How He Asked | Tori + Corey

Tori and Corey’s engagement took place on a pilgrimage through the “City of Love,” within the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens. And so, after saying “yes” to God’s call to take a journey of faith, Tori and her new fiance returned with a ring and a wedding to plan.

In Tori’s Words: When Corey and I met, we knew pretty quickly we would enter into a beautiful, Christ-centered relationship. We were both Catholic, but finding someone single and Catholic was nearly impossible in our town. After a few months, as we met our families and started attending Mass together, we grew more and more serious. When Corey and I were called to go on a trip to France, I was excited about the wonderful people we would meet and the experiences we would have.

We made the decision to visit France in 2018 after we saw the opportunity to go as part of a pilgrimage through our parish. After attending an interest meeting, we knew we had to go. Six months later we were on a plane to France. Corey and I spent ten days in the French countryside travelling to landmarks and touring churches that we would never have known about otherwise.

The eleventh day of our pilgrimage is when it happened. That morning, Corey and I left early and walked down to a local pastry shop to grab a baguette and a delicious, flaky apple biscuit.  We went to the "Chappelle Notre-Dame de la Medaille Miraculeuse" (The Chapel of the Miraculous Medal) to attend Mass and get our replicas of the Miraculous Medal. The rest of the day was ours to choose whether to tour another church or around Paris.

Being the adventurous couple we are, we decided to walk around Paris since we were leaving early the next morning. We stopped for lunch in a cafe with the Leblanc's, Corey's family friends who lived across the street, and who wanted to give Corey a tour of Paris. I had no idea they were there for another reason.

After our lunch, we hopped on the metro system and found ourselves at the opera house with an orchestra on the street! Then we went to the Champs-Elysees, where we ate at one of the best macaron places in Paris--it was delicious. Finally, we made it to the Eiffel Tower and saw it live in all its glory.

As we were running around Paris trying to see all the attractions, I glanced at the time. It was about an hour before we needed to be back at the hotel for dinner, but we still had one more place Corey wanted to take us. We got on the metro again and headed towards the Luxembourg Gardens.

According to Corey, these are the "most beautiful gardens in Paris," and they sure are! We arrived and walked down a concrete path to the center where there are oak trees lining the path. This leads directly to an opening where a courtyard lies with a huge fountain and seating area. There were many people sitting and enjoying the beautiful weather.

We walked up a flight of stairs past the fountain and headed towards a gazebo. Unfortunately (or was it planned?) there was a band playing. Corey asked the Leblancs to take a picture of us with the beautiful scenery around us, and that's when it happened.

I don't remember exactly what he said because my adrenaline was through the roof, and I was crying. He was so nervous, too! The next thing I remember is Corey saying, "I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"

Here's to the rest of our life together.

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How He Asked | Bianca + Vitor

Bianca met Vitor soon after his conversion to the faith. Although Vitor says it was “love at first sight” for him, Biance needed time and prayer to decide if she wanted to be in a relationship.

It was time apart well spent, because she soon began to have feelings for Vitor and an attraction to the path of sanctification through marriage.

Their story continued, together and apart. And then it culminated in front of the Eiffel Tower on a trip to Rome, where Vitor asked Bianca to be his wife.

In Bianca’s Words: Vitor and I met at a parish in Rio de Janeiro through mutual friends. I was engaged in pastoral activities at the time and reflecting on my inner life and vocation. He had recently returned from a retreat and was determined to convert to the Catholic faith. The moment he saw me, he said it was love at first sight.

After Vitor approached me, we began to have more frequent contact until he asked to make it official. But I ended up moving away, because I wasn't thinking about a relationship at the time, and due to external interference, I felt a little pressured. We continued as friends.

He had some difficult moments after I moved away, but Vitor gave his whole heart to God. In the meantime, I discerned my path and began to see marriage as my means of sanctification.

A year and a half later we approached each other in a different way. After a sincere conversation, I was able to understand more about what was going on with him, and we were able to get to know each other better.

