Zachary & Stephanie

On January 20th, after a month of secrecy and planning, the day came to propose to Stephanie Johnson (@givegracias).


Over the weeks she had been catching on to the timeline and putting the pieces together, so my friends and I came up with a plan. The proposal spot was in San Diego, in Cabrillo National Monument. We had to get her down there without raising suspicion, so we "dropped" my mom off at the airport. She legitimately packed a suitcase and dressed up in her Sunday best to travel (as she always does). We left her at the airport, and I immediately panicked. It was game time...

Until my photographer-friend called. The government shutdown had closed down the monument. Our beautiful spot wasn't going to work anymore. Suddenly the proposal became a game of "smokescreen distractions." I had to act as normal as possible while my friend and Stephanie's sisters found a new spot. They quickly located Sunset Cliffs - just a few minutes from the original spot. After accidentally seeing a family member in a coffee shop (waiting for the post-proposal), parking in the wrong spot, and almost walking past the designated photo spot, I finally got down on one knee.

That day was full of things going wrong, as things often do, but it was worth the stress to make the love of my life happy.