this is it” right away! In fact, we are totally one of those obnoxious couples who argues over who loved who first! Nothing concrete so far on the wedding location, but probably LA. We just bought our first house in West LA in early November and he popped the question the day we got the keys to the new place!! We couldn’t be happier putting together our new home and new life together.

  • http://teaatelevensies.com ashbuhdash

    My heart leapt as I looked through these beautiful images, and reached the offer of an engagement session. Like everyone else, I am so giddy every time our city gets a new, super talented wedding elf!

    The future Mr and I have a love story that is inseparable from the story of our growing up: I fell for Ace during our fast and close friendship at the beginning of college — and fortunately the same was true for him! He was my first love, my first kiss, and the person who was by my side through every crisis, triumph, and laugh on the road from wide-eyed adolescence to adulthood.

    Amazingly, over these years of big life changes, we actually grew towards one another. So many times in life, we have to fight off negative influences — to not let them define or control us. I have been so fortunate to have an unflinchingly positive Ace by my side — a man who was not interested in molding me to fit his ideas (or anyone’s ideas, really), but instead provided constant, genuine reinforcement as I grew into who I was meant to be.

    Nowadays in the real world, we are pragmatically artistic types: I am a graphic designer with an illustration and painting background, and he is an accountant who moonlights as a singing, tap-dancing musical theater actor. (Betcha never met one of those before, right?? He really is the best!)

    Being pragmatically prone, and paying for our wedding under heaps of school loans, we’ve cut out many traditional items in favor of not wiping ourselves out financially (an engagement session was, sadly, one of the earliest areas to be trimmed.) But my aesthetically inclined heart still yearns for a few really lovely images that capture this time in life: for us, engagement has been a wonderfully sunlit period, full of hope, anticipation, and an outpouring of love. I would love to have a physical remembrance of this unexpected sweetness, our growing still closer together, and our preparation for a new chapter in life.

  • Erin

    YAY for socal photographers!!

    My fiance and I met in middle school. We were 8th grade sweethearts (my girlfriends and I “crashed” his roller-rink 14th birthday party in suburban MA)… until his father got a job in california and they moved away. We moved on with our lives, but we stayed in touch for ten years. He came back to visit while we were in high school, a college spring break and post-grad business trip landed me in his neck of the woods for brief periods of time. We confided in each other during difficult times, I think, because 3,000 miles seemed far aa world away, and we were always free to be honest and helpful to each other. One night, during an epic phone conversation, I consumed half a bottle of wine and was somehow coerced into purchasing a plane ticket to visit him in California. (It should be noted that I’d stubbornly refused his offers to visit me because I was afraid of getting involved with such a distance between us. I think we both knew this was it. I had no idea how to handle the enormity of what I felt). I visited, we spent 2 days in Sonoma County. We drove down the PCH from the bay area to LA… it was amazing. Somewhere between the Hearst Castle and San Louis Obispo I told him that if things worked out I would move to California. Eight months later, I did. Now, two years later, we are engaged, and as happy as ever.

    A few months ago we were talking to another couple at a winery and I said something along the lines of “I never would have guessed we’d be getting married!” and he said “I always knew.” I love our story.

    • Erin

      excuse my poor editing above. i meant to say “seemed a world away” but edited at some point to simply write “far away” — somehow I ended up with both! It’s like those hardy boys books where you can choose your own story (except less fun). Woopsie.

  • http://persephassa.com roxi

    i thought i would post something i wrote about how we met (in 2002!), when we both lived in hollywood. we’d love to take engagement photos when we’re visiting my folks in california (to do wedding planning, we’re getting married in ojai and live in the colorado rockies right now).

