I’m so excited to share Sasha and Andrew’s engagement session at the L.A. Arboretum. I initially met these two early in their plans, they hadn’t yet chosen a venue and due to COVID, put planning on hold. We decided to wait a bit for their engagement session as we wanted it to be safe. Well, we finally got the chance to meet in person as restrictions were getting lifted and I’m happy to say, the wait was worth it!! Their engagement session was simply perfect as the L.A. Arboretum was in full bloom looking pretty!!
Check out their session below…
We both attended UC Davis for our undergraduate degree, Sasha being a year ahead. Surprisingly, Sasha never came across Andrew despite being an RA in the same area during his first year, and meeting one of his best friends at the time. We met during Andrew’s 2nd year and Sasha’s third year, while training to become Resident Advisors. It was going to be Sasha’s 2nd year as a RA and it was going to be my first. We didn’t see each other until our first staff meeting, as we were on the same staff so it was bound to happen. We also were placed in neighboring buildings in our pod community.
During our first staff meeting, I just so happened to sit right across from Sasha, a big mistake because I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I most likely looked like a crazy person just staring non-stop. She eventually noticed because we kept locking eyes every now and then during that same meeting. I tried to play it off but I was terrible at it. Sasha looked so serious in that meeting, almost like she was trying to come off as intimidating but I saw through all that. She had the most beautiful eyes and I had a feeling she was the most caring person. At the end of that meeting, Sasha and I never even spoke to each other but somehow our entire staff knew that I had taken a liking to her. The staff did everything they could to get us together, they thought it was the cutest thing. I was incredibly shy at the time and when I spoke to Sasha I would stutter over my words nonstop — I couldn’t get my thoughts straight.
Then one day, Sasha sent a group message to our staff to see who wanted to go for a walk around the arboretum in Davis. Probably within a couple seconds of receiving that message, I replied saying I would go, and of course with the staff rooting for us to be together, no one responded to the message. Leaving me and Sasha on our very first walk, alone, together. I was so nervous, I couldn’t stop sweating. Don’t get me wrong, Sasha was nervous too and I know because she messaged me a few times telling me that I don’t have to go if I didn’t want to. Regardless, we met in front of her building and we went for a walk. We talked for hours! I learned she was studying Animal Behavior and she told me about her passion for researching elephants. I geeked out and I told her about my crazy obsession with programming. I learned she was from SoCal — I’m from SoCal! She told me about her family and I could tell how much she loved them. This walk would be the first of many. We naturally were in sync.
So the proposal did not go as planned, to start. It was going to be our mid-year anniversary in August and I wanted to plan a trip back to where we met in Davis. The plan was that we would be in Davis and we would take a walk in the arboretum, just like we did for the first time 5 years ago. We were going to walk around, reminisce about all the fun times we had together — maybe talk about all the old drama too. Then we would end up at our bench to have a picnic and that’s when I would pop the question. I had made a Love Book for Sasha and in the book were all the reasons why I loved her. So I wanted to give her the book, so the book can do all the talking because I knew I would be terrible with words during that big moment.
So the plan is in place and the week is approaching. I was planning the trip for August 22nd, instead of the 27th which would be our actual mid-year anniversary, because Sasha’s favorite number is 22. Sasha sees the 22nd of every month as a special day, so I figured I would make it extra special with the proposal. Since we are living in Southern California, we had to drive to Davis. I had heard there were fires going on but the drive made me realize just how bad things were. The sky was orange, you could see the ash floating in the air, and you could smell the fires — not exactly the proposal staging I was hoping for. We get to Davis and it’s not too bad but it’s not much better either. I have my backpack with me, which has all the goods including the ring and that Love Book. We start our walk and it is not at all great walking weather, but Sasha was a trooper and we made it to our bench. Since it’s August in Davis, I was sweating EVERYWHERE! It was not a pretty sight. Needless to say, our bench was a great rest stop for us. As Sasha and I are sitting there, I subtly reach into my bag for the Love Book and I hand it to her. Immediately she could tell where this was going. I could see her smiling so big, the tears were starting to pool up. She’s flipping through the pages and the end of the book is coming up! I got the ring ready. She flips to the final page and boom, “Will you marry me?” I bring out the ring that she picked out (a very important detail) and she says YES! Even though it did not go exactly as I had planned, it still ended up being a perfect moment for us.
We chose the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens because we have never been there, and wanted to explore somewhere new and capture those memories. Where we met, on the UC Davis campus, there was an arboretum where we used to go to get away from the stress of school. It was our peaceful getaway up north, and although we grew up in the LA area, we both never visited our local arboretum which made this even more special for the both of us. It also looked amazing in pictures, so we had high hopes, and it did not disappoint! We loved that there were so many different areas, as many botanical gardens have, which made us feel like we were being transported to different places around the world! We both love to travel so this was nice in the midst of COVID lockdowns.
Don’t be nervous. We are pretty awkward when it comes to taking pictures. We’re not too lovey-dovey when we are out in public, so an engagement session is definitely something that would bring us out of our comfort zone. But having a great photographer who is personable and makes the space feel comfortable for us played a huge role in us enjoying our engagement session.
Our favorite thing about being engaged is the excitement and anticipation of planning the wedding together. Sasha is doing the majority of the driving when it comes to planning the wedding, but we still throw crazy ideas at one another — churro trucks, cupcake bars, pan dulce, taco trucks, espresso bars, and so much more. We get to make it ours and blend each of our imaginations together which has been really fun!
We are most looking forward to seeing our ideas come to life, and having all of our friends and family celebrating with us! Due to COVID, we have not been able to celebrate our engagement with all of our loved ones, so having this day to meet our extended families after so long is exciting!
Congrats again Sasha & Andrew, can’t wait for your wedding day!!