Real Engagements: Mimi + Nick

The University of Notre Dame may be known for its athletics but, we know it as the backdrop for a love story unlike any other. Mimi & Nick met on the campus of Notre Dame, they fell in love there, and were engaged there. Post graduation, they are living 700 miles apart while Nick gets his career established and Mimi finishes grad school. They accredit communication, patience and lots of hugs to keep their relationship going strong. However, next July they will become Mr. + Mrs. and embark on a lifetime together. This is a day they are so looking forward to and we are thrilled that they will share their day with a very special guest. Along with his team of photographers, Mr. Timothy Whaley will capture their big day! We sat down with Mimi & Nick to learn more about their relationship and all the milestones leading up to them choosing TWA to be apart of their wedding day. Enjoy their story and an exclusive look at their engagement session photographed by the man behind our favorite photography studio!

How they met

Nick and I met in Chorale at the University of Notre Dame.  Chorale is the official university concert choir, and a group that has contributed to some of Nick and my most cherished memories together.  During my freshman year, I helped found a co-ed A capella group with other Chorale members.  Nick joined this group his sophomore year, which allowed us more opportunities to strengthen our friendship.  Interestingly, most of my friends and family could tell that Nick liked me as more than a friend, but it took me almost a year to figure it out.

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How he asked

Nick and I started talking about getting married a little over a year ago, so I knew a proposal was coming at some point. Nick wanted to keep it a surprise so, that it would be a special moment.  I didn’t have much of a preference of how or when he proposed, but was hoping that it would be on Notre Dame’s campus. While I had these ideas, I didn’t want to tell Nick what to do.  A friend of mine had actually asked me in March if I knew when Nick would propose, and I had said that it might be close to graduation since his parents would be in from Germany. While the exact date was a mystery, I knew one weekend it wouldn’t happen. That particular weekend it was his dorm’s spirit week which would exhaust his roommates and others that Nick would want to celebrate with us. 

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When that weekend in April came, Nick asked on Friday night if we could visit the grotto before going to dinner the next day because he “could really use it”.  I instantly red-flagged since this was nearly identical to what our friend told his then-girlfriend so he could take her to their special place on campus and propose.  I reasoned though, Nick really could use a trip to the grotto to de-stress from his overwhelming two weeks of school.  As we got ready for dinner the next night, Nick asked if it was okay to wear khakis instead of dress pants and then put on a sport coat.  This again was a red flag because we had been to the restaurant several times before, and it was not terribly fancy, so I was wondering why Nick was getting so dressed up. 

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Truth be told, I actually looked for a ring box as we left for the grotto, and when I didn’t feel one in his jacket pocket as we hugged, or see one in his pant’s pocket as we drove over to campus, I figured I was good — no proposal coming.  After Nick and I did our usual routine of praying and lighting candles, I tried to leave, thinking we were late for our reservation.  Nick, however, pulled me in for a hug and reassured me that we would be fine.  At that point, he started into what I now know was the beginning of his proposal.  He said he would always associate the grotto with me because of the special memories it held, and that when we weren’t dating, he prayed to God that “Whatever happened in life, good or bad, that I would be her rock, and she would be mine”.  As he said these words, I could feel his heart racing and was confused since going to the grotto and hugging me are the two things that help him calm down.  

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With that, Nick stepped back from me, and reached into his jacket pocket.  Only then did I realize what was going on.  My mind went blank, and all I could think or say was, “Nick, what are you doing? This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening” as I saw the ring in his wallet, and “Are you serious right now?” as he began to kneel.  Because of my reaction, he thought I was upset and that he was proposing wrong, when in reality, he just caught me completely off-guard, so I was stunned.  After I said yes, I realized that Nick’s roommate was sitting on a nearby bench, which meant that they had arranged for his GoPro to be set up for pictures! Afterwards, we met up with a group of friends who were waiting to congratulate us.  Upon arriving, I realized how many of my friends knew about the proposal and managed to keep it a secret, despite seeing me less than 24 hours before (some of whom I had commented to that morning that the proposal wasn’t coming that weekend).  I was thoroughly impressed that everything was still a surprise to me, even though many people were involved.

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Why TWA Photographic Artists?

I had seen TWA advertised both online and in wedding magazines, particularly The Knot, and liked the varied angles and poses shown on your website. Your photography went beyond the stereotypical wedding poses, and really captured the emotions and micro-moments experienced by the bride, groom, their family, and their guests. After having a meeting with Nick, I was in love with what TWA had to offer, and the quality of pictures and products (i.e., albums) I would receive.

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What’s next?

After having our engagement session with Tim Whaley and Jorge, I was even more convinced that I had chosen the right photographer. Both of them made the session fun, non-stressful, and filled with laughter.  Nick and I thoroughly enjoyed our time, and are incredibly grateful for Tim and Jorge’s willingness to traverse campus in a golf cart so we could have pictures at various locations.  We are beyond thrilled with how the pictures turned out, and especially like many of the candid images Tim captured.  Our experience with our engagement session and the resulting pictures have made us even more excited about our wedding next summer as we feel that our photographers will add to the fun and excitement, particularly when working with the bridal party, and make our wedding even more special and memorable.

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