Ashley and Cameron

How We Met

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there; if you don’t believe me, just ask my fiancé, Cameron. At the time we met, I was in my senior year of college at UC Berkeley and my friends joined me in Vegas to celebrate my 22nd birthday. Even though I was days away from studying abroad in Barcelona for the semester, I agreed to squeeze in the spontaneous Vegas trip right before I left.

On our last day in Vegas, I insisted on going to LAVO Day Club for a boozy brunch. We left our bags at the front desk and wore the same clothes we were going to wear to the airport to catch our flight home. While me and my friends were dancing on a table (oh, to be 22) a guy across the club motioned for us to come over, I kindly rejected him. My best friend tapped me and hushed, “we know them!” Apparently, she knew this group of dudes from back home and I had potentially ruined it – oops!

Ashley's Proposal in Malibu, California

As I was still standing on the table, my future fiancé left the group and introduced himself to me. He smiled and asked why I wasn’t dancing on his table. I laughed it off and said I was fine where I was. The energy of the day was unique and carefree; I was focused on my friends even though I learned Cameron had been focused on me. Our groups mingled back and forth the rest of the day, but I actually spent more time with my fiancé’s friends rather than him. From the corner of my eye, I kept catching him grab glimpses of me while he was twirling other girls– but of course, I pretended I didn’t notice. What was this guy’s deal?

Proposal Ideas Malibu, California

As I was leaving, I felt someone gently tug me to the side. I realized it was Cameron, as he quickly said, “I’m going to take you out when I am in Los Angeles.” Bold move, I thought, as I explained a date would be impossible because I was moving to Barcelona. Instead of being deterred by the distance, he explained he was finishing medical school in Vermont and he would find a way to see me again. I didn’t believe him, but I was intrigued by his confidence. We talked for a total of 5 minutes that day.

A month later as I worked on my law school applications from a Barcelona café, I received a friend request from him. Somehow, Cameron had found me and I was still on his mind. We spoke sparingly throughout my time abroad, but as soon as I landed in California I sent him a flirty “honey, I’m home” text and he told me I owed him a long overdue date. I agreed and the rest is history.

Ashley and Cameron's Engagement in Malibu, California

How He Asked

Cameron started his medical residency at UCLA the same year I started law school. The next three and a half years were a blur of studying, late night dates, and making time for one another. Then, he matched to a specialty program in Chicago and our relationship turned into long-distance. Months before the proposal, my childhood friend asked me to go to a Malibu work event with her because she couldn’t find a date. She showed me a fake invitation and I agreed, not thinking anything of it.

On the day of the “event”, I entered a beautiful surfer-themed bungalow on Pacific Coast Highway, in what was supposed to be the party venue. As soon as I opened the door, I saw Cameron in front of a private beach with flower petals leading me to him – tears in his eyes. I knew immediately what was happening and heard my friend start crying behind me.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Malibu, California

 

I was shocked because Cameron had posted videos of the Chicago River that morning on his Instagram story. In fact, I distinctly remember Cameron mentioning the hard day of studying he had ahead of him in Chicago while he prepared for his medicine board exams. The 5-hour practice exam he had told me about the day before was really an excuse for a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles.

As I approached him while I was bawling like a baby, I noticed that his family and mine were on opposite sides of the house. He had coordinated with both our families and my best friend, somehow planning every minute detail of the proposal from 2000 miles away. I can’t even remember exactly what he said on the day of the proposal. I just remember shouting YES and losing it as our families surrounded us.

Within an hour my mom had me changed into a perfect dress she had smuggled from my room and sent me off to the surprise proposal toast she had been planning for months. The day felt completely surreal as I partied until midnight with my new fiancé and our closest family and friends.

Special Thanks

Catherine Kang
Photographer