Yaritza and Drew

How We Met

We first saw each other at a small hole in the wall restaurant I used to work at as a server. It was an average day for me nothing particularly exciting. The restaurant was actually empty when all of a sudden Drew walked in with a small group of friends. I remember his smile was so big it brighten up my day and it gave me butterflies immediately. I told myself to play it cool and to stop smiling like an idiot. I was nervous the whole time he was there. After they were done eating and getting ready to leave Drew turned to me to say thank you. He gave me one last smile and walked away. I thought he would for sure ask for my name or number, but he did neither. I thought I would see him again at the restaurant, but he never returned, so months went by, and I totally forgot about him. Until one day I find myself working the CrossFit games in Carson, CA and I see him walking at a distance. He didn’t see me at that moment, but Drew says that he also saw me at a distance at a different moment in time. Like a missed connection we failed to make eye contact, but in retrospect, we feel like destiny was given us a glimpse into our future.

A few more months went by, and a mutual friend we didn’t know we had on Instagram posted a group photo that I was in. Drew saw the picture recognized me and decided to send me a Direct Message. I wasn’t hip to DM’s, yet so I didn’t see it until a week later. When I saw the message and read how sweet and respectful he was, I was so happy and responded right away.

We exchanged messages for almost an entire month until he finally asked me out on a date. Our first date took place at Graffiti Cafe in LA it was November 20th, 2014. It was simple, but we talked and laughed for hours, it was magical and the perfect beginning to our ever after.

How He Asked

Drew happens to be a terrible liar and I happen to be an expert at detecting unusual behavior and cues. However, I am happy to say that the day Drew decided to pop the question I did not see it coming. It all started a few weeks prior when Drew and I attended our friend’s baby shower. Our friend Nico is a lifestyle photographer, so he was the perfect coverup plan. Nico approached me and Drew during his baby shower and said, “I want to start photographing more couples to add to my portfolio. You and Drew would be perfect can I use you guys?” Of course, I said yes! I always jump at the opportunity to take pictures together. So we scheduled a photo session for June 29th, 2017. What I didn’t know was that set proposal plan in motion. The morning of the “photo shoot” I got a little upset with Drew because he was very vague about the location and time we were supposed to meet up with our photographer friend Nico. So I felt a little rushed and unprepared.

Anywho we finally make it to Palos Verdes, Ca where Nico was waiting for us. Nico keeps the mood light and fun, he thanks us for doing him this “favor.” So we start taking photos, we’re having a good time Nico shows us some of the shots he has taken so far, and I love them.

We decide to move to a different location down the road and continue to take pictures. When Nico says to me “why don’t you turn around, give your back to Drew and stare off into the distance maybe think about your future together or something.” I was completely oblivious to what was about to happen, so I turn around, not thinking anything of it while Nico is just there snapping away. And then he says “okay, let’s try something else you can turn back around.” It all happened so fast. But when I turn around to look at Drew you can see in the photos that my eye line is up because Drew is 6’3″ and I’m only 5′ feet tall, so I usually have to look up, and I wasn’t expecting him to be on one knee. I see that he’s holding a ring, and then I look at him, his eyes filled with tears.

I swear the entire world just went silent. I forgot that our friend was there capturing the moment. My eyes swelled up, and I remember Drew smiling at me nodding his head reassuring me that this was not a dream but our reality. I don’t even know half of the stuff he said; I just remember that at the end he said, “Yaritza Michelle Betancourt Rodriguez will you make me the happiest man in the world…will you marry me?” I nodded my head, YES and leaped into his arms.

Special Thanks

Nicolas Marks
proposal photographer
Lizzeth Noriega
engagement photographer