Mahin and Spencer

Image 2 of Mahin and Spencer

How We Met

When we first met, Spencer literally found me at my doorstep. It was the day before law school orientation, and I was moving into my apartment across the country from where I grew up. I had IKEA movers assembling my new furniture, and my family sent me outside because I was allegedly micromanaging them. So there I was, sitting on the hallway floor when Spencer came walking around the corner with his cute button-up shirt and textbooks in hand. The first thing he spotted was my “UC Berkeley” sweatshirt and, upon realizing that I too was from California, he came up to introduce himself. Turns out he was my neighbor two doors down the hall. After some small talk, we said goodbye and my first thought was, “At least I don’t live next to a crazy person.”

For the first year of law school, I addressed Spencer as “Hey Neighbor!” It was our second year of law school that our friendship blossomed. Add in Oreos, wine and hours-long meaningful conversations on school evenings (which was a big deal for me, given how much I studied on school nights), and that friendship gradually turned into something deeper. By the end of that school year, Spencer and I had become best friends. By the beginning of our third year of law school, we took the plunge to turn that friendship into a relationship. It’s been the most beautiful adventure ever since.

How They Asked

We had been planning a wine tasting trip to Napa for a couple of months, which we had been very excited about. I admittedly had a suspicion that Spencer would propose on this trip (or at least I had hoped he would), but I wasn’t sure. On our first day in wine country, our morning wine tasting tour was at the (remarkably beautiful) vineyard Quintessa. When we arrived, there was a wine connoisseur waiting for us who addressed us by name and took us in a golf cart up the hill. On our ride up, I remember thinking this would be the perfect proposal place and was instantly looking at Spencer’s pockets to see if there was a ring box shoved in there.

Image 3 of Mahin and Spencer

I saw nothing—disappointment immediately set in. When we got to the top, Spencer had reserved a private wine tasting pavilion for just two overlooking the entire vineyard. I walked in and couldn’t help but take in the breathtaking view. When I turned around, Spencer was down on one knee with my dream ring in his hand. (He smartly hid the ring box in his sock, expectingrightfully sothat I’d be snooping.) Out of nowhere, a photographer popped out of the corner to document the moment. My mind went blank from how magical it was, but I somehow managed to announce an unequivocal yes. The event was followed by wine tasting and being presented with a magnum wine bottle engraved with our names and our engagement date.

Image 4 of Mahin and Spencer

After our few special days in Napa, we started making our way home to Los Angeles. Since Spencer’s parents’ residence was on our way, we decided to stop by to say hello on our drive home. Just when I thought the surprises were over, I saw a row of cars parked as we approached their driveway and, more specifically, my father’s car. I was shocked. When we walked into the doorway, we were greeted by a massive “surprise!” and both of our families were standing there ready to celebrate us. Spencer managed to pull off one final surprise: an engagement party with our loved ones! It was the perfect way to round out the perfect week full of love and pure joy.

Image 5 of Mahin and Spencer

Image 6 of Mahin and Spencer

Special Thanks

Stephanie Hopkins
 | Photographer