Pauli and Jonah

How We Met

Where to start ?!?! Hmmmm… Let’s just say our families go WAY back. My parents were at his parents’ wedding and my cousin was the best man in it. The connection our families have is one huge reason why our love is so special. If we had to guess, we must have met at a family party or a local sporting event at any age between 2-4 years old. We grew up two blocks from each other in Santa Cruz, CA. Our first class together was first grade with Mrs. Matteson at Bay View Elementary. From that point on, we really have been best friends. BUT let’s be honest, it wasn’t love at first sight.

Pauli and Jonah's Engagement in A beach in our home town.

We started becoming really close in middle school. At Mission Hill Middle School, Jonah got in a fight during lunch and I remember crying and freaking out wondering if Jonah was going to be okay (even though he obviously won the fight). That care and love I had for Jonah then have only grown to this day. We keep each other laughing and remind each other to not take life too seriously. We started “officialIy” dating sophomore year of high school, 2009. But it got more serious our senior year. We went to junior and senior prom together, we supported each other at our high school sports games every week, and the fact that our families have been so close for many years makes it SO special.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in A beach in our home town.

We have been through literally everything together. We grew up and fell in love. We have changed together and grown together since we were so young. I followed him to San Diego where he went to college and played football. We both graduated and moved back up home. In August 2018 he moved to Japan to play professional football and I was in graduate school at Sacramento State. Although we were so far away from each other we still managed to grow together each and every day. He is my biggest support. He makes me have faith in myself and others. And he is always lifting me up and making me a better person. He is my definition of love.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in A beach in our home town.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in A beach in our home town.

How They Asked

After he got back from Japan he went to my house in Santa Cruz and asked my parents for their blessing. He asked my older brother and sister as well. On the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving we were at the beach we grew up on taking pictures for his family’s Christmas card. We had done this many years before so the professional photographer there didn’t make me suspicious at all. It was raining for the first time in Santa Cruz in months but he decided that wasn’t going to stop him. After his family pictures, I went to take some with just him and as I turned around to smile he got down on one knee.

His family started cheering and smiling and taking more pictures! I felt so much joy at that moment it is indescribable. After the engagement, we went to a restaurant close by where our families were waiting to celebrate. I’ve known I was going to marry him since I was 15 years old but when he was on one knee looking up at me I was still so surprised and excited. I’ve pictured this day, with Jonah ever since I started dreaming of my wedding when I was a little girl. For our engagement pictures, we went back to our Elementary School and took some pictures together just like the olden days. He is my type of perfection and I am so thankful for our love story.

Special Thanks

Molly Gilholm
 | Photographer