Richard & Vanessa // South Coast Botanical Gardens engagement


FROM THE GROOM // It’s a story I try to tell every time someone asks, but I always feel like I am missing the best parts. Its almost ten years now since me and Vanessa had become friends in High school and we stayed friends ever since. We never let go of that, even after I had moved back to Arizona. It took me some time to get back to California but during that time our friendship had never become closer. Once I was back I knew I had something great in front of me and it was something I didn’t want to let go.

Now to bring us back to the present, Vanessa and I have taken so many strides and steps together that I wouldn’t be happier any other way. I would not be the man I am today without her. She gives me that urge to provide and protect, to comfort and to care. What gets me the most sometimes is how hard it is for me tell people that when we finally were together it was like nothing had ever changed, but still we grew closer.

Another three years went by and we had already known that this was meant to be. I can still remember to this day the first time I had told her I loved her, it came out so… naturally I almost didn’t realize I had said it. Then the day finally came and we even had the ring already but I had been waiting for the right time. It just so happened to be on the day of our third year being together. I woke up that day and I just knew. So I went straight to a florist and got some beautiful roses and made my way to her house.  When I had gotten to her house everyone was still getting ready being it was a little early, so I pulled her sister aside and told her “Today is the day, go let your parents know”.

We had plans that day to go to the Huntington Library  but before we left I wanted to take a few pictures to document that day. So of course we took a few pictures and they turned out alright but we had to take one last one. “One last one” I said as we got back into position, ” But I won’t be standing in this one.” And I got down on one shaking knee and asked her to be my future wife. I can remember that moment like it was yesterday and it still puts me in shock that I was in when I think about it.  I always find myself at a lost for words but when I talk about it, I try to feel it instead. She really is the one who makes me what I am and truly makes me want to be a better man. I speak true when i say it that she is the one for me. My best friend until the end and the only one by my side holding hand in hand.

FROM THE BRIDE // I want to start by saying that Richie and I have known each other for 10 years comes fall. I met Richie our junior year of high school in math class and we have been best friends ever since. We didn’t start dating until 3 years after high school, which means when we get married we will have been together for 5 years.Now, the proposal. I knew Richie had the ring for some time and it was killing me that he hadn’t proposed. There were so many amazing moments he could have and he knew I was trying to figure out if and when he was going to. Well our anniversary came up and we were going to the Huntington Library. I was still getting stuff together when Richie arrived at my house. My parents were in their room barely getting up and my younger sister was watching TV in the living room. Richie had brought me beautiful red roses, so before we could leave I wanted to put them in water. While doing that Richie had said he wanted to take a picture but outside because the hosue was too dark. I thought it was weird but went for it anyways. He asked my sister, who had disappeared for a bit, to take the pictures of us in front of the house. Again, weird because we never posed for photos unless we were being goofy. My parents came out after us, which didn’t surprise me because they typically walk us out.  So we take some pictures, he checks them out and says, “I don’t like them, let’s take one more.” I admit, I was over taking pictures, I walk back to where we were standing and get ready to smile. I notice Richie isn’t standing next to me. I turn to look at him and find him on his knee hold the ring asking me to marry him! I was totally surprised and shocked that he chose to do it at that moment. My immediate response was “Really?!” and laughed saying “Yes!!”

I am beyond excited for the journey God has in store for us as we continue to plan our wedding and build a life as one.

©2015 Sun & Sparrow // South Coast Botanical Gardens engagement