Lauren and Dylan

Image 1 of Lauren and Dylan Van

How We Met

Dylan and I met on Instagram – yep! After a few weeks of texting and talking back and forth, we set up dinner plans. I had no idea what to expect, and I was nervous. I can vividly remember standing in the entrance of the restaurant, waiting for him, when I heard the door open behind me. I turned around and as cliché, as it sounds, time stopped the first moment I saw him. We sat and talked for hours, sharing laughs and stories, and I knew that night that I was going to fall in love with him. We began dating shortly after and were spending every weekend driving to see each other (he lived in Oceanside, and I was in Los Angeles). He met my family and friends, and we traveled to Kansas so I could spend time with his family too.

Image 2 of Lauren and Dylan Van

Dylan’s a Marine, and the night before our first date he had told me that he’d found out he’d be deploying that summer to Iraq. Fast forward and before we knew it, it was time for him to go. During the time he was gone, I moved back to Kansas to be with Dylan’s sister and her family for extra support. We spent seven months connecting through letters, texts, and the occasional delayed phone call. Little did I know, Dylan was emailing a jeweler in the Wichita area, designing my dream engagement ring! His sister went and picked out the stones for the ring herself, and approved everything in person, all while keeping it a secret from everyone.

Image 6 of Lauren and Dylan Van

how they asked

About two weeks before Dylan came home, I drove from Kansas to California to get things ready for him and sign a lease for our apartment. The night before I left, Dylan’s family was helping me pack my car and little did I know, they hid my ring in the tire jack compartment of my trunk! I drove my own engagement right across the country, and it stayed in the tire jack for two weeks until the night Dylan proposed.

Image 3 of Lauren and Dylan Van

Just after he returned home, we made plans to watch the sunset from our favorite viewpoint – Mount Soledad in La Jolla, CA. It offers sweeping ocean views and is one of the places Dylan took me on our second date. We got there and parked, and began walking up the hill to our favorite spot to see the sunset. Dylan said he’d forgot his jacket in the car, and I was getting a little antsy about missing the sunset as he pretended to get his jacket from my trunk.

Image 4 of Lauren and Dylan Van

When we got to the top of the hill, we were taking photos and just when I thought we were done, Dylan asked for one more, got down on his knee, and asked me to be his wife. Pulling out the ring, I was absolutely shocked! Where had he gotten it? How had he hidden it from me? He’d been home for three days, and I couldn’t believe he’d pulled off such an amazing surprise.

Image 5 of Lauren and Dylan Van

I had no idea that the ring had been in my car for so long, and the story behind it makes it that much more special. Every time I look down at it, I’m reminded that I have a man who truly goes to such great lengths to make me feel so special and loved.

Special Thanks

Andy Rodriguez Photography
 | Andy took our engagement photos!