This was a pretty exciting proposal for me. The planning started 5 months before the actual proposal was to take place. Huy was going to bring his girlfriend, Vi, to San Diego and propose, and of course wanted it to be a total surprise. When he contacted me, I told him we would do everything to make this proposal perfect. He had originally thought about proposing at Torrey Pines on one of the lookouts, but we figured out that was probably not the best idea, because the walk alone would have been a 30 minute travel roundtrip. That is when I told him about Windansea Beach, one of my favorite locations for photo sessions. His one request was that he was not in sand, and I was able to meet that request. Huy had never visited Windansea Beach, and in order for this to be a perfect proposal, my husband and I went down to the beach prior to the day he was going to propose to create a video for him. We walked him through every step so he could get a feel of where to park, as well as where to walk and stay out of sand. In the video my husband included a demonstration on how to set up for the proposal. Huy told me how grateful he was for the video because it really did help him visualize everything he was able to do to make his proposal to Vi perfect.
Huy spent his entire life on the East Coast, largely in Boston. But after graduating law school, he took a job that moved him out to Kansas City. Not having any friends or family out there he had some concerns about transitioning to the Midwest. Within months of moving to KC, he started to become homesick and more notably, he missed eating Vietnamese food! But not too long after, Huy met Vi through an online dating app. They bonded over their Vietnamese roots. Huy appropriately asked Vi out for Pho, one of his favorite Vietnamese dishes. The first date was certainly memorable. After enjoying their noodle bowls, he walked her to her car and they couldn't stop talking to each other and ended up spending 3 hours in the parking lot. Fast forward to present day, they have spent the last two years exploring different cities together. Indeed, their fondest memories are traveling and getting lost in new cities together. So, popping the question during a trip was only appropriate! Also, a proposal on the West Coast is also somewhat symbolic since this journey began on the East Coast. Earlier in July, Huy took Vi on a hot air balloon ride on the East Coast to catch a sunrise. Now, they are ending their July by catching a sunset on the West Coast.
Sadly on the day that Huy proposed to Vi the sun was well hidden behind the clouds. It was still a beautiful, happy, and perfect proposal. With that said, I took some time to create one photograph of them on the beach that has the feeling of the sunset. I am happy to announce they love this photograph as much as I do.
When I was contacted for this proposal, I was contacted by Madison, groom-to-be's sister. Madison told me how her family was coming to San Diego for a weekend so that Micah could propose to his girlfriend Elizabeth; and that they wanted to go to Sunset Cliffs. Their family was coming from the LA area and this was their first visit to Sunset Cliffs. What was so unique about this proposal was that it was a surprise for her brother and his girlfriend, for me to be there to photograph the moment. He knew he was proposing with his family around him, he just didn't know I would be there waiting.
Elizabeth and Micah met in college at Western Illinois university during their senior year in Parks and Recreation class. Micah, feeling a little uninspired about the subject matter that day, fell asleep in class when the professor noticed and directly asked him a question. To everyone’s surprise, Micah instantly popped up with the correct answer to his professor’s quiz. Elizabeth was already sitting next to him that day because she purposely sat herself near the funniest guy in class. Micah’s correct response, against all odds, caused her to burst out laughing, which inspired Micah to introduce himself. That event turned out to be the moment that it all began, and the two of them have been laughing together ever since.
Prior to and on the day of the proposal Madison and I kept in contact so that she could make sure her brother was lined up to get the best photographs of the proposal. She said she was even more nervous about Micah proposing then he was. What a great sister. When I arrived on the day of the proposal, I was excited and very nervous. It was such a beautiful day and it felt like everyone in Ocean Beach was there to watch the sunset. I was hoping there would be one spot left were they would have a beautiful view when Micah proposed.
Everything worked out beautifully. They found parking in the perfect spot, which was the area they needed to walk down to the cliffs. Madison, along with her mom and dad recognized me immediately from a video I sent them prior to the proposal, and I knew who everyone was from the photos Madison sent me. She knew right where to lead Micah and Elizabeth, and off they went to a beautiful open area with very few people around. Micah got down on one knee and asked Elizabeth to marry him. Everything about that moment was beautiful and shall I say...perfect.
