Botanical Gardens Engagement Session in Altadena, CA

“Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate…” – Sonnet 18, by William Shakespeare

It is a blessing to know that the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with is also your best friend! Niketa and Donovan are the epitome of a strong God-centered foundation as they relied on God to continue their path to I do. Niketa and Donovan met at a play where they were both the leads. Main leads in the play and now in their life as soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs.

Donovan sought the opportunity to propose during Niketa’s birthday weekend. Niketa was speaking at an alumni event at UC Santa Cruz. After checking into the hotel, they decided to take a stroll down the Natural Bridges State Beach. The bridges on the water set for a perfect backdrop for this romantic proposal. As Niketa was snapping a few pictures, Donovan took a chance to get on his knees and proposed. Although she was unbelievably shocked, she managed to say YES!

Niketa shares, “We have so much in common and we love to talk to each other, sounds so simple but so important to be able to enjoy talking to your best friend who you are going to spend the rest of your life with.” Their botanical garden engagement session was just as beautiful. Photographed in Altadena, CA at The Botanical Gardens where Ira Davis from Yamean Studios captured every loving, and warming embrace.

Niketa and Donovan will marry on February at the Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center in Camarillo, CA. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Bride: Niketa Calame

Groom: Donovan Harris

Wedding Date: 02/15/2015

Tell us about how you met and also all about the proposal

We met in a play in 2010. We were both leads in the play and bonded quickly as friends. He blended with my family immediately. When I look back at family albums he was in quite a few pictures from thanksgiving to family birthday parties. It wasn't until a year later that we started dating. We both waited on God to make the move and our strong friendship foundation has been the best gift to our love. We were engaged in November 2013 at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, CA. It was during my birthday weekend at an alumni event I was speaking at for UC Santa Cruz. After we checked in the hotel he took me to the beautiful beach that has huge rock formations on the water that form bridges. I was taking pictures and when I turned around he was on his knees with the ring. I was in shock, of course I said yes and by time we headed to the car, the ugly cry started. We have so much in common and we love to talk to each other, sounds so simple but so important to be able to enjoy talking to your best friend who you are going to spend the rest of your life with. He is a God fearing man and we are so excited to head down that path to I DO!

What did you do on your first date?

We went out to Lucilles which is a bbq restaurant out in the south bay. He was so cute it took him a while to officially ask me out on a date. We had a nice time and that is when I realized that this was more than a little innocent friendship, more than just an attraction going on. Because we had established such a strong friendship first that's exactly how our first date felt like. It felt like my best friend was taking me out for a night on the town only we were looking at each other a little differently.

What's your favorite thing to do as a couple?

We love to eat. We love to travel up and down the CA coast and try new restaurants. We have traveled to Solvang for a day trip, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Palm Springs, Catalina Island etc.. all in the name of trying out new restaurants. Since we are both actors we love to go to the theater from plays to musicals to live music shows. Even though we are in LA people would be surprised to hear that we actually have a lot of good theater in LA.

The engagement session...

I used to have this recurring dream where I was in this big southern house in the summer with a willow tree in the front. There was a bald tall man with no face standing in the door way looking at me, while I read a book on the couch in the living room. The male figure didn't say anything but the look and feel of the dream was him saying look at my woman. Fast forward 20 years later and my southern gentleman from South Carolina courts me and now I am going to be his wife. So in honor of that dream our wedding and engagement shoot has a southern chic theme. We shot our engagement session with Ira Davis of Yamean studios at The Botanical Gardens in Altadena California.

Ira Davis shoots with perfection. We felt like we were just on a private date and Ira captured the whole day along with our personalities and love for each other. So grateful for his eye and talent.

How has wedding planning been so far?

Planning for the wedding has been so exciting. I have planned big events before but this is so personal and so many little details that it can get overwhelming. We are blessed with a very supportive wedding party and an even more supportive family. Said yes to the dress a few months ago and that made it feel even more real when I was standing in the mirror looking at myself in my dress and veil. I started crying and I knew that was the dress and I was reminding in an intense way that I was soon to become Mrs. Harris. Donovan has been very involved in the planning process which is a blessing. It's teaching us how to plan and save and budget together on our engagement road to marriage.

Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day.

Walking down the aisle and seeing his face Sunday morning and then us both saying I DO!


  1. Lover_ly

    Loving the fun and funky print of her dress! There’s so much natural beauty in these pictures; this couple is sure to cherish them forever!

  2. Latrecia

    Such a beautiful couple! Inspired by your story. God bless you both!


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