When Whitney’s engineer boyfriend Zach planned a “Will you marry me?” moment, he knew an ordinary proposal wouldn’t do. Instead, he worked to design a sign of 10-foot steel letters lit up with 360 lightbulbs. The install took 36 hours of work, but for Zach every second was worth the “yes” from Whitney. Jose Villa captured the result that’s officially brought us all to tears.
From the Bride-to-be, Whitney… Zach is an engineer and a creative mastermind. He told me that he knew he wanted to do something with lights to propose. His first idea was the hang 10ft letters off the side of the cliff, inside this cove on the coast. However, after many prototypes, the engineering wasn’t working, so he went on to version two: The Sign.
“Zach walked 60,000 steps in those
36 hours putting the sign together,
and installed all 360 lightbulbs by hand.”
He designed the entire sign (the exact size and font of the steels letters, the structure that held the letters, and all of the electrical engineering) on his own. At first he hoped to weld the letters himself, but as time was running out, he outsourced the welding to a local shop a few miles south. After the letters were complete, he took 36 hours to completely build and install the wires and electrical circuiting to actually get this sign to light up.Zach walked 60,000 steps in those 36 hours putting the sign together, and installed all 360 lightbulbs by hand.
The proposal happened on a Wednesday, so from the beginning, he totally threw me off. He told me he needed to go down to his parents’ house on Tuesday to meet with them about a few things, and that I should come down on Wednesday night for dinner. As I was driving down after work, he asked if I could stop and grab dinner (little did I know he was delaying me!), then as I got closer, he told me that he would meet me at the top of the driveway.
I got in the car and as we were driving down the road, he convinced me to go down to the beach even at 7:30pm. We casually walked about 500 steps, and then just as we turned the bend, BOOM, the sign! I froze. I literally didn’t think it was for me! Then, he got down on one knee and asked the big question.
Photography: Jose Villa Photography