11 Years Later……

Posted on December 7th, 2015 by admin


Soooo……this happened the other weekend…



That’s right folks. After 11 years of being with my boyfriend, he made it official on November 28th. He had told me he was planning on popping the question this year, but I didn’t know when (nor did I want to) and all I asked was that it was documented somehow.  The moment when a proposal happens is so special and a lot of times the girl (or guy) doesn’t get the opportunity to see their priceless expression so I wanted to make sure that I had that moment, forever. Not only did I get my reaction, I got the whole few minutes after caught on a photo strip of four photos. I’m so grateful and happy that we will have that for the rest of our lives, I couldn’t ask for a better engagement.

The Story…

Christian had been mentioning going back to the photo booth for a couple of weeks now and I even guessed what he was going to do, but he kept his cool and assured me that wasn’t how he was going to ask and that he was going to do it sometime next year instead. When we got home from Thanksgiving weekend he suggested we go take another set of photo booth photos because “you know, it would be special having them for our first year and 11th year” ….so basically I had a hunch it was happening because 11th year is so random. As we got ready and little instances kept happening I knew it was most likely happening that night.  The 4 major clues that gave it away were 1, he hates photos, 2, he hates going to the westside (it’s at the Santa Monica Pier), 3, It’s the place we spent our first Valentine’s Day and the first photo booth photos we took there have always been special to us (we blew them up and framed them) and 4, he hates going anywhere. When he was gung-ho about driving to Santa Monica to take photos, I knew something was up. Most people would be disappointed that they knew the whole time, but I was actually glad it happened. Because I knew, I was hyper-aware of every single moment and I took it all in.

As we walked into the arcade the photo booth is in I got a wave of emotions and memories of being in the same exact place with the same exact person 11 years later with just as many feelings if not more, for him. Nothing had changed in there and I was so excited to recreate photos of our love and just us. After having a slight freak out because none of the photo booths were working (there’s 3 and they’re all from the ’70s), we finally got one of them to work (which actually originally ate our money, but we went back to try again because we had to make it happen). He wanted to do 3 photo strips which I found out later was to get the timing right on his part, so each time I was waiting for it to happen but didn’t know when it was going to happen or if it was even going to happen. The thing that made  me 100% sure it was happening was when I saw him obsessively reach in his pocket over 15 times while we were taking these photos…at that point it was a matter of when. Finally on the third set of photos I said, “so what are we going to do this time?” and he said “I don’t know….” and didn’t give me anything after that so I said “Well I guess I’ll just smile!”. As I’m getting into the position he says “Babe, will you marry me?” and is holding the ring up like he is in the second photo. I was so excited that I immediately hugged him, I think I nodded? and the reaction was too quick for the photo to catch the initial expression. As you can see we hugged and cried and shared this beautiful moment together in a photo booth, in an arcade filled with people just on the other side of the curtain. After crying and having a few moments together in the photo booth once the photos were done snapping, we stepped out and continued to hug, talk and cry. It was one of the most magical moments I’ve ever experienced, being in the corner of an arcade, having this life changing moment happen with no one even knowing what’s going on as they play games and wander around the room. It was just us in that corner and it was the most movie-perfect moment I’ve ever had.

Now onto the good stuff…. the ring!

If you don’t know already, my fiancè is a graphic designer and he is also my partner in Valley High so the ring was the best part of the whole process for him. He designed the ring himself, got it custom made and made it 100% us. There are 3 bands, both of the outside bands are “C’s” for our first names (Chanelle and Christian) and the inside band is a full circle symbolizing the initial of my soon to be last name (“O”) aka both of our initials. It also stands for the forever symbol and the whole setting is white gold (you can see the “C’s” in the second photo). Now, he knows I ain’t no basic, so of course he got me a black diamond right in the middle which none of these pictures even do it justice. I can’t even tell you how obsessed I am with this ring, it’s so special, so us and every person I know that knows me says the same thing: “It’s so perfect for you!” which is so amazing to hear. The thought and care that went into all of this is so incredibly special and to say I’m lucky is an understatement.

The Custom Ring Process:

I stumbled upon the site Custom Made on Pinterest and showed Chrisitan to help him out a little bit. With a dismissive reaction, I had no idea that he took note of it while I completely forgot about the site, never looking at it again. Christian knew he wanted to create a custom ring  from the beginning so this site was perfect and something he looked into further. After designing the ring on Illustrator Christian signed up for the site which then led him to make a proposal (specifics, budget, idea etc.) for a custom ring. The jewelers (contractors, designers etc.) bid for his proposal and after looking through the bids, he picked the right jeweler for him. Christian went with a jeweler named Paul  Klecka who sent him a render within 24 hours and it was exactly what he wanted. Paul has a degree in Master of Fine Arts Degree in jewelry and metalsmithing, has been named Designer of the Year by the Jewelers of America, winner of multiple awards and has distribution of his designs in places such as Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus, and QVC.  Needless to say, Paul was more than qualified and understood what Christian wanted so Christian went for it. Paul and Christian went through the design process together, keeping in touch along the way and Christian ended up with exactly what he wanted and designed. Christian said Paul was so great to work with and the experience of designing and creating your own ring was unlike anything else and so special. Not only are we both so happy with the ring, we plan on getting the same exact setting for Christian (minus the diamond) for his wedding band. For mine, I don’t want to change a thing because it’s literally perfection but I might up the size of that precious lil black diamond of mine because I like being flossy like that.

Now What?…

I wanted to get really good photos of the ring because the black diamond can be tricky in photos so we decided to go 100 with it. Aka I was prancing around in my apartment with a fur jacket on just to take photos of the ring and then ended up having a full blown photo shoot. The lighting was gorgeous so we had to take advantage right?

So now what? I don’t want to turn my blog into a wedding blog but I do want to take everyone along the way with me. I am so excited to plan a wedding and I plan on doing some really unique things so it only feels right to give advice, document it and share it with my readers. We told ourselves we won’t talk about anything until January so for right now I’m going to enjoy being engaged (I mean I’ve been waiting for 11 years I want to take it all in!)  and the holiday’s. What I do know is the first step for me will be getting a wedding planner because I  know NOTHING ABOUT THIS and locking in a venue. We’re thinking Palm Springs in Fall 2016 or 2017. There. You’re up to date and we’re ready to get this thing started come 2016.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support, lovely comments on my Instagram, texts and love. I’m so happy and excited and all of you have made it so special. Here’s to being an engaged woman!

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