Alyssia and Andre

Alyssia and Andre's Engagement in Big Bear, CA

How We Met

Back in 2011, I got hired as a seasonal for Costco. As I started my first couple of weeks at work, I noticed a worker, Andre, wearing a Bishop Amat sweater. In the back of my mind, I thought Andre was very good looking, but unfortunately I was stuck in another relationship at the time, so I never pursued Andre. I did casually ask Andre if he attended Bishop Amat high school and if he knew two mutual friends I went to elementary school with. Coincidentally, he was actually close friends with both of the friends I grew up with. Little did I know, Andre actually spotted me first when I started working there, telling his coworker that he was going to marry me one day. When he found out I knew one of his friends, he contacted him and asked about me. After that, Andre and I never connected due to me still being in another relationship. After ending the relationship with my ex a couple months later, Andre contacted me and offered his phone number in case I needed a friend to talk to or hang out with. I took the offer and texted him the next morning. I always thought he was very attractive so when he sent me that message, I was extremely flattered. A week later, I went out to the LA County Fair with a group of girl friends. Wanting to see him, I invited him and his friends to join us. About an hour later, he called me saying that he was there by the big ferris wheel. Little did I know, he actually showed up to the Fair alone. I knew from that moment, he was something special. He hugged me for the first time and even stepped on my toes, but it was a moment that I will always remember because it was the start of our greatest adventure.

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how they asked

Halloween night, October 31, 2012 was the day Andre asked me to be his girlfriend after an evening at the Griffith Observatory. I knew from that day on I was going to marry him one day. Fast forward five years later, Andre put together a weekend getaway in Big Bear with some of our closest friends.

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This trip was planned for about two months prior. It never crossed my mind that this was going to be the weekend he was going to propose! We arrived in Big Bear on Friday, and everything was going well. Our cabin was beautiful and the weather was perfect! After going out to dinner in the Village, we arrived back to the cabin and the night still continued with drinking, games, and line dancing. I may have drank a little too much that night, so the next morning I felt terribly sick. I thought it would go away around mid-day but it didn’t. As the day went on, we all went back to the Village to walk around and eat. While we were eating, I noticed Andre was sitting there zoning out so I thought he was just super full from the food. Little did I know he was actually feeling very anxious and nervous for what was about to happen. After we were done eating, we walked back to the car which I thought we were heading back to the cabin. Instead, the girls threw a curve ball and said there were some pictures they wanted to take by the lake and then wanted to go to the store to get stuff for s’mores. Honestly, all I wanted to do was lay down and drink pedialite because I was just not feeling so great. After we did the pictures and went to the market, we rushed back to the cabin. Not knowing why my friends wanted me to go outside, I walked out to the patio deck, where I found candles and lights arranged beautifully, leading to where Andre was standing in the corner with a smile on his face…

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I instantly knew what was about to happen and burst into tears. We gave each other the biggest hug and he told me in my ear, “You know I have been wanting to do this for a while now. I wanted to wait for the perfect moment.” He kneeled on one knee, asking the one question that made me the happiest girl in the world, and of course I said YES! After we had our moment, I turned around and realized that everyone was standing there including our families. It was the most perfect night, and Andre designed the most perfect ring that had a personalized messaged engraved “You Are My Greatest Adventure”. From hiking mountains in Yosemite, discovering the great wonders of the Grand Canyon, and keeping each other warm in the harsh weather of the Rocky Mountains, stepping into this new journey with Andre is the one adventure I’ve looked forward to since the day we met.

Special Thanks

Andrew Hartnett
 | Photographer