Now Reading
Emily & Jori – A Chicago Photoshoot Proposal

Emily & Jori – A Chicago Photoshoot Proposal

Mandelette Photography lesbian queer lgbt couple suprise proposal engagement USA Chicago Illinois Dancing With Her

They’d planned a photoshoot to celebrate their anniversary, and surviving eight months of quaratine together, but Jori used to opportunity to get down on one knee.

Who are Emily & Jori?

We live in Chicago, IL, where we have been for just over one year! We are both attending Graduate School, as well as working part-time. Emily is a Wedding Planner and getting her Master’s in Business Administration with an Event Leadership concentration. Jori is working on her Masters in Social Work, specializing in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, while nannying for the sweetest four-month-old baby. 

Our free-time is filled up by our two cats, two dogs, cooking, baking, playing video games, exploring our city, and catching up with our closest friends and family. 

We met in our home state of Arizona, in the beautiful mountain town of Flagstaff, where we both attended college. Emily had just graduated from Northern Arizona University and was planning weddings at the Grand Canyon. Jori had just started her senior year at NAU when we met on a dating app. We had been dating for only two years before the proposal! 

You had a proposal photoshoot, how did you secretly plan that?!

We had planned a photoshoot to celebrate our second anniversary, one year of living in Chicago, and eight-plus months of isolation without killing each other. Jori decided about a month prior that she would use this shoot to propose and started to plan it out with the photographer, Rachel.

J: So, I’m horrible at keeping secrets. Emily scheduled the photoshoot and planned all the outfits and locations. I found the perfect ring, secretly met up with our fantastic photographer and had everything planned out perfectly. We’ve discussed getting engaged a lot, but Emily (being a wedding planner) had our five-year timeline all planned out, but the pandemic and the election here in the US made me realize that life is never going to go exactly the way you plan it. I just knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life, loving Emily. 

E: I had absolutely no idea what was happening until the exact second it happened. I was so surprised and confused because I had done all the planning for the photoshoot. I had no idea Jori had something up her sleeve. My mind was completely blown that she had done all this for me, but my heart was melting! The moment was so perfect, and I could not have been any happier.

Tell us about that stunning ring.

J: The ring was one of the most important things for me. Neither of us are big fans of diamonds or traditional rings, so I searched for the perfect ring for days. Eventually, I found one that I just kept coming back to over and over again. I have collected crystals my entire life, and we both love the meanings behind them. The main stone is a moonstone, which represents feminine energy, love, and good fortune. The day after I bought the ring, she made a new Pinterest board with rings she liked (which I thought for sure meant she knew!). And luckily enough, I know her well enough that it was exactly what she wanted.

What does your engagement mean to you both? Has anything changed?

Despite having a detailed plan for how our lives will play out, this spontaneous engagement has meant so much to us. We always try to focus on enjoying the phase of life that we are in, which now translates to our relationship. Wanting to enjoy this phase of being engaged and celebrate this exciting new chapter.

We are so thankful to be able to be in a place where we are accepted and loved for who we are. I have known that I wanted to marry Emily since our second date. She is the most incredible, kind, caring, and loving person I have ever met. Being engaged fills my heart. I love seeing her get excited about planning our wedding. Seeing her so happy makes everything worth it.

How are you going about choosing your key wedding vendors?

With Emily having so many vendor connections due to her job [she’s a wedding planner], we will have so much fun choosing our primary vendors. Many of them, Emily has worked with previously. She will be able to determine what vendors best fit our style and vision for the day and who she has personal connections with so she knows that they will make sure our big day is flawless.


Photography by Mandelette Photography

©2020 DANCING WITH HER®. All Rights Reserved.

Dancing With Her is created on the beautiful land of the Bundjalung Nation. We acknowledge that we have benefited from the colonialism which dispossessed the Bundjalung People of their land and culture, and pay our respects to Bundjalung elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge sovereignty was never ceded. The land we live and work on is Aboriginal Land.

Scroll To Top