Emma and Joshua

Proposal Ideas One Mile Recreation Center, Bidwell Park, Chico, CA

How We Met

Josh and I met at the incredible Inspire School of the Arts and Sciences. We both took Musical Theater, and performed or worked every show produced during our time. Our experiences were not positive at first. I thought Josh was arrogant; he was talented and attractive, what every boy wants to be at art school. We went on to share special moments in shows, and even played Essie and Ed in “You Can’t Take It With You.” I had boyfriend when we met, and took advice from Josh on how to break up with that guy. Josh and I began dating after kissing at the after party of one of our shows. We were long distance for the first two months of our relationship, and somehow made it through the challenges of high school and college. We’ve continued to fall more and more in love each day for five years.

How He Asked

We met in a musical theater class at Inspire School of the Arts and Sciences. I thought Josh was arrogant, but we grew to be friends as we performed in more shows together. We even played husband and wife. Josh and I had out first kiss more than five years ago at One Mile. A group of our friends had gathered as an after-party for our high school’s dance showcase. Josh had been dared to kiss me as passionately as possible, and he did just that. We made our relationship official nearly a week later, much to the surprise of or friends and fellow classmates. A year after that, he planned a scavenger hunt that ended in a private concert in that same spot, complete with background dancers. We frequently spent time there, and as time went on the park became “our place”.

Time went on, and we both moved from the Chico area. We started living together in Bakersfield, and talked about “our place”. One weekend, I went back home for my sister’s dance showcase. I was so excited to be home, and to see my talented little sister dance but I knew I would miss Josh. Finally, I was home in bed with my handsome man. He’s made a habit of watching me fall asleep, and assumed I was asleep when he told me he planned on asking me to marry him. Our fifth anniversary was coming, and Josh had bought us tickets to see Hamilton in San Francisco. This was a special treat as we both love trips to the city and we are both musical theater fanatics. After the show I went back to Chico to see my sister graduate from middle school. We had planned that Josh would join me in Chico the next week to see his sister graduate high school.

I had been so confused that Josh hadn’t already proposed, and convinced myself that if he hadn’t at that point he wouldn’t for some time. I brushed on his announcement of proposal, we’ve always joked that we’re already married. That week was the biggest blur of my life. On Sunday, my aunt convinced me to get my nails done while I was in town, something we used to do monthly. I spent time with my mom, who kept vocalizing my taste in lipstick, and my sassy sister just being herself. Monday, I spent time with one of my best friends, and he asked when Josh and I were getting married. Tuesday, I got a text from my other aunt, asking about my plans for the day. Nothing out of the ordinary, I’m close with my aunt. Then my mom called and asked to speak to my sister, who left the room for this conversation. This wasn’t out of the ordinary, she’s a very private person.

My mom then speaks with me, telling me that she just found out she was receiving an award, and that we needed to get dressed up for the ceremony that night. I made plans to get ice cream with a friend after the ceremony. My sister convinced me to shower, telling me that I smelled bad and my hair was frizzy. When my mom got home, she critiqued everyone’s outfits, and made me change my lipstick, because she didn’t like the color. My aunt texted me again, asking what I was up to. I really had no clue what would happen when we got to Bidwell Park to take pictures and celebrate my mom’s award.

When we drove up to the park, I figured it out. There was a handsome man in the empty park, wearing his finest attire, in “our place”. My mom made me wait to walk up, my grandma was trailing behind us. I half ran to Josh, not noticing the large group of people around us. Josh gave me a wonderful speech about our relationship, and how we support each other. We really have grown up together. He got down on one knee, and opened a ring box.

I was so excited I didn’t even look at the ring, I just hugged him, and kept hugging him until he stood up, then I buried my head in his chest and cried. It was beautiful and perfect. It was then that I noticed that both of our families were surrounding us. He even made sure out of town family could Skype in for the proposal. He took my hand after the cheers roared, and tried putting the ring on. The problem: it was my right hand, and he was putting it on my middle finger. I had to help him through putting the ring on the correct hand and finger, but it was just so perfect.

We began calling friends, announcing the engagement, and I got to post incredible photos to Facebook that all our family members had taken. It also happened to be the graduation for our high school, and our former teachers were all out to dinner together when they saw the news. We have a photo of all our high school teachers raising a glass and toasting to our coming marriage. It was magical, and silly, and so romantic.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in One Mile Recreation Center, Bidwell Park, Chico, CA

Special Thanks

Whitney Hansen | 
Photographer