We love featuring proposals on here if you didn’t know by now! Engagement sessions are our usual posts, but we get so giddy when a beautiful engagement proposal falls into our laps like Rachel and Evan’s Temecula proposal at the lush Mount Palomar Winery. Great friend and even better photographer Janita Mestre was privy to the impeccable moment and it was quite literally earth-shattering: a mild earthquake happened following Evan’s big question. Makes it a lot more memorable!
How did you meet?
We met at church when Evan came to Scotland to study for 6 months. It wasn’t until he had been in Scotland for about 4/5 months that we became friends and started hanging out in the same group. It wasn’t long before we started catching feelings (a month before he left!). We told each other how we felt but didn’t know how we could date being long distance, but we decided to go for it.
He left Scotland in November 2017 and came back in January for a couple of weeks so that we could spend more time together. We got to know each other for a few months and met in different countries and cities like Iceland, Scotland, Virginia Beach, Spain, Italy, Montreal, etc. It turned out we were seeing each other about every 2 months, despite the long distance. We became official after getting to know each other for a few months.
What is your proposal story?
On the morning of Friday 5th July, I woke up to the dry desert heat of Temecula, California, known as the desert community. I felt refreshed after a big day celebrating the 4th of July, where we partied and watched the fireworks. I was excited as we were going to a vineyard that day to do wine tasting, which I had wanted to do for a long time, and California was the dream place to do it. We had breakfast and coffee, then I went out with our friends Janita, Nicole and Tilly to go shopping and get our nails done.
While we were doing this, Evan went with their Dad, Inacio, and some Chinese students who were staying with them, to a different mall. I had no idea that this was all set up so that Evan could go pick up the ring. I had even suggested to Janita a few days before that we should do something girly, so she didn’t need to set that part up. Everything that morning seemed so normal. I woke up to a text from Evan asking if I was up yet, I thought it was so he could use the shower, but when I came out he said he wanted to know if I was up so that he could hug me. This made me so happy. Little did I know, he was planning on proposing to me later that day.
I began to think I was going to miss him too much if I go out with the girls, even if it was just for a few hours. So I actually invited him to come, but he managed to say no without making me suspicious of anything. I asked him what he would do while I’m out, all he said was “I’ll find something to do, don’t worry.” He knew exactly what he was going to do, he was planning to go buy the ring. Nothing seemed out-the-ordinary to me though.
After we shopped, we headed to the nail bar where we had booked an appointment for us all. However, the woman working there made us wait a whole hour and then told us she got the appointment time mixed up. At this point, I didn’t want to get them done anymore as I just wanted to get back to get ready for the wine tasting. So, we went home to get ready. It worked to our advantage that the lady messed up the appointments, as it would have taken a long time for my nails to get done and we may have been late to the wine tasting and missed the sunset.
We all dressed up and looked great. Janita had planned on bringing her camera and I was looking forward to getting some great photos with Evan and them. It had been pretty windy all day, but when we arrived at the vineyard, the weather was perfect and no wind. We were driven up to the winery on a golf-buggy and went to the bar. We bought some sangria and went out to find a table. There was live music and everyone there was having a great time, there were summer vibes for sure. We looked around for a table but it was really busy, and a lot of people were standing because there were no tables available. Nicole had asked, “How are we going to get a table?” Evan then said, “Don’t worry, we are God’s chosen people.”
A minute or two after that, a woman came over to Evan and said she wanted to give us her table. We followed her and the table had the exact amount of seats we needed. The women said they had been waiting for some nice people to give their table to. This was really nice as most people would just get up and leave. The woman had also spotted us from further away, and there were plenty of people around that they could have chosen. We thanked them and as they were walking away, they said, “You are the chosen people!” Evan had just said this moments ago; God was clearly looking out for us.
We enjoyed our wine and food and had some good chats. We then left and drove to Mount Palomar Winery as this was supposed to have the best sunset, which was just two minutes down the road. We arrived just-on-time for the sunset, it was the perfect conclusion to our night and vacation in California. We got there just before they were shutting the gates, and kindly let us in to take a few photos before they did so. As I squinted my eyes to look up, I saw that the sky was a rich, fiery collision of sky-burst reds and yellows that stretched across the mountains and vineyard fields. It was the closest thing I’ve seen to heaven. Janita got her camera out and I followed Evan to get some photos.
While Janita was taking some photos, Evan turned to me and said, “Rachel, I love you so much.” I told him I love him so much too. He replied, “No, Rachel, I really do love you.” He got down on his knee, and suddenly so many emotions hit me at once. My heart was racing. It was so surreal that I couldn’t believe it at first. I also didn’t see the ring at first glance, but when I did see it, I threw my hand over my mouth and dropped my phone (which I didn’t even realise I did until way after). With the sharp golden rays reflecting off his face, he asked, “Rachel, will you marry me?” After a few moments of trying to take in what was happening I said yes, and he put the ring on my finger. I hugged him tightly and just couldn’t believe it. I was so emotional but also in shock. Words can’t describe how happy I was.
About fifteen minutes after, we were at a stop light in the car and I started to feel the car shaking side to side, it was a weird feeling. I didn’t really know what it was but didn’t say anything, I sort of brushed it off in my head thinking it was someone maybe moving in the car or me just imagining things because I was on cloud nine. We later realised it was an earthquake and Evan had also felt it and had also decided at the time to not say anything, the girls in the back didn’t feel it for some reason, it was just me and Evan. I thought this was pretty cool as we had just got engaged and then there was an earthquake.
The surprises didn’t end there. When we arrived back to the house, I waited a few moments outside with Evan while the girls went inside. When I opened the door to go in, the lights went on and everyone was there cheering us, and the Chinese students were on each staircase throwing rose petals at us, and the song by Ed Sheeran, “Perfect”, was playing. I got even more emotional and hugged Evan and buried my face in his shoulder while I tried to hold it together. There was a lectern under the chandelier with the poem Evan had written for me for Christmas, and some red roses. We danced a little bit and I read the poem and then Inacio tied string around us, representing two becoming one. My heart was beating so fast with excitement, happiness and surprise.
Tell us about the ring/band.
It’s a 1.01 carat solitaire on a platinum Tiffany style band with the edge around the top of the band. The single diamond sits in a six prong set that mounts it slightly lower than the standard setting. The clarity grade of the diamond is S12.
The below wedding pros made this amazing event happen. See more of their work by visiting their website.
- Janita Mestre Photography
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