We love all types of love stories but there is something so pure about a high school sweetheart kind of love, which is exactly what DJ + Michael have. They starred in our “Freshly Squeezed” styled shoot and we knew right off the bat how close and perfect for each other they are! Read more about their love story and see brand new pictures of these two lovebirds!

Plus, see the digital edition below!

Real Weddings Magazine: What made you want to model for this photo shoot?

DJ: I used to work at Halo Salon and Day Spa and the owner, Alexis, actually encouraged me to apply! When Wendy reached out to me I knew I had to say yes because this was going to be so much fun and a great experience for Michael and me!

RW: Tell us about your modeling experience. What was your favorite part of the day? How did you feel afterwards?

DJ: This day was so fun! It was so cool to see the wedding put together and I loved the theme! Michael was very excited to have to do “long kisses” so we could get good kissing photos! We were both very tired and hot afterwards but didn’t mind because we had so much fun!

RW: How was modeling with your significant other?

DJ: I have to say that I was quite surprised with how much fun Michael was having! I think having Michael there with me the whole day made me feel way more comfortable and it was cool to see him get into taking photos. Michael says it was odd seeing me in wedding dresses before the wedding and he had to stop himself from crying a few times, but he’s excited to see me in my actual wedding dress.

RW: What was your favorite part of the shoot? Did you relate to the concept/theme?

DJ: Loved the theme! It was funny because we had an inside joke in high school about lemons, so it was really funny to us that lemons were involved. Loved the whole theme though, all of the little details were to die for and really pulled everything together. I loved that the black wedding dress matched the lace on the tables; I might have to borrow that idea for my own wedding. Also, digged that the drinks and cookies matched the theme, that’s an element I never would have thought of! Michael is very excited to show people the magazine and share this experience in the future with potential kiddos!

Natacha Jolene Photography and Film Freshly Squeezed Woodland Wedding as seen in Real Weddings Magazine

Natacha Jolene Photography and Film Freshly Squeezed Woodland Wedding as seen in Real Weddings Magazine

RW: Tell us about your love story. How did you meet? What was the proposal like?

DJ: Michael and I met in high school. When you first ask us this question, Michael usually needs to let you know that he was friend zoned for two years and proudly broke out of it, haha! We were officially dating at the end of sophomore year/beginning of junior year. It felt like we knew each other for way longer than we did. He was my best friend, gaming buddy and a big goofball. He was never the typical “smooth” or “suave” guy and whenever he tried to be, it usually backfired on him. That definitely showed during the proposal. He planned a big surprise vacation on our six-year anniversary. I thought we were going to L.A. to try all of the foods you see on Instagram and Facebook when in reality he had booked a cruise to Mexico. He was going to propose the first night over dinner, but the waiter kind of spoiled the moment. When asking us why we were on the cruise, Michael replied, “Our 6-year anniversary, it’s her lucky number,” only to have the waiter say, “Oh, on your profile it says you’re celebrating an engagement.” Poor Michael tried his best to recover but it wasn’t working. I had turned bright red and couldn’t stop giggling. Michael ended up not proposing that night, refusing to have that be the way he proposed and met up with the cruise director to plan a new engagement. There was a Motown show on the ship and that’s one of my favorite genres of music so it ended up working out. The director planned for us to go to the pre-show and be pulled up on stage so that Michael could propose. He ended up singing a little bit of “My Girl” and then dropping to one knee. While it may not have been what he planned for, it definitely fit us and is one of our favorite stories to tell!

RW: Tell us about your wedding day.

DJ: Our wedding is going to be the first of our friend group, the first wedding for both of our parents’ children and the first wedding in a long time for our extended families. Michael’s family is also half Lebanese and half Egyptian. With those things in mind, it was decided that our wedding needed to be very large and very fun. If you look up “Lebanese weddings” on YouTube, you’ll find weddings so extravagant they make your brain explode. While we won’t be going nearly as extravagant, the main things we wanted to replicate were the explosion of flowers, Lebanese drummers, a very glam feeling and lots of dancing like those weddings have. We’re getting married at Casa Real by Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton and it has the perfect amount of space and the right feel for us, so I’m excited to transform the space to make it our own.  We’re so excited to have our family and friends together to dance and have fun with. We’re hoping to have lots of activities like giant lawn games and photo booths so those that don’t want to dance don’t have to and can still have fun. The thing we’re most looking forward to though is the food. We’re planning on having SO much food and this venue is perfect for that since they offer so many different late-night snacks, yummy meals and the ability for us to bring in the traditional desserts that Michael’s family has gotten me so hooked on! I think there will be so much to do and eat at this wedding that there’s no possible way one of our guests could have a bad time!

Natacha Jolene Photography and Film Freshly Squeezed Woodland Wedding as seen in Real Weddings Magazine

Natacha Jolene Photography and Film Freshly Squeezed Woodland Wedding as seen in Real Weddings Magazine

Natacha Jolene Photography and Film Freshly Squeezed Woodland Wedding as seen in Real Weddings Magazine

RW: If you could offer any advice to engaged couples what would it be?

DJ: Michael says, “If you are engaged, when you start planning your wedding, hope a pandemic doesn’t arise. Jokes aside, like I tell every couple, engaged or not, communication is key! This includes planning your wedding. Also, if you can, no matter how long you’ve been together, try to at least go on one special date a month (or more if you can).” I completely agree with him. There were times we had to extremely compromise with our choices but communicating that we were never trying to take away from one another’s ideas or experiences and that we still loved each other was so important. Weddings can bring out the worst in people, so making sure to talk to your spouse about how you’re feeling is so important. The dates are another important part, especially when you can take a break from thinking about the wedding and focus on one another and why you’re even getting married in the first place!

Natacha Jolene Photography and Film Freshly Squeezed Woodland Wedding as seen in Real Weddings Magazine Natacha Jolene Photography and Film Freshly Squeezed Woodland Wedding as seen in Real Weddings Magazine Natacha Jolene Photography and Film Freshly Squeezed Woodland Wedding as seen in Real Weddings Magazine

Special thanks to our real couple models, DJ + Michael, and flower girl Memphis, and all of the professionals who contributed to this feature!

Click here to see more from this photo shoot!

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Associate Editor Emily Peter-Corey.

Photos by Natacha Jolene Photography + Film / copyright Real Weddings Magazine.