Chanae Forshee & Michael Wood are months away from their December 18, 2015 wedding.  Will Forshee of  Star Image Photography met with the couple back in May for their engagement shoot in Miami, Fl.  The outcome was nothing short of phenomenal.

From the Bride to Be:

Michael and I met at the University of Florida in 2009.  His Fraternity was hosting a tailgate party, and my best friend and I decided to attend. We actually started off on a rough patch.  Our introduction actually began with a debate. Here’s the link to our full love story (well the bride’s rendition of it).

We’ve been together for a little over 5 years now. I think our love is special, because it’s genuine. We both have been there for one another through the highs and lows.   But once we both gave our lives to Christ, we realized how even greater of a partner we could be to one another. There hasn’t been as many “lows”.   By including God in the center of our relationship we have been able to establish an even stronger bond. We lift one another up and share a love that runs deep. It’s authentic, it’s true, and it’s simply genuine.

How did he propose?

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been talking about marriage for as long as I can remember. Michael and I would always discuss the idea and after dating for 4 years I started to become a bit anxious about us taking that next step in our relationship. I would always bring it up, and he would always get annoyed lol.  Apparently he purchased my ring almost a year before actually proposing, but he put on a great act pretending as if marriage wasn’t in his plans at the moment.

Michael proposed on our 5 year anniversary.   Leading up to the week of the engagement I began to become suspicious. One of my close friends randomly texted me, and asked if I wanted to have a nail date. It was pretty random so I figured she was asking, because Michael was going to propose. I started noticing weird behavior amongst my family members as well. The day of the proposal my friends and I got together. We were supposed to have a small girl’s gathering in honor of our girlfriend’s birthday. The plan was to spend time with my girls and then Michael and I would go to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. I think the biggest giveaway were my friends’ behavior. They were just too excited to help me get dressed and fix my hair. I knew something was up. They took me to the Westin Diplomat in Hallandale. The “story” was that we were going to take pictures of Jalisa (the birthday girl), because the Westin had a great view by the pool. As we entered the pool deck, one of Michael and I favorite songs (Trey Songz Til the Day I Die) began to play. My three friends started to sing it to me. Immediately I knew what was happening and I began to scream (I couldn’t contain myself!). They led me to another portion of the deck, the song switches and two of my sisters began to serenade me with another song (Tank-Celebration), next thing the track switches, and a different group of my friends come out performing Beyonce ‘s Love on Top. They created a mini flash mob! Then they led me upstairs. My heart stopped when I saw Michael standing under a circular canopy with all of our family and friends surrounding him. The song switched again to “OUR” song, Unthinkable by Alicia Keys (I know you’re probably thinking this girl has a lot of songs!).

While I knew that he was most likely going to propose to me on our anniversary, I could have never imagined how it was going to happen. It was absolutely perfect! Words can’t describe how special the moment actually was, so here’s a link to how it all went down!

And to top everything off the next day he let me watch the video diaries he created leading up to the day! He knows I am a hopeless romantic so, I think that was the best part for me…. just seeing how thoughtful he was. He planned our engagement for months and it was just absolutely perfect!

What is the vision that you have for your wedding?

It’s a Black Tie Affair!  I’m one of those brides who have dreamed of their big day since they were little girls. So, let’s just say most of the wedding planning was done prior to the ring lol. We will be having a winter wedding with approximately 130 guests. We envision it being intimate, and focused on the love we share.  I don’t want to give too much away to our guests, but we have some great things in store.

What are some of the joys and/or pitfalls of planning your wedding?

Some of the joys is being able to share this experience with the ones I care about the most. When I found my dress I was with my mother and two best friends. Just the pure joy on their faces was something I’ll never forget. I truly had a “Say Yes to the Dress” moment. They’ve really been my support in this process so far. It’s almost as if they’re getting married with me!

While I haven’t really ran into too many pitfalls, I would say some of my challenges is remaining organized and on track. We decided not to hire a wedding planner, so I have to make sure to utilize online wedding guides. Sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming with all we have going on.

What advice do you have for fellow Coordinated Brides?

Enjoy the journey and remember that wedding inspiration is just that, inspiration!  I’ve found myself so caught up in creating the perfect wedding sometimes. I can spend hours on Pinterest and different wedding blogs getting ideas. But I had to realize that I couldn’t lose sight on what the day was truly about, and that’s the love Michael and I share for one another; and bringing that into focus. What I’ve learned so far is to just look forward to the process and remember what it’s all about. I think people will remember how much you and your fiancé love one another before they remember which table cloth you used. J

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SAVE THE DATE: The Wood Union | Black Tie Affair from Chanae on Vimeo.

We wish this beautiful couple all the best!

Vendor Acknowledgement

Photographer: Will Forshee of Star Image Photography // Cinematography: Maximo Brito of Brito Films // Makeup: Chanae Forshee of Lavette Beauty // Hair: Camree Forshee of Hair Royalle