I can’t believe it’s already June! It’s really crazy how fast these last few months have gone by. Since Hector and I will be heading into serious wedding planning these next few months and will be just about 1 year away from our big day, I thought it would be fun to start the “Simply Meli Wedding” series with our engagement story!

Hector and I have been dating for 3 1/2 years now and honestly, it has really been the best 3 1/2 years of my life. Every day with Hector is an adventure. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for us!

The last couple of years, we’ve spent New Years in Puerto Rico. Hector is from Puerto Rico so he spends the holidays there with his family.

This holiday, however, was a little different. Little did I know, Hector had a little surprise for me on this trip!
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I flew to Puerto Rico on December 28. Hector was already there with his family. While I was on the plane on my way there, Hector was Facetiming my parents to let them and the rest of my family know of the big surprise. In fact, my WHOLE family was being included in on everything behind my back through group texting and Facetiming. They hid it so well!16107190_1336892833039045_1818419352846359571_oWhen I arrived in Puerto Rico, I knew there was a surprise for me as far as where we were going. I didn’t know that I had TWO surprises. We were going to Isabela, a beach town a couple of hours away from San Juan. Isabela has always been a special place for Hector. It was his childhood. A place where he spent summers with his family and the most important person to him, his grandpa.16113254_1336890689705926_3665276527401410946_oIsabela is known for beautiful sunsets, surfing, and beaches. The first day we got there it rained in the evening so Hector figured that was not the night to propose.

The next day, however, was perfect. We spent the whole day at the beach. Apparently everyone was acting really strange and nervous that day but I was clueless. I was just enjoying the fact that I was feeling the sun again! (Chicago winters.)

Hector at some point told me we were going to go see the sunset, meet his friend for drinks, then meet the family for dinner. I got ready and figured I’d get dressed enough to look nice for dinner. Hector looked even NICER with a new outfit and everything! When his mom wanted me to leave my purse, sunglasses, and my phone behind, that’s when things felt strange. Needless to say, I kept my purse, sunglasses,and phone with me because after all we were going “out” to dinner.Processed with VSCO with f2 presetSo Hector and I start walking, I’m sweating, my hair is still kind of gross from the beach earlier, and we are trying to see a sun that is clearly not really setting.

At one point, Hector tells me to stop and demands me to take photos of the sunset. I had no idea why he was making me take photos of a sunset that I couldn’t even see. But I tried.

Minutes later, Hector tells me he did NOT want to take me to see the sunset, but we were there for a different reason. He then said a lot of words I can’t remember. All I remember is him asking me to be his pain in the butt forever. Naturally, I said, YES!IMG_180316113140_1336891363039192_3246515382936162226_oHe then shows me a PHOTOGRAPHER completely hidden, taking photos of the entire proposal and for a surprise “Just Engaged” mini photoshoot.

I cried and screamed and looked at my ring and screamed again.IMG_6511Processed with VSCO with f2 presetWe take photos with the photographer, while Héctor’s whole family is waiting back at the house. We meet up with them, we’re all crying. They had a huge set up at the house with music, decorations and everything. I Facetimed my whole family and we Facetimed with his.Processed with VSCO with f2 presetIMG_6510We ended the night with a celebratory dinner at Villa Montana (they do destination weddings there too!) to end one of the best days and nights of my life.

As you can imagine, I had always dreamt what it would be like for me the day I got engaged. December 30, 2016 was more than I could have ever hoped for! Hector went above and beyond and I was so happy my family and his were such a big part of the planning process and engagement as well.

I can’t wait to continue sharing our journey with you as we plan this next year for the next exciting chapter of our lives!

Photos: Gilatri Media

Place: Isabela, Puerto Rico




  1. mimbrogno Reply

    Thank you so much Katherine! How fun! You guys are going to love Puerto Rico. I’d recommend visiting Old San Juan for sure. If you guys are into hiking or want to do something active, I’d recommend going to El Junque – their rainforest! It’s amazing! If you want to escape outside of San Juan, Vieques is a beautiful private island. You can go by boat or by small plane! I hope you have so much fun!

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