Kate and Alex

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Catalina Island

How We Met

According to him: It was Friday, January 26, 2013, and snowing in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It was the night of our first date, which almost didn’t happen because there was enough snow on the ground where it would’ve been acceptable for either one of us to cancel. Luckily, we both had a 4-wheel drive and decided to still meet. We had been talking for about 2 weeks after meeting online and found out we had so much in common. We both loved dogs, craft beer, and Philadelphia sports. What more could a guy ask for?

It all started with an IPA from Iron Hill Brewery. We drank our beers and talked nonstop the entire time. We had so much to talk about! Kate told me about herself and her love of decorating, dressing up, animated movies, Gilmore Girls, nacho cheese and country music. I had no interest in any of these things at the time, but I eventually came to appreciate them…except for nacho cheese. We had instant chemistry right from the start and I knew this girl was special.

Where to Propose in Catalina Island

We closed our tab and split the bill. Deep down, Kate thought I didn’t like her because I didn’t cover the tab, but it was really because I was a poor college student. (I’m sorry, babe!) We stepped outside, walked to the street corner, and said our goodbyes underneath the lamppost as the snow came down. That’s where we had our first kiss.

We made it official a few months later and have been together ever since. Three years into our relationship, we moved California, and four years into our relationship, we rescued a dog together. Keep reading to see what happened at five years…HINT: it’s shiny and made Kate cry. A LOT.

Kate's Proposal in Catalina Island

How He Asked

According to her: One of my Christmas gifts from Alex was a fully booked trip to Catalina Island, which just happened to fall on the weekend of our five-year anniversary. I was immediately suspicious of a proposal because he’s never been much of a planner. For the next month, I drove myself crazy debating whether or not he was going to propose, asking myself how he was going to do it, planning what I was going to wear, etc. Shout out to my mom, best friends, and coworkers for dealing with my craziness during that time!

I knew he had planned an anniversary dinner and assumed he would propose at the restaurant, so I ordered the most beautiful dress for the occasion. I still had no confirmation it was actually happening, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, right?

We arrived in Catalina January 26, 2018. We got lunch, then headed to our hotel to get ready for a whale watching tour that Alex planned. I thought nothing of this because we both love being on the ocean and I’m fascinated by sea life. As we were getting ready for the tour, Alex stepped out of the room to “get some brochures” from the lobby. Again, I thought nothing of this. When he came back, I was asking him questions about the tour and found out that it wasn’t a group tour…it was just going to be us on the boat.

Thoughts going through my mind at this moment include: “HE CHARTERED A PRIVATE BOAT. THE SUN WILL BE SETTING WHILE WE’RE OUT THERE. OH MY GOD ITS HAPPENING ON THE BOAT. OH MY GOD I DO NOT HAVE AN OUTFIT PREPARED FOR A BOAT PROPOSAL,” etc.

I managed to get an outfit together in time for us to walk to the pier to meet Captain Charlie and set off on our sunset “whale watching” cruise. We cruised along the coast while Captain Charlie told us about the island’s history and wildlife. About halfway down the coast, we saw a bald eagle! Apparently, this is a rare sighting, even though they do live on the island and have been seen on occasion. We are from Philadelphia and the Eagles were playing in the Super Bowl the following week, so Alex was extremely excited and took this as a sign of good luck. In case you don’t follow football, the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year, so I guess it was good luck!

Okay, now back to the good stuff. As we neared the end of the coast, Captain Charlie stopped the boat in front of the most beautiful cove and told us it was a popular spot for photos. We were posing for photos in front of the cove when all of the sudden Alex starts to turn me toward him. People are not joking when they say you sort of blackout during the proposal. I was blubbering and gushing so many happy tears I couldn’t even comprehend words. Before I knew it, Alex was down on one knee and struggling to get the ring box out of a hidden pocket in his coat. He eventually got the box out of his pocket and opened it to reveal the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. I managed to mutter the word “yes” between blubbers.

After many kisses, hugs, and happy tears, I turned to Captain Charlie, who was taking photos the entire time, and he said, “I was in on it the whole time!” Apparently, Alex’s trip to the lobby to get brochures was actually a phone call to Captain Charlie to finalize the details of the proposal. Captain Charlie popped a bottle of champagne and we celebrated all the back to the pier.

We arrived back at the pier, said our goodbyes to Captain Charlie, and headed to our dinner reservation. On the way there, I FaceTimed my mom to tell her the news. When she answered my FaceTime call, all I could hear was screaming from the other end. I looked down at my phone to see my best friends with my parents at their house in Pennsylvania. Alex had told all of them that he was going to propose, so they decided to be in the same place to celebrate. Not only did I just get engaged, but now I was popping champagne via FaceTime with my best friends and family who lived across the country. It was so incredibly special.

We enjoyed a beautiful dinner as a newly engaged couple, walked along the coast, then headed back to our hotel room. As if the night couldn’t get any better, we arrived at our room to find chilled champagne waiting for us, courtesy of my best friends. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect night saying “yes” to the love of my life!