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Alyssa & Shaun: The Ibiza Proposal

December 11th, 2018

The Perfect Proposal Shaun & Alyssa, September 2018

The beginning: Shaun and Alyssa were in college, both attending Rutgers University for Landscape Architecture. At the program's annual Landscape Architecture Conference in Atlantic City, the two met and shared a bottle of Sangria on the road trip back to Rutgers, following the long weekend with their organization networking with people in their field. After the conference, Shaun and Alyssa ran into each other at Olde Queens, a pretty typical Tuesday Night, or really any night, bar at Rutgers. Shaun approached Alyssa in the bar, telling her he wouldn't leave until she gave him her number. Alyssa sillily admits that she still remembers questioning him why she would do that if it meant him staying in the bar longer! As this was going on, one of her friends thought she was trying to save Alyssa from being creeped on by a random guy, but little did she know that Alyssa actually had interest in and knew him. Alyssa gave in, and gave Shaun her number. From that day on, the two never parted ways. They were both in college still, Alyssa was on her way to graduating and Shaun still had another year, so they were going on a bunch of dates, going to the city, gardens, etc. They were both pretty ?lax' about the whole situation, just taking it day by day and really enjoying each other's company. They never talked about anything regarding what they were doing, if they were dating, "you know how things seem so complicated at some point and you just don't want to ask?" Alyssa said. They both just went with it, but there is a singular moment the couple always talks about that is pretty much instilled in their brains: they were sitting on a bench talking at Rutgers Gardens and they both confessed that they had fallen for each other pretty hard. They sat there for a few hours talking about their relationship, all of the elements that made up what they were doing, how well they got along, that they had so much in common and that the time they were spending together was really special for the both of them. That day was a milestone for the couple, both emotionally and relationship wise. They dated throughout the spring of 2014 and Shaun popped the girlfriend question in June of 2014. Since then, they have both graduated with a Bachelors in Landscape Architecture, got their first jobs, moved in together in downtown Jersey city, where the couple currently lives and has lived for the past two years. Together, Shaun and Alyssa have traveled to Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic where they actually got stranded at a local beach the day they were supposed to fly home. They had no cell phones, as Shaun thought they'd get robbed while they were in the ocean. Needless to say, that was an experience. They have also road tripped the California coast, a place now near and dear to their hearts. Not only that, but the two have started their own company, good.vines.only, through which they provide a range of services, custom planters, landscape design as well as floral design for events such as weddings, bridal showers, parties, etc. This power couple is unstoppable, and after 4 years and 3 months of dating, at the top of one of the 3 most magnetic places in the world, Shaun popped the proposal question. The Perfect Proposal, according to Alyssa: "So since we've been to California, Shaun and I have always talked about getting out to other national parks in the US, Glacier National Park especially. And for the few months leading up to our Spain trip in September, Shaun kept saying we would plan a trip to go out to the West Coast at some point to get to Glacier. I was convinced that was where and when he was going to do it. We've had endless talks about future life plans, careers, families, so we really weren't in a rush; we knew we had found our person.

Our summer trip this year ended up being a little later than expected due to our side work with wedding florals, so we planned a 12 day trip throughout Spain, travelling through various cities. We even got to meet up with friends from home who we caught on the tail end of their trip. The country of Spain in itself was magical, full of wine, food, and romance, so I couldn't have imagined anywhere better. We planned to hit the Spanish islands, Ibiza and Formentera, specifically at the middle of our trip. At some point in my research I found this extremely luxurious brand new hotel on a cliff on the island of Ibiza, and we came to the conclusion that we had to make this beautiful place a point to get to in our travels. Upon leaving Seville to fly to Ibiza, I had a crazy feeling that our bags were going to get lost so the night before our flight, Shaun and I literally packed and repacked our luggage like 4 times. (I thought out of excitement of going to Ibiza for the first time in our lives, little did I know Shauny was about to pop the question!! AH, I even have pictures of us being clowns in the robes from the hotel that I sent to my 3 best friends).

So, we flew from Seville to Barcelona, and Barcelona to Ibiza…they lost our luggage, of course. I have a vivid image of me walking out of the bathroom in the airport and seeing Shaun standing at the baggage claim alone and the belt stopping. Comical for us! So I spoke to the airline for a bit, after an extremely frustrating and typical situation it was, in fact, that our bags were lost and nobody knew where they were…we rented a car and got whatever carry-on luggage we had and were on our way. Shaun had been talking a lot to me about these ?spots' we had to go to in Ibiza before going to our hotel…I just couldn't understand why he kept on insisting on going to these places before going to this gorgeous hotel we picked out…So finally Shaun got it down to one place…he's like, ?Alyssa of all the places there is this one place we have to get to, it's like known to be a magical place, top 3 magnetic places in the world, they say you can actually feel it once you're there, like you can feel the magnetic pull of the Earth.' I saw it in his face that he was starting to get a little disappointed that I was telling him I was frustrated about the bags and I just wanted to go lay by the pool, that finally I caved…Shaun is not the sedentary type, he always likes to do activities and go see new things - a quality I love about this man - so for me to be like raining on his parade of going to this place, I felt like it had to be special and we needed to go.

