Lacey + Shawn: Surprise Photo Booth Engagement and Surprise San Francisco Wedding
On Friday, July 31, 2015 Das Bus had the honor of hosting an incredibly historical moment both for our photo booth and an amazing couple we would come to know as Shawn Monaghan and Lacey Prince.
Earlier that week, we received an email from Shawn asking if Das Bus would be at Off the Grid Fort Mason that Friday and what times we would be there. We replied and thought nothing of it. Later on that Friday at Fort Mason, a lovely young couple approached us eager to buy a photo session in Das Bus. Little did we know, this next photo session would mark the beginning of a new life together for this couple, and a celebration of their love for each other!
They both emerged from the bus jumping and laughing with delight and Shawn told us he had just proposed to Lacey in the photo booth and she had said yes! Suddenly we were all jumping around like total idiots in love, so ecstatic and excited about the engagement- we made Shawn and Lacey get in the booth again for free and take photos while sipping and toasting their tiny champagne bottles (Shawn had thought of everything).
While Shawn and Lacey were celebrating in their second photo session, John and I both exclaimed with amazement and joy about how AWESOME it was that this couple just made a commitment to spend the rest of their lives together in our photo booth! John started to get tears in his eyes and then of course I lost it and the tears of excitement and happiness just poured out.
When Shawn and Lacey got out of the bus again we tried to pull ourselves together (hardly) and asked if we could photograph them in front of the bus, so we could also remember this moment forever. It was one of the most beautiful and spontaneous things to happen in the Das Bus photo booth!
Shawn and Lacey graciously thanked us and said they would be in touch for the wedding. Unbeknownst to us, it would only be 3 months later until we heard from Lacey, asking Das Bus to be the photo booth for her surprise wedding in San Francisco that November! What exactly is a surprise wedding, you ask? Well, for Lacey and Shawn, it meant inviting friends and family to an "Engagement Party" at the Stable Cafe in San Francisco, and then showing up in full tux and wedding gown and having the ceremony and reception on the spot! Oh and, it was absolutely perfect.
I asked Shawn and Lacey to give us the inside scoop on how they pulled off both a surprise engagement and a surprise wedding three months later- both flawlessly executed to boot! See below for photos and the full story from Shawn and Lacey!
DB: How did you two meet?
L&S: We were both single living in San Francisco before we know each other. As individuals we each decided to move to Los Angeles for our careers around the same time frame. After being in Los Angeles for a of couple years we were both invited to a friend's birthday party at a Bowling Alley where we were introduced.
We found we had a lot in common. From an interest in art, to a sense of humor & both having lived in San Francisco during the same years, we joked about the idea of our paths not having crossed sooner. Shawn's spontaneity and sense of adventure led to our first date, a surf lesson, followed by an afternoon of tennis, an outdoor concert, a trip to Australia, and a move back to San Francisco, we just kept planning one adventure after another and have been together ever since.
DB: Shawn, how did you decide to pop the question to Lacey in Das Bus at Fort Mason?
L&S: Lacey and I have always loved photo booths. We love film and instant photography. Having the physical picture in your hand the moment you snap a photo creates a feeling of nostalgia taking you back to that memory, that moment when the picture was taken. It's a feeling that digital photography doesn't quite capture in the same way.
That said, I was trying to come up with a unique idea that would allow me to incorporate something we both love, capture her reaction and still be a private moment we share together. I wasn't sure how i was going to capture her reaction without staged cameras or hiring a photographer so I searched for public photo booths for awhile. It was really hard trying to find one that wasn't in a bar, arcade or bowling alley. It wasn't until I found Das Bus that my vision would come to life. I stumbled onto Das Bus' website and noticed they go to Off the Grid at Fort Mason, which Lacey and I both love and go to frequently. That's when I knew this is where it will happen.
So, we went to Off the Grid like we have done so many Fridays before but tonight was going to be a little different, she just didn't know it yet. I casually, yet extremely nervously suggested we should go check out Das Bus & take a photo since we love photo booths. Once inside the booth I regretfully convinced Lacey to put down the "Who Farted" sign so we could take a normal picture. I then waited for the countdown 3, 2, 1 & got down on one knee capturing her reaction as I asked her to marry me. It was a lot of fun. After she said yes, we celebrated and took a bunch more photos to remember the occasion.
DB: What made you all decide to do a surprise wedding (under the guise of an engagement party)?
L&S: Having attended so many wonderful weddings in our life, We wanted ours to be something a little different and maybe something a little unconventional.There are so many things in life that are calculated, anticipated or expected and it's very rare that you get to be authentically surprised. So we decided to throw an engagement party turned wedding.
We wanted our day to be "us". We thought about what we love & tried to incorporate all the things that meant something to the both of us. From choosing our first song, to incorporating our love of film & cameras, to booking our favorite food truck we wanted this day to be the ultimate day of all our favorite things and a photo booth was one of them! And not just any photo booth, Das Bus photo booth!
Most couples wouldn't prioritize booking their photo booth but to us, this was the booth we got engaged in and this was the booth we wanted to continue to celebrate with at our wedding. Luckily Das Bus was available!
DB: What was your song choice for the first dance as a married couple?
L&S: The year we started dating in LA there was a fun TV commercial that came out where they launched thousands of bouncy balls down a street in San Francisco. Having both lived in San Francisco we immediately had a connection to that city and to this commercial. We could relate to how steep the hills in San Francisco are and how crazy it would have been to launch all those bouncy balls down a city street. The song featured in the TV spot was Heartbeats, by Jose Gonzalez (an acoustic version of The Knife's original). Since then, we both have loved that song. We would occasionally hear it being played and we would say to each other, remember this....its the bouncy ball song!
So, when we were thinking about our first dance we wanted to pick a song that we had a personal connection with and our immediately thought, the bouncy ball song! We also wanted a song that our guests could start dancing to so we decided for the first couple minutes we would dance to the acoustic version of Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez then we had our DJ remix it to a more upbeat version, so we could have some fun and get our guests to join in and dance with us at at end of our first song.
DB: Any tips for newly engaged couples planning a wedding?
- Plan what you love, incorporate elements that mean something to you, write your own vows & just let go and enjoy each moment of your special day.
- Hire a Wedding Planner! The most important person during the planning phase was our planner whose biggest job was to bring our vision to life and run the show during the wedding day. We had so many surprises planned, we needed someone to be in on our little secret and help us pull this off the way we had envisioned.
- Be yourself, speak from the heart. We tried to incorporate all the things that made us a couple. From our first song, to making our own wedding bands, saying our own vows, to using our own vintage cameras and cake plate collection. We wanted to share with all of our friends and family the things we love in each other and in our lives.
- Have a budget ....actually have 2 budgets. One as your initial budget, and another for the drop dead cant go over budget. Make sure you are aware of what things cost it is so easy and fast to go over your budget if you don't plan accordingly.
- Try not to worry about the little things, or the timing of everything. We had a couple close calls with almost having the surprised being spoiled but we had to just try and roll with whatever the day gives you and it will all work out!
DB: Would you recommend having a surprise wedding?
L&S: We recommend doing what's best for you! It was really hard not being able to tell friends and family our secret as we planned our day but seeing the reactions on our guests faces made the surprise truly unexpected & unforgettable for everyone.