Catherine and Michael

Image 1 of Catherine and Michael

How We Met

In true millennial form, we met on a dating app – Hinge. Funny enough, I matched with him within the first week of downloading the app and he was my first and only Hinge date. The app connected us because we had 10 mutual friends, which eased my mind because it took away the “stranger” factor. After texting back and forth for a few days, Michael called me and we talked on the phone for hours – we definitely liked each other before we had even met in person. The next day, he took me out to dinner on our first official date. Three years later, we’re living together with our two kitties, Bear and Moose, and are happily engaged and more in love than ever!

how they asked

Now, this isn’t your typical romantic dinner or walk along the beach proposal, this is something that is completely unique and fitting to me. So, let me preface this by saying I’m low-key OBSESSED with alpacas. Ever since I was little, if I ever stepped foot near a petting zoo, I just had to go in and pet the alpacas. I even have an alpaca figurine on my desk at work. They definitely top the list of my favorite animals. Ok, now back to the proposal…

My fiance Michael had a friend in town visiting that weekend, so a small group of us had planned to go to Malibu for the day since his friend had never been. A few days before, Michael mentioned that he had a fun activity planned for us that we’d do before we had lunch in Malibu. He said he wanted to keep it a surprise because he knew I would really like it (surprises are kind of our thing). Fast forward to Saturday morning – his friend picks us up, and then we drive… far! After about an hour, we’re no longer in the heart of LA, we’re in legit farm country. What were we doing in the middle of farm country, nowhere close to Malibu? Why, visiting an alpaca farm of course!

Image 2 of Catherine and Michael

Much to my heart’s delight, Michael had scheduled us a private tour at Sweet Water Alpaca Ranch. The owner, Cecilia, introduced us to all of the alpacas and gave us a lesson on alpacas 101. We got to feed, pet and even cuddle with the alpacas! My heart was full and I was definitely surprised, but little did I know that the REAL surprise was yet to come. At the end of the tour, I got to walk one of the alpacas around the farm on a leash. All the while, Michael’s friend Dave was snapping pictures and recording every single moment. Next, I passed the alpaca off to another friend (trying not to be selfish here) so they could walk the alpaca too. After the handoff, Dave suggests taking a picture of Michael and I because the background was “very scenic.” As I posed for the picture, Michael turned to me, said “I love you,” and proceeded to get down on one knee to pop the question. I definitely blacked out at the moment, because I said “yes” before he could even finish asking me! I was so thrilled, excited, and overwhelmingly happy, I couldn’t stop smiling.

Image 3 of Catherine and Michael

As we were about to leave, Michael told me that we weren’t actually going to Malibu after all and that he had another surprise up his sleeve. But, he had to blindfold me so I couldn’t tell where we were headed. An hour car ride and a bit of car sickness later, we finally get to the next destination. Michael led me out of the car and instructed me to remove the blindfold. As I pulled it off, a room full of 75 of our closest friends and family shouted “SURPRISE!!!” Somehow, Michael managed to pull off a surprise engagement party – drinks, food, dessert, decorations… the works – all without me having a clue! I was completely blown away by how much planning went into the whole surprise, and it meant so much to me that all of my loved ones could be a part of our special day. After hours of mingling, Michael said that we needed to get going because he had one last surprise for me.

Image 4 of Catherine and Michael

After a whirlwind of a day, it was finally just the two of us. He took me to one of my favorite restaurants, voted the most romantic in Los Angeles – Inn of the Seventh Rey. Our creekside table had celebratory champagne flutes waiting for us, and we sat beneath twinkle lights surrounded by nature. As we enjoyed the delicious meal, we reminisced about our eventful day and shared our excitement for the future. May 12, 2018, was a day that I’ll never forget… a day full of surprises and the day that I said “yes” to marrying the man of my dreams!

Image 6 of Catherine and Michael

Image 5 of Catherine and Michael