Alyssa and Peter

Alyssa and Peter's Engagement in Maui, Hawaii

How We Met

We met 8+ years ago in the beginning of the Spring quarter of our Freshman year at UCLA. It was the first day of the intro accounting class for our shared major and minor. Peter noticed me during class, and originally approached my friend and me to work on the quarter-long project together. However, when we couldn’t find enough people to form a complete group, Peter left my friend and I to join another group instead. Nonetheless, Peter’s best friend stayed in our group and we all began hanging out together, grabbing lunch, and studying together anyway.

We talked on AOL Instant Messenger and hung out into the wee nights for about a month. We even had one first date that I was unsure at the time if I wanted to be an actual date. Then one night, Peter invited me over to his dorm room to watch a romantic comedy and walked with me to grab hot chocolate at Bruin Cafe afterwards. While sipping hot chocolate back in my dorm room lounge, that night, on May 1, 2009, Peter asked me to be his girlfriend, and I accepted.

How He Asked

Alyssa and I have always talked about getting married. After dating for over 8 years, it wasn’t a question of if, but rather when I would be proposing. Over the years, I’d come to learn 3 things that Alyssa wants in the proposal:

It needs to be romantic.
It needs to be photographed.
It needs to be a surprise.

We had a trip planned for Hawaii, and I knew a beach proposal with the sunset would be amazing. Check.

The photographer also wasn’t difficult – I found a photographer through a search, and after speaking with them, I had confidence that their team would do an excellent job capturing our magical moment. Check.

However, keeping this under wraps and not having her suspect a thing… well, that was the challenge. Alyssa has always been the “planner” in our relationship – from travel itineraries to event activities, she was always the one making the plans. The fact that I planned something for the two of us while we were in Hawaii would be glaringly obvious, but I knew I had to try anyway.

On the planned day, I employed the help of one of our friends who was in Hawaii with us at the time, and had her invite Alyssa to a manicure (for the ring pictures, of course). I stressed to Alyssa to wear something nice. While I could sense her suspicions rising, I had other things to worry about – mid-day, we received thunderstorms and flash flood warnings! At that point, all I could do was pray that by the time we got to our secret beach spot, the rain would stop, but still, it was making me really anxious.

As we embarked on our one hour drive to the location, I began feeding Alyssa the biggest lie yet: I told her we were going to meet a family with Samoyed puppies, as part of an interviewing process with our breeder (We are planning on getting one soon). The prospect of seeing and playing with her dream dogs got her excited, and after explaining in detail about how I found them and why I wanted to go see them (and why she had to dress up for it), she accepted my story. My lie had worked!

When we arrived at our destination (the Secret Cove on Maui), luckily, the rain had stopped. Intensely clutching the ring box in my pocket, I walked her over to our planned proposal spot. I knew where the photographer was supposed to be stationed, but I couldn’t see her with the sun shining in my eye. However, as the ocean waves ebbed and flowed around us and we stood on a secluded strip of a beautiful beach, the moment was perfect and I no longer cared if our photographer was there.

I dropped down on one knee and told her how I felt, and then asked the magical words: “Will you marry me?” With tears in her eyes, she nodded, and we embraced in a tight hug that made me feel so relieved, happy, and loved. When I finally opened my eyes and looked up, I saw Chantelle, our photographer, half-in, half-out of a nearby bush (she hid herself well!), busily snapping photos of us.

It was truly a special moment, and one I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Alyssa's Proposal in Maui, Hawaii

Special Thanks