Scavenger hunt proposal with engagement session on the beaches of La Jolla, California
From Christine: I had just moved to San Diego and Mags had just moved back from the Bay Area. We both made an account on a site called POF. We popped up on one another’s “top 10” for best chemistry results and I checked her profile but didn’t reach out because I was kind of shy and she seemed too cool but she messaged me (after we basically creeped on one another’s pages for a few days) and we exchanged numbers after a week or so of talking on the site. We would text and Skype but it was 3 months of that before we finally met up at the Living Room Coffeehouse. We hung out for hours just talking and she was even more beautiful in person and her energy was so bright. I told her I wanted to be friends because I knew she was someone I could see myself with but I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to ruin any chances we could have. (It was the hardest thing to see her date.) As her friend I would encourage her but then in my head I’d hope that the other person was boring or a jerk. After almost a year of being friends she told me how she felt and I admitted that I had the same feelings so we agreed to see how it would go and it was the best leap of faith.
I think everything about our relationship is special, but really. We are constantly pushing one another out of our comfort zones. We have experienced so many “firsts” together. We have trudged through muddy parts of life and kept one another strong. Her love of traveling rubbed off on me and since her I’ve gone off to visit 8 countries. While she studied for the bar exam she encouraged me to go and pushed me past my fear of the unknown. We are both foodies and are always looking for new restaurants to try. (We save the really expensive restaurants we want to check out for birthdays and anniversaries.) My personality is on the rougher side (super sarcastic) and her personality is on the softer side (silly, sensitive, joker) so we have this way of bantering that I LOVE. I love to ruffle her feathers. It’s seriously the funniest thing to me.
I knew Mags was the one from before we actually spoke via message because when I read through her profile and scrolled through her pictures … I felt like I knew her. And when we met in person I knew I could love her. It was scary and exciting at the same time. On my 28th birthday she gave me a video and it was a video of all my friends and family back on the East Coast wishing me a happy birthday. I cried. I had been missing them all year and I usually go see them once a year but Christmas seemed so far away and I had been really homesick that month of my birthday and she wanted to make me feel better. It was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for me. And I remember feeling so loved by her and completely thought of. I knew that night that this was going to be the most important relationship in my life.
Mags and I had talked openly about marriage and she said she already knew she wanted me to marry her and that if I asked her she would say yes. So I knew we were on the same page… which is always good. In June/July of 2016 I talked to my best friend about it and she helped me with a timeline. I spoke to my mom and sisters who told me they would love to have Mags be a part of our family. I spoke to her mom, dad, and older brother who gave me their blessing. I didn’t tell anyone WHEN I would be asking just that I intended on asking her to spend her life with me. (I didn’t want anyone to blurt it out). Originally, I would propose on our 2 year anniversary. I had made a reservation at the Marine Room in La Jolla and requested a table right by the window so we could watch the sunset over the ocean and the waves crashing into the window. In my head it was perfect. But when we got closer to that date the ring was still not anywhere near ready. So I had to change the date of the proposal to be safe.
I continued with a scavenger hunt idea and called it “Scavenging for Love”. I asked her friends to write something nice about love and to offer advice and told them it was for an anniversary gift. I also started giving Mags a card every week for about 5 weeks. When you lined the cards up it spelled out “will you marry me?”
I started telling her work was slow and that I wasn’t making much tips so we didn’t eat out often or spend too much money on activities (so, I could lay her ring off). I also had a fake website made in case Mags wanted to read about the company. I made a fake email and linked it to my phone. So, basically I wrote out clues to a new place that “the company” would email us at a certain time. The goal was to guess where the place was and search for colored ping pong balls. I gave us about 40 minutes so she could have enough time to find the place and I could pretend to look for clues with her. Then I’d tell her I was going to the bathroom or I’d suggest we split up so we could search for the balls faster and I’d use that time to log into the email and send out the next clue. When we got the last clue “the company” required that only one of us was to read the clue and the other was to be blindfolded and would lead the one who read the clue to where it was. ( I didn’t know any other way to blind fold her without making it suspicious!) so, I made her believe this scavenger hunt was for couples wanting to work on their communication and patience, so that it would make sense when the blindfolding was a requirement. I knew she would want to be blindfolded because she would want to be the one to lead since she knows San Diego better.
We were in the car driving to our house (that my friend decorated with all of my props and wine) and she thought she was leading me to the next site. When we got to the house all the notes from our friends and family were hanging on strings attached to balloons and the cards I wrote her were hanging together under the wine glasses. So I undid her blindfold and everything I wanted to say just disappeared. She looked completely confused. Asked why we were in the house. And then I started talking to her about how much I adored her and how much I love US and I remember telling her that I really just want to make her as happy as I already had but for the rest of our lives and then I got on my knee and popped the question.
She was completely shocked, put her hands to her mouth and said, “What? Oh my god, am I dreaming?! Is this real life?”
She said yes, but she was sad that we weren’t really in a scavenger hunt to win a weekend at Catalina Island.
Mags had mentioned a few times that she wanted a princess cut ring. So, I visited maybe 13 jewelers. I wanted to check the different styles and get an idea of what how much this ring would cost. I started ring shopping in July. After two weeks I decided to go with David & Sons Jewelers. I got her a diamond that is lifted so that a band could fit perfectly underneath it. And it has a halo of diamonds around it. My favorite part about the ring is the style. It looks old and it’s unique. I knew mags would like that it wasn’t just a regular band. I paid it off about a week before I asked. I got it engaged in the inside it says “asking too much” which was from a poem by Andrea Gibson.
Dancing in the water, playing rock, paper, scissors on the rocks, and walking hand in hand along the shores of La Jolla. This engagement session couldn’t be more romantic and beautiful. It so perfectly tells the story of Christine and Maggie’s love. The first time I met them I fell in love. And not just because they are both such beautiful people, but because their love is so genuine and real that it’s impossible to not fall in love with them.
Add on the way Christine propose to Maggie and you will be in love too. Their proposal story included a fake giveaway for a couple’s weekend that started with a scavenger hunt!
From the photographer, Johanna Kitzman