    ***

    i went to his house in little armenia and everything was in place. my stockings lined up evenly along the tops of my thighs, my skirt straight, hair smooth and lipstick neat. i took the time to darken my beauty spot and curl my lashes. he was watching for me from his arched upper-story window, sort of like the wicked witch peeking from the curtains in snow white’s scary adventure. i hopped out of the car and trotted around, waving up at him. he came down, tucking a lock of hair behind his ear. he had his backpack and we settled in the car for the long drive to santa barbara.

    we got there early so i took him to the mission santa barbara since he didn’t know anything about the mission or father sera. we walked through the rose garden and peered into the chapel. i told him how karana from island of the blue dolphins was buried in the cemetery behind the church but of course he’d never had to read this book either, since he grew up in minnesota, far away from california adobes and coastal adventures.

    at teja’s studio apartment we sat next to each other in the tiny bright kitchenette, eating shortbread, strawberries and drinking tea. her parrot mumbled along with the various conversations circulating the room; a boy meowed at teja and she asked if there were any cats she needed to drown. i shyly poured the cream into his tea and kept my hands wound in the fabric of my skirt, so satisfied to be sitting next to him in the sunny afternoon. later, drinking pegus at david’s house, he lounged in a chair discussing songs: ohia and i made faces at my friends, mouthing the words he’s so cute and i like him so much. shannon and david giggled and he glanced over. we drove home late and he was sleepish, his head pressed against the window, madonna’s dick tracy album on the stereo. i was stopped by highway patrol for “weaving” and they shined a light in my eyes next to a field of asparagus.

    we got back to hollywood and he told me which streets to turn on. i pulled up in front of his house and i didn’t want you to go or for anything to ever end. it seemed like he wouldslip away, head back to his apartment and me to mine. with nothing said. i leaned into him with my hand cupped around his ear and whispered i have a crush on you. he looked at me, in my funny round glasses and red curly hair and asked should i like to come up. yes oh yes i said. we took the rickety little elevator with the sliding iron door up to his apartment. he were embarrassed because he didn’t really have any furniture besides a bookcase and a desk. his bed was a twin pushed up against the wall. i took off my skirt and you asked me what my petticoat was. i was wearing a black garter belt and black stockings. we clung to each other on his narrow bed, sleepily kissing before nodding off to dreams. when we woke in the morning it was raining. i think i loved him right away but i was quiet for awhile, dancing around him with neat little footsteps like a hunter in a wood filled with rabbits.

    • http://www.emlovesben.com emilyrose

      this is really, really beautiful.

      also: OMG YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED IN OJAI?! me too.

  • http://chilingwang.com chilingwang

    So many awesome stories! Thank you all for your kind words.

    Since I am already going to have an impossible time selecting a winner, I am going to set a deadline for comment submission. 12 noon PST Wednesday December 8, 2010 (tomorrow) seems fair.

    Oh, and while we’re on the topic of LA, I never feel too bad for wanting to live in some of the most temperate weather the world has to offer. Yes, the traffic is at times insufferable, and yes, some of the characters are a bit too “interesting,” but I am proud to call LA home.

  • http://october12-thedayafter.blogspot.com/ October12

    We sat next to each other on a plane. He was heading for a funeral and I was headed to a job shadow. We talked for the whole flight, 3.5 hours, and that felt huge to me. My divorce had been very recently finalized and he was fresh out of a bad breakup. He gave me his card, I hoped for a hug, but settled for a handshake. I took the information on the card and looked up the photos from his trip to Seoul the year before. His photographs struck a chord and made me want to know the maker. Three weeks after the plane ride, I hesitantly emailed him with my praise and thanks, he suggested we get together. I agreed, but only as friends, RIGHT? He wrote me back in the affirmative, but should we happen to fall in love along the way, so be it. That night was a culinary safari and the first of many firsts for us.

    There have been more culinary safaris, a trip to London (where he proposed in The Globe Theatre), and many, many other adventures. He’s taught me what he knows about photography and we learn together in the kitchen everyday. The most mundane is a kick in the pants when we’re together.

    Almost seven years later, here we are. Married for two years, living in LA and trying to make the most of it. Much has happened since our wedding, with even more on the horizon. I think the changes are visible on our faces (in a good way) and I would love to have some awesome photos of us that aren’t our wedding photos. I love our wedding photos, but it would be great to freeze our family for a moment as we are now, before we bring another into the fold.

  • Rachel

    He lives in LA, I live in NYC, we met in Kansas City on a trip to eat BBQ. Neither of us had expected anything more than a weekend of intense eating. At our first stop on the tour, I showed up a bit later than he and his friends did, and while I was waiting in line to order he offered me an onion ring through the metalwork separating the dining area from the shop (ever been to Oklahoma Joe’s? best BBQ you’ll ever eat in a gas station). He drove me around for the rest of the weekend, and it went from there… We like to joke that we went from an onion ring to a diamond ring, although it took us a bit of traveling back and forth to get there. We’ve got a date set for 2012 in Pasadena (we plan to be based in NY by then, but figure California is equally inconvenient for his family from Hawaii and mine from NJ/NY).

