Steven and Celynna

How We Met

Steven and I met at a BBQ for the 4th of July in 2017 through mutual friends. He got my attention when he started playing a song on the guitar that he said he wrote. As he was playing the song to the group, he looked over at me and tried to make a joke about him and I dating. Mind you, up until this point we hadn’t said a word to each other. I’m normally a really shy person but I said, “Is this your way of asking me out?” Everyone laughed and he seemed half embarrassed and half pleased that I had called him out.

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After spending the whole night finding ways to sit next to each other and talk to each other, I thought for sure he would ask for my number. But, no. When I told him I was leaving he looked at me and said “Okay, yeah. Bye.” I was so confused. He spent the next 2 weeks responding to my Instagram stories and still wouldn’t ask me for my number. After I told my best friend I was done with trying, he, of course, asked for my number later that day. We went on the best first date shortly after that and we spent that weekend having so much fun together celebrating my birthday.

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The next week, I left to celebrate my graduation from my Master’s program with a trip to Croatia for Yacht Week and Spain for travel. While I was gone I kept thinking about how despite being on an exciting trip, I couldn’t stop thinking about how great he was and how excited I was to see someone I had just recently met. After that trip, we both knew we wanted to continue seeing each other and we haven’t stopped dating since.

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Steven's Proposal in Old Towne Orange, CA

How They Asked

Steven knows how obsessed I am with Christmas. We had talked about getting engaged by the end of the year so he had to work extra hard to make sure I was caught off guard with a surprise.

He asked his sister to send a group text asking us to dinner near old town Orange with the siblings and their partners since she was out of town and missed our Christmas party a couple of days before. I didn’t suspect anything because it all seemed so normal. I asked him if there would be a tree we could take a picture in front of before we went to dinner. I thought it was strange that even though we were running late (as usual because of me) he said we had time to walk over to the tree for a picture. Steven’s family is always on time for things and they all know I am always struggling and running late so I didn’t want them waiting for us. I remember asking him if we should call or text his siblings and tell them we were running late and he kept saying I’m sure it’s fine.

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As we walked up to the tree he asked what I thought was a stranger to take our picture. Little did I know it was a photographer he had already met with and set the whole thing up with. I thought he was joking when he got down on one knee and was in so much shock when I realized what was happening. He proposed with the best speech and I could barely get a yes out because I was so overwhelmed. We walked over to dinner and he had both our families waiting for us to celebrate with us. It was the best night ever!

Special Thanks

Mckenna Elsner
 | Photographer