Although Brain and Santana met in high school, they had mutual friends and really didn’t know each other. Ten years after graduating from high school, they never crossed paths.  Living their individual lives, Brian went into the Marine Corps while Santana moved to California. After Brian’s time in the corps was done, he moved back home to Minnesota (MN) while Santana was still in CA. The two reconnected over social media in September 2019. Santana flew home (MN) to visit family that October and Brian took her on a date. “From that night, we have been inseparable. Because he is in a school program that doesn’t transfer out of state, I eventually moved home to be close to him while he finishes school.”

Their most romantic moment was the first time they said those three words to each other, “We were at a concert of one of our favorite music artists, and our favorite song came on and we just couldn’t hold it in anymore.”

The Proposal

Brian and Santana took a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate their two year anniversary and little did Santana know, Brian had been planning this proposal for months! 

“All of my friends and family were in on it. I had no idea because he convinced me he wanted to wait until he was closer to being done with school. He hired you (our amazing photographer), and planned with my two best friends in Cali to help him put it all together. He said he was taking me back to the beach that we went to the first time he ever flew out to see me while I was living there. We had a nice day relaxing there. The weather got cold and gray really fast so I kept asking him if we could leave. He kept stalling and I thought he just wasn’t ready to leave yet. But then he took me for a little walk down the beach, took my hands and said some very sweet things to me. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and held out the most beautiful ring. I said yes and my two friends came running over. It was so cute and romantic!”

Santana’s friends were so happy for her they were crying, calling her mom and other friends on the phone to share the good news. After the excitement calmed down a bit, Santana saw Brain grab some sand and put it in the ring box. Santana was telling me that it was his thing to take pieces of the earth where they travel to or have a special moment. The beach got overcast really fast but we took some engagement shoots after along the beach before parting ways.

The Location

Will Rogers State Beach is located in Pacific Palisades along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The beach features Beach Side Café, volleyball courts, playground and gymnastic equipment, as well as a bike path and walkway. This beach is not as busy with crowds as its neighboring beaches in Malibu and Santa Monica, but it still has its fair share of people that visit. 

This beach was named after Will Rogers, actor, philosopher, and cowboy. In the early 1930’s, Will Rogers was the most popular and highest paid actor in Hollywood. Despite the country’s economic hardships of the Great Depression, in 1930 Will Rogers was earning $300,000 a picture. During the 1920’s Will Rogers bought land in Santa Monica, where he developed a ranch. Eventually he owned more than 300 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in what is now known as Pacific Palisades. Will Rogers State Beach has been operated by the County of Los Angeles since 1975. The beach has had numerous television shows and movies filmed on its shores, including the hit television show “Baywatch.”