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Both my fiancée and I wanted to plan our anniversary weekend, each not knowing that the other was going to propose. After many days of negotiation, we agreed on splitting the planning of the long weekend, and lucky for us, we experienced a double proposal!

On the morning of Saturday, September 3rd (the day before our anniversary), we woke up early and I took us to enjoy relaxing massages at a lovely spa near our home. Afterwards, we went and had a tasty lunch at Jones On Third, one of our favorite cafés in LA. The great part about that lunch was that we got to take our time and really enjoy the warm, sunny Los Angeles day. After lunch, we went home to shower and get ready for the other surprises I had in store for her.

After getting cleaned up and taking some time with Shiloh, our pup, we took a short drive to Santa Monica and went on a romantic walk on the beach. The Santa Monica beach has a special significance for us because we walked on that very beach the day she first met my mom.

I had enlisted my friend to capture the moment undercover from afar with this ridiculous paparazzi-style camera lens (which was something to see in itself). As we were walking hand in hand along the water with my friend stealthily taking photos behind us, I began telling her how happy she has made me and what a future I saw for us…and then all of a sudden the lifeguard came up to us and asked, “Do you know that there are two guys following you and taking pictures?” Not knowing what was going on, she freaked out and asked the lifeguard to call the authorities and have them removed.

This whole scenario felt like something out of a movie and made me have to accelerate my plan. I had to explain that there weren’t actually two shady men following us, and thrown off my game, I proposed right then and there.

After the proposal, we hopped in the car and headed downtown to spend the night at the elegant Ritz Carlton overlooking the beautiful LA skyline. I had made arrangements for a dogsitter to stay with Shiloh and to have overnight bags with our necessities delivered to the room in advance of our arrival. When we walked into our room, not only did we have the most amazing view of Los Angeles, but I had also made sure there was chilled champagne and an entire platter complete with cheese, dried fruit, nuts. strawberries, and pastries awaiting us. We relaxed, ate, talked, and enjoyed a beautiful evening.

The next day was Sunday, which was our actual anniversary. Wanting to make the most of our beautiful hotel room, we slept in and enjoyed all of the classy amenities until the very last minute. After checking out, we walked a few blocks away and had brunch at The Farm of Beverly Hills, then drove home and then got ready for our anniversary dinner at Inn of the Seventh Ray.

The next day was Monday (and incidentally Labor Day so neither of us had to work), and my fiancée (officially at this point!) had planned for a day in Santa Barbara. She lived there for 3 years and had been wanting to take me for quite a while.

Our first stop was the Santa Barbara courthouse. The courthouse is quite a special place because if you take the elevator to the very top, it provides a 360 degree panoramic view of the entire city – the mountains, ocean, and downtown. After walking around the property for a little while and admiring the beautiful landscaping and old Spanish architecture, we finally took the journey to the top of the tower. As prepared as I thought I would be for this moment, when she got down on one knee, I was surprised and overwhelmed! She had also hired a photographer who was up there on the top awaiting our arrival to capture the special moment.

We both had beautiful new sparkly rings on our fingers!

After leaving the courthouse, we took turns calling our parents to share the news and then enjoyed the rest of the beautiful day by walking around exquisite downtown Santa Barbara. We rented a bicycle built for two, rode it along the waterfront, and took a beautiful walk on the pier. After all this activity, we enjoyed manicures and then headed to a romantic dinner at the San Ysidro Ranch.

It was an amazing, memorable weekend that we’ll never forget!