Katie and Chasen's Outdoor Patio Proposal

Image 1 of Katie and Chasen

How We Met

My entire life I wondered what meeting my future wife would be like – I often pondered that if I could approach my former self and inform him that she was the one, would I act differently or change anything? Today, I can say absolutely not and now you need to know why! Our story began as a lot of love stories do, with a single, but important, moment in time.

It was 9 years ago when I met Katie. I was in High School attending a summer camp at UCLA to learn more about screenwriting (at the time suspected life calling) and prepare myself for college life ahead. In typical teen ostentation, I set off through the dormitory one evening with my clique of friends trying to act as ridiculous as possible. Like some weird peacock on a confused mating display, I had wrapped a pink feather boa around my neck and placed a furry top hat atop my head. In short, I was fabulous.

Our crew was riding the elevator down from the 3rd floor when the doors opened on the 2nd. We were greeted by another grouping of the opposite sex (much more normal and reserved than we were, I might add) who instantly bust a gut over the randomness of seeing elevator doors open to a guy wearing such ridiculous accouterments. Amid the laughter, Katie and I locked eyes. Something deep inside me stirred, like a dormant fire that was allowed to catch. I knew then, in that moment, that I would grow in love with this person. In the context of that night, she will likely always remember me as the crazy outgoing, pink boa and hat wearing High School kid. I will remember it as the exact moment I came alive.

Image 2 of Katie and Chasen

how they asked

At the time of my proposal, Katie and I had been dating long-distance for quite some time. With her finishing up her thesis work in Dallas and myself working full-time in Arizona, our time together was shorter but more precious than most. We were both counting down the days until we could move in together in April, but I was also secretly counting down the days until I proposed. She was scheduled for a routine visit late in February to visit me and see her family (who also lives in Arizona) and I knew it would be the perfect time to catch her off guard!

I promised a combined Valentine’s Day / Birthday dinner at Sanctuary for the Sunday evening during her visit. As a mountainside restaurant and resort, it boasts breathtaking views of the city – I knew of a grassy outcrop that would be the perfect spot to do it. Once we arrived, I strategically skirted around the hostess’ desk and went straight for the bar. I absolutely wanted for my secretly planted photographer to grab every moment of the process – that hinged around getting us to the outdoor patio area as quickly and smoothly as possible. Luckily enough I was able to avoid danger and we made our way to some chairs outside.

After some sitting and sipping on champagne while taking in the awesome views, I managed to convince her to walk out to this grassy knoll so we could snap some photos with such great scenery. Once we were there, I caught the position of my photographer out of the corner of my eye and grabbed both her hands to turn her slightly so she could capture the right angles! Well, this simple motion somehow blew my cover. Right as I was about to start in on my rehearsed and romantic speech, she blurted, “Oh my gosh, are you proposing to me right now?!” I was so caught off guard! I did my best to recover and shared with her how the way she was looking at me now was the same way she looked at me when we first met 9 years ago, adding on how much I loved her and was so excited for this. I dropped to a knee and asked the question. Her response was an incredibly excited yes, followed by a tackle, and then squatting in front of me to admire her new hardware! With how ridiculous the two of us are, the entire process went just about as expected. In fact, I was the one who was so emotional that I shed some tears of happiness! I ultimately revealed the position of my hidden photographer and we took some awesome photos right after.

Image 3 of Katie and Chasen

Image 4 of Katie and Chasen

Image 5 of Katie and Chasen

The real surprise hadn’t occurred yet, however. I knew how much she wanted to celebrate this moment with her closest friends and family. Unbeknownst to her, I coordinated to have her three closest friends fly in from Dallas to meet both of our families for an after party at my mother’s house. On the car ride from The Sanctuary to her house, I could tell that she was over the moon happy but getting a little sad that her friends and family weren’t around. Once she walked through the door and they all surprised her, a flood of emotions washed overcame her. Many happy tears were shed and I felt so blessed to see my future wife share this incredible moment with those closest to her!

Image 6 of Katie and Chasen

Image 7 of Katie and Chasen

Image 8 of Katie and Chasen

Image 9 of Katie and Chasen

Image 10 of Katie and Chasen

Special Thanks

Carrie Arnold
 | Photographer