Sara and Tino

How We Met

Tino and I met when we were in 6th grade. We had become close friends, and I still remember talking to him all of the time in middle school. Once we got to high school, we ended up going to two separate schools so we lost contact. After 3 years apart, Ome day I randomly look down at my phone and it was Tino and for some reason, I just knew I needed to answer it… and I’m so glad I did. Tino had been going through some really hard things in his life, and he needed someone there for him. That night he came over and sat in his car and we talked for hours. Ever since that day, we have been inseparable.

How He Asked

The weekend of May 20th, my sister and I had plans to spend the weekend together since she lives out in Oakland, and I live further in the East Bay. Tino had a busy weekend planned with helping out at a fundraiser at our church and I happened to have the weekend off so I knew that it was a good weekend to get away. My sister and I love taking pictures, so we had planned to take a walk to Lake Temescal, hang out there for a while, and then later in the day go to the UC Botanical Gardens, which is one of our favorite spots!

The weekend finally came, I drove out to Oakland and we hung out all night. That night, I could not sleep. I was laying in bed with this feeling in my stomach, thinking, praying, but doubting that this weekend would be the weekend that he proposed. As I was laying there I said out loud to my sister “this would have been the perfect weekend for him to propose. I’m off work, I’m out here in Oakland and he could have been planning the whole thing.” My sister, knowing completely that that was EXACTLY what was happening, just laughed and told me “just be patient with him, and trust him, it’ll come soon.” I finally fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up and it seemed like a normal day. My sister and I went and got coffee, and we took our walk to the lake. I thought to myself “maybe, he’s going to do it here!” I was wrong, and there was no proposal. We took some beautiful pictures, and we headed back home. Once we got back home, we just hung out at the apartment until we decided we should head to the Botanical Gardens. We got dropped off by my sister’s boyfriend, and we walked around our favorite spot together. As we were walking, I saw a narrow pathway that leads to my absolute favorite spot in the gardens, you walk down the little pathway and in a canopy of trees is a bench. I said to my sister “Oh! Let’s go down there!”

Sara and Tino's Engagement in Botanical Gardens, UC Berkeley

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Botanical Gardens, UC Berkeley

As we started walking down the pathway I noticed flower petals everywhere, but it didn’t really click that they were intentionally there because the trees above had pink flowers. I said to my sister “it almost looks like someone set this up!” And she laughed. Then, I started to see whole bouquets of flowers and candles lining the pathway, and finally I saw him standing there, looking so handsome. I will never forget the quietness of the whole thing. It felt like the world stood still for a couple of moments. He walked me to the bench that had candles shaped in a heart, photos of us laid out, and a Bible verse (Proverbs 31:10-31). He read me the verse, and then looked me in the eyes and said words to me that I will never forget. He got down on one knee, and I said “Yes!”

We headed back home to my house in the East Bay, and when we pulled up all of our friends and family were there with a beautiful party that my parents, sister, and his mom help set up. There were white tables, beautiful flowers, and some of our favorite people there to celebrate with us. The joy I felt on that day will be hard to match, but I have no doubt in my mind that our wedding day will far exceed that. I can’t wait to become the wife of my very best friend, the one I cry with, pray with, and love so deeply.

Special Thanks

Rita Santos | 
Photographer
Kelsey Baptista | 
Planning