Disneyland has become a popular destination for proposals, weddings, and photoshoots, but one woman’s broken engagement shoot at Disneyland has become a viral sensation, inspiring girls everywhere to be their own “knight in shining armor.” Like so many of us who grew up the ‘90s, Brooke Lowry, 27, spent a fair amount of time dreaming of her “happily ever after” while watching Disney favorites such as Cinderella and The Little Mermaid. She thought she had finally found her prince charming in her fiancé, and planned a elaborate engagement shoot using the most magical place on earth (where else?) as a backdrop.
Unfortunately, relationships in the real world do not always have fairytale endings, and Brooke’s fiancé called off the wedding mere weeks before their photoshoot was set to take place. Brooke considered cancelling, but chose to make the best of the situation instead. "After a few days of contemplation, I thought, 'You know what? No, ma'am! This is not how your story ends! You are going to go feel beautiful, have a beautiful day, and have beautiful photos to remember it'," Brooke told Cosmopolitan.
Though she describes the day as "bittersweet" it's evident from the glowing pictures, taken by friend and professional photographer Drexelle Park, that prince or no prince, she was having a Cinderella moment.
"I had a few guests ask me which princess I was, which made my day," Brooke told the Huffington Post. "It honestly couldn’t have been a more beautiful experience."
Since the shoot, Brooke has quickly shed her “one day my prince will come” mindset and started focussing on herself. In July, she moved across the country from Santa Monica, California, to Nashville, Tennessee to start the next chapter of her life. The one-time Disney Television Animation employee isn't quite sure what the future holds, but remains optimistic and focussed.
"Having been in consecutive long term relationships for the past 10 years, I think it’s time to fully focus on the gifts I have to offer the world," Brooke told the Huffington Post. "Hopefully I’ll end up working for Disney again and contributing to the Disney Princess line that has inspired me since I was three years old." Brooke ended her magical photoshoot by watching the Disneyland fireworks over the castle, with a newfound courage and peace. She hopes one day in the future to be able to show the special photos to her daughter as an example of what it means to not be the victim and take charge of your own life.
"You have the power to find beauty and make magic every day, for yourself and for others," Brooke told Cosmopolitan. "Life is a fairy tale full of multiple once-upon-a-times and happily-ever-afters, and we all have magic within!"