Already planning on attending Irene’s graduation in Guatemala. Lafayette arrived a day early to have dinner with her parents. “A friend taught me how to ask Irene’s dad in Spanish for his blessing to marry his daughter.” When going out to dinner with the parents, complete silence at the dinner table; the entire restaurant loud with conversations. Lafayette’s palms sweating underneath the table, “Did I say something wrong? Did I not say it correctly in Spanish?” Asked Lafayette to Irene’s mother. A round of drinks hit the table, more silence, a big smile emerging from Irene’s fathers face. With a loud response of, “yes!” Irene made a promise to her father that before leaving Guatemala and getting married, she would graduate from college. Irene kept that promise to her dad. From there the planning of a destination surprise proposal began for Lafayette. Scouring Irene’s Pinterest boards on rings he quickly found the one for her. A black onyx solitaire with haloed diamonds.
A deep breath. Hands shaking as he holds the small box. The self-doubt creeping in of being rejected even though he was certain the answer would be yes. It had to be yes. Because his version of happily ever after depended on that one word. The courage and humility it takes to get down on one knee (in public) and ask someone to spend forever with you. It’s intimidating, scary, and exhilarating all at once. Lafayette taking one more deep breath, looked over at me, and gave me the nod of, “go ahead”. As I asked Irene to turn around, she gave me a look of confusion. Like, “what do you mean turn around”? A big smile came over my face and pointed to Lafayette. Irene curious what I was pointing at, a gasp. Her hands quickly covering her mouth in shock. Squatting down on the ground and saying, “is this for real? Are you serious?” The mountains behind them, surrounded by palm trees, and the cool desert breeze made for the perfect backdrop for Irene to say, “yes”.
Using his work conference in Palm Springs provided the perfect cover for his plan to propose in Palm Springs. “As I was explaining the trip to Irene, she suggested that we have dinner together and take pictures. She made it sooooo easy! Of course I agreed. I told her to bring a nice dress that wasn’t black (which eliminated the majority of her closet). She suggested the red dress. I told her that it would be perfect. I knew I had a red tie that I could wear to match it.” Lafayette stated. Being seated on a rooftop patio overlooking the mountains and downtown. Then greeted with champagne and a congratulations from the restaurant. I don’t know what was better about that evening. Successfully pulling off a destination surprise proposal, Irene honestly having no idea it was happening, or the celebratory cheers at the restaurant afterwards. Lafayette did an amazing job not only envisioning how he wanted to propose (guys and gals take notes!) But entrusting me with bringing his vision to life. Now they have these photos to not only share with family and friends but to cherish and help tell the story to their future kids and grandkids.
Lafayette and Irene, I hope to be invited to your wedding day or better yet to be the one to capture it for you. If not, you better share some photos. You know I will want to see them! I want to see how your love story continues beyond our time together in Palm Springs. Now, every time I go to the 4Saints I will think of the two of you. Cheers to your happily ever after!