A MAGICAL LGBTQ+ WALT DISNEY WORLD ENGAGEMENT SESSION IN ORLANDO, FL // DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | Zakas Photography
A few weeks ago I got the honor to fly down to Orlando, Florida and shoot an engagement session in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida with these two amazing women- Holly and Kate. It was a bit of a coming home in a few aspects. I had lived in Orlando for almost a decade and worked as a Lead Photographer for The Mouse for a few years prior to moving to Brooklyn. Holly said she wanted to have their Disney engagement session, and I could not be more happy and excited to go back to my old stomping grounds and play for the day. We didn't get to go into all the secret spots I used to have access to, but, we did park hop and in a way had more freedom and flexibility to shoot a more epic-romantic-its-so-cute-I-want-to-puke story.
Holly and Kate's story is a bit unique and completely heart-melty. Prior to meeting Kate, Holly was with a partner, Chad, since they were 14 years old. They were wickedly in love and Chad was diagnosed with cancer and passed away after many attempts to rid it form his body. After Chad had died, Holly was unsure she would ever find someone who could make her as happy as he did. Shortly after his passing, Holly met Kate and was so surprised she had found her. Holly says Kate was so patient with her during her healing, which they still go through together, and that she is still so surprised she has found Kate and love again so quickly.
Holly and Kate's first date was to go rock climbing together. Holly has never been before, but being an athlete herself through the sport of roller derby, Kate was excited to show her the sport she enjoys doing. It didn't take long for Kate to fall for Holly. She says, "Holly has a great sense of humor, she feels deeply when she finds something beautiful, and she has an extremely kind soul." Holly says she loves most about Kate is, "I love that Kate’s weirdness complements my weirdness. Her sense of humor, intelligence, and how we both strive for mutual happiness."
A few months ago they took a trip to Paris, France and Kate proposed to Holly under the Eiffel Tower on the Bridge of Locks. "Holly had never been to Europe before, and she’s a pretty big Francophile. So, I took her to Paris and popped the question under the Eiffel Tower on the Bridge of Locks. I wanted her to have a romantic experience that we could both cherish for the rest of our lives." Holly said she had an idea it was coming, but didn't know when.
Pretty shortly after the proposal, I was asked to shoot their wedding and could not have been more honored. I had followed Holly's story with Chad from diagnoses to passing, and knew how strong she was and how hard of a journey it was for her. I could not have been more happy for her finding someone who was patient with her, who loves her, who she loves, and who could be a partner for her in the next chapter of her life. She told me she wanted to have their engagement session in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and I pretty much was jumping up and down. Disney World is Holly's 'happy place' so I knew not only would it be fun, but we would be able to get photos that are true to their personalities and can showcase what a wonderful pair they are together. Which we totally NAILED IT. Holly said her favorite part of their engagement session and working with me was, "The fun Kate and I had laughing and running around the park. We’re really just a couple of goofballs." Kate said that, "we were able to be our goofy selves and have fun." Which is always my goal, and was not even a bit hard to achieve with these two.
Their wedding is coming up this year, ON STAR WARS DAY, and this nerd photographer CAN NOT WAIT. Holly is looking forward to seeing all their friends and family, and the fun theme of the day. They both said that the biggest thing they are both looking forward to is marrying their best friend and saying 'I Do.'