It was indeed God’s providence that united two hearts seeking his will, and I realized that I began to feel the same as Vitor was feeling for me.

It was close to Lent in 2015 when we decided to see each other more and pray together. After this, Vitor talked to my parents and asked me, officially, to date. That was April 8, 2015. In that same year we discovered a path of sanctification in the midst of ordinary life inspired by the way of Saint Josemaría Escrivá. This organization is known as Opus Dei. That transformed our lives and our relationship.

We went through many moments of joy and difficulty that made us stronger. And in 2016, we mutually ended our relationship, to improve ourselves separately. That wasn't easy, but we were determined to put God in the center of our lives, fighting for and relying on his will.

We quickly realized that we wanted to walk the path to sainthood together. So Vitor, very affectionate as always, again made the request to date me in front of the sanctuary of our parish. We began to receive more intense formation through the prelature of Opus Dei. Together, we grew in a life of piety, and we became closer friends, always talking about everything and dreaming about our marriage.

Last year, during March 2018, we had the grace to spend Holy Week in Rome for the UNIV Congress. We went with a group from Brazil to participate in academic activities and celebrations with the Pope.

Our flight to Rome had a connection in Paris, France. As soon as we arrived in Paris, Vitor and I visited the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, and then we went to visit the Eiffel Tower. He had already prepared everything for this moment. He had talked with my parents, asked for their blessing, and we had talked with his parents and our spiritual director, who blessed the wedding rings.

He was also nervous, since that moment represented a new, great, and beautiful stage of our life together. I realized he was acting different, but I thought it was because of the excitement of the trip, with many new things happening at once.

We spent some time around the Eiffel Tower, talked a lot, and took photos. When I suggested we leave, he wanted to ask someone to take a picture of us, because we were only taking "selfies".

We asked a girl to take a photo of us in front of the tower, when Vitor suddenly asked to get gloves in his backpack because he was cold. He crouched down, put his backpack on the ground, and removed the box with the ring. He knelt in front of me and asked, "Bianca Dantas Quevedo, will you marry me?" I felt an explosion of feelings while the girl continued to photograph everything.

Vitor asked me to marry him on March 20, 2018.

We always talked about marriage, and we were preparing ourselves for it, but the time of the proposal was special and a complete surprise. We were both very excited and happy. I said "yes" with all the conviction of my heart.

The proposal was a beautiful start to our trip. We went on to spend Holy Week in Rome, thanking God and asking that his will always be done in our lives.

We are getting married on January 4, 2020, and ask for everyone’s prayers! Vitor always had a desire and a certainty in his heart: to marry, to build a large family and to be close to God. So we want to build a large family and a bright and cheerful home.

Vitor and I realize that God gives a special grace to this new phase. He makes us stronger, more determined, and matures us to embrace the great mission of marriage.


Photography: A Friend | Location: Eiffel Tower, Paris | Rings: Monte Carlo (Rio de Janeiro - Brazil)

How He Asked | Elizabeth + Matthew

We are honored by the opportunity to walk alongside you in this marriage ministry, from Yes to I Do and beyond, and we love returning to our couples' stories as they continue to unfold. If we've featured your love story in our How He Asked engagement series and you now feel called to share your wedding with us, as well, submission details can be found here.

Read more here for the story of Elizabeth and Matthew’s wedding, a “taste of the eternal wedding feast” in a magical Irish castle. 

Elizabeth and Matthew met in Ireland in a study abroad program in college. Their fairy-tale introduction at the top of a castle became a very real and fruitful relationship. As they discerned marriage together, they helped each other grow in love for the Lord.

Matt eventually took Elizabeth back to Ireland as a gift, and after a brief set-back and improvised castle tour, proposed to her in the country where they met.

“Incandescently happy” after their engagement, Elizabeth couldn’t believe that “life could be so beautiful and abundant.” And yet beauty and generous abundance is exactly what the Lord desires to give every one of his children.

In Elizabeth’s Words: Before I met Matt, I prayed a novena to St. Anne for my future husband, and I met him on the ninth and final day of that novena. I didn't tell him that until we were engaged.

