Emily and Jim | Point Lobos Proposal

How we met: Floating around different projects at work, I was fortunate to enough to be taking the spot of the most beautiful woman in the company, as she was moving to a new job. We had a week of transition… needless to say, I flirted a little. She was on the tail end of a relationship, so I waited to ask her out. A month or two later, we started dating, and here we are 3 years later. She’s quite the little spark, which makes every day enjoyable. You know it’s meant to be when your favorite part of the day is lying in bed with your gal before sleepy time, laughing at her nonsensical banter.

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The proposal: I routinely fly to Monterey, CA to see a specialty doctor. Past trips, I took solo, but this year, we decided it would be a great little couple’s adventure. We had been dating over a year, lived together, and had recently moved from Northern VA to Virginia Beach together. The time was right, I just needed the spot. To this day, she says she thought I would do it low key, on a walk around the neighborhood or something. Well this old dog is full of surprises ;)

I called the Dr’s office a few months out from my appointment, who was kind enough to recommend a photographer in the area who might be willing to 1) find a beautiful, secluded place and 2) hide in the woods to capture the moment.

The adventure started in San Francisco where we be-bopped around town for a few days. We had no set plans, just a goal to explore. We hit the best restaurants we could find, mostly based on food network shows like “Diners Drive-ins and Dives”, or local recommendations. Destinations included the Cherry Blossom Festival, cable cars, Lombard St, the house from “Full House”, and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge. To make the Golden Gate even better, we rented an old school, red, Volkswagen Bug for the ride across. It was amazing.

To depart San Francisco in style, we then rented a red Corvette convertible. Needless to say, it made the cruise down Rt. 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, to Monterey a little more enjoyable.

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Monterey was a blast. The Dr. appointment went well, and it was Emily’s birthday weekend! Most of our time in Monterey was spent putzing around, seeing what we could. The next to last day, Emily said “my friend mentioned this one park we should go check out, Point Lobos.” Unknown to her, she would be engaged to me the next day, in that park! I said we could “check it out tomorrow,” no big deal, which was playing into the plan of being there at EXACTLY 2pm on the special day.

Needless to say, the plan worked! The photographer was there, planted in position, and captured the moment.

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The only way to describe the whole thing is – surreal. I hardly remember those few hours. We wandered down to Hidden Beach in Point Lobos and looked around. To get Emily focused I said “Do you want to do something crazy?” Emily – “Sure.” Me – “Do you want to marry me?” Writing it gets me choked up again, like it did that day. She jumped around for a minute or two before actually saying yes… but she did. The next few hours are a blur of staring at her hand, talking about how crazy the whole thing really is, and calling family members. Truth be told, I don’t even remember the trip after that moment. The weight was lifted, she said yes, and I was ready to get home to start our new life.

We are happily engaged and will be married May 31st, 2014!

The Ring: Emily helped pick the ring style, but I picked the actual diamond. The result is a beautifully simple cushion cut diamond set in an Henri Daussi ring. The only thing that shines brighter than her ring is her smile.

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Photos by Albert Hoffman Photography