Courtney and Dominic

the ring and the fianceDominic and I met in Chico, CA while we were both finishing up school. He was at Butte College and  I was at Chico State. Timing was everything! Right when we met, I was doubting that I would ever find a good man in this small town and he was about to move back to his hometown of San Rafael to work at his parents glass shop.  We hit it off instantly! He had invited me to check out a church he regularly attended and it helped our relationship grow exponentially, soon after we started dating. We also bonded over our mutual love of country music, target shooting (our first date!), and living a healthy lifestyle.

Nearly two years later,  Dominic had just accepted his dream job in San Rafael as a project engineer. I continued to live in Chico so I could finish up my last semester of college. He commutes home on weekends so we can spend time together.

However, the weekend of October 4, 2014 was different. Dominic had asked if I wanted to attend his grandpa’s birthday that weekend. I of course said yes! I love spending time with his family and I needed to get out of the Chico heat. Marin always had beautiful weather in October!

Early that Saturday before the party, Dominic had suggested we visit the aquarium on Pier 39 in San Francisco. I agreed since we had been wanting to do that forever! The aquarium was beautiful and a lot of fun. As we were driving to his grandpa’s, Dominic said we should take a picture at the Marin Headlands before we head over. This was not out of the ordinary because it was on the way home and we often stopped there to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge! There wasn’t a cloud in the sky that day and the weather was warm and sunny, the perfect day for a picture! We drove up to the highest point, a spot where I hadn’t been yet.

As we walked up to the edge, we took a long look at the view across the bay. Dominic takes a picture on his cell phone then turns towards me and gets down on one knee! It was then that I heard a camera start clicking away, I hopped to God that was for us (and it was!). I instantly started tearing up and when he asked me to marry him, I said YES!

So relieved!

One knee

The kiss after yes!

Afterwards we went straight to his grandpa’s birthday party. The door opened and our French Bulldog Riley runs up to us. A new tag was attached to his collar that said “She Said Yes” on the front and “10-4-14” on the back! We made our way inside and see everyone in the kitchen, as soon as we walked in, they shouted CONGRATULATIONS!

she said yes riley

Dominic had gotten his whole family together to celebrate our engagement! It was a very special moment filled with so much love. I was shaking with excitement. His brother called me over to give me a hug and out pops my mom and her boyfriend Steve! I started tearing up again because I am very close to my mom and  it was so special for them to be there. They had made the trip from Chico in secret just to surprise me! I feel blessed to say, I truly do get to marry my best friend.

Photographer:  Henny Deleon