Sammie and Mitch

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How We Met

Mitch and I met in Hawaii during a video/photo journalism course. Part of the course was traveling around the country putting together short documentary films for assignments. At the time, I knew nothing about video. Mitch, however, knew a lot and had worked for production companies in the past. At the time, I was so distracted by assignments and trying to learn how to use a camera to film that a relationship was the last thing on my mind. Of course, all that changed when we were traveling in India and I was paired with Mitch to work on a project together. I was getting incredibly frustrated trying to learn edited programs, and Mitch was there to teach me. Not only was he patient in helping me, but I was awestruck with how well we were working together (the short film we ended up making is still my favorite thing we’ve made to this day).

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I had never felt more on the same page with someone, and soon we both developed feelings for each other. A few months later our course ended, and I returned home to Indiana while he remained in Hawaii. We talked every single day, and one day he Skyped me under a gazebo next to the ocean and asked me to be his girlfriend. The best part was that he actually called my dad the day before and asked his permission to date me. I was thrilled, but also so sad we weren’t actually with each other. After 3 months of dating long distance, I decided to move back to Hawaii (best decision EVER).

We lived there for three years, and in that time I started to work for a few non-profits as their videographer and eventually started my own wedding videography business. As we were both growing in our careers, we decided that moving to California would be our best option for growth. We knew moving would be difficult, but we were determined to make it happen. So here we are now, living in San Diego. Happily engaged after four years, two states we’ve called home, and six countries traveled later!

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how they asked

Every summer growing up, my family and extended family from around the country would visit our family lake house in Culver, Indiana. It’s truly one of my favorite places on earth, and has been in our family for 70 years. This year, I had a crazy schedule. I traveled to Brazil for 10 days, from there flew straight to LA for the weekend to shoot a wedding, and then out to Indiana for our family week at the lake. Because of all this traveling, I hadn’t seen Mitch in over two weeks. Originally, he was suppose to be traveling to Indiana with me, but then things got crazy at work and they told him he couldn’t have the time off (or that’s what he told me at least!). I was so bummed he couldn’t come, because this meant over three weeks without seeing each other.

Mitch knows that I’m not an easy person to surprise, and I was already having suspicions about the sudden trip cancelation. When I landed in Indiana I texted him that I had arrived safely, and about 30 minutes later I got a call from his number at work. He sounded busy with work on the phone (I even recognized sounds from his work in the background), but he wanted to let me know that he was really sorry he couldn’t come to Indiana. He told me he knew I was sad, and in order to cheer me up he sent a scavenger hunt in the mail to my mom, and that she would have it set up for me when I arrived at the lake house. I instantly started to cry, because I thought it was so sweet. When I got in, I was excited to see what he had set up for me. My mom, sister, and a few cousins told me they set it up…but acted like it was no big deal. More than anything, I just felt bad that he had to be at work.

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So, I decided to Snapchat the scavenger hunt so he could watch it live from his desk in California. I truly had no idea what the scavenger hunt was leading up to as I was snapping. After the phone call from work, the possibility of him actually being in Indiana was the last thing on my mind. The final leg of the hunt was getting on the jet ski with my brother. At that point, I was so confused as to why he was taking me on the jet ski. I kept asking him a million questions, and finally he just told me to relax and look at the sunset.

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So I did. I turned around on the back seat of the jet ski, and admired sun going behind the trees. It felt like the first time I was actually relaxed in weeks. When I decided to turn back around (still snap chatting of course) I saw Mitch on a lit up platform in the middle of the lake. I lost it. Ugly crying with my head buried into my brothers back. My brother dropped me off on the platform, and I could see my whole family in the distance on multiple boats watching it all unfold. After giving him the biggest hug and still ugly crying, Mitch got on one knee and popped the question.

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As a videographer, capturing big moments on video is really important to me, and I always assumed that someone would film my proposal one day. Little did I know that it would be me! I guess it’s just second nature at this point :)

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(And as for the call from his work number, he had actually called the front desk at his work and had them transfer him to my phone. The work background noises I heard was actually a recording he made at work, and had playing next to the speaker of the phone when he was talking to me!)

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