Melissa and Cooper

Image 1 of Melissa and Cooper

How We Met

It all started on a dating app that linked people based on their mutual friends on Facebook. When we were connected we realized that we had mutual friends from all different parts of our lives, and couldn’t believe we had met so many of the same people without actually meeting each other! Cooper asked me to meet for a drink the following week. The day the date was supposed to happen Cooper had a business lunch with an old colleague, Gavin, and mentioned that he was dating. Gavin decided that he should set Cooper up with his wife’s best friend, and told him all about her. Cooper asked to see a picture, and couldn’t believe when the picture shown was of me! He said he was going on a date with me that night! Since Cooper and Gavin weren’t friends on Facebook, we hadn’t realized Cooper knew my best friend’s husband!

Image 2 of Melissa and Cooper

Having a close mutual friend upped the ante, and a drinks date turned into dinner instead. At dinner we sat for hours discussing our mutual friends and how our paths must have crossed unknowingly so many times. At the end of the date I mentioned that I was thankful Cooper knew Gavin, because that detail had made me comfortable enough to go on my first dating app date! He told me it was a funny story, but he actually knew Gavin from years before when they had met in Vegas at a friend’s birthday party. My jaw dropped, and I pulled out my phone and began scrolling through an old Facebook album. I too was at that birthday party 5 years prior, and sure enough there were pictures of all of us dancing together in Vegas! Two years later when people ask how we met it’s still hard to respond. Dating App? Mutual friend set up? Or Vegas dance party? Doesn’t matter to me, I’m just happy we met.

how they asked

Ever since moving to Corona del Mar, Cooper and I love walking the path along the cliff above the beach. We go on coffee walks before work, and wine walks at night. I tell him the silly things my kindergartners did that day, and he tells me how the real estate market is doing (and I try to understand), and sometimes we talk about our future and what it will look like. We always stop at the same bench that overlooks all of Newport Beach to sit and enjoy our coffee or wine, and we frequently have picnics there too. I had a school holiday on a Friday and Cooper had asked if I wanted to wake up early and go for a coffee walk because he still had to go into work. I agreed even though I wanted to sleep in on my day off. I rolled out of bed that next morning and didn’t even bother to brush my hair, as I had very serious plans of going straight back to bed. I threw on a hat, and walked out the door.

Image 3 of Melissa and Cooper

Everything was perfectly normal, it was dark but the sun was just about to rise as we left our house, and we walked together as we always do, and talked about the day ahead. We stopped at our bench out of routine (or so I thought) and I sat with my back against Cooper as we continued our conversation and drank our coffee. The conversation slid from weekend plans into why Cooper loves our walks and I barely even noticed the shift. He began telling me all of the things every girl wants to hear, about how happy he is and how much he loves me.

Image 4 of Melissa and Cooper

I still didn’t suspect anything other than why he was being so sweet, and what did he do wrong that he was trying to butter me up before telling me! In the middle of my suspicious thoughts, and as the sun began to rise, he got down on one knee in front of me as I was sitting on the bench and continued to say the most perfect things that I couldn’t concentrate on at all. I was too distracted by the box in his hand! He asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, and I didn’t respond I just leaned forward and kissed him.

Image 5 of Melissa and Cooper

It wasn’t until minutes later that a photographer came over (who Cooper had hired to secretly document from afar) and said congratulations, that I realized I hadn’t even answered him yet! I quickly told him yes and then burst into tears. Needless to say it was the most perfect sunrise proposal. He then whisked me away to The Mission Inn, a gorgeous hotel over 100 years old, to get couples massages, dinner, and he even booked a suite. The next day we went to our vacation house in Palm Springs where my whole family was waiting to celebrate with us! I never thought I would get engaged before 6am (with no makeup on!) but I couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect proposal if I had tried.

Image 6 of Melissa and Cooper

Image 7 of Melissa and Cooper

Image 8 of Melissa and Cooper

Special Thanks

Katherine Schwingel
 | Proposal Photos from a Distance