Photography by Marsha Walker

Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Central Coast Engagement Session

kissing in the big sur river

When Victoria first contacted me about shooting her wedding and Big Sur engagement session, I knew we had to go somewhere epic since they were engaged under a waterfall in Oregon. Since traveling back to Oregon wasn’t working out due to our very busy wedding schedules, we opted for Big Sur and the central coast area instead and I can’t say we were mad one bit. Big Sur is incredible!

Keep scrolling to read more about their story!

big sur river engagement session

How did you meet?

He said: Victoria and I “officially” met at a bar… The day after Valentine’s Day. I lucked out haha. One of my best friends Charlie called me and said, “Victoria is on her way.. get here now!” So I dropped everything I was doing and met up with them. We met a few times when she used to work at Sequoia Sandwiches. I would flirt with her but I don’t think she caught on haha.

She said: At a bar (crazy I know!) My cousin and his best friend pretty much set it up because Philip first saw me at Sequoia Sandwich Company where I used to work (with his best friend) and ever since then he had to meet me.

walking in the big sur river

First Impression?

He said: My first impression of her was that she had such a natural beauty to her and that she didn’t wear any makeup. I love that about her. And when she smiled at me… I lost it haha. I absolutely love her cheek to cheek smile.

She said: I loved his smile and he was so easy to talk to!

romantic big sur engagement session

The proposal story in his words:

I had just gotten off of work on a Thursday and I told her, “Hey, let’s go visit Sam and Ben?” And of course, she freaked out because she was busy with events that weekend. I told her it will be fine and to ask her boss if she could show up a little later. She sent her boss a text and she said, “Megan said that it was fine and for me to have fun.” I said, “Awesome, lets go!”

The weekend finally arrived that we were going to go to Oregon. So the whole time she is thinking we are going to visit [our friends], hang out and enjoy our anniversary.

The day of our anniversary arrived and we all wanted to do some exploring. Ben and Sam brought up the idea of going hiking or checking out some waterfalls. They played the part so well that day. We all agreed and headed out. Before we got in the Jeep, I handed Sam the ring so she could hide it in her purse. When we got to the first waterfall, it was way too crowded so we decided to go to another location. When we arrived it was perfect. As soon as Victoria stepped out of the Jeep, Sam looked and me and I just gave her a nod so she quickly handed me the ring.

We walked to the waterfall and when she wasn’t looking, I dropped to one knee. She turned back around and she lost it. The end… *drops mic*.

a couple happy in love in big sur

The proposal story in her words:

I’m an event coordinator so March is a busy time of year for me so seeing Philip was hard. He kept telling me for weeks we needed to get away and have some time for ourselves.

The week before our anniversary, he asked me to ask my boss if I could take off a Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday and I said NO since I had 3 events that weekend and I couldn’t just take off that many days! He kept asking and asking so I finally said FINE! So when I asked my boss I said, “OMG what if he asks me to marry him?!” My boss talked  me out of having that in my head because she reminded me that guys always get our hopes up and then we get let down. So I was like “you’re right!”

He had everything planned so I honestly didn’t think about it anymore and just enjoyed getting away on a trip that Philip had planned. (I usually plan our trips so it was nice just sitting back and enjoying everything!) He surprised me on a trip to Oregon and I was surprised to see our friends that just moved up there. I really thought he was going to ask me at dinner on our anniversary because he told me what dress to wear but when we were sight seeing and taking pictures by waterfalls, I had no idea that that’s where he wanted to pop the question so yes, it was a total surprise that I had no idea about!

kissing under the trees in big sur

romantic kiss in the big sur river

the notebook inspired engagement session in big sur
romantic kiss in big sur river

waterfalls in big sur

exploring waterfalls in big sur

Fun fact: What’s crazy is… I love nature, the smell of trees, hearing water… so Oregon was the perfect place to pop the question but what’s crazier is Philip’s name means lover of horses and I was born the year of the horse (on the Chinese calendar). I knew we were meant to be because I’m all about signs. After Philip popped the question our friends took a picture of the waterfall sign and sent it to me, Horsetail Falls. I mean really?! That alone proves we were definitely meant to be!!!

kissing under waterfalls in big sur

holding hands admiring the engagement ring

big sur engagement session

walking together in big sur forest

exploring big sur

big sur engagement session

a romantic couple enjoying the big sir sunset

snuggling under a blanket during sunset in big sur

kissing silhouette in big sur

walking on the beach in central coast, california

central coast california engagement session

Fun fact from Philip: For our anniversary last year Victoria got me a beer brewing set up. She knows I love craft beer and she got me a very nice home brewing set up. So I decided that I was going to work on a recipe for our wedding and I’m going to have it on tap at our wedding.

enjoying firestone anniversary ale on the beach

celebrating an engagement with firestone anniversary ale

personalized beer glasses

romantic engagement session on the beach

firestone anniversary ale with engagement rings

man carrying his fiancee on the beach

Congratulations, Victoria and Philip!

View The Valdez wedding blog here


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