Dene and Alden

San Diego, California



Photographer | Astray Photography | @astrayphoto

From the Photographer

We were so excited when Alden contacted us about his idea of surprising his girlfriend with proposing on top of Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. Such an amazing experience to be a part of!

Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

We met the old fashion way – at a bar. It was a ladies night out with a few of my friends. As soon as we walked in, I saw this guy with a big smile and a bushy mustache walk up to our group and we just hit it off. We shared a beer at the bar, flirting and laughing, and he took my hand and taught me how to two-step. Towards the end of the night we parted ways and I thought that might be it. A couple of minutes later, and with a little encouragement from a friend, he walked up to me, planted his feet, and asked for my phone number. He asked for a date first thing the next morning (so much for waiting, right?) and I knew there was just something about mustache man that I couldn’t pass up.


What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. What makes your relationship unique?

We share the same love for adventure, time with friends and family, a similar taste in music, and engaging conversation. Although we share a lot of the same values, I like to think that we push each other to be the best version of ourselves. We consistently challenge each-other with a different perspective or a new personal goal, but at the end of the day we support each other because we know that we are on the same team.


How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship?

A couple of months into dating we were very casually sitting and talking around the fire in his backyard and it just sort of hit me. It’s hard to explain exactly how I knew, but I looked across the flames and knew he was the one.


Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?

The proposal was a complete surprise. His parents were in town and wanted to take us out to dinner at a restaurant on the beach before they left. Pulling up to the restaurant, his parents told us that they would park the car and that we would just meet them in the restaurant. We used to walk Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach all the time, so I didn’t think anything of it when he casually suggested that we go check out the surfers at the end. We got to the end of the pier and I could feel his heart beating quickly and I even asked him if he was ok! When we turned around to go back, I saw him reach into his pocket. When I realized what was happening I immediately started crying.


We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!

The ring is just perfect for me. Super simple, elegant, and timeless. It’s a brilliant, round solitaire with a gold band and four sterling silver prongs. The smaller band and simple setting really let the diamond shine! It’s just what I wanted – he did such a good job.


Are you excited to start planning your wedding day? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?

Yes! We planning to get married back East at his family’s farmhouse on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake. The only thing we have planned so far is a crab feast for the rehearsal dinner but we can’t stop talking about it!