Natalie and Jared

How We Met

We met almost 6 years ago during our freshman year of college in Southern California. I was an international student from Hong Kong and Jared was from Seattle. We were both music students who happened to live in the same dormitory, but we officially met in our music theory class. He was the most chivalrous and sweetest guy I had ever met, and I was always in awe when he played the cello. We soon became friends and halfway through the semester, I realized that I was head over heels for this guy. I remember one night, I specifically prayed that Jared would be the one for me. However, it wasn’t meant to be at the time.

2 years later, Jared and I were in the same conducting class and he asked if I wanted to study together for the weekly quizzes. These study sessions gradually turned into grabbing breakfast burritos and frozen yogurt, watching Friends, and just spending quality time with each other. One night in November, Jared came over to my apartment to apologize because he didn’t know what he was missing out on for the past two years and then proceeded to tell me that he had feelings for me. Oh, how the tables have turned. On January 16th, 2017, Jared officially asked me to be his girlfriend. Little did I know that my freshman year prayer would be answered 1,064 days later.

Natalie's Proposal in Hilltop Park, Signal Hill

How They Asked

We were certain we wanted to marry each other for a while now, but we also knew that it would be a complicated and difficult process for us because I am a non-U.S. citizen. However, as cheesy as it may sound, we knew that our love was stronger than our fear of having to separate due to my international status. Thus, we decided to just take it one step at a time. This past summer Jared finally came home to Hong Kong with me to visit my family, meet my friends, and explore the city I grew up in. It was during this time when he asked my mother and brother for their permission to propose. They said yes and gave their blessing.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Hilltop Park, Signal Hill

On every monthly anniversary, we try to do something special, whether that is going out for dinner or buying small presents for one another. Monday, December 16th, 2019 was our 2 year and 11 months. Jared suggested that as a celebration of our anniversary and the end of a crazy semester of graduate school, we should go to the Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch, which was where we had our first official date. Afterward, we got in the car and Jared told me to put on a blindfold. At the same time, some of my best friends were setting up the decorations for what he was about to do.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Hilltop Park, Signal Hill

When we arrived at the destination, Jared led me out of the car and towards the edge of Hilltop Park, which gives a stunning panoramic view of the coast, Long Beach, Palos Verdes, and Los Angeles. He took off my blindfold and there we were, surrounded by candles and rose petals, my best friends, one of my favorite photographers, and the most breathtaking sunset. Jared gave a heartfelt speech, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. I said YES without hesitation, knowing that I now get to spend the rest of my life loving and being loved by this man.

The proposal was beyond perfect and I can’t believe I’m marrying my soulmate!

Special Thanks

Jessica Jackson
 | Photographer