Summer and Rhett's California Beach Proposal

hha8How We Met: Rhett and I met May 2nd, 2014. I had just finished up the school year at BYU and was attending the wedding reception of a friend from high school when another friend, Brynn, who I’d grown up with but not seen much of in recent years (due to the fact that she moved to Ogden when we were 14) texted me and invited me to a end-of-school party at her house. My friend Kenna and  I for some reason decided to go, though neither of us had been to her house since she’d moved 5 years earlier. We were still dressed in our clothes from the reception, so totally overdressed for the backyard volley ball and fire pit we showed up to participate in. Kenna and I have a game we play where when there’s a cute boy we say “my team!” and that means you call “dibs” or whatever on talking to them. When I first saw Rhett I immediately said “My team!!” little did I know that he would become so important to me. He was wearing Toms, a beanie, and a purple hoodie, and the first thing I thought of when I saw him was 1) he reminds me of spider man (the Andrew Garfield version of spider man) and 2) why is he wearing Toms?? It didn’t take long for him to come introduce himself. We talked quite a bit throughout the rest of the night, and at the end, he hugged me goodbye–and didn’t get my number. I was surprised, since we’d talked all night but I didn’t think much of it. The next day my friend Brynn (who’s party we were at) called and said “Rhett, that kid with the Toms from last night wants your number, is it ok to give it to him?”so I said it was fine. We went on our first date shortly after that.

How He Asked: Rhett and I have been dating for about a year, and a few months ago we started talking about marriage. We began ring shopping, and it turned out to be a lot less fun than it looked (I’m apparently very particular) after what seemed like forever, we finally picked out a diamond and decided to have a custom ring made. throughout this whole ring shopping process we’d already picked a date and Rhett was just “waiting for some hardware,” as he told everyone that constantly asked why we weren’t engaged yet.

The ring was getting made, and I was leaving for California with my friends Kenna, and Ellie, and my sister, Sarah. Rhett told me that the ring was supposed to be ready by the time I got home, and he had also asked if I wanted to go on a canoe trip the Friday after we returned…so I figured after California I would start keeping my nails done, and carefully considering my daily outfit choices, because I suspected that the canoe trip would end up being when he proposed.

One of the most important parts of our girls trip was getting lots of cute pictures, I’m a photographer and always on the lookout for cool new places. (and my friends and my sister are beautiful so they make great models.) So anyways… we decided that on Thursday we would go to Santa Monica to take cute pictures on the pier. Thursday morning, I woke up exhausted and sunburned from the time spent on the beach the day before, and I was thinking it would be better to stay in for the day and save Santa Monica for Friday or Saturday, but Kenna said she really wanted to get all dressed up and take pictures, so she convinced me to take a shower and get ready, and we headed off to the beach.  We got there and started scouting out the best places for photos, but waiting for good lighting. While we were standing at the very end of the pier taking pictures and looking out over the ocean, we were approached by a creepy guy that started asking lots of questions like what our names are, where we were from, basically all of the questions you should never answer for a stranger–we were thoroughly creeped out, and I was ready to leave. Kenna suggested that we take a break from the pier and get some dinner a few blocks away, to give the creepy guy a chance to leave the beach, and then we could come back and still get our cute pictures. We got some pizza and then headed back to the pier to take pictures. The temperature had dropped, and I was not really up to any more time out on the beach. We took our pictures and started walking towards the car when Ellie insisted that we walk down the beach. She claimed she wanted to look for shells. I was frustrated because I knew she wasn’t going to be able to find any shells but she and Kenna just started walking off down the beach. I reluctantly followed. About 5 minutes into our walk, we saw a group of people gathered around a body lying in the sand.

None of them spoke very good English, only Mandarin. The girl was wearing nothing but underwear and barely coherent-mumbling in Russian. Kenna, who speaks Mandarin just took charge, she got on the phone with the coast guard and was able to get the girl to say her name and age and talk a little bit to the people who had pulled her out of the water. One of the Chinese women spotted a lifeguard a few hundred yards down the beach, she ran down the beach to enlist his help in the crisis we were experiencing, but he took off in the opposite direction, so she returned alone and we were stuck waiting for emergency help to arrive. (later we found out that the “lifeguard” was actually one of Rhett’s friends who had come to help with the proposal, and had just happened to be wearing a red jacket) We stayed with the girl until the paramedics got there and took over the situation, and then Kenna takes off walking down the beach again. I was like, “are you CRAZY?!?” we had definitely had enough adventure for the day. I thought that it was probably inspiration of some sort that she had made us walk down the beach originally because that girl and those people needed her help, but now I was beyond ready to be done and go home. Kenna claimed she had too much adrenaline pumping from the situation and had to keep walking, because she couldn’t sit in a car. She tried to convince me by saying there was a pretty place to take pictures further down, somehow between my sister and Kenna they got my camera away from me and into Kenna’s hands. She started taking pictures, and I saw a guy standing on the beach surrounded by sticks (I thought they were maybe boat paddles or something) The sun was behind him so the whole seen looked very silhouette-y.

I gave Kenna an exasperated look and said “oh look, you’re attracting another creepy guy.” and kept walking on down the beach. Kenna said “Sum! Look” and I looked at the guy again, and realized it was the love of my life, Rhett standing there, surrounded by Tiki torches, holding a rose, with rose petals all over the ground.

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I was shocked, I couldn’t believe he was here, in California!! I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy to see him!

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California had been amazing but I hate being away from him. I had even told my sister that I wished he would just fly out and propose in California, because that would be about as magical as it gets. I of course didn’t think it was at all possible, because to my knowledge the ring wasn’t done yet and Rhett had work all week. I hugged him and when I pulled away he handed me the rose, and got down on one knee. Then he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a ring box, and said “Summer will you marry me?” I said “yes” (of course) He had been planning this all along, Kenna and Ellie and Sarah had all kept the secret and made it possible too. The canoe trip had just been to throw me off, so I would be totally surprised!  Now I am 4 months away from marrying the most handsome, wonderful person in the world and I could not be more excited!!

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