Elissa and Ronnie

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How We Met

Ronnie and I met as sophomores in college at an orientation meeting for an upcoming study abroad trip. Before meeting each other, we had separately made the decision to spend the next semester in South Africa, to learn, live, and grow in our faith and worldviews. At the meeting, Ronnie actually recognized me from a previous class we had together (though we never interacted then, except for the time he sweetly gave up his seat for me) and came over to introduce himself with the line “Don’t I know you?” And what we realized later was that his best friend, whom I knew through my current roommate, had been wanting Ronnie and I to meet.

Just before Ronnie and I left for South Africa, along with 30+ of our peers, he asked me to be his girlfriend on the 4th of July. Soon after, we took a quick trip to the Bay Area so he could meet my parents and we could share our first adventure together in San Francisco. Fast forward 5 years–through the joys of highs and lows, lots of sushi dates, and growing up together–Ronnie pulled off the sweetest and biggest surprise I’ve ever received.

how they asked

On July 2nd, I was in my hometown of San Jose and my parents said that they wanted to take me to dinner in San Francisco, just the three of us. Ronnie was back in LA at the time, because he needed to take a test for work…or so I thought. It’s not out of the norm for my family and I to take quick trips for dinner together, so I didn’t think anything of it.

Eventually, my parents and I are driving over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. It’s stop-and-go traffic and my mom suddenly says “I think I’m getting carsick.” She had been texting on her cellphone throughout the drive so I of course blamed her car sickness on the traffic and texting. Little did I know she was actually texting Ronnie and the photographers, who were frantically trying to let my parents know that the plans had changed since the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Hawk Hill (the original location he had hoped to propose) was completely covered in fog and clouds. Thankfully, Danielle and Greg of DLGM Photography saved the day and came up with another awesome location, Cavallo Point, a beautiful spot on the bay that sits just under the bridge.

My mom, who at this point is only acting carsick in order to get my dad to stop at the new location, should truly win an Academy Award for her performance. Her quick thinking and great acting chops finally got us to the spot where Ronnie was anxiously hiding in the photographer’s car with his parents, a ring in his pocket, and looking as handsome as ever.

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Then my mom handed me a card from Ronnie and then I felt like my heart jumped out of my chest. It instantly dawned on me what was about to happen and reading the card was near impossible.

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What stood out to me first was the word “fiance.” In the card Ronnie explained how he had been planning this day for the past 6 months, and how he connected each month with a letter in the word “fiance.”

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F – Flowers, 3-dozen roses in (February)

I – iPic movie theater date (March)

A – Arboretum gardens date (April)

N – Necklace from Tiffany’s (May)

C – Catalina Island adventure (June)

E – Engagement! (July)

Poor guy had to keep this secret for 6 months! And I had absolutely no idea it was coming when it did. Ronnie gave me a moment to read through the card with my parents before getting out of the car, with his parents following closely behind him and…

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I sell jewelry on Etsy, so I was a proud Etsy shop owner when he pulled out this custom-made box created by another Etsy seller!

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And of course, I said YES.

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Special Thanks

DLGM Photography
 | Photography
 | Ring Box
Robert Avila
 | Jewelry Designer