Engagement Shoot: Future Mr & Mrs Sahota

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Angela & Josh

22nd December 2019 | Temple de l’Amour (Temple of Love) in Château de Versailles, France

Instagram: @_pinaymestiza @elkunino | Photos: Frederic Lipzyc

Angela and Josh were engaged at the Temple de l’Amour (Temple of Love) in Château de Versailles, France back in 2019. The shoot was a complete surprise for Angela, as Josh had arranged everything secretly in preparation for his romantic proposal (it had always been Angelas dream to get engaged in Versailles!). The soon to be Mr and Mrs Sahota are due to be wed in September 2021, followed by a reception with all of their loved ones in 2022. Angela tell us all about her dream proposal story... 

Why did you decide to have a pre-wedding shoot? 

It was a total surprise for me! Josh organised a surprise photoshoot with discreet pre-proposal shots, in Versailles - through our hotel’s wonderful concierge (Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace Versailles). I believe it is also a great way to ‘tell a story’ and a pre-wedding photoshoot does give you both an opportunity to prepare for your wedding day.

How did you meet and how long have you been together? 

We met at my former workplace (which is where Josh still works now) and were (by chance!) placed in the same team – we connected immediately! Josh and I have been together for over 5 years now.

Tell us your proposal story: 

We were staying in Paris City Centre for a festive city break and had booked a short stay in Versailles (somewhere I had always wanted to visit with Josh, as we both appreciate grande landscaping gardens, architecture, romance and historical art).  

Prior to the driver collecting us from our hotel in the morning after breakfast, I decided to take ‘motion sickness’ tablets which I had recently purchased from a nearby Parisian chemist. I felt very drowsy from taking them and slept throughout the entire car journey.  Upon arrival, we checked-in to the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace (Versailles) and our room was readily available almost straight away. Once we had arrived into our room, I decided to take a nap but did not want to ruin or redo my eye make-up, so I sat upright with my eyes closed, resting on my hand. (My nap must have lasted for just under an hour, as I messaged my best friends on WhatsApp & complained how tired/drowsy I felt!)

After waking up, Josh announced it was time to go on a walk for fresh air (we do this often, but I still felt very drowsy/tired & went along with it). So we left our hotel and started walking towards the Gardens of Versailles. Within 5 minutes, I started to excessively yawn again and it was cold. Josh then led us to an entry office/booth and presented some paperwork which I had never seen before (usually, I would question this but I was too tired to care!). 

We then entered the French Gardens of the Petit Trianon within the Palace of Versailles and to my surprise, Josh led us to the Temple de l’Amour (the Love Monument)! I could not stop yawning and once we had arrived underneath the circular temple, Josh closely pointed out the central replica Bouchardon’s Cupid fashioning his bow from Hercules’ club (1750) statue, which I started to observe.

After a few minutes of admiring the statue, I turned my head to my left to look at Josh, to discover he was on one knee with my engagement ring box, ready to hold my left hand. I burst out into (ugly) tears of shock & joy and out of nowhere, a photographer started taking photographs of us. After hugging Josh once I had accepted his proposal, he revealed we now have a photoshoot session with Frederic and that he had been following us from a distance all along, since leaving the hotel! Josh also later revealed the paperwork which I had seen earlier, were entry tickets for the gardens which were kindly arranged through our hotel’s concierge in secret!

I was completely surprised and had to stop myself from crying with happiness even more, as I was made aware of our photoshoot. I feel ever so lucky and the moment was truly magical & well captured.

As soon as we had arrived back into our hotel lobby, several hotel staff congratulated us and we then arrived back into our room with rose petals, champagne and chocolates. Josh also revealed to me that when I had taken a nap earlier, he sneakily met our photographer in the lobby with concierge staff, to quickly discuss a plan of action for his proposal to me.

Why did you choose the shoot location:  

Josh remembered that I once said to him it would be a dream to have a proposal in Versailles, but I wasn’t sure if it would ever be possible due to permissions that are required.

Did you find the shoot helpful for helping you feel more prepared for the wedding day? 

Yes, especially as I was caught off-guard! I completely felt at ease after I had stopped crying and it was definitely fun having a photoshoot with my fiancé. 

Did you feel nervous behind the camera? 

Our photographer was great and had so much energy, so I felt comfortable and at ease.

Would you recommend that other couples have an engagement shoot or do you feel it is not necessary?  

It is honestly such a lovely surprise to capture your proposal ‘in the moment’, so if you are able to plan or schedule this in your proposal plans, then yes – it is certainly a wonderful way to memorise your special day. Months prior to our engagement, I did say to Josh I would love an engagement shoot.

Did your photographer give you any tips before the shoot? 

Not to me directly, but he gave Josh a few tips. During the photoshoot, the photographer directed us into taking our first professional photoshoot together.

What advice would you give to other couples who do plan to have a pre-wedding shoot? 

Choose a location you both love and somewhere which has a few secluded locations. Make sure you obtain any required permission for photography to take place and carefully select the right time of day for whichever daylight mode you would prefer. And from Josh’s experience, communication with the photographer is crucial!

What is your favourite photo from the shoot? 

Although I do not look great, the photo of me crying with shock, the moment I realise Josh was down on one knee! 

Were there any stand out moments in the shoot? 

The fact I did not realise a photographer was following us was a bonus! I did not notice him and because there were a few photographers around taking shots of the gardens, I did not question anyone. Also, there were moments we had the entire gardens to ourselves, which was lovely. And public visitors were very considerate too!

Tell us about your wedding plans...

Originally, our dual wedding reception was set to take place hours after our beautiful Sikh marriage ceremony on day 2 of our wedding weekend. However, we have since decided to postpone this element for another year now due to the global pandemic. We jointly chose to embrace both of our cultures - I am half Filipino and Josh is Punjabi Indian, so we are trying to incorporate our heritages into our celebrations. We both love the colour gold and we have an eye for detail, so this will be embedded into our big elegant wedding reception, located within a pristine modern hotel.

Do you plan to incorporate any of the photos into your wedding? 

We have already included one of our engagement photographs into our digital ‘Save The Date’ card we issued early last year. We will most likely showcase the engagement photoshoot on the main display within our ballroom.

What are you most looking forward to about the wedding date? 

Finally being married to the love of my life, my life partner and travelling companion (all-in-one), and extending our family beyond.

What has been your favourite part of wedding planning so far? 

Sharing ideas together and figuring out what we both want, has brought us closer together. I loved creating our wedding website from scratch! Speaking with our officiant together has also been a significant part of our engagement journey. The food tasting sessions have been fun and the overall planning/research has been joyful! My friends & family know how much I love to plan as I find it so therapeutic. 

Photography by Frederic Lipzyc | live-photographe.com | Instagram: @frederic_lipzyc_photos

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