We met in a castle while studying abroad in Christendom College’s Ireland program. It's a true story, I promise, and was something we never could have planned! As Matt would tell it, I was late and he was early. I had been traveling with my brother before meeting the student group in Ireland, and we met them on their first day at their first stop: Bunratty Castle.

Matt says, to this day, that he waited until he got to the tallest tower of the castle to introduce himself because he wanted to make a good impression on me. He did.

Afterwards when I was dating Matt, God made it consistently clear that he was the man for me, for many reasons. One of these reasons was Matt’s deep and wise faith, which he really cultivated and grew in college. I admired that, and it made me hungry to know Our Lord more fully and also to love His bride, the Church!

I used to tell Matt that I fell in love with God long ago, but it was dating him that really began my love affair with the Church.

I believe my contribution to Matt’s faith-walk came in a humbler way. He tells me often that my love of the Father, this 'Abba' of my heart, inspired him to pray differently and seek to love the Lord more deeply and personally than he had before.

It is beautiful that God, in his wisdom, knew how we needed to complement each other.

We were both adamant throughout our dating relationship that we were discerning a unique vocation to marriage with each other, and we tried to be intentional about that in our conversations and prayer life together. We discovered we had the same dreams for life and the same ultimate goal of heaven, and we both discerned that God was calling us to each other to help us reach those dreams.

After a few years of dating and graduating from college, Matt took me back to Ireland as a gift. He invited my siblings and a few close friends to join us, so I couldn't have asked for a more treasured crew. He was smart because he immediately put me off the scent and told me I shouldn't expect an engagement to happen. Matt was still saving for a ring, and paying for the trip was expensive. I was completely oblivious.

My darling friend Anna always tells a story about the night before we all left on this trip. She was talking to her dad, and he asked, 'So Lizzie knows she's getting engaged on this trip, right?" Anna replied, "Nope, somehow she has no idea whatsoever." She even had to make sure I was wearing cute clothes the day Matt proposed because I was not thinking about it at all.

We arrived back in Ireland on Monday morning as a group and drove up to stay at Ards Friary. This was where Matt and I spent our first summer studying, praying, and having fun together. It brought back a flood of happy memories.

On Tuesday we drove down to Knock Shrine and attended daily Mass. We then drove to Ashford Castle, where we experienced a falconry lesson for the first time. It was so fun!

Afterwards, Matt walked with me to the back of the castle. It was like something out of a fairy tale, situated on a lake with pristine gardens.

I didn't know it at the time, but he had to quickly change plans right before he proposed because the bagpiper wasn't ready yet. One of the concierge guys swept in to help Matt by distracting me. He offered give us a tour.

I was a history major in college, so when he started telling me things about the house that didn't add up, I thought he was the worst tour guide ever! In reality, he wasn't a tour guide at all, but it was pretty comical. The tour was also incredibly short, only lasting about 3 minutes. I was confused and wondered what this guy was doing, but we left our funny tour guide and walked back to the garden by the lake.

It was there that Matt proposed with a bagpiper playing the background, and I immediately started crying happy tears. He told me how I had helped him learn to love God as a Father and that he wanted to spend his life serving God by serving and loving me.

Looking back, there really aren't proper words to describe the euphoria of a moment like that, but “incandescently happy” was a phrase that suddenly made sense. He pulled out a gorgeous three stone ring, telling me it was a reminder that God would always be the center of our home.

As soon as i managed a 'yes' through my tears, we were swarmed by my two brothers and sister. Everyone was crying, and everyone was happy. The next thing we did was FaceTime my parents and Bella, my little sister with special needs. She started smiling as soon as she saw us. I think she knew what was up!

We spent the rest of the day on a boat on the lake drinking cider (my favorite) and loving every moment. I pinched myself, overwhelmed by blessing and in disbelief that life could be so beautiful and abundant.

Matt is truly a princely man. He is honorable, wise, compassionate, funny, and brave. I felt (and still do!) like the luckiest girl in the world.

