Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!

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UVA Lawn Proposal | Radhika & Varun

January 13, 2021

Photographing friends’ proposals and getting to be a plan of the planning process will never get old!! I consider myself so, so lucky to witness such an incredible moment that’ll be a part of their story forever. And it’s even sweeter when you’ve known them since your childhood. A little back story for you guys. Radhika and I have been family friends since way back when and were even in the same dance group for years throughout high school! She’s one grade year older than me and I actually visited her when she was in her first-year dorm for a weekend to see if I wanted to come to UVA for Engineering through the SWE High School Visitation Program. I remember getting to see what UVA was like firsthand, seeing how group-oriented the engineering program and pretty much having the best time trekking through the snow to get coffee from Para and see the Corner! That was right around the time that Radhika & Varun had first started dating too! I had known Varun as a family friend too but hadn’t ever gotten to talk to him much before. They were so cute and quirky together and you could tell right from the start that they would be dating for a LONG time!

Well, fast forward 8 years, from running into them in Newcomb Hall and Engineering Way and at AOE’s dances, when I got a call from Varun on Thursday night I had a pretty good idea of what he was going to ask! He pulled everything together SO well in such a short amount of time after finding out that the ring was going to be ready ahead of schedule. He reached out to me and told me he was going to tell Radhika that his best friend was going to propose on the Lawn! Since I also know his best friend personally, it was the PERFECT cover! He would say they were running late and that we should walk around and pick out the perfect spot to pop the question and then when I gave him the signal, he would get down on one knee!

And that’s exactly what happened on the most beautiful January day!!! And Radhika had NOOO clue!!! It was so sweet and so perfect! Radhika & Varun CONGRATULATIONS YOU’RE ENGAGED!!!!! I’m so so happy I got to be a part of your proposal story and capture it for you guys!! I literally can’t wait until the wedding and am so so happy for you both!

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Ahhh she tried to hold in the tears :’)

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