New York-based actors Jackie Nguyen and Nate Huntley have always embraced the bold and the dramatic, and when it came time to take their engagement photos, they definitely showed off their flair for the theatrical.
The pair, who got engaged on October 8th last year, decided to play up their fun personalities by dressing up as famous movie duos and taking engagement photos in character.
“My fiancé and I like to think outside of the box, and felt like traditional photos wouldn’t encompass the fun or adventure we like to have,” Huntley tells The Knot. “We originally thought we wanted to play a little prank on our families and reveal photos that were so out of the outlandish that they’d be confused. We had the idea of having a typical setting, like a field of flowers or a mountain range that you see normally, but having us dress in full costume, like Chewbacca and Yoda. From that idea spouted a fully fledged idea of dressing up as our favorite characters, and then, since we are literally so extra, we decided to make it an entire year-long project!”
What resulted was a series of photos by their friend Isaac James that had the engaged couple posing as everyone from Doc and Marty McFly from Back to the Future (Huntley was Doc and Nguyen was a convincing McFly) to Dwight Schrute and Michael Scott from The Office. (The pair claims that they “never even considered” dressing up as Jim and Pam).
When asked about the photoshoots and the resulting images, Nguyen and Huntley had different favorites, and for different reasons.
“I had the most fun doing the Titanic look because what went into getting that shot was absolutely bonkers,” Huntley tells The Knot. “We had to find a pool, at a gym, that either no one was in (so they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable with us taking photos there) and legitimately try to achieve an angle that emulated the infamous scene well enough, while wearing wigs, heavy makeup, and trying to appear sad and frozen to capture one of the most dramatic scenes ever! We were holding back our laughter so much because it was just ridiculous.”
“My favorite was shooting the Wet Bandits,” Nguyen says. “Home Alone is my absolute favorite film, more of an obsession, I would say, and dressing up as Joe Pesci gave me eternal life. We also shot that at Bethesda fountain in Central Park where the movie was shot, so I felt the spirit of the Wet Bandits were there with us that day. Plus, I’m secretly using these photos as a ploy to get Macaulay Culkin to come to our wedding in April.”
In fact, Nguyen’s obsession with Home Alone runs so deep that Huntley incorporated the film into his surprise proposal last fall. After secretly asking his and her best friends to join them in New York City (the couple lives in Astoria), the thoughtful groom-to-be played John Williams’ orchestral version of “Somewhere in My Memory” at the scene of the proposal.
In a video from the proposal, Nguyen was led to a backyard of a restaurant, where Huntley and their friends awaited. “The proposal itself was modeled after Michael and Holly’s engagement from The Office, making a makeshift aisle, except I was standing at the end,” Huntley tells us. “As she walked through, each person handed her a rose.”
When Nguyen reached the spot where Huntley was standing, he expressed his love for her and dropped down to one knee. “Ever since we linked arms, I knew we were meant to be together,” he says. “I really want to grow old with you. I want to start a family with you. I want you to be a part of my family. I want to be a part of your family.”
The couple, who first met during a North Carolina production of Miss Saigon, is excited to finally get hitched this April. They’ve already endured the uncertainty of a pseudo-long distance relationship and a health scare, and are looking forward to continuing on in life together, as partners in crime.
“We knew there was something special but we had no idea when/if we would see each other again,” Huntley tells us of their connection. “About a week passes and Jackie calls me, letting me know she is losing her hair due to Alopecia. Neither of us knew much about Alopecia at that point and we were both scared. A month later, she visited me in Colorado, we both shaved our heads together, and we called our relationship ‘official.’ We have been inseparable ever since.”