san jose engagement session lucas ana-2

San Jose Engagement Photography | Ana Maria and Lucas

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I get to share Ana Maria and Lucas’s adorable San Jose engagement shoot. After some back and forth and trying on different ideas, we decided to do their engagement shoot in two parts. First, we went down the Guadalupe river trail a bit by downtown San Jose and caught some beautiful evening light. Then we went to their lovely condo where I got to document them making delicious noodles (from scratch!), their favorite cocktail, and some paper cranes (which will make an appearance at their wedding next year). It’s always so fun to get to photograph folks in their element!

And now, who wants to hear a bit about how these two got engaged? It’s a great story :). In their own words:


We had talked about future plans and marriage. We both knew that we intended to spend the rest of our lives together.  I finally ordered the ring in June of 2016.

Her school has a one week fall break at the beginning of October, so looking at her schedule, I had decided that was to be the time. Being that my birthday is at the end of September, she suggested we maybe do something that weekend as a double celebration of my birthday and the start of her fall break. While I was racking my brain to figure out where would be a good place for us to go and take our weekend trip during which I would propose, she ended up having the idea of going to Disneyland. At this point, I was thinking that she knew that something was up and was just trying to make it really easy for me. Had she found the ring already?

Then as we were planning our trip, she put me up to the task of making reservations at the two restaurants that need them. If I wasn’t suspicious enough that she knew what was up before, this was definitely a clue that she tipped herself off, but I just went ahead with it anyway. I emailed the restaurants and found time slots. Luckily, the fancier of the two (Cathay Circle) had spots available for dinner on Saturday night! So I went ahead and made the reservations. I let them know what the plan was: I told them that we were visiting for my birthday, but that was just the cover story.

Her family also has time shares with Disney so they were letting us use their points to book a hotel for that weekend. I let her parents know that I was going to propose that weekend. They got super excited and emailed me back asking if I needed anything from them. I specifically told them they needed to do NOTHING more because they’ve already let us borrow their points. I don’t think they got the hint that they shouldn’t help us anymore than that otherwise she might be tipped off about my plans. The next day, Ana says, “Hey you wanna know what’s weird? My mom just straight up bought us another night. I asked her why and she said it was for your birthday. I mean my parents are generous, but not THAT generous!” Somehow, I scrambled to come up with a cover-up that more or less convinced her. Neither of us can fully remember what the excuse is, but I swear that had to be the most clever thing I had ever come up with in my life because she totally bought it.

I somehow successfully smuggled the ring into our luggage without her detection (she double checks everything before we leave for trips), and we checked in to our hotel on Friday night. Saturday was our first full day at the park! While she was in the shower, I took out the ring box and tied to put it in my shorts. Unfortunately, it was pretty damn obvious that there was a ring box in my shorts, so I did the unthinkable: I stuffed the loose ring down in the pockets of my shorts. The entire day I was super paranoid with my hand down my pocket. We even went on all the rides and I somehow didn’t lose it.

Finally, the end of the day was approaching and we got seated for dinner. The waitress seemed pretty nervous and jittery/chatty.  It turns out that this was the first proposal that she’s ever waited and she really didn’t want to mess it up. I reassured her she was doing fine, but I was pretty much a huge wreck myself. I had gone the entire day and almost lost the ring. I was in the home stretch! We got through dinner and they brought out dessert with a little birthday candle and the waitress and Ana sang Happy Birthday to me. I blew out my candle and turned to Ana and said, “You know what I REALLY want for my birthday?”

I then took her by the hand out of the booth, bent the knee (ha #GoT), and proposed, “Ana, you’re the love of my life and I’m going the save the rest of it for our vows. Will you marry me?”

Then she said, “That’s my right hand.”

As I put the ring on her LEFT finger, she nodded yes and we embraced. The waitress got the whole thing on video from my phone.

Afterwards, it turns out that she was talking to the people in the room next to us. it was unofficially/officially Gay Days that weekend at the park and the room next to us was a full group of men celebrating the day and hearing live updates on how our proposal was going throughout the entire evening. At the end, they all came by to congratulate us on getting engaged and how excited they were hearing the story second hand from our shared waitress.

Later on in the evening, after reveling in the thought of us being engaged we called our families and laughed and shared the story with them. It was about 11 at night by that time and they had stayed up all night waiting for us to call.

After three and a half years, we were ENGAGED!


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1 Comment
  • Deborah Elder
    Posted at 05:36h, 05 October Reply

    What a great album! So very very happy for you two. Love, mom.

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