Leann and Matt

How We Met

Leann (Olsen) and I live in Ventura. We actually met 8 years ago while we both worked at the YMCA in child care. We each ran an after-school child care site, and after a little reluctance, we allowed a friend to set us up. It was one of those ‘out of a movie’ type romances where we fell in love almost instantly (and by instantly I, of course, mean she didn’t give me a goodnight kiss until the 4th date). She absolutely loved my sense of humor right from the get go, even though she still tells me “I think I’m funny but I’m not”.

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I still remember our first date at an Italian restaurant in Westlake. Tom Selleck was sitting next to us which threw her for a loop, but certainly made for good conversation. I’d like to think I really won her over though, when we went to Barns & Noble next door afterwards and I started yelling across the store that “I had found the Miley Cyrus book she wanted.” I didn’t know someone could turn that shade of red, but hey, she stuck around! She is definitely my better half. She is funny, smart, determined, and ambitious.

When she sets her mind to something, I know she will follow through and keep pushing to achieve her goal. She is also someone who is willing to listen and is always strives to make sure others are heard. A good example of this would be when we were discussing getting a pet. I was set on a dog and she was set a cat, so we decided that we would compromise. We now have two cats. That’s sort of where Cambria came in.

How He Asked

Cambria is a place that although relatively close in miles, feels like another world. It doesn’t have the smog, congestion, all-too-fast pace of Los Angeles. The weather is amazing, the air is clean and fresh, and everything is green! I had driven through a couple times, but never had a chance to stay even though we have been talking about going for a couple years. It is such a neat town because it has everything you could want for a mini vacation. The downtown, the views, and the proximity to so many other locations while still offering a relaxing home base to return to.

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I think we actually spent a good portion of our trip weighing the feasibility of moving there. Funny enough, Cambria’s proximity played a huge role in us going on our trip, because we would only need to get a cat sitter for two nights (Don’t ask me why this is necessary. I don’t have an answer for you).

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Like I said, it isn’t a long drive from Ventura County, but feels like a completely different place. It let us forget the stress of work, obligations, chores, and whatever else, and let us just have the weekend to ourselves; to focus on us. That’s how I knew it was the perfect location to ask Leann to marry me.

After the weeks it took me to hand draw and design the engagement ring (with multiple revisions because I can’t draw as well as I thought), the excessive amount of potential proposal props I bought (Solar LED light strands, Bluetooth speakers, etc.), I just needed the location to be perfect. With the help of a local Cambrian Photographer, Debbie Markham, we realized that the boardwalk on Moonstone Beach was perfect. Debbie helped me pick the perfect time to get the best lighting, and even helped usher away loving couple who also wanted to enjoy the views haha. Debbie brought along a beautiful bouquet which really made the engagement photos stand out. I had emailed Debbie a few weeks before we planned to go to the Cambrian. I wrote this: “My girlfriend and I will be taking a “Baby-moon” trip to Cambria this weekend to have one last little vacation before our first child arrives in April.

What my girlfriend doesn’t know is that I plan on proposing on Saturday, most likely on one of Cambria’s many trails overlooking the beach (Still sourcing the location). Normally I am a planner, but adjustments to the ring design threw off all my potential planning and scheduling. After looking at your website, it seems like I am not the only one who has had this idea! I would like to find out if (1) You have any availability on such short notice, and (2) pricing and an idea of how the process works. I’m sure you have a very busy schedule, but I am hoping we will be able to make something work!”

We now laugh about the fact that she spent her whole Saturday enjoying the vegan lunch downtown, or driving to Paso Robles, or looking at the Elephant seals in San Simeon.

Meanwhile I felt like I was having an anxiety attack the whole day, frantically texting and emailing Debbie Markham our photographer all of our time frames and descriptions like I was reporting an assailant to a police investigator.

It all worked out though. She said yes, and even got a little teary eyed. We had an amazing dinner at Robin’s to celebrate. Most importantly, we can now relive our memories every year when we go back. I hope this works! Let me know if you need more or something different!

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Special Thanks

Debbie Markham
Photographer