Suzanne and Jesse's Time Lapse Proposal at Sunset

How We Met: Jesse and I met at work. I had been working for a solar energy company, and I had started there when the company was small and just getting off the ground, so I had been around for a bunch of new employees. I’ll never forget the day that Jesse was hired. He came in for his interview and one of my best friends, who worked with me at the time, kept joking about the “fresh meat” in the lobby.

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Not long after that I had nasal/sinus surgery, so I was out of the office for almost two weeks. My first day back was Jesse’s first day, which happened to be April Fool’s Day. I still had a slight black and blue bruise under my left eye from the surgery, so my best friend kept telling all of the guys that I had gotten in a bar fight the night before. Most of them knew me, so they knew it wasn’t true, but Jesse, being that it was his first day, believed every word of it. Jesse is from Pennsylvania, so he thought nothing less of the “tough Jersey girl” he imagined that I was.

A few weeks later, a group of us decided to get together for a “company outing”. We had a blast! I had a feeling that Jesse liked me because he had turned bright red and could barely get his words out when we tried having a conversation at the beginning of the night. The next week, Jesse asked me out to dinner. He came over to my house, where we figured we’d have a glass of wine before we left – to my surprise, we never made it out! We talked and talked for hours, he was so interesting, and I was pleasantly surprised, because I had originally thought that he was totally not my type. He was several years older than me for one, and he wasn’t the type of guy that I would normally go for.

We had such a great time that I decided to continue to see where things would lead. Luckily enough, our roles at work were so different that we barely crossed paths unless we wanted to. We tried keeping our relationship a secret at work for a little while because we weren’t sure how management would take it, but then came the holiday party, and we couldn’t hide the fact that we were coming and leaving together. Once things were out in the open, things started getting more serious because we weren’t worried about hiding anything, and Jesse and I ended up moving in together less than 6 months later! People thought it was too soon, but I knew that we just clicked, and everything would work out for the best.

How He Asked: Fast forward 3 years. Jesse’s youngest brother, who lives in Colorado, was getting married. We decided several months beforehand that we would turn the trip into a long vacation, and were so excited for the trip to finally come! We did 5 days in Colorado, and another 5 days in California. We had an absolutely amazing time – it was literally the best trip either of us had ever taken. We did so many memorable and adventurous things, and had seen a bunch of different family members that we don’t get to see too often because of the distance.

Jesse does photography on the side, and he always takes amazing pictures. He is always so creative with his photos, so when he had been saying the whole time we were in California that he wanted to capture a time lapse of a West Coast sunset, I didn’t think anything out of the ordinary. Jesse had been monitoring the exact time the sun was supposed to set – 6:04 pm, so we had to be there a half hour early so that he could set up and make sure he had enough shots to put together his time lapse. We brought some wine and snacks, and set up our beach chairs on one of the beach cliffs – it was an absolutely amazing view. There was another couple that came strolling along, also wanting to watch the sunset, and two young kids that were riding their dirt bikes down the cliff. As 6:04 started approaching, Jesse asked the couple, and the kids, if they would mind staying out of view from his tripod because he was going to capture a time lapse of the sunset.

It was getting really chilly as the sun started setting. I had on shorts because it had been really warm when the sun was out, but as it got chillier, I had suggested that I go wait in the car until he was finished capturing his shots. He asked me if I could at least go stand out towards the edge of the cliff so that he could make sure the sunset was in focus with his camera. He lined up the shot perfectly, and then came to join me at the edge of the cliff. He started telling me what an amazing time he had had on our trip, and that I was his best friend. He did however have something that he wanted to ask me; that’s when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was in such shock that I could barely speak! I just leaned down and gave him a hug and a kiss, and then he said, “wait, let me put the ring on!”

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Then he reminded me that he had gotten the whole thing captured on camera, so we turned and gave huge smiles right at the lens.

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On our ride home, Jesse told me the whole story of how he had planned this perfect proposal.  He had asked my sister and my best friend to take me ring shopping. When my sister mentioned it to me, she said that we should go look so that I at least knew my ring size for when the time finally came. I don’t wear rings, so this was a perfectly believable excuse. I told the girls not to tell Jesse that we had gone shopping because I didn’t want him to get freaked out knowing I had tried on rings. Little did I know, he had planned the whole thing! He had also called the bank and asked them to send him a new debit card. When it came, he made up a story about the bank being concerned about possible fraudulent activity on his card. He had changed the password on his account so that when I tried to login to pay our bills, the password wouldn’t work and he was able to blame it on the “suspicious activity”. The whole ploy was so that I couldn’t see that he had purchased a ring!

I asked him how he asked my dad, and he told me that he had also proposed to my Dad earlier that week. He got down on one knee asked my dad if he “would be his father-in-law”, presenting him with a White Castle gift card (my dad LOVES White Castle). I couldn’t stop laughing when he told me this.

He also told me that he had my uncle, who used to be a jeweler, special order the ring I had fallen in love with at the store. My uncle, who live in Pennsylvania, wanted to make sure that the quality of the ring was perfect, so he wanted to see the ring before he gave it to Jesse. Well, time was running out, and the ring ended up arriving at my Aunt’s house in California the morning of our last day there! I was literally sitting on the steps with my aunt when her FedEx package was delivered, not having a clue what was in the box!

Once we got back to my aunt’s, we started walking up the steps on the right side of the house, which was weird because the front door is on the left. I then realized that all of the steps were covered with rose petals. As we got into the backyard, the entire patio, including the built-in hot tub was decorated with rose petals. There was a vase of roses, with champagne and cheese and other snacks, and my cousins who excitedly jumped out to congratulate us! It was the most romantic and exciting night of my entire life.

I am still literally grinning from ear to ear. Not only can I not stop replaying in my mind when he dropped to one knee, but I can’t stop staring at my hand – the ring is just so beautiful! The best part is, I can literally replay it whenever I want because Jesse captured the entire moment on camera. He says that being able to get that moment on camera was one of the most important things because now we have that to remember forever – he did such an amazing job setting it up perfectly!

Jesse and I could not be more excited to plan our wedding and finally be husband and wife!

Photos by Jesse Waters