    • Chelsea

      I love this. I hope there will be BBQ and onion rings at the wedding!

  • Mary

    I met Charles through mutual friends while I was skating with the L.A. Derby Dolls. The night we met was … blurry. (I may have gotten thouroughly trashed. A side effect at the time of being a derby girl.) A few days later when I got a voicemail from a man I didn’t remember, I called my friend and asked if she remembered a Charles. She said, “Oh my God! He’s your future husband! You have to call him!” She sent me a photo she took of us. He was cute. I called him. We had two lovely dates … and then I cut him loose to date someone else. (Dumb, dumb girl.)

    Almost a year later, we ran into each other at a roller derby bout. He had a date. I was bummed. I still had his number in my phone and had been trying to find the courage to call him again. (“Hey, remember me? That girl who dumped you? Yeah, well, I’m single again! Want to go out?”) We started chatting and discovered we were going to the same Halloween party – dressed as the same thing (devils.) We met up at the party (both hoping the other wouldn’t bring a date – we didn’t) … and the rest is history. We like to believe in second chances. I also like to believe that the previous 8 years as a single girl in L.A. made me EARN him. Because I wouldn’t have appreciated a warm, kind, fun, hilarious, handsome, smart and nice man until I had spent some time with … the opposite of that.

    He proposed on the 4-year anniversary of that Halloween party, right after midnight. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

  • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

    This is such a generous offer! It’s wonderful to see practical vendors in our area. We are in need of an engagement session.

    My fiance was my first love. I remember exactly what I was wearing when I first saw him. I had on a peach turtleneck cashmere sweater and a wool plaid skirt. My hair was ’80s short, and I was an awkward 14 year old high school freshman. Tony was short, with dark soft hair and bold green eyes with the longest lashes I had ever seen. He was a handsome 17 year old senior from another school, and he was walking toward me with a big confident smile on his face. I turned my head to see if anyone else was walking up behind me, but he was smiling at me.

    We talked for a while; he used a terrible, cheesy pick-up line he’d learned from watching the movie Adventures in Babysitting. I recognized it and knew he wasn’t quite as confident as he wanted me to think he was. After the elections, I searched the audience for him, but I couldn’t find him, so I walked slowly back to the school bus, watching the crowds for him all the while.

    On the way home from our first date, a long freight train stopped the car for several minutes. I joked that he had planned it in order to steal a kiss, like running out of gas. Neither of us wanted to go home, and I leaned in and kissed him when he walked me to my door. I wanted to kiss him forever.

    We dated exclusively for one and a half years before we broke up because of a misunderstanding exacerbated by our immaturity and the external influences of parents and jealous friends, as so many young couples do. We both married.

    Twenty years after we lost one another, I was in the midst of an ugly separation from my ex when I saw Tony’s name on a Facebook friend’s friend list. I had seen this profile before, but I was unsure if it was really him because the picture was nondescript (a robot costume), and he was going by his first name, but when I had known him, he used a nickname of his middle name. This time there was a new picture — it was my Tony at his 20-year high school reunion with his senior portrait on the ID card around his neck!

    We began to correspond by email — trepiditious at first, getting to know one another again. After several weeks of exchanging emails, I im’d him one night. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to talk to me directly, and I was very nervous about sending that first post, but we had a long and beautiful conversation — mostly, we talked about old times and what had happened, why we broke up, where we both ended up.

    Eventually, we decided to meet in person. We met at a public park, during lunch time. We both felt the need to see if what we were feeling was real or simply nostalgia. I arrived first, and wandered up and down the parking lot waiting for Tony. As soon as we walked up to each other, we hugged, and I held his hand and could not let go. We sat on a bench with our foreheads pressed together and stared into each other’s eyes for the longest time. I had forgotten that we used to do that all the time as kids. I can still feel the indent on his forehead where mine fits. We only stopped talking long enough to kiss. He smelled the same, his lips felt the same, my hand in his was the same. We stayed at the park too long.

  • http://chilingwang.com chilingwang

    So many awesome stories! Thank you all for your kind words.

