Michelle and Ian

How We Met

We started out as Physical Therapy school classmates and grew a friendship after becoming project partners our first year. We were at different points in our lives relationship-wise, but our whole class was really close in general when it came to studying for exams (and celebrating afterward!) About middle of the second year, we just happened to both be single and sharing class notes turned into text messages, then turned into more flirty messages, then an unexpected romance midway through grad school! After graduation, we made the decision to continue into a long-distance relationship after we moved back to our respective states between CA and OR.

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How They Asked

After many back and forth conversations between Ian and my parents, Ian let it be known that he was ready to stay grounded in CA and propose to me. Overjoyed, my parents gave him their blessing AND my late grandma’s heirloom ring; she is the one who raised me as a child and I get to keep her with me wherever I go now. He decided to propose at Mont La Salle, a Catholic retreat center that’s special because we discovered it 2 years ago when we saw it from above on a hot air balloon ride date. I was pretty impressed with this surprise, since he even got our photographer friend in on it and hid in the bushes successfully to get the perfect shots!

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The surprises didn’t end there. Next was an engagement picnic at V. Sattui Winery, where the rest of my family was waiting to surprise me and celebrate us for a full-on Engagement Party! My family means a lot to me and was a big factor in why we had to work out a long-distance relationship, so I felt so grateful to my supportive sister for helping Ian reserve the spot and coordinating my family to make it all come together so perfectly!!!!

Michelle and Ian's Engagement in Napa, CA

They were successful in making this moment in our lives one we’ll never forget! Next up now is planning our wedding in Las Vegas, where we went to school and met, and we can’t wait to start this next step of our lives together.

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Special Thanks

Eric Le
 | Photographer