Rachel Ann and Jeffrey

How We Met

On July 27, 2011, dance brought us together.

It started at a dance workshop hosted by Daly City team, The Company. Jeff had already been dancing with them for 2 years prior, and I was planning to audition that summer. After the workshop, a couple of dancers decided to go to Chipotle, and that’s where we met. It was extremely underwhelming. It wasn’t until after I made the team where we were required to exchange numbers. Half-way through our season, we still weren’t friends outside of the studio.

Rachel Ann's Proposal in New York City, New York

Fast forward to March 2012, we were both experiencing low points in our lives— Jeff lost his job and I dropped out of college. We both had too much free time, and it only made sense that we would see each other EVERY. SINGLE. DAY… It went from eating lunch to playing chess in the park, grabbing ice cream to having baking/board game nights, bonding over Pretty Little Liars to staying up on the phone talking until 3AM… We were inseparable and quickly became best friends.

The dance season ended in June 2012, and I ended up moving to Los Angeles. I thought this would be the end of our friendship, but it had just begun.

Long distance friendship…for 3 years!

We Facetimed every night, made trips to see each other once every few months and tried to do whatever it took to keep our friendship alive. We talked about and shared everything there was to know about ourselves. We learned to appreciate the little time we got to spend with one another and cherished the process of getting to know each other via phone. I value all the little things that don’t seem like much— the middle-of-the-day photos we would send to each other or when we would fall asleep on facetime and woke up still connected; things that some people take for granted helped us feel like we weren’t hundreds of miles apart.

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Thankfully after 3 years of being long-distance friends, Jeff asked me to be his girlfriend on August 1, 2015.

Experiencing life as an LDR couple

At this point, I was living in Las Vegas and we were visiting each other once or twice every month; we couldn’t stay away. Even though we were using up every last penny, it was 100% worth it. We were in a long distance relationship for 3 years, and it was such an adventure.

I can’t believe everything we went through to get to this moment. Who would’ve thought? 2 strangers who met in Chipotle 7 years ago would become best friends, fall in love and beat the odds when it came to LDR statistics.

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how they asked

Jeff and his best friends have been friends since elementary school, and it wasn’t out of the ordinary when they planned a trip to NYC and invited their plus ones. We all booked our separate flights– Jeff and his friends from San Jose/LA; me from Las Vegas. The trip was extremely normal and what you’d expect a trip to NYC would be like– lots of tourist-y things, ate the best food and didn’t get back to our rooms until about 3 AM.

On Saturday, April 28, 2018, we started our day by stuffing our faces and walking through Central Park; it’s a trek, for those of you who aren’t familiar. I remember hearing our friend TJ saying that we should start heading to the Empire State Building, which was unusual since he’s more of a go-with-the-flow guy. We got to the top and then out within 30 minutes. I was editing a photo to post on Instagram when our friend Bryan was guiding us to an NYC office building to meet his friend “Dean.” Again, I didn’t mind since I was too focused on editing my photo. The walk was only a few minutes away from the Empire State Building and once we were there, a guy was waiting to take us up.

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Rachel Ann and Jeffrey's Engagement in New York City, New York

The office was completely empty, which made sense since it was a Saturday. It felt like this Dean guy had the furthest office on the floor because we just kept walking and walking. Suddenly we turn the corner and there it was! A candle-lit room, a For Love and Lemons dress hanging from giant balloons, Louboutins atop rose petals on the floor, a bouquet of peonies and a collage of photos of Jeff and I plastered on the wall. I was in shock, and I knew what was about to happen! After being in complete shock for about 1 minute, I hear people running down the hall and when I turned around, it was my 2 best friends! At this point, I was balling my eyes out, but the surprise didn’t stop there…

After seeing my best friends, another good friend of mine and a makeup/hair artist come down the hall. By this point, Jeff and all of his friends were gone. After getting ready (it was so hard for her to do my hair and makeup because I couldn’t stop crying), all while being live-streamed via Instagram for everyone we know to watch, our friend Peter comes in and says it’s time.

I had no idea where I was walking towards, but I started walking down the hall where I found the same guy who led us up to the office. He opens the door and I’m out on a terrace with the Empire State Building in the background. It was all so unreal, jaw-dropping and picture-worthy; it felt like a dream. Our song started playing and I see candles scattered across the floor, giant light up letters spelling out “MARRY ME,” and Jeff standing in the middle with the spiffiest suit I’ve ever seen him wear. He took my hands and gave the most heartfelt proposal. Honestly, I didn’t know he was capable of saying something that romantic. I remember so much crying by both of us. I couldn’t believe it was happening. Then Jeff got down on one knee, presented a ring box from Laduree (my favorite macaron shop) and asked me to marry him.

Once he opened the box, I saw the most stunning ring I’ve ever seen– a heart-shaped diamond with a thin diamond pave band, it was beautiful. Obviously, I said yes! I loved that all of our best friends were there to celebrate with us, and all of our friends and loved ones who couldn’t make the trip to NYC were watching through YouTube live stream. Everything was perfect.

Special Thanks

Proposal 007 | video, photo, live stream and terrace candles
Jay Suites | venue
AA Rachminov | Diamond
Balloon Design Studios | balloon
For Love and Lemons | dress
Christian Louboutin | heels
Laduree | ring Box
mrs. box | ring Box
Lauren B | Ring & Setting
Miss Harlequin | Hair & Makeup
Rent Letters | Marquee “Marry Me” Letters
Scott’s Flowers | flowers
van’s alterations | tailor
White Glove Transportation | moving/logistics
Zara | suit
Alani Ergina | video, Photo, & Dressing Room Setup
Angela Mercado | video, Photo, & Dressing Room Setup
Angie Tran | Video & Social Media
Gigi del Rosario | Video & Dressing Room Setup
Nicole Valle | Video & Social Media
Alex Tran | Video & Terrace Setup
Bryan Subijano | Photo & Terrace Setup
Peter Nguyen | Terrace Setup
TJ Andaya | Video & Terrace Setup

Our Video

Special Thanks

Rent Letters
 | Marquee "Marry Me" Letters