How We Met
Amelia: It all started Spring Break 2014 with an elevator selfie. Eric, one of Levi’s groomsman, was a hosting a get together in Newport Beach. All night I was secretly hoping the cute older guy who I kept making eye contact with would talk to me. Disappointingly, that never happened.
Levi: I remember one of the other guys invited over a particular girl because he was interested in her. I spent the entire night trying not to stare at this babe, whom I was convinced was the most beautiful girl in the world. So, instead I sat in the hot tub trying to be respectful of my friend.
Fast forward through 3 years of some light Facebook stocking.
Amelia: Levi enlists in the Marine Corps and it peaks my interest. Curious about his unique decision to join after college, I decide I want to message him to finally get to know him better. Nonetheless, I felt like the Lord was calling me to be patient so I waited. Two weeks later, Levi had just been stationed in Southern California and saw his opportunity to finally make his move.
Levi: Shortly after enlisting in the Marine Corps I was devastated to learn that my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) had changed and I was now being shipped to the notorious 29 Palms Marine Corps Base. However, I now realized I was now only a short drive from away from my friends, and a certain Amelia McQuarry. After two weeks of seeing Amelia’s face pop up on social media, I realized it was now or never to spend time with the hottie from Newport Beach. One night I decided I had nothing to lose by reaching out to see if we could get our group together again. Really, I didn’t care about the group, I wanted to see Amelia.
Amelia: One summer night, the cute guy from Newport slides into my DMs (Direct Messages).
Levi: I quickly decide that it was against my better judgment and unsend the DM.
Amelia: I had already seen the message.
Levi: She called me out for sliding in and out of her DMs. I’ve never done that so fast in my life.
Amelia: 2 months later I make the drive out to the desert for my birthday weekend. I see Levi walking towards me with a gift in hand and immediately the butterflies hit. We hug, giggle, awkwardly try to flirt and 11 months later he’s down on one knee!
how they asked
Levi: When I decided that I was gonna ask Amelia to marry me I had just been transferred to North Carolina meaning she was going to have to move away from her loved ones. Being in a long distance relationship meant a lot of late night Skype “dates”. Although those calls were always so special, it killed me that I couldn’t take her on more “real” dates. When I planned the proposal I wanted her family and friends involved. I began choosing locations throughout the city that we would both love. Getting to LA was a challenge for me with work, but once I landed everything fell into place. The next day I drove to Amelia’s house and surprised her with her baby sister as she was getting ready for work. I had a hand-drawn map of LA and a clue for the first date of the day. We hopped in the car and drove to breakfast at Hotel Angelo’s rooftop restaurant. Hours before our arrival they had a hotel-wide blackout, so we had the place to ourselves.
Amelia: I remember looking down at the table and wondering why two waiters were simultaneously pouring our waters because it felt like over attention to those empty glasses. I was so surprised to look up and see two familiar faces posing as waiters. It was Levi’s brother and sister-in-law all the way from Washington. At this point, Levi’s sister and best friend popped out holding video cameras. We had breakfast and then Levi gave me a handmade box that Brady, Levi’s brother, had worked on. It had our initials on it and was made to hold the many letters that Levi and I had written back and forth.
Levi: After the restaurant, the two of us drove to the Getty Center, an iconic Los Angeles museum. Making our way to the main exhibits we bumped into Amelia’s best friend and Matron of Honor, Brittney, who happened to be sitting at the fountain with a smile on her face. As the two were hugging an even bigger surprise came running towards us from behind a pillar. One of Amelia’s other childhood best friends had agreed to surprise her by flying down from Portland, Oregon. Amelia quickly pushed Brittney aside as she was in shock seeing her friend who had traveled so far to see her. The two gave her a necklace with our initials on it, and more importantly our next clue.
Leaving the Getty we headed straight for The Highlight Room for a lunch overlooking Hollywood. At this point, Amelia could sense the pattern of people close to her surprising her at each spot. Watching her hop out of the car anticipating who was next made my whole day. As we took the elevator to the rooftop we walked through the doors and made our way to the tables, where her father was waiting. He had flown in all the way from Florida! Lunch with a view, and her dad was a great rest stop before more exploring. On top of that, he gave her a necklace that I had gotten for her, which was a big hit. Shout out to mom for picking that one out.
In our relationship, I have wanted to show Amelia how much I look forward to coming back to LA after the Marine Corps. The best way to do this was taking her to my favorite places in the city. The first of these stops following lunch with Mr. McQuarry was Amoeba Music, a giant record store full of music and movies new and old. We both love movies and music, so it was a perfect stop to have our next guests give her the scrapbook we’ve been taking turns filling out. When we entered two of her great high school friends, and her two sisters from Florida were holding the scrapbook with big smiles! It was another really special stop, especially considering the time they took out of work to be there!
I was especially excited about our next stop. When I lived in Hollywood I would often visit a little bookstore a block from my apartment. I had my parents, who drove all the way down from Washington state, waiting in this same bookstore. The gift they had was a book my mom put together that held letters addressed to Amelia from both sides of our families, along with some from her close pals. It was even more special to me for the simple fact that I hadn’t seen my parents since the previous Christmas.
After the bookstore we had one more stop and a couple more surprises in store. We made the long drive to the Arboretum in Pasadena. After seeing a boatload of peacocks and some beautiful foliage, we made our way through a trail that opened up to a field of grass with her family waiting patiently under a tree. Her immediate family was joined by her uncles, aunt, and cousins. They gave her a personalized leather prayer journal for us to use in marriage, and the final clue, which pictured a waterfall. I nervously led her to this very spot, the whole time grasping tightly onto the ring, in an annoying tiny bag, in my pocket. I sat her down, trying to take in every moment. With my sweaty hands, I yanked out the letter that I had written her just for this occasion. I swear my voice cracked at least a dozen times as I read to her the reasons I wanted to marry her. I then got down on one knee, tried getting that ring out of that dumb little bag for probably a minute, and popped the question. The yes heard round the world followed. I was STOKED!
I convinced her that we were just heading to a small dinner with the family to celebrate. When we walked into her house and down the stairs she was surprised to see all of our family and friends waiting eagerly to yell “CONGRATS!”
Amelia: In the backyard my mom and friends had set up a lovely dinner complete with hanging lanterns, steak and chocolate covered strawberries. It was a special time for us to be around so many people who had invested so much in us. We got to laugh and relive the day surrounded by so much love and celebration. Truly an unforgettable day with each step bringing me closer to a beautiful life with Levi. It was perfect.