Natalie and Grant

How We Met

I grew up spending my summers in Lake Tahoe and always dreamed of finding a cute Tahoe dock boy to date. Grant and I met one summer while I was up there for a girls’ weekend. It turned out to be the right person at the wrong time, as he had a girlfriend at the time and I was frolicking about enjoying my last year of college.

After that summer, I lost touch with the rest of Grant’s group of friends, but he and I kept chatting throughout my senior year of college. I found it so unusual to meet a guy who enjoyed keeping in touch with friends he’s made–even when we lived at opposite ends of the state. He always checked in via online chatting, asking me how school was going and what my plans were post-graduation. I tried not to be excited about the exchanges but was overwhelmed to find a guy who was kind and respectful–unlike most of the boys, I had met in college.

A year later, when I returned to Tahoe after graduating, Grant (newly single) encouraged me to spend some time with him and his friends. I attempted to convince myself not to like him, and left Tahoe with butterflies raging in my stomach–there was something incredibly magical about him I couldn’t ignore. When he surprised me by taking me out in San Francisco to one of the best restaurants on the water, I knew I couldn’t deny my feelings for him anymore. That first date and the minute Grant and I first kissed, I knew he wasn’t just some guy–he was going to be someone very special in my life. Quickly I realized within a few weeks of dates to baseball games, the movies and rides to my late night grad school classes, I knew he was the one I wanted to marry with his immensely huge heart and his ability to turn all of my days into happy ones. He really is the man I’ve been waiting for my entire life. My soulmate, my best friend, my love.

Where to Propose in Santa Cruz, CA

how they asked

All throughout college, I always turned to Sex and the City episodes to help me cope with my most recent broken heart. Although the girls all had their own problems, the part in the movie when Mr. Big places those beautiful blue shoes on Carrie’s feet continuously made me hopeful that I too, one day, would have that Cinderella moment with the love of my life. Little did I know that was ever going to come to fruition with the most beautiful fairytale of a proposal.

I had been jonesing to get engaged for nearly two years. It got to the point the past few months that I didn’t think it would ever happen (with work and life always getting in the way), so when my mom invited me to come celebrate an award her man was receiving at our beach house, I didn’t think twice about it. Thank goodness I dressed up, as I was in for the biggest surprise of my life.

When we arrived at the beach house, we walked into the house. There were candles lit everywhere and music playing. “Seems pretty romantic for an award!” I said out loud. Just as I was saying that Grant put out his hand and said, “Come with me.”

He led me outside to the backyard fully decorated with romantic twinkling lights, giant bouquets of my favorite flowers, a beautiful chair, and a stool were centered in the middle of all of the beauty. On top of the stool, sat the blue shoes that Big put on Carrie’s feet so many years ago and I finally realized what was happening.

He led me to the chair where I struggled to figure out if I should sit or stand. Finally, in his sweet manner, he asked me to sit down. Removing the shoes from the stool he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was overwhelmed with love and joy, filled with so much excitement knowing that I officially had a future husband! I couldn’t help but feel a little sad that no one was there to share this news…

I suddenly heard the click of a camera and looked away from my new fiance to see two photographers closing in on us. I couldn’t believe he had gotten professionals to capture this special moment. I thought I could not be happier until Grant said he had one more surprise. Pointing up to the balcony of the beach house I was greeted by a burst of cheers–he had flown his parents and little brother in from Oregon, along with my Mom and her man to share the moment with us. From the shoes to both of our families, it was the most romantic day–never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a more perfect and magical engagement!

Special Thanks