Katianna and Derrick

Image 1 of Katianna and Derrick

How We Met

Derrick and I met Freshman year of high school. When I first introduced myself as a Cheerleader, he was less than enthused. But after seeing me in his Honors math classes, he quickly realized that I wasn’t half bad. For years, we grew incredibly close. He was always ready to joke and laugh, always ready to eat lunch together and spend time disrupting class. Our Senior Year of high school, we went on a school trip to Yosemite and I quickly realized that I appreciated him much more than a typical friend. One crisp night in November, I looked into his eyes and told him that I had always thought that we would end up together. He told me I would always be the #1 girl in my life, and no matter how much time I needed, he would wait.

Image 2 of Katianna and Derrick

One month later, he asked me to be his girlfriend. 6 months later, we started at different colleges. We never had “the talk” about staying together, we just did. At 17, I knew that Derrick was the best thing to happen in my life. For the next 4 years, we dated long distance from New Jersey to Virginia while we worked toward our degrees. Our years apart made us who we are. We are both fiercely independent, but we each also recognize that our lives are infinitely better when we are together. We spent years taking long train rides, staying up late on the phone, and learning to navigate the biggest changes in our lives apart (but still together). Upon graduation, we returned to California and began to plan our future–his plans were, admittedly, the best.

Image 3 of Katianna and Derrick

how they asked

After living back home in California for a year, it was time for us to take the next step. We were moving to Washington on August 1st, and I knew I wanted to soak up every last California minute I could. So I shared with Derrick my hope for an all day beach day–Sunrise to Sunset. Little did I know that he had plans that were a little more romantic than just an entire day at the beach.

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The day began around 5 AM, when we climbed a large sand hill in Malibu and admired the ocean below. It just so happened that dolphins were swimming all around the beach below us. Throughout the rest of the day, we spent time in Malibu and at the beach doing all of my favorite things.

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We enjoyed Starbucks, Malibu Farm Cafe, and our first trip to Nobu. In the afternoon, we visited another favorite beach of mine, Leo Carrillo, where the skies broke from somewhat cloudy to beautiful shades of blue. Everything was perfect. Derrick had suggested we end the day with a drink at The Sunset Restaurant in Malibu. When we pulled up, I started to walk inside, but Derrick grabbed my arm and asked me if I knew what was out by the water. Off in the distance, two dozen red roses were nestled in the sand.

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I held back tears of joy as we made our way out to the water. Derrick quickly dropped to one knee, pulled a ring from his pocket, and said to me: “Katianna you are the love of my life. You are the most beautiful, the smartest, the kindest woman I have ever had the fortune of even crossing paths with. I’ve traveled across the country and back, again, and again, and again. There’s no one else above you. I know you’re scared about life, and I’m scared too, but I’m not worried. I wanna hold you every night and see the sun glisten in your eyes every morning.

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I want to be the one to make you smile until you cry and be the one to wipe away your tears. Katianna Marie Tron, will you please marry me?” Between tears of joy, I nodded yes and cheers erupted from the restaurant behind us. My sister and Derrick’s best friend leapt out from hiding where they were taking photos and we enjoyed excitement and shock all together. We ended the night with a party organized by both of our families where we retold the story, admired the beautiful ring, and enjoyed the love and excitement of those who are closest to us.

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Special Thanks

Marika Tron
 | Photographer
Travis Reed
 | Planning