Q: How did the two of you meet?
A: We met in high school! Rachel was a freshman, I was a sophomore. Our school has an event every first Friday of the school year where all students get together to do fun stuff. The first week of school I had been eyeing Rachel, and I finally introduced myself during that event!
Q: What made you choose this ring to be the one?
A: I spent literally months, hundreds of hours, scouring both in person and online for the perfect ring. I had a collection of pictures of rings I knew Rachel liked and I used those as reference. I stumbled upon F&B on Etsy, and I loved so many of the designs. After visiting the site I noticed that F&B offered custom design consultation, so I sent over an email – including pictures of rings I liked. A day or so later, I got a reply including references to several rings that fit the bill and how we could customize it to be one of a kind!
I knew that Rachel didn’t like the “normal” diamond ring, so through F&B I decided on Morganite – which is a beautiful peachy pink! I also knew the size of stone and exact color I wanted; F&B took all of my requests head on and fulfilled my exact wishes!
Q: In each your own point of views, can you tell us what the days leading up to the proposal were like? How did he propose?
A: Paul – Leading up the proposal – I had a lot planned. I had a date set, arranged with Rachel’s mother, about 50 days prior. One thing Rachel always wanted was a dog, so as soon as I ordered the ring I started getting serious about finding a new puppy! While the ring was being manufactured, I took my current dogs to meet a dozen or so puppies, looking for the right dynamic for our family! I finally found a German Shepherd puppy, Amara, who had gone through surrender and then fostering. I got the puppy about 25 days before the proposal, so for almost an entire month I had to hide a dog from Rachel.
It was no easy accomplishment, but I pulled it off and she had no idea!
Rachel – My mom and I are wedding photographers in Monterey, CA, so with that being said we shoot a lot of on-location proposals, provided the place is a destination spot. I thought that Wednesday was going to be like any other proposal, except my mom had told me that my headshots needed to be updated so to dress nice. We got there early, she took my headshots, and we sat in our spots awaiting the couple to arrive. I realized that I hadn’t seen a picture of the couple yet and normally by this time, she would show me so we'd know who we’re waiting for. So I asked her about it and she said that it was in her email. (Of course there’s no service in Big Sur.) Oh well, we were in such a desolate spot that no one else was there.
As I sat there, trying not to be paranoid that the woman won't know I’m a photographer, I felt a dog come up from behind me and sniff my shoulder. GREAT. That’s exactly what I was thinking. I love dogs, don’t get me wrong, but I knew the point the couple was going to have to walk out to and I had no idea how they were going to do it with dogs present. I turned around slowly just to give a smile like any polite person would do, and it was Paul! Forgetting completely about the dog he was walking, all that was running through my head was that he was going to ruin the proposal because they were going to show up ANY minute!
Then as it sunk in, I started to wonder how he knew what random turn off I was at in Big Sur and why he was so nicely dressed for a hike. That’s when it hit me. He helped me to stand up, said a bunch of words I don’t remember because I was so in shock, and then I heard the words every girl wants to hear. I said YES, and now we are 8 months into planning our wedding next June! Oh and remember that dog he was walking? Well he knew how much I’d always wanted a dog, so he had gotten me a German Shepherd puppy!!
Q: What was your overall experience with Fire & Brilliance like?
A: Paul – I really enjoyed my experience with F&B. From start to finish, I felt like a valued customer and that I mattered. The customer service team did an excellent job of making my list of needs feel important but not even a challenge for them.
Rachel – My experience with Fire & Brilliance was like no other! Seriously! You’d think the woman getting proposed to would hardly have any communication with her ring company, but it’s been quite the opposite! Posting pictures on social media, to having conversation with the people behind the name, and now we’ve partnered up for styled shoots! I would highly recommend them to absolutely everybody looking for an easy, seamless experience.
Q: How did the talk of marriage come up?
A: I’m not sure when it first came up. We were both each other’s first boyfriend/girlfriend so we didn’t take dating lightly. We’d always been pretty serious in our relationship; it was probably after a year, or maybe a little before that, we just knew wholeheartedly that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. It got to the point where it was harder to picture our lives without each other than with. So after five years of dating and about six months after I graduated, Paul popped the question!