photos by ann coen photography
How we Met
During the summer of 2011, Billy and I started dating in a place that is dear to both our hearts and is where we call home: Long Beach Island. Coincidentally, it’s also the place both our sets of parents met!
After courting for that magical summer into fall, we were quickly approaching our first holidays together. Since I was a little girl, I have been traveling to Kauai with my family to spend Christmas and New Year’s. Billy had already started to fit in as part of the family, so he joined in on the fun that year and the following years. Then, in 2014, our Hawaii trip turned out to be extra special because he popped the big question!
How he Proposed
Billy flew into Hawaii the day before New Year’s Eve and made it to the house that evening. We had a lovely dinner, a few Mai Tais, and called it a night. Since the previous Thanksgiving, when Billy had gotten the traditional parental blessing, my whole family had known he was going to propose; they just didn’t know when. That first night in Hawaii they wanted to know if he had the ring, but, in trying to keep the surprise, Billy told everyone the ring wasn’t ready yet, so the proposal wouldn’t happen on this trip. They were pretty disappointed.
The following day was one of our quintessential Kauai days: the boys went for an early morning surf and grabbed Kona coffee on the way home. We packed the truck full of beach toys and beer, waited for my brother, Dane, then wound our way down to our favorite beach at the pier in Hanalei. When the standard late afternoon rain shower sent us back to the house, Billy saw his window and devised a plan to get me alone once the rain had passed. He asked if I wanted to hike down to Hideaways Beach. I said yes, but Dane and my sister, Shayna, overheard us and wanted to join in as well. Little did I know what was about to come.
We biked and hiked down to Hideaways. Dane jumped in the water to snorkel, and Shay sat down in the sand. Billy asked if I wanted to climb up the rocks and take some pictures. When we were up on the cliff, Billy set up his camera. I thought nothing of it because he does that kind of stuff all the time. We posed for a picture, then he turned to me and asked, “Will you love me forever and ever?” and of course I said yes. After a few minutes, we were still just holding onto each other when I said, “OK, let’s go back down to the beach.” Just then, he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I almost fell off the cliff in shock then said, “Yes!” That night we rang in the New Year and celebrated the official beginning of the rest of our lives together.
Video by Darn Swell Media