Ahhhhh, the most common questions we’ve gotten in our engagement: How we Met and Our Proposal Story!
I’m so excited to finally share our story. Get ready, it’s a long one!
My name is Alesia and I’m a Destination Wedding Videographer based in Portland, OR.
My best friend and I got engaged in Pacific City, OR on September 25th, 2022.
And I’ve finally gotten around to blogging our engagement stories.
Stay tuned for our engagement session on Oahu with Annette Ambrose Photography coming next!
How Alesia and James Met
It all started in the common space of Glencoe High School, September of 2013.
Alesia transferred to Glencoe her junior year and immediately became friends with Maddie Wilson (a now bridesmaid for our wedding, eeek!) on the volleyball team over the summer.
On the 2nd day of school, Maddie introduced Alesia to her friend group. One of them being James.
It was a very VERY quick exchange of “What’s up,” or “Hi.” and an immediate change of subject.
Alesia actually doesn’t really remember this exchange, sadly!
Then, as junior year progressed, Alesia and her friends grew closer and closer. Often times, hanging out at Maddie’s house on the weekends to watch movies and hang out in the hot tub. Every time they would suggest to invite James over, Alesia was the first to protest and say, “Ugh, do we have to?!”
Alesia and James’s friendship was a mutual, platonic friendship. It involved a lot of teasing and zero interest in one another. It was more of a “I have to put up with you” kind of attitude.
Alesia and James dated other people throughout high school and for 2 years, continued to hang out and pull infamous pranks on each other on the weekends.
Our favorite memories including Taco Bell runs during halftime at football games, falling to the floor laughing in Plaid Pantry and James shoving a pie in Alesia’s face at her family’s graduation party.
The College Days
After highschool graduation, Alesia went back to Salem to start her two years at Chemeketa Community College and James stayed home and started working and studying at PCC.
In these two years, Alesia and James maybe saw each other a couple times over the summers. They both went to Three Pools together, where James memorably remembers Alesia’s speeding on the backroads and still doesn’t let her live it down, and their trip together to Brownsville’s Country Music Festival: a memory that Alesia will never forget when James tried dunking her in a kiddie pool.
Then, in 2018, Alesia transferred to Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR and threw a 21st birthday party at her house. James drove all the way down to Corvallis, despite not being 21 yet, and pre-gamed with her and friends. Alesia remembers coming home that night, very sober unfortunately, and finding James passed out in the living room with Dominoes Pizza everywhere.
The Two Years of not seeing each other
For 2.5 years, James and Alesia didn’t see each other. Alesia was finishing up her education in Corvallis, and immediately after graduating, traveled to SE Asia with her sister. Read all about that trip here!
Once the pandemic hit, Alesia moved back home with her mom in Salem and saved up money to finally move out on her own. She decided to come back to the Portland/Beaverton area and found an apartment in Tigard.
The first day Alesia moved back into the area, James constantly texted and DM’d her to hang out. Alesia kept refusing and didn’t think it was worth it to re-kindle their friendship at first.
But one day, after having drinks with Michelle (another amazing bridesmaid!!), she found the courage to text James and invite him to her solo beach day trip to Pacific City, OR.
The Beach Trip that changed their friendship
In July of 2020, James and Alesia hung out for the first time in 2.5 years. It was a trip that completely changed their friendship. Immediately upon opening his front door, Alesia said, “sup.” and walked right in and went for the pantry completely ignoring his stepmom, Linda (something she regrets by the way haha!)
They packed up for the beach and for the hour long drive, they had really deep conversations about what’s happened in the last 2 years, laughed and sang, and realized for the first time ever… This was their first time hanging out alone.
They spent the day going up the sand dunes and exploring a part of it that Alesia’s never been. They ended up finding a spot to sit down and look out at the water. They spent a good hour or two here talking and reminiscing high school memories and life in general.
For the first time ever, Alesia and James sparked attraction for each other, but neither said anything. At this point, they’ve known each other for 7 years and chose to re-continue their platonic relationship. Maybe because James didn’t fill up his gas tank before the beach and they both got stranded on the road until his Dad had to come with gas in the middle of the night HAHA.
The Last Summer as Just Friends
Alesia spent the whole summer asking James to go on dates with her friends… LOL. Every time she’d tell her girlfriends that she knew a guy, they’d ask her why she wasn’t with him and she’d immediately make a grossed out face and say “heck no, we’re just friends!” And James’s reaction to asking out other girls was always “Oh, i’m just not ready for a relationship.” When really… he was playing the long game with Alesia.
