How we met: Kate and I’s love story is not your traditional story, but one that could be penned in a Nicholas Spark’s book. I met Kate through a mutual friend via Skype. My friend, Robbie, told me to come over because his Canadian friend that he was Skyping thinks that I am cute. After seeing a picture, I could not help but rush over. Once I got to Robbie’s and onto the computer, I had never seen someone as beautiful as Kate.
We got to know each other and find out that we both have a strong passion for God and a passion for worship leading. After I was treated to a rendition of “Hallelujah” sung by Kate, I knew that I had begun developing strong feelings for this girl who seemed so perfect. After our 4 hour Skype session, I had the guts to ask for her number via Twitter direct message, and the morning after, we were texting! I knew that I had to do something bold if I wanted a shot at really making this work with Kate, who was all the way in Ontario, Canada. After dating for a month, with tons of prayer and saving, I bought a ticket to Toronto to see her that March. Sure, enough we had that instant connection and over a year and four months later, we are more in love than ever and I thank Jesus every day for Kate!
From Valentine’s Day!
How he asked:It was Saturday, April 26, 2014. I knew that it was the big day! I started off that normal Saturday by taking Kate to one of her favorite restaurants in California: P.F. Chang’s at the Irvine Spectrum Center. We went and all was completely normal up until the fortune cookies came out. They actually brought out 6 fortune cookies for 2 people! Thankfully, I knew one of them was a special one that I actually had created. I made sure Kate took that fortune cookie. Once she opened it, she found the saying, “Let’s go on an adventure! – L”.
From there, she knew something was up. So I paid the bill and we left for some Starbucks drinks. After we grabbed our drinks, I pulled an envelope out of my back pocket and gave it to Kate. She opened it, read it, and began to cry. It was her first clue! I gave her a kiss and told her that she has to follow the clues and that I would see her so soon! She gave me a hug and was on her way to her second clue, which was across the Irvine Spectrum Center waiting at Forever 21. There, my buddy Steven was waiting for her arrival with her second clue. From what Kate says, she was bawling once she saw Steven because it began to really hit her what was all transpiring! Her next clue led her to our favorite place in Laguna Beach: Gelato Paradiso! So Steven drove Kate down there, where she was greeted by my 2 sisters, Abbey and Callie. She gave Kate her final clue and Steven and Kate were on their way to Reef Point, Crystal Cove.
I had been there ready to go after I left Kate in Irvine. I had my 3 friends help out in making sure that people wouldn’t walk into the proposal spot. My photographer, Dylan Razo, was also there getting ready. I chose a beautiful cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and perched my laptop up against a rock (you’ll see why in a moment). I received the text from my sister that Kate was on her way and to be ready! My friends all got into their positions to stop oncoming joggers and bikers and Dylan and his assistant hid in the bushes. I watched Kate walk over towards me down the hill and all that was going on inside me was butterflies erupting. She pointed up right above my head, so I looked back to find 2 beautiful ocean pelicans flying directly above me (a sign?).
I directed Kate over towards where my laptop was stationed and asked her how everything went with her little adventure! I directed her attention towards the computer screen and said:
“I know you have so many friends and family in Canada that wish that they could have been apart of this today. I want you to know that they are, and that they would like to say a few things to you”.
I played the video that I created a month prior of her friends and family, each one having something to say about Kate and how we both are perfect for each other. She cried throughout the whole thing! I am so glad I was able to bring her friends and family into the proposal that were up in Canada. Once it ended, I grabbed Kate’s hands and began to pour my heart and soul out, saying how much I love her and how much closer to Christ she brings me. I told her I want to spend the rest of my life with her and that I want to be there for her through the good times and the not so good times. I then proceeded to get down one one knee and asked the big question: “Kate, will you marry me?”
YES! Her response was a HUGE yes! We hugged and I proceeded to place the ring on her finger (BOY did her face ever light up when she saw her engagement ring). Right after, I said look behind you, and all of my friends and family came out cheering and screaming! They all secretly hid so she couldn’t see them. It was a beautiful moment of friends and family coming together to welcome Kate to the family! Dylan, our photographer, proceeded to take more photos of the whole family. After it was all said and done, Kate and I stayed back to pray a blessing over our future marriage.
We ended the day with a huge engagement celebration back at my house, filled with Italian food and cheesecake! This beautiful day would not have been possible without my friends and family. To them, thank you for making my engagement to Kate more than a dream come true! To this day, I still have to pinch myself that I am marrying my best friend and soul mate that I found all the way up in Canada by the grace of God!
Photos by Dylan Razo