Elise and Logan

Where to Propose in San Clemente, CA

How We Met

Logan and I met the summer before my Junior year of high school. We had a ton of mutual friends, and that summer we started ending up at the same get-togethers more and more often. We connected right away and became best friends (who secretly kind of liked each other and were really flirty). Logan left for college a few months later, and I remember being so sad that entire Fall. When he came home for Thanksgiving he surprised me outside of my house late one night and I was elated. We called each other best friends, but we secretly liked each other and were just too shy to do anything about it. The initial flirty stage kind of wore off, but we stayed really close friends all throughout college. He was the first person I went to with anything especially exciting, difficult, or intense happened in my life, and vice versa. When he graduated and moved home, we spent literally all of our free time together. It quickly became pretty obvious that we both thought the other was real cute and that we were maybe intended to be more than best friends… so we started dating! Slowly at first, because we had had such a special friendship for so long, but it wasn’t too long before we had a pretty good idea we’d end up married (And now we will be in just a few months!!!!). Logan genuinely always has been and always will be my best friend – I still have the texts and Facebook messages from 2009 to prove it! :)

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How He Asked

On January 7th, Logan and I planned to spend the day together by the beach. We went down to Laguna to get some food and coffee and run some errands together. I took Logan to a barbershop because I had booked a fancy cut + shave that day for part of his Christmas present. Looking back, we laugh because I left halfway through to walk to get coffee, and Logan told the barber everything that was happening that day. The way that he was SO nice and smiley toward me when I got back makes much more sense now. Logan and I had a lovely, simple day together. He took me to our favorite lunch spot in San Clemente and we spent a while talking about the rest of this year and our plans for marriage. I love walking around by the beach with Logan, and we have shared so many meaningful days in San Clemente specifically. We went to Bear Coast for more coffee (obviously) and did some reading and journaling together. This is significant to me because I had been, to be honest, a bit edgy most weekends because I knew that getting engaged was a possibility, but I was always nervous to get my hopes up! Logan made sure that we had a relaxing afternoon and conversation that completely put me at peace and made me so thankful to share a simple, sunny day together.

We walked down the pier and took some pictures, just like we normally do. We decided to take a long walk along the coast to our favorite spot about a mile down. In San Clemente, south of the main beach and pier, there is a point where there is a swing set that directly faces the sunset. Since I was a teenager, it’s been a significant spot to me. I’ve had so many foundational moments in my life there. When we got to this point, there were some lights and a picnic set up (but the sun hadn’t gone down yet like Logan thought it would have, but I loved it anyway!). On our walk, our conversation became more specifically about marriage and our love for each other and what we want our lives to be about. I kind of got what was going on, and started getting emotional. By the time we got to the set up, I was ALREADY crying and nervous!

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Logan said so many wonderful things to me, unfortunately my heart was racing so much I don’t think I heard him at all. He gave me a note and said he wrote everything he planned to say down because he knew I wouldn’t hear – what a relief. I re-read that note all the time to this day. Logan said the exact thing I wanted to hear, and it was so much more about just his love for me but what kind of couple and people we want to become as we spend our lives together, and the things he would promise to do for my best and for our best.

Elise and Paul Logan's Engagement in San Clemente, CA

I really could not keep the tears away. I said yes so quickly when he asked! I realized my friend/amazing photographer Emily was in the bushes documenting the whole thing, and she took some beautiful and tearful (mostly my tears haha) portraits of us.

Then, our family came out of hiding and congratulated us and popped some champagne. It was so joyful! And there was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. When we got home, Logan had gathered all of our friends for an engagement party. It really was the happiest day EVER.

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Special Thanks

Emily Arnold
Photographer