    Selecting will be impossible, going to defer to the wonderful APW team.

    Oh, and while we’re on the topic of LA, I never feel too bad for wanting to live in some of the most temperate weather the world has to offer. Yes, the traffic is at times insufferable, and yes, some of the characters are a bit too “interesting,” but I am proud to call LA home.

  • Mariela’s Edward Ryan

    Hi Chi-Ling. My name is Edward Ryan and I’m writing this for my girlfriend Mariela. She’s a regular here on APW, and maybe almost a little bit obsessed with it. She mentioned this contest this afternoon and I know she’s not entering because she hasn’t won a contest since she was 12, and she’s convinced that she has terrible luck. The woman’s been hinting that she would love a couples photography session as a gift for her last 3 birthdays and the last 2 Christmas’, but it’s just not in the budget and I figured, what better way to show her that I love her than enter our story.
    After reading all the stories above, it’s clear everyone has a love story worth rewarding, and I’m sure that ours is no different. I know that your task is a tough one, but feel joyful that whoever you pick will surely be undoubtedly deserving and grateful.

    Mariela and I met about 10 days into our freshman year of college in San Francisco. The first night we met, we spent the entire night making a blanket fort (one of our favorite activities) in the community room in our dorm, sharing our life stories and secrets (looking back, she did most of the talking…she’s a little chatty…). I can’t think of a crazier and more opposite woman to have fallen in love with. I’m a self proclaimed nerd and she is this wonderfully girly, independent and outgoing woman. I find time to really ponder things and she is the most rash decision maker I’ve ever met (driving with her is certainly both dangerous and an adventure). I walk fast so as to get from point A to point B without hesitation, and she loves to stroll, I mean really take her time and observe the scenery as she walks. She is a fiery and passionate Latina and I am…not. We don’t make sense, but I can’t even begin to tell you how many ways my life is better because she’s been in it. Almost 4 years later, here we are, still the silliest couple I know and so in love. I’m one semester away from graduating and she has fearlessly made a complete 180 from her original idea to major in Business/Economics and moved back to LA to regroup and start anew. We’ve spent the last 7 months splitting weekends between our respective homes and (being honest) it’s been tough, but we know that luck and good fortune only come to those willing to work for it. As we’re looking ahead at the steps that are ours to take (engagement, marriage…growing up?) I think we’re both nervous, and anxious (maybe me more than her), but gosh are we excited…

    I really wanted to enter into this contest because I love the woman, and she deserves to know that. We have, approximately, 20 pictures together after 4 years. Which is just absurd. And she’s been wanting this for a while… We’re not engaged yet so we wouldn’t qualify for an engagement session, and I don’t know if a “portrait” is what we want. When she mentioned this post today she talked about a picture with a little boy splashing around, and a picture that portrays as much joy and love as that shot, I don’t know that we could ever ask for more…

    Mariela, I think the magic behind us is that even in the past 4 years we’ve changed and grown, but we’ve managed to grow closer together. We are young and have so much left to live, but I know that I can face everything life has yet to show me, because I have you by my side. Truthfully, I thank God every day to have found the love of my life so young.
    I’ll see you next week my love,
    Edward Ryan
    “Mariela’s hopeful boyfriend”

    • http://www.emlovesben.com emilyrose

      GAH who else is tearing up right now?!

  • http://www.emlovesben.com emilyrose

    Chi-Ling!

    If this post had come just about a month sooner, I would have been all over it – I’m living in LA and had an awful time finding a local photographer, so we ended up booking Leah&Mark with their APW discount (and man, they are seriously awesome, but still not local).

    BUT I am tooootally gonna start sending friends your way, girl! Congrats and best of luck starting your business!

    • http://www.chilingwang.com chilingwang

      Oh, Leah and Mark are great. A few months ago, I secretly wanted to put my LA life on hold and move to be one of their interns.

      So happy that you found photographers you love. And thank you for spreading the word.

  • Shotgun Shirley

    I can’t believe how few comments there are! (Or how late to the party I am… this week has been INsane.) Chi-Ling, your work is AMAZING, and you are going to make some lucky LUCKY couple oh so happy!!

