I'm a Southern California based wedding photographer, specializing in beautiful and authentic storytelling. 

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Laguna Beach | Engagement | Alesia + Garrett

I swear my couple’s have the coolest stories on how they met and these two are no exception!  Back in August of 2014 Garrett traveled overseas for his uncle’s wedding in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  In order for Garrett and his family to best enjoy their week there and to be able to follow along with the festivities, the bride appointed one of her friends to help be their translator for the week.  Can you guess who that might have been?  Bingo; it was Alesia!  (It’s like straight out of a movie, am I right??)  Garrett told me he felt an instant connection with her and ended up asking her on a date by day 2 of his trip, to which she accepted.  Everything moved pretty quickly that week and when it came time for Garrett to head back home, it became extremely clear to him that he had never met anyone like her before and that she would be worth fighting for.  So, having nothing to lose, he put his heart out on the table and told her how he felt about her and that was the beginning of what ended up being a year long long-distance relationship.

Several months into their long-distance relationship Alesia decided to come to California to visit him, meet his family and friends and “get to know him in his normal life”.  She saw the full extent of just how caring, hardworking, smart and kind he was and realized then that he was absolutely perfect for her.  She stayed for a few weeks and in the last few days of her trip here, on Jan 7th, they went to Disneyland.  During the fireworks show (which if you’ve never seen before, is very beautiful) he leaned over and asked “Will you marry me?”.  She was hesitant at first and thought he was maybe just being emotional because she was leaving soon.  But after talking it out, she realized that it may have seemed “too soon” at first, but that they had the same values and goals and truly loved each other and so she finally (and to Garrett’s relief I’m sure) said YES!

They continued their long-distance relationship for a few months after the “pragmatic” proposal and Garrett flew back out to visit her in Kyrgyzstan in June of 2015.  On the 23rd of June they took a trip to the Issyk-Kul lake.  While overlooking the beautiful view Garrett asked Alesia if she could ask someone to take a picture of them.  She responded by saying they could just take a selfie, but he insisted on a “normal” picture.  Alesia stopped a couple walking by and asked them to take it for them and as she turned back around to Garrett, he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand and asked “Will you continue this adventure with me for the rest of our lives?”  She was completely taken by surprise (as was their photographer I’m sure, haha) and said “Da-da-da!” which means “Yes-yes-yes!” in Russian!

These two legally got married in Orange County on Dec 19th, 2015 so they could finally live in the same country together.  They only had a few close family members present for the ceremony and are looking forward to celebrating their love and marriage with more family and friends at their wedding this November!

It has been such a joy getting to know these two and I absolutely cannot wait for their wedding in just a few weeks!!  Enjoy their adorable engagement session at their favorite beach; the beautiful Laguna Beach!

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Stefani Ciotti


  1. MarieSam Sanchez

    September 21st, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Love love love her dress!!! What a cute couple!!!

  2. Candi

    September 22nd, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Gorgeous couple! You captured them beautifully

  3. Brook Durling

    September 22nd, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Well done – lovely work!

  4. Jill

    September 22nd, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    These are SO lovely- love those shots in the dark!

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