If there is one thing I know about May and June in San Diego is that it is usually gloomy and cold. May 19, 2018 was one of those days. It was overcast, the wind was blowing and it was cold. As I sat there, bundled up, cold from the wind, I wondered if Brandon was going to be able to convince his future bride-to-be to be to talk a walk along sunset cliffs. There was nothing that was going to stop him that day. Not even some cold and gloomy weather was going to keep him from proposing that day!
Stephanie and Brandon met in high school. They ran track together and became best friends. Then the beginning of a relation started when they went to go see The Hangover, her junior and his senior year. They started having a bunch of inside jokes with each other, and hung out a lot more after that day. Being with each other was always so much fun. During Stephanie's senior year of high school and Brandon's freshman year of college they began dating. With the help of her mom, Stephanie was convinced attend the same college, Cal State Long beach, as Brandon. During their college years they were very busy with school and work, but they always knew that our relationship was a priority for them. They decided to adopt a dog together and named him Apollo. They always tried to make time for each other and began taking trips to San Diego. On their first ever trip to San Diego, they ended up at Sunset Cliffs. Throughout their 7 and a half years of dating, and as they began their teaching careers, they have kept Sunset Cliffs and trips to San Diego as a way to remain close and remember their first years together.
This wedding was so special to me for so many reasons. First of all, it took place at my favorite venue Volcan Mountain Winery in Julian, CA.
I left Sara and Casey’s engagement session, hopped in the car and said “They are just so much FUN!” And I knew that once their wedding day was here it was going to be a party! On the day of the wedding, these two were surrounded by their amazing family and friends. I was right!!
So many sweet moments stuck out to me: I loved watching Sara’s sweet mom smile at her while she stood there in her dress for the very first time on her wedding day. As a momma to a little girl, I can’t imagine how surreal it must have felt to see her baby girl on her wedding day.
I loved Sara and her grandfather’s first look. She looked amazing and he made sure that she knew it. Her girlfriends were just in awe of how gorgeous she was, and they made her entire day such a celebration!!
Being a part of weddings like this is such an honor for me. This sweet family was so gracious, warm, and inviting. I felt like I was more than a photographer, but a part of this loving family as well. Their smiles are contagious!!
Being a part of weddings is such an honor for me. Casey, you are one lucky guy! Sara, you were radiant, and I can’t wait for you to relive your day through these images!!!! I am so blessed to have you in my life! Enjoy living in your home together, enjoy not having to say goodbye at the end of the night, and enjoy fully living life with your best friend.
It was a cold and windy day, but that didn’t matter because that was the day that Tanner was proposing to his love Cristen on the beach at Sunset!
Tanner and Cristen first met at work and quickly became friends. Shortly after that they bonded over learned that they also attended the same church together. The friendship was 5 months in, and they were dating other people. It was during that time that Tanner realized that Cristen was the only woman who truly made him laugh and made him happy. He realized that “this is the woman I need to be with”. He is wonderful with Cristen’s daughter, and will be a great addition to her life. And as Cristen says, “He loves more fiercely and lovingly than anyone else I have seen love.” And From what I saw, I know Cristen loves him just the same. They dated for 9 months, and he knew…she was the one for him!Tanner and I worked together to find the perfect location in San Diego to propose, and that was Pacific Beach. To make sure the day was a success, I created a video to send to him in advance outlining the best way to set himself up for the proposal. On the day of the proposal he made dinner reservations at JRDN, placing him at the right location to take a nice stroll on the beach after dinner. While I sat there waiting and hoping not to be blown away by the wind, Tanner and Cristen came down the stairs to the beach, and walking hand in hand, laughing and smiling. I could already tell how happy they were. Once they were in the right spot, Tanner knelt down on one knee and proposed to Cristen! Her excitement was contagious. Once Tanner told her about me, I got closer to introduce myself and to congratulate both them for the new chapter of their journey together. Then we took a few moments, in the least windy location, to capture a few photos of them as a newly engaged couple. I could clearly feel that joy on their faces and their pictures were full of natural emotions! I know that they are going to have an amazing wedding in their hometown surrounded by family and friends.