Stephanie and Stephen

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How We Met

Stephanie’s story:You know the song “Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a match, Find me a find, Catch me a catch” from Fiddler on the Roof; well that’s our story… Stephen hired a matchmaker.
There is a fairly new service through eHarmony, called EH+, which is a premium matchmaking service. They have professional psychologists on staff and you pay to have your own personal matchmaker; in which they guarantee you 12 matches in 12 months.

Stephen drove up to Los Angeles to meet with his own personal matchmaker, Courtney. Stephen spent time with Courtney answering many questions, doing his own psychological assessment, listing his top ten qualities that he desired in a mate, etc. Courtney then searched the database based on algorithms, along with her knowledge of what Stephen was looking for, and in return, came across my profile.

I received an email one night, which I honestly thought was spam. The email stated that she had a client that she thought I would be a good match for and to fill out this questionnaire, if I was interested. I thought this could be the best risk I’ve ever taken, or the biggest scam of my life; but what did I have to lose. I filled out the lengthy questionnaire, and set up a phone interview time with Courtney for a few days later. When Courtney and I talked on the phone, she was super sweet, asked me lots of questions about myself, what I was looking for, and talked for about 30 minutes. Courtney said that she thought I would be a great match for Stephen and would send over my information and photos to him. Stephen and Courtney spoke further and he was interested in meeting me :) From there Courtney set up a time for me and Stephen to connect over the phone.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but eagerly awaited his call that Saturday afternoon, at our scheduled time of 3pm. Stephen knew what he wanted, and made our conversation brief, quickly asking me out to dinner. That was that! Three days later we met for dinner and instantly clicked!
After our 5 hour date, I knew there was something so different about this man, that I wanted to learn more. I was smitten! Come to find out, from our first date, that we have had so many mutual connections and commonalities; that our paths never crossed, until this perfect time in our lives, and unique way of meeting. What makes our story even more special, is that I was Stephen’s first and only match through EH+! Success at it’s finest.

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How He Asked

Stephanie’s story: Little did I know that Stephen had been planning the proposal for two months. We had talked a few months prior about taking a few days off from work to do a mini vacation. Stephen asked me a few weeks prior if I could ask my boss to take Thursday and Friday off. What I didn’t know is that Stephen had emailed my boss a few weeks prior as well, so he would be in the loop, when I did ask for the time off.

It was approved, now it was just a matter of planning where we were going to go. The whole time, Stephen kept making me think that this vacation was all my idea. He would throw out little hints of places and wait for me to bring it back up again. One of my favorite places is Julian, Ca (where we went two months into us dating.) I brought it up again one day and he said, “that’s a great idea!” He also said maybe that weekend we could do a relaxing trip to Dana Point. I was very excited for some relaxation time.

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As we were planning Julian, he suggested apple picking and doing a picnic at an orchard. I ran with the idea and began planning. A week before the proposal, Stephen had found this beautiful orchard called Sentenac Ranch and went up to scout out the location. He took pictures of the location and emailed details for the proposal to a photographer he found, Toby Ogden.

On 10/20/16, we headed out for our Julian day trip. We went to the cute shops in town and got Julian apple pie. I knew the only thing he had planned that day was our picnic at the orchard at 12:30pm. I was starving by that time, so I was ready to get going. He asked me to google the address of Sentenac Ranch, (as if he didn’t know where we were going.) I saw photos of the orchard online and it was beautiful! It had this gorgeous gazebo and really pretty bridge (I love bridges.) I said, “Babe, can we go look at the bride when we get there?!” Good thing I did, because that is where he planned to propose.

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When we arrived at the orchard, we parked and walked up to the bridge, looking out at the horizon. It was perfect weather, and the location was beautiful. Stephen is always so thoughtful and encouraging, that when he was talking, I didn’t expect anything. Then he turned me around and got down on one knee.

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I was in total shock and didn’t think it was really happening, until I saw Toby, the photographer, coming closer (as he was hiding in the trees.) Stephen had my ring taped to the back of a Starbucks gift card, because I’m a sneaky one, and he knew I would see a box in his pocket.

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Toby captured amazing photos from our proposal and did a sweet photoshoot with us. During the photoshoot, Stephen also surprised me by telling me that we weren’t really going to Dana Point; that he had been planning a trip to Las Vegas these past two months to celebrate our engagement weekend.

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That evening he also planned a family dinner with my parents and his parents, and we surprised his grandparents with our engagement news!

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Special Thanks

Toby Ogden
Photographer