Neil + Stefanie’s love story is one of epic proportions.
Living oceans apart literally (Neil is from South Africa + Stef from Southern California) their worlds collided 8 years ago when Neil was visiting some friends in the states. Both developed little crushes on the other, but with little time + lots of distance they parted and went about their lives. Fast forward some time, and Stefanie moved to Uganda (yes this woman is beautiful + she’s a world changer) to do development work, and on a trip to South Africa wouldn’t you know that her and Neil’s paths crossed again, and this time the spark turned to dating. After just a few weeks Stef headed back to Uganda, then back to the states. They tried and tried to make it work, but it seems the timing was just off. So even though they both cared for each other deeply, they stepped away from their relationship.
BUT…and don’t you love buts in stories? I sure do.
But then, time went by, Stefanie and Neil both pursuing different worlds and different dreams. Stef’s led her to none other than New York City where she moved in with some dear friends of Neil’s. (Coincidence…I don’t believe in those). And they just so happened to be Team Neil if you know what I mean.
This time, years later, even though an ocean still separated them, Neil was all in and began pursuing Stefanie from South Africa. He flew out for the holidays, and I think it’s safe to say that within the first few days both of them knew this was it.
Time can be our greatest ally; it develops our souls, our dreams, our purpose…
A few weeks ago, Neil flew to the states, picked up Stefanie on a layover in NYC, and they both went to her home state of California. Neil pulled off an amazing proposal at sunset in Laguna Beach (I mean really…this guy) complete with a celebration with her family and closest friends, and then back to NYC to celebrate coast to coast.
And so it begins…or shall I say their journey continues.
Just hours before Neil left the states to head back to South Africa I was honored to photograph their engagements in West Village + on The Highline. I sort of really love these two, and am so excited to share these images with y’all!