Eric & Grace // Romantic Southern California costal engagement

FROM THE BRIDE // Eric’s proposal wasn’t quite a surprise, but it was still wonderful and special. And I admit– I kind of love that I was able to figure out his plan, despite his best efforts to keep it a secret.

Our friends clearly recognized that we would eventually get hitched, and one of them suggested that we should just elope at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. Although we did not have any real connection to Santa Barbara, our friend did such a good job selling her idea that Eric and I started thinking seriously about taking a trip Santa Barbara to check out the Courthouse. But our work schedules are both so hectic and unpredictable that it became more of a joke that we would visit Santa Barbara when we had “free time.”

Fast forward a few months, and Eric was suddenly very insistent that we actually follow through with visiting Santa Barbara that particular weekend. His timing was odd, since there was a huge fire raging in Santa Barbara, and the fire department was actually evacuating residents who lived in the area… I suggested that we just wait until another weekend when we didn’t need to worry about getting trapped by a wildfire. When Eric started sending me reports from the Santa Barbara Fire Department to assure me that the fire wasn’t really THAT close, I became pretty suspicious that he was up to something… so I put aside my reservations and agreed to go.

We decided to take a walk to the Courthouse after brunch on our first morning, and Eric suggested that I wear a dress, instead of my usual yoga pants. After this, I was almost certain that he was planning to pop the question at the Courthouse, and he did as soon as we got to a spot when others weren’t around. Since I’d already anticipated his proposal (and he seemed nervous), I said “yes” immediately, before I even looked at the ring.