Jessica and Cameron
How We Met
Cameron moved out to Southern California a week after he graduated from college. He had gotten a job at a church, which would often partner with my church (where I sang on the worship team) for an annual concert in the park. I had been going through a really hard time that summer, after post graduation adjustments and endlessly applying for jobs. But a Christian camp I had worked at for the past three summers was short a girl counselor, so I said screw it to the job hunt and ran away to Alaska.
I was supposed to be up there for five weeks. But the fourth night there, I broke both the bones in my left arm, flew home for surgery, and two weeks later I met Cameron at the park. Cameron had made a pact between him and God that he didn’t want to date for the first six months he was out here. He wanted to be focused on his new job and community.
Prior to meeting him, my prayers/hopes in what I wanted in a husband was narrowed down to three things: taller than me, pastor, and beard. So when mutual friends introduced us to each other, I kind of knew right then. I remember thinking, You’re someone special…. This is totally going to be a thing. He too was thinking, What the heck God?! What about the pact? She’s so cute. The embarrassing part is even though I was thinking those things, I still didn’t act very cool about it. Because once we had introduced ourselves and said hello there was an awkward pause, and then I kind of, sort of, yelled at him, “My arm is broken! Don’t touch it!” It was pretty lame. He thought it was cute. By the way, I’m 5″10 and Cameron is 6″3 Hold tight tall women!
How He Asked
Back in November, I found this Groupon to stay at a cabin in Yosemite in the prime winter months. I have this wonderful friend group of photographers with this beautiful eagerness to see and photograph nature.
We all worked on journalism publications in college together and each of them have worked with me shooting weddings. (I’m a full-time wedding photographer.) Well, apparently a month before we went Cameron hijacked my photo adventure and started plotting. We were up there for almost three days. And I literally told him before we went, Promise me you’re not going to propose in Yosemite.
I want to be focused on our friends, not when you’re going to be proposing. He promised… And even my best friend, Nyssa, was telling me Oh he’s not doing it for a while. Don’t even worry. You’ve got time. Well we were having the best time up there, despite the news reports saying it was the worst storm of the decade. We never had a problem with weather, except the Valley was closed the first full day we were there. But we just explored other parts of the park. And honestly, I was so focused on whatever we were doing, I didn’t think too much about him proposing. I would have hunches but I never dwelled on them. I was super distracted. My other best friend, Katey, came down from Oregon for the trip, which I was thinking wow she really loves Yosemite. Nope, she wanted to be there/ photograph our proposal. So the last day, on our way out, a hour before we left the park.
We stopped at this meadow that has Yosemite falls in the background. Katey and Fletcher were kind of far away behind us, and Jared was leaping all around the snowy meadow. I was walking alongside Cameron in such a blissful state. But it was raining and I needed to protect my camera, so I took off this super big and thick, face covering scarf, and wrapped it around my camera. Right then, Fletcher asked, Hey Jess, can I use your camera? And of course I say, No, it is glued to my hand. I heard him report back to Katey on what I said. But somewhere after that, the rain turned to snow.
Just as I was standing in wonder of it all, the view, the friends, my man, etc. Cameron took my hood off my head. He told me he loved me and got down on one knee.
I literally went into shock. I couldn’t believe it. But what’s the first thing I do? I turned to Fletcher who was videoing the proposal and say I’m so sorry. Fletcher, can you take my camera?!
Hilarious. Very me. Anywho, I turned back to Cameron, completely flabbergasted and answered the best question I’ve ever been asked. My friends did the most amazing job documenting this beautifully, God-ordained moment.