Chelsea and Sean

Image 1 of Chelsea and Sean

How We Met

I had just moved to San Francisco from a small town in Washington state and didn’t know anyone. I was able to transfer my job down to the Bay, so I was telling my new manager what I liked to do and I mentioned soccer. His roommates friend had played with this guy and he would give me his email so I could try and join the team. This guy, who is now one of our best friends, had just started a soccer team and they needed more women players, so I joined. One of the first people to say hi to me was Sean, who was co-captaining the team. We played together each week and started chatting more each game. Sean invited me out to our friends scavenger hunt event one evening, and that was our first time hanging out off the field. From there we started dating and exploring San Francisco together and ultimately building out lives together in the Bay, because Sean had also just moved to San Francisco. We are going on our sixth year of playing soccer together every week! One of our first photos together, back when Instagram filters were cool:

Image 2 of Chelsea and Sean

how they asked

I thought going full time freelance photographer was going to be my big life change to start my thirties on an exciting journey. Boy was I wrong, ha. My friend Lindsey asked to hang out in San Francisco and do a MOMA/city living shoot for a brand she’s working with, so I went into the city after my shift and was kind of tired and didn’t really want to go, but I did. We spent a few hours together and she happened to have plans to meet her friend right near where our Monday soccer game was. What a coincidence, huh? Not really. It was all part of the plan (!!) And how she played it so cool when we were together, I don’t know. We split ways and I head to soccer. Sean and I are on the same team and play the 50 minutes. I am oblivious to the team always passing the ball to him so he can try and score goals. Again, part of the plan!

Post game, Sean says “let’s huddle up”. Uh sure, we don’t typically do that but okay. He starts telling the team how he really enjoys playing every Monday, it’s how we met, etc etc, and I’m standing there thinking “he’s feeling really sentimental,” but again, still oblivious to his plan. Next thing I know he’s saying he wants to play soccer with me for the rest of his life, getting down on one knee and asking will I marry him!!? Wait, what?! Of course YES, but wait what? Haha. And next thing I know there’s champagne being sprayed and all our friends running on the field and celebrating with us! HOLY S*** is all I could say, over and over.

Image 3 of Chelsea and Sean

Image 4 of Chelsea and Sean

Sean had been planning this for months and had it organized down to a “T”, including getting the league to switch the field we were scheduled to play one, since this was the field we first met on. Getting proposed to is such a special, emotional time and then to have all our friends running on the field, the field where we first met 6 years ago, was an emotion overload. It was SO special to have our friends, who are like family to us, there and able to celebrate in the excitement as well. I can’t imagine what the other teams who were getting ready to play thought. Apologies if we delayed your game! ;) Post proposal we headed to a bar for more celebrating and showing off the bling and me continuing to say HOLY S***! After drinks, I thought we were getting a ride home from our friends Ben and Anna, but then we pull up in front of a downtown hotel. What! It keeps getting better. Our friend Joel treated us to champagne and we kept buzzin’ off the excitement and love we felt from all our friends. Everyone did an amazing job and no one spilled the secret!! But that’s not the end of the surprises…

Image 5 of Chelsea and Sean

Image 6 of Chelsea and Sean

The next morning, Sean said “let’s check the weather” and opens up the weather app on his iPhone and it is showing Reykjavik’s weather. Odd, that’s not San Francisco. He says, “looks like we’ll need coats” and proceed to bring out luggage that was hiding in the room closet!! Cue more HOLY S***! WHAT, WE’RE GOING TO ICELAND??! How could an amazing evening possibly get even better. Sean also planned a surprise trip to Iceland for nine days!! But wait, I was supposed to have one more week at the coffee shop. He emailed my manager and one of the owners to see if they could cover my shifts, which they were able to do. So that would make that Monday of our engagement my last day and starting this trip being a full time photographer. W O A H. This just got real! HA. And this was the one week I didn’t have any paid shoots planned and somehow it all worked out. Sean, with our friend Anna’s help, had packed my suitcase for me and we headed to SFO from the hotel. We proceeded to have the most amazing nine day exploration of Iceland. I have wanted to visit Iceland for years, pre it being super cool, so this was a jaw-dropping surprise. I didn’t think I would make it to Iceland for a while, I thought maybe for our future honeymoon whenever that happened. But instead, Sean is an amazing, thoughtful partner and planned this trip.

Image 7 of Chelsea and Sean

Image 8 of Chelsea and Sean

Our Video

Special Thanks

Matthew Glibbery
 | Photographer
Lindsey Shea
 | Photographer