They first met in middle school. Natalie’s sister was going on her first date and needed a friend to go with her. After some endless begging, Natalie finally agreed, not even thinking twice about the promise that there would be another boy there for her. They all felt incredibly shy which made the night awkward (like any middle school date ends up being.)
Brad went on to high school and formed a new group of friends. By the time Natalie joined him there a year later they didn’t think much of one another. A quick hello in the halls was all they shared during those three years. Brad graduated, joined the Marines, and left Long Beach to be stationed in Hawaii. They both went on to date other people, and at the most occasionally checking in to say hello on Facebook.
Fast forward a few years. Brad’s time in Hawaii had come to an end and he decided to move back to Long Beach. On one of his first nights back, he joined some friends at a house party and spotted Natalie across the room. He leaned over and said, “I am going to marry that girl someday.” Natalie, on the other hand, had nothing to do with him that night. She politely smiled and said hello, while Brad was dreaming up ways to pursue her. A couple of weeks later he messaged her on Facebook asking her out to drinks, which she politely declined. She barely knew him and was currently dating someone else. But he didn’t stop there. The requests for a meal together or even a simple drink kept coming and she was running out of excuses.
Finally she decided to give Brad a chance. She had plans to go out with some girlfriends and told him he could come along if he wanted. Natalie decided that if he could thrive among a group of four of her best friends then maybe she would consider dating him. They spent the night laughing together and the time passed quickly. As they were leaving, her friends were all incredibly impressed. He lingered alongside her as the girls loaded into their car, and finally gave her a kiss. That was June 4, 2010 a date that is ingrained into his memory, because that was the day that he first kissed the girl he plans on marrying. A couple of days later they had their first official date and the rest, as they say, is history.
For Natalie and Brad’s engagement session we took a little hike through a Seal Beach nature preserve. These two are truly the sweetest couple and I am so happy to not only be their wedding photographer but a new friend! Here are just a few favorites from our afternoon together: