Julie and Conrad
How We Met
Conrad and I met for the first time in September 2015 at our church’s young adult meeting. We had always seen each other on Sunday mornings during church service, but it was there that we finally officially met. The following week our young adult group had a basketball pickup game hangout, for which we were both excited about – it being our favorite sport and both having played it for many years. It was there that we started talking and we both realized that there was something different about the other. We were a bit surprised to feel this way since on our own, we had started to come to grips that maybe God didn’t have someone for either of us. After a few failed relationships we had become content in our singleness and neither of us was actively looking for someone.
As I started to get to know him better, I grew more and more attracted to him, but I wasn’t sure how he felt about me. There was some confusion during that time, as I thought he liked another girl, and he, too, thought I liked someone else. But it was all a misunderstanding and after we talked it through together, we realized that our feelings were mutual and exclusive to each other. But we decided to get to know each other as friends first before jumping in. “Friends, but interested,” was the phrase he coined for us. Well, a few months, and many deep conversations later, on Christmas Day, he asked if would officially be his girlfriend, and our time together officially began.
Both of us had never felt this way before with any other relationship we’d had – this certainty. Right from the get-go of dating, we were discussing marriage and what life would be like together. We saw eye-to-eye on practically everything! Before I met him, I thought I’d have to compromise somewhere because I didn’t think there would be someone who would fit me exactly and complement my quirky blend of personality traits so well. But throughout that year we became more and more sure of what we already knew – that God had made us for each other. So in the fall of 2016, when he asked if I wanted to look at wedding venues together I wasn’t surprised. Although it seemed unconventional, given my naked left ring finger at the time, Conrad and I have never been about doing something a certain way “just because society says so.”
How He Asked
A few months later, after having put a deposit down on a venue in Malibu, he went with me on my family’s annual trip to Hawaii for the holidays. It was his first time and I was so excited to share my second home with him. We had already made plans to go on a waterfall hike there together, so it didn’t even occur to me that he might be planning to do it there.
The day before our hike, my family was going to celebrate my mom’s birthday with a nice dinner. So Conrad took me to the mall that afternoon to go shopping for a new dress. He picked numerous dresses for me to try on, and took pictures of me in each one. I had no idea, but he was covertly sending the pictures of the ones I liked to my mom, so she could sneak into the store after we left and buy them for part of the proposal surprise. His elaborate proposal plan was already in effect!
The day of the hike came, December 31, 2016, and I had absolutely no idea. He was so calm and casual that even if I had suspected, I would’ve been thrown off the scent. We started hiking up the Manoa Falls trail, taking pictures as we went. It had been raining all week, but the sun decided to shine that day, creating a beautiful and surreal backdrop for all our photos.
We finally made it to the waterfall, and it was breathtakingly gorgeous. He took off his backpack and asked a stranger to take our picture. When the stranger tried to give the phone back, Conrad told him to wait a second. Then he turned and started to tell me how incredible the past year had been, how happy I’d made him, and how he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. My mind went blank as I came to the realization that he was about to propose. Then he got down on one knee and presented the black, velvet ring box from his waistband and asked me to marry him.
I was so happy and overjoyed that I couldn’t even speak, so I just nodded. As I accepted the ring and we shared our first kiss as an engaged couple, I was faintly aware of a clicking sound next to us and I realized a photographer was capturing the moment.
To be honest, I thought maybe he worked for the waterfall park and was taking pictures of us so we could purchase them at the parking lot below. Then, Conrad turned me to him and said, “This is Roy, our photographer!’ If I was speechless before, I was definitely flabbergasted then.
Conrad had not only arranged for Roy to capture the proposal moment, but also take photos of us in front of the waterfall and as we hiked back down the trail.
My mind was still in a state of blissful shock, that I didn’t even notice my whole family was waiting for us at the bottom of the trail-head! For a girl whose family is everything, that was the best surprise of all – him arranging for them to meet us, and seeing the look on their faces as they gave us leis, hugs and kisses.
It was very emotional for my family and I, and you could feel the excitement and joy in the air. But Conrad had one more surprise up his sleeve! He had arranged for my family to bring three dresses I had liked from shopping the day before, so I could choose one and change into it for a full engagement photo shoot.
He had clothes for himself as well, and after we changed, Roy took amazing photos of us against the beautiful Hawaiian foliage. It was all so special because the fact that we took pictures on that day, really captured our true emotions in those moments. The amount of work Conrad did to plan, organize and coordinate with Roy, and my family was so thoughtful and amazing, and made it that much more memorable and romantic. And now, we’re so excited to tie the knot and embark on our married journey together!