Alesia didn’t know this, but the beach trip made James fall for her. He started coming over more and more, listened to her vent about other boys, help her clean up her apartment, and completely respect her boundaries by sleeping out in the living room and leaving first thing in the morning before she’d wake up.
Alesia and James grew closer and closer in their friendship to the point where they were hanging out almost every day, going to the gym together, planning camping trips and involving each other in all group activities with their friends.
And then, they were boyfriend and girlfriend
Until one fateful day in October of 2020, Alesia asked James to come pick up her and friends from a girls night at Margarita Factory. James picked up a very drunk Alesia and took everyone back to Michelle’s house to hang out. There, Michelle and Alesia’s friends started recording James and Alesia’s interactions. Apparently everyone knew they were into each other except for Alesia.
After some obvious recording, Michelle pulled Alesia into the bathroom and for 15-20 minutes, she whisper-yelled at her demanding why she wasn’t into James. Alesia was in denial at first, but after looking at the videos and seeing how much she was checking him out, the conversation turned into “Well, even if that was the case deep deep DEEP down, I doubt he likes me back.”
After driving her home and spending the weekend with her mom, Alesia reflected their friendship and debated on whether or not if it was worth it to date her best friend.
She decided to facetime him to see how he felt, and he candidly told her that he thought about it, but it was too risky to risk the friendship. Alesia agreed and moved on.
But, just the next day, Alesia, Maddie and James went to Bend to do some astrophotography where Maddie spilled the beans that James was actually interested. Alesia was in denial, yet again, and brushed it off. Despite the connection her and James shared the entire evening of him falling asleep on her legs and her tucking him in before going to sleep on another couch.
Finally, after coming home from Bend, James came over to watch Harry Potter for the first time ever (crazy, right?!) with Alesia. They made dinner and started the movie. About 20 minutes in, James turned to Alesia and asked for her hand. When Alesia gave it to him, he took it, put it on his chest and asked, “do you feel that?” and she said, “ummm.. yes?” and he said, “that’s how nervous you make me.”
For the next 5 minutes, James poured his heart out and told Alesia he’s had feelings for her all summer. He was playing the long game for months and was patiently waiting for Alesia to return his feelings. He said he heard everything we said in the bathroom and when I facetimed him asking him about it, he only denied it because he wanted to have this moment in person.
Alesia was in shocked silence for 5 minutes before finally saying, “oh my god. This is happening.”
The Proposal Story
After dating for 2 years, James started planning a secret proposal with Alesia’s mom at the beach where they first re-connected their friendship: Pacific City, OR.
They came up with this plan that her and James would pose for her mom and pretend to be doing couple’s photos for her until another couple showed up in the spot next to them to do THEIR proposal. A proposal that Alesia’s mom completely made up. She made up their names, their story, even convinced Alesia to help set up the spot with a blanket and champagne for this said-couple.
Alesia had hints that James was going to propose, but they slowly started fading away after all these over-the-top tales from her mom.
After spending 15 minutes taking photos on the sand dunes and setting up the blanket, Alesia’s mom told her to face towards her stepdad and wait for James to come pick her up from behind to spin her around. Alesia had her arms ready. This was a pose they’ve done often for photoshoots, so she was standing there like an idiot waiting for him to grab her as he pulled out the ring and got down on one knee.
The second Alesia turned around, she immediately sobbed, fell to the ground and said “Of course” through a lot of tears.
The rest of the day was spent laughing and telling each other how nervous everyone was leading up to the moment. Everyone was crying and Alesia and James were over the moon ecstatic. They immediately called Maddie to tell her the news.
That night, they went to a Karaoke bar to grab dinner and sat in the Airbnb’s backyard to admire the ring. It was the best night of their lives!!!
The Proposal Photos
Drum roll please….
The official proposal photos from Alesia’s mom: Stunning Portrait Photography!
thank you thank you thank you so much again, for giving us the best proposal story at a place that’s so special to us, gifting us a night at an airbnb and taking our photos. We love you!
Saying “Of Course”
Stay tuned for our engagement photos on Oahu coming next! We’ve already posted some on our Instagram @alesiafilms incase you missed it!