So here's the story:
Stephen had apparently originally planned to propose back in February, but realized that he wasn't ready and the timing wasn't right, which is totally okay!
We have been wanting to go to the Santa Monica Pier for a couple years now, so we decided to celebrate his graduation from USC and Biola, we'd spend the day at Santa Monica.
It was an awesome day! We had lunch at the end of the Pier, then went on ALL THE RIDES! Bought some souvenirs and just enjoyed the day. The sun was out, but it was still cool enough for me to wear a black long-sleeve with a tank top underneath!
We had dinner at Bubba Gump, got some coffee at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and walke a flippin' mile or so to get to this beautiful rose garden on the bluffs of Santa Monica that overlooked the ocean.
We sat on a bench for a while, and I had a feeling all day that he was probably going to propose, and I had a feeling that some of my friends were nearby because he accidentally sent me a tentative list of those going the week before!
While we were sitting on the bench, we saw people who actually stopped to smell the roses! After noticing he wasn't really paying attention to what I was saying, and looking over his shoulder, I said we should probably move, since there was also a homeless couple near us, and I had a feeling that someone was going to take incognito pictures of us. So we walked over to the purple flowers on the other side (which you see in the background of the first picture), but Stephen insisted that we walk back to the roses, so we did. We walked around and smelled the roses together.
During this time, the clouds came in and we went to the park to see the sunset. I started doubting if he was going to propose because we were running out of light. Then I told myself "I have to be content and happy with this day, even if he does not propose. It was a wonderful day, and I should be grateful for that."
Then, Stephen turned me around, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! To be honest, I don't remember much of what he said, but I do know it was sweet and heartfelt. All I could see was how beautiful the ring was, and my nightmares of an ugly ring were gone! In fact, when he asked me to marry him, I thought I took forever to say yes because I was so enthralled with the ring. Stephen said I said yes right away :)
And when I said yes, friends, my family, and his family popped out of no where! I was surrounded by cameras and smiles (and some bystanders watching). It was so awesome to have my close friends and family congratulate us right away and celebrate in the raw excitement! Even the homeless couple stayed to watch, and some guy who was on the phone, came into the commotion of my friends and family and took a picture and told us he was sending it to Chicago..... HAHAA!
We all began sharing our stories of them trying to not be seen by us walking by, our thoughts, emotions, and it was just a joyous chaos. We stayed until the sun went down, taking pictures, laughing, and hugging it out.
And there was a SECOND SURPRISE: My Engagement party was already all planned for the next day! All I needed to do was find a dress!! LIKE WHAT?
Oh and there was apple cider to go around and some impromptu speeches.
Literally, best day ever.
photos by Matthew Estrada