Kelsey and Desi

Image 1 of Kelsey and Desi

How We Met

Growing up with a Disney Animation Director for a father, I have grown to expect nothing but the greatest of fairy-tales out of life. As every fairy-tale begins, we first met in high school health class. Desi was the high school stud quarterback, as any great prince is and I was the girl watching (and crushing) from the stands, silently cheering with every touchdown scored. Desi was recruited to play football for the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, miles away from our Southern California hometown. Through life twists and turns, heart aches and tragedies, celebrations and accomplishments, our paths collided five years after graduation.

The instant connection could not be ignored as the world seemed to freeze on the same high school football field he played on so many years before. Our friendship was rekindled and as Desi likes to put it I had “blossomed” since high school. With all we had been through living separate lives since high school, that spark was still alive for me and Desi felt a tiny flame burning in him as well. Fairy-tales like to have their plot twists, and for us, life interceded once more and a few years passed by before I contacted him again. A simple text, “Now that’s a football game coach!” was all it took to reassure Desi that he has and always will be the one for me. That Christmas, we finally allowed ourselves to fall in love.

Image 2 of Kelsey and Desi

how they asked

I grew up visiting the sandy beach of Wailea, Maui since I was four years old. This is where my salty soul was born, my love for the ocean and palmy breezes, embracing of sandy hair and carrying tropical flowers around like lollipops. I have a true love affair with Maui. Knowing how special this little island is to myself and my family, when it was time for our summer visit Desi knew this was the spot to propose.

Image 3 of Kelsey and Desi

After a day spent snorkeling with honu (sea turtles), mai tai drinking, rolling in the sand and splashing in the waves, Desi proposed. It is our tradition to walk along the water before and after dinner each night so on our first night back on our island home, on our first beach walk, Desi takes out his phone for our selfie with the pale pink clouds behind us and then begins to take a dozen selfies as we spin in a circle, one from every angle! He then took my shoes from my hands, took out a box, and got down on one knee.

Image 4 of Kelsey and Desi

He unfolded a letter, to which my response amidst joyous laughter was “Babe, you don’t have to stay on your knee this entire time.” He gave me a look I am so used to getting, you all know the one, “really babe?” and he carried on. He read me the sweetest love letter that he had written that morning as the sun was rising, shining light onto the day he was going to ask me to be his wife. As I responded, “YES!” the beach irrupted into cheers and hollers, breaking through our private moment of bliss. Then out walked my family from down the beach, tears and laughter, hugs and congratulations were shared. It was the perfect moment, a slice of heaven.

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Image 6 of Kelsey and Desi

Little did I know, he had hired a photographer to capture the entire proposal (hence the selfie circle, a sign to the photographer that he was ready to ask) and I had 5 minutes to go to the room to change my dress to take engagement photos! I ran from the beach to the room, the entire way with my hand up, gazing at the most beautiful ring I have ever seen, and it was on my finger!! We spent the sunset hour laughing and kissing, whispering sweet nothings while the photographer snapped away, it was a beautiful blur that I am forever grateful we have pictures to remember.

Image 7 of Kelsey and Desi

We had the most delicious dinner at our favorite restaurant surrounded by our loved ones. Bottles of champagne were ordered, heart touching toasts were made, and chatter of the excitement to come was heard. It was our little secret on our favorite little island, drenched in aloha, there could not have been a more perfect night in paradise.

Years in the making, periods of time mindlessly day dreaming about what the other was doing, fighting against the realization that he was nothing more than a high school crush and him vowing he would never be married, and here we are. The best fairy tales are those that have dragons that need to be slayed and wicked witches to be escaped from, we made it through to the next chapter and are finally able to being our aloha forever after.

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Image 10 of Kelsey and Desi

Special Thanks

 | Photographer
 | Ring