ENGAGEMENT | American Meets South African in Illinois Engagement | Stephanie Bartman Photography

These two love birds meet for the first time in the Peoria International Airport in Illinois after over a year of talking online.  Nicholas was in Illinois and Sabrina is originally from South Africa but lived in New Zealand. They decided to make their engagement session about their two home towns and I just love it so much!

Sabrina & Nicholas

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Tell us about your engagement session: Nicholas and I chose to incorporate a huge part of our relationship into our engagement photos, Sabrina is from South Africa, but lives in New Zealand and Nicholas is from USA, we have had a long distance relationship for over 2 years and it has shaped our relationship through its joys and trials. We met with over 8000 miles between us and have finally reached the end of the distance, but the distance is where our story begins. We chose to represent that with our countries flags, while my kiwi friends back in New Zealand wondered why I did not use the New Zealand flag, I assured them we would for the wedding photos, but I was sticking to my home roots this time. We chose Donovan park as it reminded us most of the natural beauty of New Zealand in the midwest of the United States! Tell us about your first meeting: Our first meeting was at Peoria International Airport after a year of talking online! I was a nervous wreck and I was still in the bathroom after the whole flight had unloaded and all passengers had passed through security. He sat there, just him and one other person, patiently waiting for me. It was so easy and calming     once I did go over to him. He says all he wanted to do was finally give me a kiss (we had prior decided not to kiss at the airport) as soon as we reached the car, he pulled me in and gave me a kiss, packed my bags into the car and off we went. I think we were both stunned and relieved at the same time. It was amazing. Tell us about your First Date: It happened to be 1 year to the day when we started talking. He bought me a blue peplum dress (still his favorite dress for me to wear) and took me to a restaurant called Connections. It is a lovely place, looks like you’re somewhere in France or in a movie set in France. I got a single white rose and flower pressed earnings. He sure did spoil me rotten that day. Tell us about your First Kiss: Well that was at Peoria International Airport the first day we met! Tell us about the proposal: Nicholas came to visit me in New Zealand in March 2017, he knew I had planned a little weekend away from the city I live in, so he planned a evening walk through the redwood forrest (I hadn’t even known this place existed) as we were walking he started telling me about the history of the redwood trees. He explained that they were thousands of years old right about the time I had stopped to take photos of the sun setting between these huge redwood trees, he got down on one knee and said “I would like to spend thousands and thousands of years with you, will you marry me” I of course said yes and was pretty shocked and excited all in one for the rest of the night. He planned a dinner too, but we sat and talked and talked till we realized it was 10.30pm so we had burgers and chips at a bar nearby. It was perfect!

Vendor Love – Photography: Stephanie Bartman Photography |  Venue: Donovon Park

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Shafonne Myers is a certified wedding and event planner who longed for bridal inspiration that looked like her. She has created a website and magazine that brings bridal inspiration to plus size brides. She does speaking engagements educating the world about plus size brides and self confidence.
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