Rachel and Sebastian

Image 5 of Rachel and Sebastian

How We Met

My fiancé and I are both from Stroudsburg, PA, we grew up going to school together but were just friends throughout high school. In the photo below we were 15 at a friend’s sweet sixteen. He played football and studied at Rutgers University and I went to FIT in Manhattan which is how we reconnected. He was constantly in the city with his friends or recruiting for football. Whenever I would see that he was in town I would reach out to see if he wanted to catch up yet he would always somehow miss the hint.

Image 1 of Rachel and Sebastian

The summer before going into our junior year of college we were both visiting home in Pennsylvania where he finally reached out to me and asked me to hang out. That summer of 2015 is one of the books as we have been together ever since. I followed him out to LA when he got drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 2018. Fast forward to the spring of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Image 2 of Rachel and Sebastian

Image 3 of Rachel and Sebastian

How They Asked

According to my fiancé, he has been planning this proposal for months and even had a family group chat including both of our families. Originally, he planned to include our families in the surprise flying them out from the east coast to witness our engagement. In March, when the whole world came to a stop he texted our families and said “what do I do? Should I still propose?!” Knowing it wasn’t how or where he did it that mattered, he came up with an excellent and elaborate plan to propose during my quarantine birthday.

On April 23, 2020, the day I turned 25, he expressed that his original gift got ruined and that he was going to take me somewhere to make it up to me. He told me to be ready by 5:30 pm and to dress nice but nothing fancy. As we’re driving through the hills of Malibu just before sunset we’re reminiscing to when we first moved to the west coast during the fires of 2018. That’s when we arrived at our destination, a beach town in Malibu as we are pulling into a gated community where there was another car trailing behind us. When the photographers emerged from their car my fiancé explains that since his original gift got ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic we are going to do a socially distant photoshoot for my 25th birthday on a private beach. Automatically, I thought it was a great idea and so fun since we’ve been stuck in the house for a month due to social distancing. He then whisks me away to a private beach within the community on a golf cart.

As we set our belongings down on the beach the sun is setting making for a beautiful scenic background. The photographers began to take my picture instructing me how to pose. That’s when they signal for my fiancé to join me, instructing us to pose back to back. We were laughing about how short I probably looked compared to my 6’4″ foot fiancé. As I turned around to pose for the next photo, I screamed realizing he was down on one knee. He said, “Rachel, will you marry me,” I was in awe, I was shocked and somehow I managed to get the words out of my mouth and joyously said “Yes, of course!” He slipped the custom made engagement ring on my finger and we both jumped in each other’s arms with excitement.

Image 4 of Rachel and Sebastian

I could not have imagined this day any other way, it was more than perfect. As dark as the world may seem lately, happiness and beauty are still around us including love. A bible verse that we have always turned to in our relationship is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 states, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” Love is going to be the root that gets us all through this pandemic. I am so happy my fiancé didn’t let the coronavirus ruin this time in our lives. We are so excited for the day when we are able to see our families again to rejoice and share this moment with them.

Special Thanks

Isaac Olexio
 | Photographer
Luis Rodriguez
 | Photographer