Justin and Ellyette

How We Met

Elly and I first met in Las Vegas in 2012! My brother’s wife Daelyn had just graduated from college and was planning on celebrating her undergraduate farewell in Las Vegas. Daeyln invited her cousin Taylar which is Elly’s best friend and maid of honor. Taylar of course extended the invite to Elly for the celebration!

Prior to the trip, Daelyn asked me if I wanted to see a picture of Taylar’s friend that she was bringing. I remember looking at the photo and instantly thinking how gorgeous Ellyette was. The trip was already off to a great start. It was a typical Vegas trip consisting of moderate alcohol consumption, nightclubs, and greasy food. We went to two clubs, Tao at the Venetian and Chateau at the Paris and Bally’s hotel. I nervously bought Elly her first drink and she agreed to dance with me! She was so impressed with my dance moves that she danced with me for the remainder of the night and even grabbed my hand and led me through a crowd of people to get to the dance floor at the next club, Chateau. I felt Elly and I really hit it off! Honestly, in my head the night could not have gone any better. Elly and Taylar left the next morning as they had only planned a quick trip. After the trip, I obviously had the biggest crush on Elly. Elly was continuing school in Arizona and I was working in California. I tried texting and continuing our newly formed relationship but it simply was not meant to be. In today’s relationship slang: Elly ghosted me.

Fast forward two years later to April 2014, Taylar was back in town to celebrate Daelyn’s birthday at Wente Winery in Livermore, CA. Elly was brought up in a casual conversation and both Daelyn and Taylar encouraged me to reach out to Elly again. I was EXTREMLY skeptical and very reluctant given my last attempt. Taylar made the first contact and asked Elly if she had any plans that night. Elly replied that she was just working and Taylar jokingly asked if she wanted to fly out to California and hang out with all of us. Elly laughed and asked if she had enough time to go home and change but was totally down to fly out for the weekend. Unfortunately, Elly did not fly out that weekend but her willingness to come opened the door for me to start talking with her again. We talked consistently all day every day for the next two weeks. Elly was having a stressful week with school so I decided to send her personalized Ice cream shipped straight to her door in Arizona. Elly found the gift extremely creative and thoughtful. This was a real turning point in figuring out if we both wanted to continue to take our relationship to the next level. Elly accepted my invitation to be my +1 at Trent and Daelyn’s wedding and the rest is history!

The picture is Elly and I’s first picture when we met in Vegas in 2012!

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How He Asked

The proposal took about 6 months of total planning! Starting in January 2017. My fiancé is extremely observant and curious about anything and everything so I had to be extra careful through this entire secret proposal process. My elaborate story started with a “fake” award ceremony staged by my supervisor and I. As I mentioned before, my fiancé is extremely curious and very skeptical about things unless proof is found or given. My supervisor and I drafted a first fake email to me from her saying that she was going to nominate me for an award! I used this email as the first part of my plan to mention it to her and to show the email to fool her enough to believe it. After a few months, I drafted the final email to me from my supervisor saying that I had officially won the award. This email was crucial in getting my fiancé to my location of choice and forcing her to wear something formal because she would be thinking she was attending the award ceremony and mingling with my peers and supervisors. That morning to keep up with my lie, I left the house early dressed in a suit which I later changed out of for the actual proposal. The stage was now set. The first part of the surprise was the actual proposal on top of a rooftop in San Francisco, CA that I reserved months in advance. On top of the roof was me, a secret photographer, and our closest friends and family. I proposed and we toasted on the rooftop and took photos. We then spend most of the day in San Francisco having brunch and spending time with each other. Elly was thinking we were going home when a stretch hummer limo picked our whole group up to take us to our second surprise! The limo would drive us to an event community lounge that I rented and catered. Inside was 55 of all of our closest friends and family. Our friends and family traveled from Sacramento, San Diego, LA, Arizona to celebrate the rest of the night with us!

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Justin and Ellyette's Engagement in San Francisco, CA (Rooftop)

Special Thanks

Cori Delgado
Photographer