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Sarah + Lou’s engagement story

August 14, 2012
engagement story

Now that you’ve had a little time to digest all the pretty and all the emotion from Sarah + Lou‘s elopement photos and video, how about we let Sarah tell you how it all started and explain how that gorgeous vintage ring slipped on her finger…

as many engagement stories do, this one starts with the ring. lou and i had been talking about getting married and decided that i should at least try on any rings he was considering (they are such an investment and i’m so particular!). lou is very traditional about proposals, something i never really knew until we started talking about it, and he couldn’t stand the idea of me knowing which ring he had chosen. but i was insistent on being a little involved. 

my ring was the first one he emailed me, and i immediately loved it but said i couldn’t tell for sure without trying it on. then he sent a bunch more, none of which i cared for. one day he surprised me with a stop at the store that had THE ring. i tried it on and fell immediately, ass-over-teakettle in love with it. we left the store and i was giddy at the thought that someday it might be mine!  

engagement story

two weeks passed and lou told me “i have really bad news.  i went back to the store to get your ring and it’s gone”.  i was so bummed, but  also secretly hoped that he was just trying to trick me.  weeks went by and he kept sending me more pictures of rings.  i kept telling him no, that i really just loved THE ring and would rather just wait until we found the exact (or very similar) vintage ring somewhere else.  i started helping with the search.  no similar ring was to be found (at this point i had very specific desires- a ring from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, rose gold, mine cut stones, yellow center diamond, etc). it seemed like an impossible search.  i told lou, “i don’t even need a ring, i just want to marry you!”

i finally gave up on the idea that he was just trying to trick me after he got {fake} mad at me for telling him that i didn’t like any rings except THE ring.  i felt bad, bratty and tried even harder to have an open mind about engagement rings.  it did not work, i couldn’t get that first ring out of my head.

southern california elopement

fast forward a couple months (with ring shopping and ring emails in between- and still nothing). lou emailed one of my very favorite artists marc johns and asked him about commissioning a piece of artwork to propose to me with. he didn’t get a response. i of course had no idea about this, but three days after lou sent that email i emailed marc asking him what a girl has to do to get one of his pieces (they sell out so fast!). he sent me a sweet & friendly email with advice, complimented my work and made my day. i forwarded it to lou.  

lou was surprised that i’d emailed him and that i’d gotten a response and he hadn’t. so he copied the emails between me and marc into an email of his own and tried again. marc generally doesn’t do commissions but lou persuaded him. marc was familiar with both of our websites/work and lou told him a little more about us and then gave him total creative freedom. the thing i love most about marc’s pieces are the humor and his imagination/whimsy. marc and lou started a mad rush to get it done by christmas, my favorite day of the year.

on christmas morning we opened presents and as i curled  up on the couch when we were done lou said “hold on, there’s one more thing” and brought out the wrapped piece. as soon as i started taking the paper off and saw the two cameras i started tearing up. i recognized marc’s work, and i knew straight away that this was made especially for me. i couldn’t believe that lou had finagled such an amazing christmas present!  

as i started reading down the list of things that lou loves about me, i cried harder and harder. i still just thought it was the best present of my life, i had no idea what was coming. i was barely breathing by the time i read “i love the day i realized i want to spend the rest of my life with you” and then “i love that today, i am asking you to be my wife”. i am crying just typing this. it was truly the most incredible moment of my life to that point. lou (ever traditional) was down on his knees and pulled THE ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. of course i leaped into his arms sobbing and said yes a million times, i felt like the luckiest girl in the world. 

Top two photos by Sarah Yates / Sarah + Lou photo by Max Wanger