    My beloved fiance/baby daddy and I met through mutual friends and a random series of events, all culminating with a Silverlake area hang out which I couldn’t attend, but for which I had volunteered myself as DD. After hosting a dinner party class reunion, I picked up two good friends from out of town and one random (to me) guy from a Ralph’s parking lot (the left the bar to get a bottle for my house – what good guests!).

    I didn’t think he was that cute, but the four of us hung out super late, drinking whiskey, smoking hookah and watching Venture Bros. We got all each others jokes and references, he turned out to live 15 minutes away. I thought to myself, “we are going to be friends.” And he cute-ed up.

    By the end of the night, I wanted to cuddle. We all slept together in my giant bed and I kept waking up and inching closer to him to cuddle… but he kept inching away. When I woke up for real and got up, I noticed that his butt was hanging half off the bed! He didn’t realize I was trying for affection, and was being a gentleman at his own expense. He told me he had a crush on me and was going to have to get my number so he could take me on a date. We couldn’t wait until the official date, and hung out together before! Although we both initially shied away from an R-word, since we gave in we’ve been practically inseparable.

    After we got engaged and found out we were expecting, we pushed our wedding up 8 months and have been slashing the budget left and right. I would love to have some professional, gorgeous, LA-centric images like these to capture us in these hectic, pregnant, stressful, but above all loving times.

  • Vaishnavi

    This give-away has seriously perfect timing. I was just telling my fiancé that we need to schedule an engagement photoshoot in LA in January and then I saw this!!
    Our love story is one of a kind and it originated in an unusual place called “The Facebook.” This was back in the day when The Facebook was a safe place that only college students had access to, and I was a freshman procrastinating studying for an exam. I searched for and friended everyone with the same unusual last name that I have, and one of the people who came up with a guy with a crazy picture and a super long name (Rohit Subramaniam Venkatasubban) whose middle name had a similar spelling to my last name. He then wrote me back and asked me “are you my aunt’s niece?” At first I thought he was crazy, but then realized that our aunt (my mom’s younger sister) and uncle (his dad’s younger brother) were actually married! We laughed at what a small world it was and I thought that was the end of it, but we kept in touch sporadically. At the time, he lived in Kansas and I lived in Minnesota.
    As college continued we ended up having conversations on instant messenger and on the phone lasting until 3 or 4 am almost every night. We shared our deepest secrets and every aspect of our lives because for some reason, we both felt immensely comfortable with each other. I suppose we relied on the anonymity of the internet and the fact that we had never met and could end the friendship if it ever got out of hand. At the height of our college days, these conversations were sometimes sober and sometimes not. They continued for over a year, and I think that both of us were gradually starting to realize that we were really connecting on a deep level. One late night, probably after he had returned from the bars, he called me and told me he had something really important to tell me. He said, “I think you may be the one.” At the time, I was dating another guy and had no idea what he was talking about. I replied, “the one what?” He responded, “like, the one, the one for me.” I stumbled through the rest of that conversation and ran out after to tell to my friends and see what they though. The crazy thing was that this conversation didn’t change anything in our relationship; we continued talking just like normal even afterwards.
    As the summer of 2007 came to a close, my previous relationship ended, and Rohit and I ended up talking for hours every night. I knew I was falling hard for him and everything just felt crazily out of control. Finally, we decided that we had to meet, so he booked his ticket to come visit me for a weekend in Minneapolis for the first time ever! The day I went to go pick him up from the airport, I was a wreck! I was going to meet the person that I thought very well could be my soul mate for the first time! On the way to the airport, I actually screamed in my car as loud as I could just to get some of my nerves out. When I finally pulled up curbside and spotted him waiting for me, we locked eyes and I knew that was it. Here was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. That moment was the beginning of our forever together. For the next two years we had crazy weekends of sneaking around and visiting each other, driving between Kansas and Minnesota all alone. Our friends all thought we had gone insane, but we did everything we could to be together as much as possible. We had the luxury of spending our summers together in Minneapolis when he got an internship, and we spent that time “growing up” together and getting a taste of our future together.
    Everything came full circle on Thanksgiving weekend of 2010, when I went to pick him up from the airport. Rohit was coming to spend the long weekend with my family. Three and a half years before, we had first fallen in love with each other at that very same airport. It was only fitting when he got down on one knee, in the desolate terminal at 1 am, and asked me to marry him. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this amazing person!

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