We spent the rest of the trip touring Ireland and celebrating. To top it all off, Bono from U2 invited us for lunch at his home in Dublin to celebrate our engagement. My parents have known him for many years, and he actually knew we were getting engaged before I did--which almost resulted in me finding out by accident--but that's a whole other story.

We drank wine at his home and celebrated the beauty of this life together. When Bono and I took a photo together, I held my finger up to the camera with my beautiful new ring as he said 'Party like a ROCK star!'

Proposal Photography: Friends/Family | Engagement Photos: Laura Gordon Photography | Nuptial Mass or Engagement Location: Ashford Castle, Ireland

How He Asked | Jessica + Chris

After many years together, Jessica and Chris took the next exciting step towards marriage. With Christ as their foundation, they patiently prepared to become one flesh.

In Jessica’s Words: Chris and I have been together since we were sixteen. We were both brought up to consider Christ as a close friend, and we introduced each other to how Jesus had uniquely worked and loved within each of our hearts.

After a ride up a ski lift, Chris proposed to me on a beautiful October afternoon on top of Hunter Mountain in the Catskills. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to say “yes!”

I was happy and grateful that when he proposed, my family surrounded us and celebrated our beautiful moment with us together. The next day, I was very blessed to wake up early and attend Mass with my new fiancè.

Praying together for the first time as an engaged couple proved to be a valuable foundation for our marriage preparation. We decided to set a date two years away so we could plan at our own pace, and this decision proved to be an important part in our journey.

We were still learning how to present ourselves to God and others as one. A book that helped us to practice this and guided us through a God-centered engagement is Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love by Dr. Edward Sri.

Even though my wedding day is months away, what I look forward to most is the people I love helping me celebrate our Mass through reading the Scriptures and bringing up the gifts.

I also am eagerly anticipating the moment that I receive the Eucharist for the first time as a wife with her husband.

Photography: Alicia King Photography | Engagement Location: Wings Castle, Millbrook, NY

How He Asked | Sarah + Sean

Sarah and Sean met at a brunch after Mass. At the time, Sarah was not expecting to meet the man she would marry, but was joyful to make the acquaintance of her handsome new friend!

The center of their relationship quickly became Christ present in the Eucharist. The adoration chapel and weekly hours of prayer together solidified the growing bond between them.

Jesus was present at the beginning and end of Sarah and Sean’s courtship, which eventually concluded with an engagement. Their contagious joy and gratitude for the Lord and the sacrament of marriage is evident even through their photographer, who walked away inspired by their Christ-like love.

In Sarah’s Words: When I first met Sean, I was looking for a seat--not love! But as is often the case, the Lord had other plans. So when I saw an empty seat next to a handsome, smiling man at brunch after Mass, the Holy Spirit nudged me to go make a new friend. Flash forward one month later, and we were on our way back from an evening trip to adoration when Sean asked me to go on a date with him.

By this point I knew where the Lord was guiding my heart, and I was able to say yes, joyfully. Four beautiful months of dating ensued, and as Sean and I grew closer and closer we found ourselves growing closer to Christ as well.

We played laser tag, went to concerts, and even witnessed the beatification ceremony of a distant relative of Sean's. We began a thirty day devotional and resolved to spend at least thirty minutes in adoration together each day to complete our journaling portion.

As the devotional drew to a close, Sean took me on a date to see Les Miserables. On our way home we stopped at our favorite adoration chapel, and as he led me in I noticed rose petals covering the floor. I rounded the corner, and Sean stopped, knelt down on one knee, and in front of the Blessed Sacrament asked me to be his bride.

Nine months of preparation flew by, and on September 29, Sean and I stood face to face in the same church where we met and exchanged vows during our nuptial Mass. The most amazing thing about our wedding, we both agreed, was from the moment our entrance hymn began, the only thing we saw was each other, and we felt the love of Jesus so clearly burning in our hearts that we smiled like fools the entire time.

