{Real Couples} Michelle & Dima's Harpers Ferry Engagement Session

I've been thinking a lot lately about things I would have changed about my wedding. I've said in the past there isn't anything I would change, but looking at it in a different light, there are many things I would change-not in an aesthetic way, but in a green way.

Sure I did a few things, but I could've done so much more.  I donated the leftover food from our reception to a local homeless shelter and had our registry linked to make donations in honor of my late grandmother to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.  Since then, over 3 year ago, I've learned sooo many more ways I could've reached out from my wedding to better the environment and to help others.  It's not that I didn't care, it's that I wasn't educated with what was going on, I was simply too busy planning and worrying away to smell the roses and see the possibilities.  All I needed was my head turned...  

There is a really great resource out there, to name one, called The Green Bride Guide, which has so many tips and resources for brides to better green their wedding.  Simple things I have come to learn are to donate the bouquets from the wedding to local nursing homes for people to enjoy, to donate the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses with accessories to charities for underprivilaged teenage girls, or even hosting the wedding at a green venue, such as at an aquarium or a vineyard.  

I recently posted about such a vineyard wedding, where the featured couple chose a green hotel, one of 100 in the state of California.  (For more on that wedding, click here.)   It's a fabulous option if you are wanting to have a green wedding, to do everything possible to incorporate green everywhere you can, including the venue.

There are just so many ways to make your wedding leave less of a carbon footprint on the Earth, even when it comes to honeymooning.  Lesser known and smaller resorts in the world offer an eco-friendly getaway with excursions like bird watching, baby turtle conservation, and more.  Most recently, Sandals Resorts have been certified as Green Globe 21, for offering sustainable tourism.  As one can clearly see, there are options galore for making your wedding events and beyond green minded and eco-friendly.  

Maybe the first place to begin your green wedding is to start with a green minded engagement shoot.  For example have your photos taken at a natural landmark, like today's featured couple!  Michelle and Dima chose to have their engagement photos taken at the historic Harpers Ferry in West Virginia.  This piece of land is well preserved, and has experienced many historical events.  I literally looked up the website for more information, it has seen a lot  through the centuries!  It's not the history alone but the beauty of the land that would make this an ideal spot for photography.  It's easy to see why Michelle & Dima chose this spot for their engagement session.

The Love Story
Shelly with Coshi Productions shared this little note about Michelle & Dima's love story:
It all started in the Summer of 2007 when Michelle and Dima (unknowingly to them) were introduced during a friendly game of bowling (won by Michelle). The mischief prank was planned by their friends Kristin and Jesse. A few weeks later, they were set up on a date to a wedding by the same bandits. Kristin insisted that Michelle couldn't go alone and Dima was just as good a choice as any. They went on numerous dates that summer and fell in love! Against their better judgement, they decided to embark on a long distance relationship when Michelle moved back to Memphis to finish up her optometry degree. They flew back and forth between Baltimore and Memphis, spending every possible moment together. Michelle would spend all of her breaks in MD and Dima would find any chance to ditch work to visit his beloved! They grabbed any chance they could to explore the US and even the world. After graduation, Michelle completed a one year residency in NJ, during which she came home every single weekend, riding the train (the train that would never arrive on time). A little over 4 years later, and they were finally re-united-- and it feels so good!

The Proposal
I then reached out to Michelle to find out how Dima proposed to her, and this is what she had to share:
Dima proposed to me at the Grand Canyon... we were in Las Vegas last October for a conference, and we decided to take a side trip to the Grand Canyon. Our first day there, we were hiking around the rim, and of course I was amazed by everything and stopping to take pictures every 30 seconds! Dima kept saying, no there will be better spots, let's keep going! So he found this little outcropping of rocks that protruded over the canyon (scary!) and convinced me to come up there with him. He started recounting all of the trips and adventures we've had together, and popped the question right there over the canyon! There was nobody else around, so it was like we were the only people in the world - how amazing! The big day is coming up very soon - September 2nd!

What a sweet proposal for Dima to have asked for Michelle's hand in marriage, when nobody was around at the Grand Canyon!  That had to feel magical for the two. Makes our little hearts swoon!

Without further ado, I present Michelle & Dima's Harpers Ferry Engagement Session, beautifully photographed by Coshi Productions:

Such a sweet engagement shoot!  Michelle and Dima's joy is so vibrant and bubbly.  I will definitely put Harpers Ferry on my must see list when I do a tour of the East Coast.  It's gorgeous!

Thanks to Michelle for sharing your proposal story with our readers!  They are set to wed in South Windsor, Connecticut at Mill on the River, which looks lovely for an early fall wedding.  We want to wish Michelle & Dima the very best on their upcoming wedding and safe travels as you both honeymoon in Hawaii!

Many thanks to Coshi Productions for submitting Michelle & Dima's engagement session to us! 

Photographer: Coshi Productions, Brookline, Massachusetts
Venue: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia