Dani and Shannen started dating on Jan. 24, 2020, after meeting on Instagram. One year later, on Jan. 22, 2021, they were engaged! We love how Dani got her friend, a photographer, in on the plan so the proposal was captured forever in pictures. Read on for more about this couple’s beach engagement in Miami, Florida.
HOW DID YOU MEET?
Shannen and I met on Instagram. We are both fitness instructors. Shan living in Philly and myself living in Miami. The story as to who followed who remains a mystery. Our story starts with a simple DM. Shannen slid right into my DMs commenting on my story about a new pair of sunglasses. We started liking each others posts and messaging back and forth. The DMs lead to texts, the texts lead to FaceTime, and before you knew it I was on a flight to Philly to meet this incredible lady.
WHO PROPOSED AND HOW?
Shannen was down in Miami celebrating our anniversary. We frequently take photos together when we are together so I suggested to Shannen that we do a photoshoot with my friend. We settled on a hotel right on the beach that has beautiful views of the ocean. My friend was in on the plan and asked Shannen to step into the frame for a test shot. She directed Shannen to face the ocean so her back would be turned towards me. That was my cue to slide into place and down on one knee. She asked Shannen to turn around and there I was down on one knee. Shannen was shocked we both cried and laughed. After what felt like many minutes Shannen yelled “duh.” It has always been obvious to us that we were soulmates.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT EACH OTHER?
We love the support we have for one another. Being in a long distance relationship requires communication, understanding, and support.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN YOUR MARRIAGE?
Being in the same city! We can’t wait to come home to one another each day, lay some roots down, and start building a family.
At this stage in 2020, we all deserve a getaway–or five!
With its palm-fringed beaches, art deco architecture, and sumptuous hotels, Greater Miami is the perfect getaway any time of year. The winter and spring months offer tropical warmth: the perfect, balmy respite to other parts of the frigid U.S.
Miami also offers choice, whether you’re looking for arts and culture, queer family-friendly outdoor adventures, high-end shopping or somewhere to frolic with your pooch.
Miami is also famed for its vibrant LGBTQ scene. Its LGBT Visitor Center in South Beach’s historic City Hall building is one of the very best in the country, and the destination’s festivals and parties draw visitors from around the world (pre-and post-pandemic).
Now is a particularly great time to plan a visit, as it offers special deals to lure back travelers as the world begins to open back up.
Check out some of our favorite beaches, beach walks, and parks in Miami.
1. Bark Beach at North Beach Oceanside Park
North Beach Oceanside Park is in the northern part of Miami Beach, from 79th to 87th Street.
It offers a chilled-out, low-key vibe, with the only sound being surf, seagulls, and pelicans. The park also offers plenty of picnic tables for you to safely enjoy takeout food from the local street vendors, with fresh seafood in abundance.
2. Hobie Island Beach Park
This one is great for dogs and owners who love to play together in the surf. Hobie Island Beach Park – also known as Windsurfer Beach – lies on the Rickenbacker Causeway, running from Miami to Virginia Key and not far from the Miami Seaquarium, which also deserves a visit, especially with kids in tow.
Hobie Island Beach Park offers kayaking, windsurfing, and paddleboarding, all set against the panoramic (and Instagram-friendly) backdrop of downtown Miami on one side and the vast expanse of the Atlantic on the other. The water is shallow enough here to wade and play, yet another reason it’s popular with families.
3. 12th Street Beach
12th Street Beach, in front of Lummus Park and Ocean Drive on South Beach, is loudly and proudly gay. Populated mostly by gay men, look for the rainbow flags by the lifeguard stations and you’ll know you have found your outdoor vacation home.
Traveling with kids? This part of South Beach has a reputation for those looking to party. If you want a quieter, LGBTQ family-friendly alternative, check out South Pointe Park Beach (with its play areas and dog park) or the beach at 20th Street.
4. Bal Harbour Beach
If the idea of designer living and upmarket shopping is your thing, head for Bal Harbour Village, at the northernmost end of Miami Beach island. The area is known for attracting the rich and famous with its luxury stores and five-star restaurants.
Bal Harbour Shops offers the likes of Versace, Chanel, Gucci, and Valentino, all spread around a restaurant-packed inner courtyard, with family favorites such as Bianco Gelato.
Bal Harbour’s pristine, white-sand beach is considerably quieter than South Beach and offers boardwalks for walkers and cyclists. The nearby Surfside Beach is another one popular with paddleboarders and kite surfers.
5. Beach Walk
This last recommendation is not a beach per se, but a paved walk that runs from South Pointe Park in Miami Beach’s southern tip, parallel to the ocean along South Beach, stretching north all the way through Bal Harbour and offers people-watching extravaganza.
Along the way, check out the outdoor muscle gym at Ninth Street. Take your pick from the restaurants along Ocean Drive like the Front Porch Café (a popular breakfast and brunch spot), and others such as Havana 1957, offering Cuban-inspired lunch boxes to enjoy outdoors on your journey through this urban beach paradise.
Kids will love the Willy Wonka-ish vibe of Ocean Drive’s Sugar Factory (while adults will appreciate its brasserie and candy-flavored cocktails).
Lisana thought they were starting a regular day of work. The Miami, Florida, couple needed to shoot a sales video for their side project. It was business as usual to dress up and schedule a videographer. Little did Lisana know that Regina had planned a surprise proposal.
They started shooting their sales video at South Pointe Park, an urban park with panoramic views of the shoreline. They stood on the rock jetty with the ocean in the background. Lisana was getting a little irritated with Regina, however. Although the couple had memorized scripts for the shoot, Regina could only remember a few lines. But Regina was nervous for other reasons.
In the middle of the shoot, the videographer suggested the pair try something different. The videographer asked the couple to stand back-to-back, then began filming. Lisana turned around and… Regina was on one knee.
“I completely froze,” Lisana told Equally Wed. When she looked up, all of their friends and family were surrounding them. Of course, Lisana said yes.
A few minutes later, a rainbow appeared in the sky.
Regina had planned a luxury yacht ride after with a private chef and a saxophone player to set the mood. The couple spent the rest of the day cruising on the water. Lisana told Equally Wed: “It was the best day of my life!”