It was such a blessed reminder of Christ's love for us and his position as the cornerstone of our marriage.

Our faith has been integral to our relationship--it is the soil to the seed of our love. I can't imagine how God could have formed a man more perfect than Sean to hold and cherish my heart for him while here on earth. And I can't wait to continue living my vocation with him for the rest of my life.

In Allison’s (the photographer’s) words: I first met Sarah after Mass one Sunday when my two-year-old was just a few months old. Sarah's bright and bubbly personality inspired my baby to reach for her even though she was a complete stranger. She quickly volunteered to babysit any time we needed, and she has been a wonderful friend to our family the past few years!

When Sarah and Sean met, they were clearly perfect for each other. They crossed paths at a Catholic social gathering and were inseparable soon after.

Their relationship and courtship was Christ-centered, and they even spent a holy hour together each week. It made sense for Sean to propose to Sarah in the adoration chapel with Jesus present.

When I shot their engagement session, I knew I wanted to incorporate their faith in a little way. Including the rosary in some of their photos was a nice homage to our Blessed Mother, whom I am certain had a role in bringing this beautiful couple together.

In a world that is so against sacramental marriage, it is such a joy to work with couples who are seeking Christ and his Church above all else. Even after spending just an hour with Sarah and Sean, I went home to my own husband with a renewed sense of joy and fervor for our marriage.

Seeing these young, faith-filled couples who are so eager to spread the Good News of Christ simply by their example is such an inspiration. It really is an amazing reminder of how their joy is contagious, and even more so how the joy of Christ is contagious!

Photography: Yellow Rose Photography | Church: West Bottoms, Kansas City, Missouri (engagement shoot location)

How He Asked | Johnna + Adam

A few months before her move to Kentucky, Johnna signed up for an online dating site. She didn’t want to put too much pressure on herself to find a husband, so she approached it instead as a way to meet new people in a city where she knew no one.

Looking back, Johnna thinks this must have been the best way to approach dating, because she went on a date with Adam her first week in town!

During their courtship, Adam was the strong and steady rock in a swirl of new experiences for Johnna: a new city, new job and, eventually, a new faith. As a recent convert to Christianity from Judaism, Johnna was intrigued by Adam’s Catholic faith.

From the beginning, they had many conversations about why Adam was Catholic and what that meant for their potential life together.

And so, as Johnna fell in love with Adam, she fell in love with the Church.

Eventually, she enrolled in RCIA and came home to Catholicism eight months after they began dating.

In Johnna’s Words: When Adam and I first started dating, I had just started a new job as a faith-based community organizer. This meant I was working with different volunteers from various denominations.

I was Episcopalian at the time, and had been for five years. But there weren’t many Episcopal churches involved in the organization I was working for. Instead, the first church I worked with was a Catholic one.

Right off the bat, I started having conversations with the Catholic parishioners of the church. I asked about their faith and the Church’s strong social justice doctrine, and I was amazed.

I grew up in Alabama, which I later learned has one of the lowest Catholic populations, so many things I had heard about Catholicism weren’t quite true. When I started talking to these incredibly faithful men and women, they revealed the beauty of the Church to me.

I have a close friend—now my matron of honor—who is also Catholic. I began asking her questions I didn’t feel comfortable asking strangers. And since I found out early in our relationship that Adam was Catholic too, I started asking him questions as well.

I appreciated my previous church homes for their ability to inspire joy and happy emotions in me. But from Adam and the Church, I learned the beauty of logic and stability.

Faith could be so much more than a Sunday morning high and a feel-good building. It could be history, learning, and deep understanding.

And as I began to appreciate the depths of the Church, I began to learn what it truly means to love another person. My past relationships had been emotionally exhausting--mainly because I had looked at love as an emotion or feeling. Adam helped me realize love was a choice.

Staying mentally, physically, and spiritually fit is important to us as a couple. So, many times, I began to think about our workouts in terms of our faith. He and I intentionally made time for fitness because we knew it was important, even if we didn’t “feel” like it. In the same way, we began to make time for Mass and prayer together even if we didn’t “feel” like it.

