Big Sur, Big Surprise
If you’ve been following us on our social channels, you might have picked up on the fact that Sugi and I both got engaged last year! Me and my fiance, Dustin, got engaged back in June 2016, and Sugi and her fiance, Derek, got engaged in August 2016. Now, we’re in the process of planning our big days! And the cherry on top?! I’m Sugi’s Maid Of Honor and she’s mine!
Each week we are going to share a little story about our wedding planning. From guest lists to budgets, dresses to venues, floral arrangements to the unexpected drama - we’re sharing it all! Today, we’re starting from the beginning... Nicole and Dustin’s engagement story. Annnddd, since Sugi was a part of the engagement weekend, you get to hear the second half through her perspective.
Big Sur, Big Surprise
Dustin and I started a tradition on our anniversary a couple years ago. We decided it would be fun to get off the grid, and just spend time together, away from it all. In 2015 we backpacked in Zion National Park, and last year, for our 5 year anniversary, we planned a camping trip to Big Sur. Little did I know, Big Sur held a big surprise.
When we arrived in Big Sur, we found a perfect spot overlooking Redwood trees and the Pacific Ocean. On the first evening (Friday, June 10th) while watching the sunset, Dustin suggested taking a picture, which I thought was extremely weird because he NEVER wants to take pictures. Nonetheless, I didn’t think too much into it and jumped on the opportunity! He set up his GoPro, telling me it was on burst mode (it was really recording a video), so when he walked back over I started smiling and striking poses. He played along, and posed for a couple shots, too. Then, he turned to me and started reciting all the things he loved about me. Before I knew it, he was down on one knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him.
My initial reaction wasn’t necessarily the best. I covered my mouth (so cliche I know) and unexpectedly started saying “Oh my fucking god! Oh my fucking god! Is this real?” (sorry for the cursing mom!) And repeated that about 4 times before pulling myself together to say “YES, of course YES”. Tears were shed, kisses were shared in abundance, and a surreal feeling of pure shock and ecstasy consumed my body.
Champagne was popped, screams of excitement echoed through the canyon, and once the exhilaration mellowed I reached for my phone to share the news with family and friends. Buuuttt... funny thing about Big Sur... there is ZERO cell service anywhere! Therefore, we were truly able to have the whole evening to ourselves and just bask in the unbelievable happiness of our engagement.
Derek and I happen to share an anniversary with my best friend and her coolest man ever. Our anniversaries are almost exactly 5 years apart. This year, she and Dustin decided to go to Big Sur for their 5 year and Derek and I decided to crash it for our 10. A few days before they left, we planned to meet them at McWay Falls at 11am on Saturday, June 11th. With no service, and just a long, narrow stretch of road with hardly any space to park, we were starting to get worried that we wouldn’t find them. We approached the predetermined destination, and I saw Nicole! I screamed, “PULL OVER!” and we parked.
We get out of the car, and Nicole’s holding back a huge grin. In a sly, yet abrupt way, she shows me her left hand! Clearly the excitement and joy exploded out of her! My thoughts: Holy shit, she’s ENGAGED! TOTAL and COMPLETE, ABSOLUTELY EPIC, AND SPECTACULAR SURPRISE!!!! What an amazing feeling when two people you love to pieces, and are seriously perfect for each other, decide to seal the deal. My best friend was fucking engaged! Time to celebrate! I selfishly felt elated and so incredibly honored to be sharing such an intimate moment with the two coolest people I know.
Celebrating with Dustin and Nicole so soon after it had happened was so special and one of the most memorable and unforgettable moments ever. We were completely shut off from civilization and it felt amazing to purely, and candidly, enjoy the moment. We hiked and absorbed, we went to the beach and drank champagne (then drank beers, then drank whiskey, then drank more beer haha), and just hung out all day. It was definitely too late to drive, and now that I think about it, we actually definitely couldn't drive anyways. We were supposed to go to my parents’ house in Boulder Creek that night, so I called my mom from a payphone... Mind you, I'm 29 years old (I felt like I was in high school again.) We stayed at Dustin and Nicole’s campsite and were up late playing games, drinking, unwillingly shitting in the woods, and reflecting on how crazy life is! We slept in our fucking car, and it was totally worth it.
Back to Nicole:
I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I was initially nervous to show Sugi my engagement ring because she and Derek had been together 10 years! It's become such an awkward space to navigate friends' engagements when you're not sure if outside pressure or influence could spark a not so favorable reaction. However, despite my fear of her absolutely resenting me for getting asked first, I couldn’t hold it in… and when I flashed her my left hand, her reaction was truly priceless, and genuinely magnificent. Some friends might act happy, then talk shit behind your back, or maybe just not talk to you at all (we’ve heard stories) - but Sugi’s reaction was the epitome of unwavering, selfless friendship that I absolutely cherish. (I’m being serious, she’s the fucking best. We know the girls who secretly hate you and are so jealous they just can’t control their bitchiness). Sugi later told me that she may or may not have felt a small shock-wave to the heart initially... which is totally understandable. And Derek admitted that he just felt like an asshole - but that’s ok… because he had something planned all along!!! The point is, the fact that these thoughts are even on all of our radar at all is just ridiculous, right? Just be happy, everyone! Screw what everyone else is thinking.
And in the end, I seriously could not have asked for a more perfect engagement (good job, Dustin!). And I was so elated that Sugi and Derek could be a part of it, too. Tune in next week as we share Dugi’s (Derek and Sugi’s) engagement story!!!