Jessica and Sam

6092_1210272501896_1177854_nHow we met: Sam and I met in high school. We had mutual friends but didn’t get to know each other until our junior year. Finally (after everyone asking when we would stop pretending we were “just friends”) we began dating the summer before our senior year. From the moment we started dating we would talk about how we wished we were older so we could get married. Everyone thought we were crazy, but also recognized that our relationship was different.

We spent our first semester of college in different states, and that is when we really knew we didn’t want to be apart. So as soon as I could I moved to Flagstaff, Arizona and we finished college together. During that time we also moved in to our first apartment and adopted two dogs. Recently we moved back to our home town in Southern California and now live in a tiny 1920’s home.


how they asked: I have been in “engagement mode” for almost a year now. We had agreed years ago we would wait until we graduated college and had good jobs. But poor Sam has had to deal with my hinting and crazy expectations for so long. As a wedding photographer I am surrounded by engaged couples constantly, so it was hard not to be a little obsessed with the idea. Plus how in the world would he surprise me? I knew it would come sometime this year and if he even planned a trip to the grocery store my brain was spinning. In the past year we traveled to Hawaii, Palm Springs, Phoenix, San Jose, Big Sur, San Luis Obisbo… and every time I was thinking this is it! THIS. IS. IT. Again, poor Sam. We found ring I fell in love with this past June which didn’t help with my anticipation.

And then came October 22nd. A Wednesday. Just a regular day where Sam was at work and our only plans were a romantic date at the gym. He sent me a text saying he could leave early and asked if I would rather go to the gym or on a hike. Hike of course! So he came home to change, and we chatted with our favorite neighbor before we got in the car to leave.

As we were driving my suspicious mind took over since he had made the plan (sort of). Was he going to propose?  I looked over at his steady hands on the wheel and almost asked him to just tell me he wasn’t going to so that I could relax and enjoy our hike. But I didn’t ask. When we arrived to “our spot” (a cliffside in Palos Verdes) I forgot everything that had been going through my head and enjoyed myself. We took the easy path down to the water, pausing every hundred feet or soI could take photos on my phone of the sunset. It still felt like summer and we were soaking up every moment of it.




Once we got to the rocks on the shore, Sam seemed to be on a mission. There is a small shack about a half a mile down that he was looking for, but the sun was about to set so we couldn’t go too far, mostly because I’m so clumsy I didn’t want to fall off the cliff in the dark! We made it past all of the surfers finishing their evening ride and he said “Let’s take a picture together.” So we did.


Then he suggested we take one more. And as I held out the phone he reached into his pocket and held something in front of the camera…

A ring. THE ring. MY RING.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.
“YES!!!! OF COURSE!!!”

And then everything was a blur. I couldn’t stop jumping and screaming. We kissed a dozen times and just held on to each other as we laughed uncontrollably. I just kept saying “Oh my God we’re getting married!!! You’re my fiancé!!”

He told me some sweet things as I leaped around some more, then we started walking (running) back up the hill. As we passed the surfers I yelled to every single one “WE JUST GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!” because heck everyone needed to know!!! The rest of the night flew by as we drove to our parents home to share the news and call our close friends and family. It was magical… it still feels like a dream!


I hadn’t brushed my hair that day and my nails had two week old chipped polish. The pictures are blurry because we were shaking so much and so, so happy. And it was just… us. No fancy restaurant, sky diver, or big reveal, just the two of us in a spot we’ve loved our entire relationship promising to do this forever. I just can’t wait to be his wife!