…I was game, we went, driving in this little mini manual car up mountains, dirt roads, cliffs hanging over the ocean. It was scary at first cause I had no idea where or what we were going to. Finally Shaun pulls up and we're there, we have a bit of walk and I'm being my natural self joking around with him (this is recorded on his GoPro) Shaun reacting to what we pulled up to, Es Vedra, the most magical, surreal mountainous island across from the island of Ibiza. Shaun is just bugging out saying ?oh my god, wow, Lyss this is amazing' and I turn to him and I whisper to him ?Can you feel it?'. OF COURSE me busting his chops is on camera so that's a really comical thing for us, just our natural selves moving to one of the biggest moments of our lives! (SO CRAZY)…we walked to this cliff, which happens to be a spot for locals only really, not many tourists know about it, so it was very low key. We typically take this picture with Shaun's GoPro in really cool places that we've visited with magnificent views (Yosemite, Yellowstone, Es Vedra), and we normally sit with our backs facing the camera. We actually have 3 of these pictures printed on huge canvases hanging in our apartment right now (one being the picture from Es Vedra). So it wasn't anything out of the ordinary for us to take this picture, and Shaun was definitely being a little weird at first. He threw his backpack on a plant and like crushed it (not normal Shaun things) and I yelled at him, like ?what are you doing?? Why are you being a monster, you're gonna kill that plant!' (things landscape designers say I guess). He did that twice with his backpack and I kinda freaked out, like ?what is going on with you man?' So he was clearly getting a little frustrated, and it wasn't quite the right spot for us to take our picture, plus there were a few locals around so it just wasn't it for him. He wanted to walk down a little further so we did. Upon walking down Shaun found a spot, nobody around, he set up the GoPro and we sat dangling our feet off this, easily 300+ foot high cliff on the ocean overlooking Es Vedra, and took our picture. It really was the most magical place I've ever seen; it was breathtaking. I couldn't have pictured a more beautiful, perfect, sunny day, not a cloud in the sky, overlooking this magnificent and mysterious island. So with the GoPro, Shaun has the ability to set the camera on record and you can take still images from the recording. So he set me up perfectly. After taking our picture I turned to him and said we should take a picture facing the camera standing up and he agreed. Upon seconds after me almost tripping off the cliff (majorly scary and not kidding lol), Shaun asked me to stand to not my normal picture side, which I of course questioned, and he told me he had to ask me something. I watched him grabbing for something in his pocket, and I asked if he was crazy?! He told me he wasn't and said that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was shocked, I mean we've talked about it before, but I was totally caught off guard, I cried my eyes out! My best friend had asked me to marry him and I said YES!

Es Vedra now holds an extremely gigantic place in my heart, it was magical, it was captivating and the girl who was busting his chops about the magnetic pull could totally feel it after that moment. We spent the rest of the day at the beautiful hotel we picked, laying by the pool, popping champagne, calling, facetiming and texting our loved ones letting them know the amazing news and then went to a romantic dinner Shaun had reserved in an old Cathedral where the owner gave me a bouquet of flowers and we drank and ate and were totally having the time of our lives. Later to find out, both of our families knew and some of our friends as well, so the secret being kept for so long was amazing and so special to me! I think I cried maybe 7 more times that day because I couldn't believe it was real. A couple was walking by after Shaun popped the question and I was able to get them to take a picture of us on my Canon, and that's the picture we have printed in our apartment. The hotel we chose, overlooked Es Vedra, it was the most romantic place we could've chosen, just this massive rock/magical island to stare at reminding me about this romantic/major life moment we shared. We celebrated our day after getting engaged by relaxing by the hotel, finally getting our luggage and then moving on to the other side of the island where we actually had tickets to go see a few DJs at the clubs on the island. (Pretty awesome way to keep the celebration going). After Ibiza, we went on to the hippie island of Formentera and you could still see Es Vedra from the island while watching the sunset; it was one of the most beautiful, special moments in my life that I've ever shared with Shaun. I couldn't have imagined it any other way."

The ring: With the help from Gerald Peters, Shaun was able to pick out the ?perfect' ring. Alyssa stated "My god is it everything I could've wanted." The ring is custom designed Gerald Peters setting that Shaun designed himself, set with a beautiful Emerald Cut diamond.

The future: Right now, the future Mr. and Mrs. Thomson are in the process of looking at venues, but they are planning to make a decision by the end of this year. Philly and the Catskills are part of the potential prospects as a garden style/nature experience will keep ?hints' of the couple in their ceremony, something important to the two of them on their big day. They are hoping for a June or September 2020 wedding.

@ Over the Moon Photography