Blaine and Bethany's Engagement Day Story
Santa Barbara, California
January 30, 2005


On Sunday, January 30th, our day started out early with church at 8:30AM. Bethany and I attend the first service, and during second service we have the wonderful privilege of teaching Sunday school for the 3-year-old kids. Good times...

After church, we drove up to the beautiful Santa Ynez mountains and had lunch at a little tavern tucked away in the mountains. The tavern was a quite a different experience from what we expected... It turned out to be a popular biker hangout (the Harley type dudes). They were keeping busy eating lots of meat and drinking beer. We just laughed and sat down in the restaurant (which was separate from the biker bar). The food was excellent and the atmosphere was fun.

After lunch, I had to kill about an hour of time before we could head down the mountain and go to the beach. Little did Bethany know, 5 of our close friends were preparing a little dessert picnic at a secret spot on the beach. Since it was such a nice day we decided to take a little drive farther up into the mountains and enjoy the green hills and sun.

Here are couple photos I took while we were killing some time.

And these are some photos of the girls getting the setup ready while we were at lunch. Thanks to Amy, Cheryl and Natalie for doing a great job of keeping a secret and making a cool little setup.


I started to get a little nervous for the first time on the drive back. Bethany was under the impression that we were going to the beach to look for pretty shells (her favorite thing to do at the beach). We parked the car and began to walk though the field towards the cliffs that overlook the ocean. A really funny thing happened when we were close to the cliffs. Out of the corner of her eye, Bethany noticed a head popping out of the bushes along with a tripod. It turned out to be our friend David, who was videotaping us as we walked to the destination. Luckily, David was quick enough to lie down in the bushes and hide when Bethany spotted him. She didn't get a good enough look to recognize him. If she would have recognized him, the surprise would of been totally spoiled! Bethany's remark was pretty funny. She said "That's weird, there is some nature photographer in the bushes over there taking photos of plants and stuff". Whew. That was a close one.

Here's a photo of David doing his job (before we arrived).

So we finally reached the edge of the cliff, about to head down the steep trail to a secret cave in the middle of the cliff. This is one of our favorite places to go with friends and have campfires, cook hot dogs and mellows over the fire, and camp out for the night.

This is a photo (from another time) of the cave and a campfire inside of it. The ocean is off to the left.

As we walked down the trail, I had to get one last "Boyfriend Girlfriend" photo before I proposed.

As we rounded the corner and discovered the setup, she then knew what was going on. I gave her the card I wrote and at the end it said, "Eat a strawberry or two and you might find a little surprise." The ring was hiding in the strawberries (in a small box), so we ate a couple and pulled it out. And of course, I got on my knee and asked Bethany to marry me. With an ecstatic YES, we hugged for a while and just enjoyed the moment together.

Here's couple of Taylor's paparazzi style sniper photos. Bethany didn't know that any of our friends were there yet!

We then had popped open a bottle of champagne to celebrate and watched the sunset together.

After about 20 minutes, everyone came out and surprised Bethany. She was really excited to have so many of our close friends there. We then all proceeded to have a campfire and roast some dogs over the fire. Good times...

Our first "engaged" pictures.

Bethany showing off her ring to the girls!

The group!


We then all went back to Bethany's apartment. My mom had already bought a little present for Bethany- 3 thick wedding magazines. The girls had a great time looking though all the different dresses, shoes, honeymoon packages, and all the other millions of things in those magazines. They even talked me into flipping through them and giving my opinion on some dresses...


Well that's the whole story, with all the pictures. Hope you enjoyed it! Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.


Blaine Franger: -

Bethany Coughlin: