Ariele and Shan met on Facebook through mutual friends. At the time Shan was playing basketball overseas so they weren't able to immediately meet. However, he was finally able to come back to the states during Christmas time. During this time Ariele and Shan knew they wanted to take advantage of this opportunity so they met in Houston where they instantly connected!
Bride to Be: Ariele K Johsnon - Sales & Marketing Professional
Groom to Be: Shan Foster - YWCA Program Director
Engagement Session Location: City Park and the French Quarter in New Orleans, LA
Wedding Date: 09/05/2015
Wedding Location: Renaissance Pere Marquette in New Orleans, LA
Nearing the 1-year mark of our relationship, Shan planned a surprise proposal on Christmas Day 2013. We were having family dinner and opening gifts with my family in Memphis, TN when he sent me on a wild goose chase for a "surprise gift". When I returned back to the house he gathered my immediate family and professed his love for me and desire for us to be married. Of course I said yes!
The Engagement Session
We really wanted our engagement photos to be the precursor to our NOLA nuptials. We selected Quinn of With Love, Quinntography due to her photo-journalistic style and her local perspective. We took photos that truly captured the essence of the city from a local's viewpoint. New Orleans is such a alluring city and we wanted to showcase not only our love for each other, but also our love for the city that we both were raised in. Due to the humidity in summer there we had a very early (break of dawn) engagement session, but were able to capture great photos without the worry of tourist traffic.
What did you do on your first date?
Although our opinions differ on when we had our first "official" date, we both agree it happened when he visited me in Houston from Belgium. I picked him up from the airport and we went to Pappadeaux's for a very late dinner. It was very casual and we spent much more time talking than we did actually eating. I took him out on the town to some of my favorite local bars and by the end of the night I think we both knew that we wanted a long=term relationship with each other.
How is the wedding planning coming along?
Wedding planning has really been stress free. Although it is a little difficult to plan a destination wedding, our wedding planner Fresh of Elle R. Jae Events in New Orleans has been wonderful at facilitating important meetings and dealing with local vendors on our behalf. Since we're only a few short months away we are most looking forward to our honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
What are you looking forward to the most during your wedding?
We are most looking forward to providing a wonderful experience for many of our friends who will be visiting New Orleans for the first time. We were very purposeful in choosing cuisine, decor, and other elements that will really give our guests a true feel for New Orleans while also combining our sense of style as a couple. We can't wait to have all of our closest friends and family in the city that we love to celebrate with us!