Jessica + Cary | Romantic Engagement Session at Malaga Cove Plaza | Palos Verdes, CA

Everything was sunshine and smiles with Jessica and Cary during their engagement session in Palos Verdes, CA. We began their session at Malaga Cove Plaza; I’ve posted about this location before and have confessed it is one of my favorites for engagement portraits for many reasons – the gorgeous fountain that sits right in the middle of the parking lot and the various spots that are reminiscent of Europe are but a few…

Jessica found me and my work through her friend’s wedding photos, she bookmarked my page and when the time came for her to plan, reached out and let me know photography was their top priority – AND – that they would be happy to work around my availability. {What a dream!!} I knew right then and there that I’d love this couple. & Of course, I was right! Getting to know Jessica and Cary during their engagement session was such a treat, I instantly fell in love with their warm, funny, and kind personalities – they are simply perfect and I am one lucky duck to be working with them.

These two have such a sweet story, and I am so happy to be sharing it with you all today!

How did you meet?

For those who may not know, Jessica and Cary met while they both worked at Valley Presbyterian Hospital. One January day, Jessica had a patient that demanded to work with Physical Therapy. As Jessica approached the nursing station, she asked her colleague: “How do I get a Physical Therapist?!”

… and there sat Cary!
They met by absolute chance, but that was a start of a strong “interprofessional relationship”.
P.S. Cary attempted to evaluate the patient later that day, but the patient refused. When Jessica learned of this, she dragged Cary into the patient’s room and gave some “tough love” to the patient. It didn’t work. But, the scenario left Cary with a interesting first impression of Jessica.

Jessica and Cary’s friendship grew since their initial meeting. After a few months of Cary coming to Jessica’s rescue when she needed to get patients out of bed “per doctor’s orders”, he asked her out on their first date. On September 9, 2019, Jessica and Cary spent their first date having dinner at H.O.M. Italian Eatery and axe throwing at Golden Axe Co.

Tell me more! What is your favorite activity to do together? Where is your favorite place to go with each other? Do you have a favorite restaurant?

Wine tasting! Early in our relationship, we traveled to Paso Robles. We love Daou wine, and their winery is gorgeous! On our second visit, we became members of their wine club. On our third visit, we got engaged.

Why did you choose your engagement location and what do you love about it?

During the pandemic/ lock down, we were incredibly stressed. I’m a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit and Cary is an Inpatient Physical Therapist. The trauma of our work days… I begged for an escape. Cary remembered how much I loved the beach and sunsets (born and raised in San Diego!). Since that trip is too far, he would drive me out to Rancho Palos Verdes. The area is stunning, and was our getaway from reality. The peacefulness allowed us to reflect on all the good in life, and how lucky we are to have each other.

What is your proposal story?

Daou Vineyards holds a special place in their hearts with its gorgeous views and delicious wine. They had visited the winery a couple of times, and even did a private virtual tasting with sommeliers, Samantha and Kevin. During a getaway trip to Monterey and Paso Robles, Cary booked a private tour of the grounds on April 3, 2021. With the help of Samantha and Kevin, Cary proposed in front of the winery’s historic barrel room.


What is favorite thing about being engaged?

Jessica: The excitement about this stage of our relationship, and the hope for our future together.

Cary: I love when people ask Jessica about our engagement and ask to see the ring. I like knowing I did a good job 😉

Jessica, what do you love most about Cary?

Cary’s kindness. He is the kindest person I know, hands down (cue Dashboard Confessional song because I always think of it when I hear the phrase “hands down”). I could give a million examples of how he shows his kindness to me, his family, friends, colleagues, patients, random people… Anyone can be kind to their partner, but to meet someone kind to EVERYONE?! It’s absolutely genuine and limitless. I am so lucky to have his kindness in my life because God knows I’m not as kind hehehe

Cary, what do you love most about Jessica?

She’s incredibly caring (more than she believes) and is not afraid to speak her mind. The way she is able to calm my nerves and make me feel at ease is something that I have not felt in the past. She makes me feel wanted and there’s nothing more that I want in this life than to make (and keep) her the happiest.

What is your most valuable piece of advice you can share with future couples planning their engagement session?

Jessica: Try not to be nervous! Be in the moment, and relish in the fact you’re having an engagement session with your person! Vanessa is such a calming presence and provides lots of guidance/direction. She made all my worries melt away.

Cary: Be open to doing different poses and don’t worry about being embarrassed. It’s supposed to be fun and exciting, so “try” not to stress about it…oh and ALWAYS remember to treat yourselves afterwards.

Congrats Jessica and Cary, you two are the best and I cannot wait for your wedding!!



Vendors and Credits //

Suit @indochino; Tie @birdygrey; Casual Outift @bananarepublic

Blue Dress @mumuweddings; Red Dress @lulus

Makeup @sandrachanges

Heels @madewell; Boots @stevemadden; Dress shoes and Casual shoes @target

Engagement Ring: @whiteflashdiamonds; Watch @nixon

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