Shelby & Pasquale | a Catalina Island Surprise Proposal

I've known Shelby since she was just 7 years old. You see, she is my husband's little sister. She was a junior bridesmaid in our wedding and watching her grow up has been nothing short of amazing. She graduated high school early, was a CNA at just 17, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her bachelors in nursing. She and her boyfriend Pasquale met in high school and have been together for 5 years. Just a couple of months ago Pasquale graduated from the Sheriff's academy and they close escrow on their first home in a few days. It was many months ago that Pasquale sent me a message on Facebook asking when I would be in Los Angeles. Why, I wondered? He asked if would be willing to document his proposal. I was excited to have the opportunity to photograph a proposal in such a beautiful place, but moreso I was looking forward to witnessing such a special moment between two very special people. I'm almost 10 years older than Shelby and while I used to view her as a little sister, I now view her as a friend AND sister. I knew how very excited she would be to have Pasquale get down on one knee and ask her to marry him. She may or may not already have a "wedding" board on Pinterest ;)

Pulling off this surprise was no easy task, especially for Pasquale. He messaged me a few days ago and said that he was worried. He had been so secretive that it began to make Shelby angry. I told him to just hold on because in a few more days all would be forgiven. Shortly after noon on Sunday I boarded an express boat out of Long Beach and arrived on Catalina Island. Pasquale and I had the app Find Friends and were texting to arrange the exact time and location of where the proposal would take place. I wore a wide brimmed hat and packed my camera gear in a bright orange touristy looking backpack. I was so afraid that Shelby would spot me because she can be very observant. I had a moment of panic when I realized that I had worn my bright yellow sandals that I had worn in her presence many time. I finally got a visual on them and followed about 20 yards behind, trying to keep behind other tourists. However, Pasquale veered off onto a small road and I was out in the open. He peeked back to make sure I was still behind them and that caused Shelby to also turn around. My heart stopped and I quickly lowered my head. She didn't see me. We finally found a place where I could hide and that's when Pasquale got down on one knee and asked Shelby to marry him. He smiled. She cried. And said yes.

The future is bright for these two and I can't wait for the wedding! ;)

Gotta call the parents to tell them the good news!I was there too! 0078_May2014