Engagement session at Olvera Street and Union Station | Christina and Andy

Halloween is almost here, soon the holidays!!  Whatever happened to 2011, it’s almost over. Yep! Time flies when you are having fun, right?  On this occasion, I got to spend a fantastic time with an adorable couple, Andrew and Christina.  They wanted a place that was special to both of them and a place that would embrace Christina’s heritage.  Olvera Street was the perfect place for us. The day was grey and it looked like it was going to rain. As I left Ventura County, to drive to Los Angeles, the sky looked like rain was going to happen any second. We were wrong, what a day!! Beautiful, a great breeze and fantastic lighting. Christina and Andrew will be getting married in 2012. at the Sterling Country Club in Camarillo, Ventura County can’t wait for that day…

How they met:

It was December of 2008 and we were both working at Northrop Grumman.  We separately attended a customer Christmas party where we were introduced by some colleagues.  Embarrassingly, I don’t remember meeting Andy that night but to my surprise he remembered every detail.  During the raffle that night, I loudly exclaimed, “Damn it, one number off” when the ticket number called was, in fact, one number off from the one I was holding.  Although it was one of my most embarrassing moments, it turned out to be one of Andy’s fondest memories of how I caught his attention.  After that night we didn’t cross paths again until June of 2009.  A mutual friend of ours was moving to Baltimore and thought it would be a good idea for us to meet since she thought we hit it off as friends.  So the three of us went for coffee one afternoon, which led to many more afternoon coffee breaks for Andy and I.  I don’t know why, but at the time I was so opposed to letting him into my life in any way.  I just had a bad run of dates the past couple of months that I think I had completely sworn off men, even as friends.   But, fortunately for me, my stubbornness didn’t turn Andy away.  It only made him more interested and more persistent on getting to know me.  And so our friendship started to grow with monthly coffee breaks and the occasional lunch together that eventually led to daily breakfasts in the cafeteria and afternoon coffee breaks at our favorite table.  It was the best friendship I had come to know in a very short time.


A fairly tale proposal is every girl’s dream so I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t hoped for it.  There was just one thing I couldn’t piece together that kept throwing me off.  I had told Andy on several different occasions that it was important to me for him to talk to my parents first.  Not that a 28 year old woman needs her parents’ permission however their blessing and involvement are an important part of this journey.  So on our very long plane ride to Paris; I kept asking myself, “When did he have time to talk to my parents?”  Andy and I are very open and honest with each other about what’s going on and where we will be at any given time.  Knowing (well thinking) that in the last month or so there wasn’t a time that he was alone with my parents, I came to the conclusion that this trip just wasn’t the time he would propose so I put it out of my mind.  Neither of us had ever been to Paris before, so we both received a lot of advice of what to do while we were there.  Andy had told me that it was suggested to him to start the trip at the Eiffel Tower because it will set such a great tone for the entire trip, so the plan was to go on Sunday.  We arrived on Saturday morning and spent most of Sunday sleeping.  Sunday evening we had a wonderful dinner with Andy’s colleagues and then headed back to the apartment where we were staying.  Being that it was 11:30 at night and Andy had an early work morning, I thought we were in for the night.  By no means did I expect for him to still want to go to the Eiffel Tower, but sure enough that’s exactly what he wanted to do, so that’s where we headed.  We got there at about 12:15 in the morning and much to Andy’s dismay they weren’t letting anybody up the Tower past midnight.  This really upset him which confused me because we still had two weeks left in Paris, plenty of time to come back.  But as most people know, Andy hates when things linger and he just couldn’t let this opportunity pass him by.  So he suggested that we walk around for a little while and take some pictures.  When we found a picture perfect spot, Andy introduced himself to a nearby couple and asked that they take some pictures of us.  This is where I opened my big mouth and offered the same to them.  Well Andy went along with it and when we were done taking their picture he asked that the guy get one more picture and to make it a good one.  I thought it was a little strange at the time and even questioned if I was having a bad hair day,  but now I understand completely what he wanted to capture.  Before I could figure out what was happening, Andy was there in front of me, down on one knee with the Eiffel Tower lit up behind us (a scene straight out of a movie).  He looked into my eyes and said to me, “Christina may I have your hand for the rest of my life from this day forward. Will you be my wife?”  With tears flowing down my face I looked him in the eye and said yes. I remember being speechless, which as most people know, is not common for me.  I remember in that moment thinking that my life just changed forever and I couldn’t be happier.  The love of my life made my dreams come true. Dreams you never really know will become a reality until you experience that moment; A moment so unforgettable, so life changing, and so wonderful.  A moment, for us, captured on camera by the kind stranger we had met just moments earlier.  Andy was right; starting at the Eiffel Tower set an amazing tone for our entire trip and our entire lives.  


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