Denman Estate was the perfect location for Areli (Elle) and Victor’s engagement session for so many reasons, but I’ll give you two before I tell you about their whole love story. One, it was the place they would enjoy together when they would unwind after a particularly difficult workweek, and two, it was the place that Victor took Elle back to so he could surprise propose to her.

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Elle and Victor first met in 2009 at Texas A&M. After that first random meeting, they would occasionally run into each other but the two never quite developed a connection.

In late 2013, they had a chance encounter in San Antonio—nearly 200 miles from where they had first met. That night they exchanged numbers and started talking often and quickly realized they enjoyed a lot of the same things. Elle and Victor built their friendship on a similar love for humor, movies and old Nickelodeon® cartoons. They’d always make it a habit to go see the latest Marvel® movies together, grab dinner, then hang out afterward just to talk about the movie, or All That or Hey Arnold—two of their favorite Nickelodeon cartoons.

For the next four years, they saw each other through a fair share of failed relationships, but through all that, they were always able to still remain friends.

In the spring of 2017, Elle and Victor were both single and started to spend more time with each other. In July, the two scheduled their usual “date” to watch the latest Marvel movie, Spider-Man Homecoming.

For the first time since 2009, they saw something different in each other… something more than just a friend and by August their relationship was official.

Denman Estate Engagement

Since making it official, they would always go for walks or short hikes when Elle had a weekend off. The place they seemed to visit most frequently was Denman Estate Park.

Just like any other Saturday, Elle and Victor slept in and then enjoyed a late breakfast followed by a walk. This particular morning, Elle was not in the mood for a walk but Victor insisted and encouraged her by saying that the walk would make her feel better.

denman estate engagement session san antonio wedding photographers

The two walked a few laps around the park. After Elle mentioned that she would like to see more of the ducks, Victor suggested that they walk out onto the peninsula.

As the two approach the peninsula, Victor started to describe some random YouTube® video he had recently watched. Elle was confused by his story but listened. Victor went on to narrate about some guy and the plans he and his girlfriend had made for the day. Continuing, Victor said that the guy was talking to his girlfriend about life… and it was at this exact point that something in Victor’s voice changed. There was a hint of a quiver. Elle sensed Victor’s nervousness but still didn’t realize that anything was out of the ordinary. Then, Victor said that the guy in the video said,

Will you marry me…(long pause) Ellie?”

denman estate engagement session san antonio wedding photographers

This was no longer a video.

Elle immediately recognized the video was not on YouTube at all. This is a story about Elle and Victor and Victor is proposing… here in the park… on the peninsula… in front of the ducks and all the other people who have decided to walk this morning.

Elle said, “Oh my god, Oh my god, Oh my god, Oh my god!” Then she realized she hadn’t said yes, and followed with, “YES!!!”

There were cheers and applause from all the other park-goers.

denman estate engagement session san antonio wedding photographers

I got engaged in a Buc-ee’s shirt and leggings which oddly enough happened to be the exact outfit I wore the first time I hung out at his house.


Elle and Victor will be getting married on January 16, 2021 at the Club at Garden Ridge.

Enjoy some of my favorite images from Elle and Victor’s Denman Estate engagement session then be sure to watch the slideshow at the end!

If you’d like to see all the images from this Denman Estate engagement session, please enjoy this video. For the best quality, be sure to change the video player settings to 1080 HD. 

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san antonio senior portrait photographers ata-girl photography since 2010

I am San Antonio’s most unique wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.

I am a full-time, internationally-awarded and WPPI-C certified professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I offer a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations.

I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.

When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!

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