Daniel & Ellen // Rustic Palos Verdes Engagement

©2015 Sun & Sparrow Photography //  Rustic Palos Verdes Engagement 

engagement-los-angeles-wedding-photographerFROM THE BRIDE // 
In 2010, Daniel (a 3rd year) and Ellen (a 1st year) met at a pharmacy fraternity meet & greet. While getting to know each other, Daniel tried to impress Ellen by cooking for her in the dorms; Ellen gave Daniel a “high-five” as a thank you, but she unknowingly confused him. She thought maybe a hug was too forward so early in their relationship, but Daniel thought the “high-five” meant friend-zoned. Eventually Daniel started to understand Ellen’s awkwardness, and after several “study sessions” (basically Ellen studying and Daniel playing video games), they made it official.
During pharmacy school in Chicago, Daniel and Ellen enjoyed a lot of great food, sight-seeing, randomness (such as creating Build-A-Bears of each other), and cooking together. Though they met in Chicago, luckily both were from Southern California, even if it meant they had to continue their relationship long-distance after Daniel graduated. Through a lot of patience and hard work, they are blessed to both be working in West Los Angeles now.
So how did they get engaged?? Well, Daniel had plans to propose to Ellen while celebrating their 4-year anniversary. Using a delicious steak dinner at Maestro as a cover, they started the day off with a picnic lunch on the beach. (The cover worked in terms of Ellen wearing a dress and Daniel wearing a blazer to the beach.) After walking around, Ellen noticed decorations set up along a deck. “How perfect!” she thought as the week had been full of downpour and gloomy weather. Looking more closely, Ellen noticed roses, greeting cards, and letters spelling out E-L-L-E-N hanging from terrariums. It took some hints from Daniel (such as “open the card, it’s for you”) for Ellen to realize it was for her and not another Ellen. After reading the cards and remembering their story through pictures, Daniel sang the song that he had written for her. Ellen had been asking for a song for 4 years; she thinks it was definitely worth the wait! By the way, did you know the beach was Crystal Cove, about 5 minutes from the wedding venue, [seven-degrees]!

FROM THE GROOM // I had started to plan for the proposal about two months prior to the actual date. I wanted it to coincide with our four year anniversary so Ellen would not suspect anything. I made sure to first visit her parents as well as her brother to seek approval prior to proposing. With their blessing, I started devising what I wanted to do. I wanted something that would be meaningful and would have special significance only to us. I found a location in Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach that was overlooking the ocean and had very little foot traffic that could distract from the moment. I designed the area with five stations with little things in them that represented us. Each station had a greeting card (Ellen particularly loves greeting cards and she is one of the few people who actually keeps ALL the greeting cards that she receives), a rose, letters spelling out her name, as well as banana grams spelling out “Will you marry me Ellen?” (We started getting into board games more). In between each station, I placed pictures of the both of us of the various dates and activities that we had done for the past 4 years together. When we got to the end, I sang her a song that I had written for her (Ellen had always wanted me to write a song for her, and I felt that this was the perfect time to write it for her). I played guitar and sang the song for her and then went down on one knee to propose to her. She said yes and the rest is history!

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