An Unintended Engagement

August 5, 2015
Tiffany Dang
5 min read

I recently found out about a couple who booked a romantic getaway to Hawaii. Rachel and Colin booked this trip to celebrate the end of a stressful semester packed with papers and units. In addition to commemorating Rachel’s graduation from UC Berkeley, Colin and Rachel booked this romantic trip to Hawaii, as a short getaway from their three lovely pugs at their home in Antioch, California. Here is the story behind an unintended engagement, as told from the bride and groom to-be.

Image source: Colin and Rachel

This unintended engagement followed some major life changes for Rachel. She described the sequence of events that led up to her and Colin’s Hawaiian vacation. According to Rachel, “Everything just happened so quickly!” A matter of weeks before their trip, Rachel quit her job at Trader Joe’s, was offered employment at a new company, and graduated within the Sociology department at UC Berkeley. A couple of days later, Rachel and Colin left the Bay Area and flew out to enjoy their tropical getaway.

To share his side of the story, Colin began by telling me that he actually had no intention of proposing until they were on the Big Island. In fact, he decided to get the ring while they were on vacation. Rachel and Colin had been dating for 4 years and they bought a home in Antioch, where they raised three pugs. They both worked at Trader Joe’s to pay for their home and Rachel’s tuition. This past year was one of the toughest for them, as they focused on work and classes, which meant that they hardly spent time together. But that all changed when they traveled to Hawaii. Rachel and Colin instantly fell in love with the Big Island, so much so that neither of them wanted to leave.

Image source: Colin and Rachel

When I asked why Hawaii, Colin answered, “It doesn’t get any better than this. It was like paradise.” Colin came up with a plan for the proposal and it all started with purchasing a ring. To surprise Rachel, Colin told her that he was going out to run “errands,” which was just an excuse to step outside and purchase the engagement ring. He also told her to stay at the beach while he called her parents to ask permission for her hand in marriage. Once he got their approval, Colin kept the ring in his pocket and waited for the right moment.

Once all the details were settled, Colin met up with Rachel again and they drove to a secluded beach. They walked along a private beach near their hotel, as they waited for the sun to set. In the meantime, they also called their house sitter to make sure that the pugs were fine.

Colin told us that as he was waiting for the right moment, Rachel happened to set it up perfectly. His sister, Jenna, always gave them beef for living together and not being married, so Rachel suggested that they play a joke on her with a “fake” proposal without even knowing that Colin already had an engagement ring right in his pocket! Without delay, Colin reached into his pocket and asked Rachel, “You mean something like this?” Then, he got down on one knee and asked her for her hand in marriage.

Image source: Colin and Rachel

I asked them whether they had any ideas for their wedding. Rachel and Colin said that they would love for their wedding to be in Hawaii, but that it would be too difficult to have their families travel there and to have their pugs, Pickle and Zoey, at home. While they may not be able to have their wedding in Hawaii, Rachel and Colin both agreed that they’d definitely have it by the ocean. Since they want their wedding to be a smaller affair that is “somewhere at the beach for sure,” I recommended that they check out Carmel or San Luis Obispo for local and more convenient locations.

In addition to the wedding details, I asked them if they had any plans for their bachelor and bachelorette parties. Rachel and Colin explained that they’d rather have a “Bring your dog to our place for dinner” get-together than the traditional bachelorette and bachelorette parties. Since Rachel hates big parties, they’d prefer to have an engagement party together. Rachel said that having a bachelorette party would be too much attention on her, which she doesn’t really like.

Image source: Colin and Rachel

Although their engagement was unintended, Rachel and Colin both saw their trip to Hawaii as a romantic experience and something that they suggest every couple take. Their trip provided them with many benefits, from being able to leave their worries behind to finally getting quality time together. Rachel and Colin both advise planning ahead and setting money aside for a romantic getaway. In doing so, they were able to relax and enjoy some quality time together, which were things that they desperately needed, especially after working non-stop for the past 3-4 years.

Because they loved Hawaii so much, I asked Colin and Rachel if they had advice for anyone, who is planning an upcoming trip there. Here are some of their tips:

  • Visit the beautiful beaches.
  • Eat loco moco, a Hawaiian dish that consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy.
  • Discover and enjoy the fresh seafood.
  • Check out Paia in Maui, which is in the countryside and has a slower pace than the major cities.
  • Visit the Maui Ocean Center, a beautiful and educational aquarium.
  • Talking to the locals and you’ll find some amazing spots through their recommendations!
  • Bring sunscreen and UV protection clothing.
  • Try the shave ice! It’s delicious.
  • Drink lots of Mai Tais and Hawaiian Sun Juices (especially the Pineapple Orange Guava kind).
Image source: Colin and Rachel
Image source: Colin and Rachel

All in all, this romantic getaway to Hawaii provided Rachel and Colin with some much needed quality time together and sealed the deal for these two love birds. So for anyone looking to get away, how about planning your next group trip to the big Island?

Featured Image Source: Colin and Rachel