I finally realized love was the same. I decided each day that I wanted to learn more about Adam and continue to share a part of my life with him. And despite panic attacks and bouts of depression that were a result of my job, he made the same decision with me.

As time went on, I became confident that Adam would continue making the choice to stay by me no matter what was going on in our lives, in the same way Christ made the decision to offer himself on the cross for the Church.

So when I came home at the start of my Christmas break to find Adam down on one knee, holding out a ring, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

I remember a conversation with a woman, the RCIA teacher, right before my first date with Adam. We were talking about my desire for marriage and family. She suggested I read the book of Tobit and pray to St. Raphael. And of course, she also let me know I was welcome in RCIA class on Sundays before Mass. Just to drop in and check it out.

She even gave me a bible and a St. Raphael prayer card. I didn’t know how I felt about praying to saints yet, since it wasn’t something that was looked kindly upon in my Southern Baptist-filled hometown. But I decided to give it a shot.

I didn’t think about it on my first date with Adam. But a few months later, after I was officially enrolled in RCIA and was picking my patron saint, I asked Adam who his confirmation saint was.

Lo and behold, it was St. Raphael.

A Photographer's Encouragement for Engagement



Each day from January 13-20, Spoken Bride's distinctively Catholic wedding vendors will be featured through Instagram takeovers and written contributions on the blog.

Are you recently engaged? We invite you to learn more about the gifted wedding industry professionals who partner with us through the Spoken Bride Vendor Guide.

When he asked me to marry him, I started crying tears of excitement. I was ready to be united with the love of my life and believed that nothing could stand in the way. Little did I know that nine months of marriage preparation, wedding planning, and managing family expectations would present a journey of challenges before we could walk down the aisle.

Although wedding planning was one of the most materialistic and difficult times in my life, I chose to enter the wedding industry to bless couples as their photographer and as a source of encouragement. We offer both beautiful images and positive support; we remind couples to embrace the hustle and bustle of wedding planning tasks by slowing down and enjoying engagement.

Your time as an engaged couple can seem extremely long and difficult due to a multitude of new situations, pressures, and circumstances. But there are many reasons why it's one of the most formative times in your marriage. As a bride and a photographer, I have journeyed through many engagements with couples. I pray that my perspective may help you experience your season of waiting with intention and a grateful heart.

Engagement is a precious time when you are able to communicate, discern points of conflict, and problem-solve prior to married intimacy.

It's during this time you are making some of the biggest foundational decisions in your relationship, like where you will live, where you will work, and how you will celebrate the holidays. Take time to dive into every conversation and seriously begin working through obstacles as you prepare for marriage.

Engagement gives you the ability to slowly unite as one.

In other words, engagement offers a buffer of time to release old, selfish habits and to develop new routines for new life circumstances. Marriage is a vocation that immediately strips you of the ability to be selfish; engagement is a time to prepare your mind, body, and spirit for that kind of sacrificial love. It is important to consider how daily routines and household responsibilities will change after your wedding.

Engagement allows you time to focus on Christ.

It is this time of waiting that gives you space to communicate about your faith and pray together. Use this time to create a vision for a shared spiritual life and goals for your new family’s foundation of values.

Engagement can be a challenging time to balance physical temptation, external pressures, emotional distress, and deadlines for key wedding planning decisions. But this time won't last forever.

Years from now you will look back on this season and it will be a small dot on the timeline of your marriage. With this in mind, utilize this season to its fullest by discerning issues, growing in selflessness, and focusing on Christ. After taking this time to build your foundation, you may even find the first year of your marriage will be easier than you expect!

About the Author: Sinikka Rohrer is the founder of Soul Creations Photography. She is a go-getter and dream-chaser who loves to serve others well. She loves all things healthy and early morning spiritual reads. Most days you can find her walking hand in hand beside the love of her life, Alan, with their baby John David in her arms. On any given day, you'll find them taking hikes and planning vacations out West.