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“Once I Was Engaged” Features Big Doses of Heart & Hilarity

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It’s been six years since “Once I Was a Beehive” helped usher in a new era of Latter-day Saint cinema. Now, a sequel looks to both entertain and empower in the must-see movie of the summer.

“Once I Was Engaged” is a romantic comedy about what happens when the best-laid plans don’t go…well, the way you planned them. When Bree Carrington gets engaged while at BYU Hawaii, her loving but over-the-top mom goes all out to create the wedding of the century. But both mother and daughter must overcome the pressure of perfection when this happily ever after story doesn’t go quite as expected. Starring Clare Niederpruem and Lisa Valentine Clark, the film brings back all of your favorite characters from the first film.

“Reuniting the cast felt like a high school reunion,” the film’s writer and director Maclain Nelson said. “Everyone was so excited to see each other and work with each other again. They all had so much fun building on their characters and showing where they have come since the first movie.  We also all bonded with the new cast members including Bart Johnson (High School Musical) and Tanner Gillman (Studio C). It wasn’t long until they were a part of the family.”

Once I Was Engaged

While the first film took viewers on an adventure through the woods, “Once I Was Engaged” had the cast and crew filming in paradise. Featured locations include the Brigham Young University-Hawaii campus, Polynesian Cultural Center, and the gorgeous beaches of Oahu.

“Filming in Hawaii was a dream come true,” Nelson said. “Since I first visited Oahu in 2003, I made a goal to shoot a feature film there. Eighteen years later that dream came true. The gorgeous weather, the ocean air, and the incredible views were very healing for our cast and crew, especially as it gave us a break from the very harsh Utah winter during the pandemic.”

Once I Was Engaged

However, the film doesn’t just take viewers to exotic new locations—you’ll also get to go back in time. Multiple flashback scenes help give new life and perspective to girl’s characters, who needed to be found in miniature.

“We had an amazing experience casting the younger versions of the characters for the flashback scenes,” Nelson said. “We did an open call to actors all over the nation to submit tapes of themselves as younger versions of the original characters and we were able to find the perfect young actresses for the parts. Most of them were first-time actresses on film so it was very impressive to see their poise and raw talent for such young performers.”

Nelson and the rest of the cast and crew hope to film helps the audience believe in trusting yourself during big life decisions while having lots of fun. “We really hope that people will come and experience this wild comedic ride with us in the theaters,” he said. “We know it’s been a while since we have been able to gather in theaters but had so much fun making this movie we want everyone to share in that joy with us.”

“Once I Was Engaged” premieres on July 21, 2021, in select Utah theaters. It expands to theaters in Idaho, Arizona, and Nevada on August 6. As a stand-alone movie, you don’t have to have watched “Once I Was a Beehive” to enjoy the new sequel or understand the characters. You can get your ticket and learn more here.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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