Engaged! 7 Insanely Cute L.A. Couples

Photographed by Molly Cranna.
L.A. isn't exactly a city for love. Hollywood's neon lights and artificial emotions often cast a shadow over what's real, resulting in implausible expectations and unmet desires. The city's sprawling geography and early closing times can also lead to antisocial, loner behavior. Plus, if you do decide to venture out, it doesn't help that the city is so sprawling, it makes spontaneity of practically any kind almost impossible. 

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, this all begs the question: What truly constitutes the quintessential L.A. love story? Forget about all those ridiculous rom-com plots (um, traveling across the world to find a man named Damon Bradley because a Ouija board told you to? No, thanks). In reality, we think it's just about two people with a genuine connection deciding to commit to one another. And, surprisingly, there's a lot more of that going on in L.A. than you may think. 

Ahead, meet seven local couples who recently decided to get hitched. Read their stories, and then wipe that cynical, jaded look off your face, and start believing that real love can happen — even in Los Angeles.
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1 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Name: Kate Brien
Profession: Stylist, creator of View from the Topp

Name: David Kitz
Profession: Artist

How did you meet? When did you first start dating?
DK: "We actually met in middle school! I had a huge crush on Kate, but she was very cool and I was 5'2" and looked like I was nine. About five years ago, we ran into each other at the bar where I work. We recognized each other immediately, and by the end of the night I asked her for her number so that I could take her out before she went back to New York, where she was living at the time. We had an amazing date and continued to talk and visit one another over the next few months, until Kate finally moved back to L.A. and we made it official."

How did the proposal go down?
DK: "Our four-year anniversary was coming up and we decided it would be fun to take a little trip to Costa Rica. I had been thinking a lot about proposing, but had no real plan. As soon as the trip was booked, I realized it would be the perfect place to ask her to marry me. During a walk on the beach at sunset in Playa Guiones, I got down on a knee and popped the question. It was completely cliché, but it was the happiest moment of my life."

Kate, were you expecting it?
KB: "I had a feeling that things were going in that direction, but I had no idea he was going to propose when he did. Needless to say, I was very happy!"
2 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Tell us about the ring.
KB: "The ring was custom-made by Cathy Waterman, with help from her daughter, Claire, who happens to be one of my best friends. I’ve always loved and admired Cathy’s work, so David knew to go to her when he was ready to take things to the next level. Having a ring designed especially for me by the people I love makes it so much more meaningful."

Have you made wedding plans yet?
KB: "Yes! We’re planning to get married this November in Tulum."

Finish this sentence: "I think we’ll be the kind of old couple who..."
DK: "Wear matching outfits."

KB: "Still spoon."
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3 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Name: Laura Byun
Profession: Chemistry teacher

Name: Jason Chang
Profession: Advertising producer

How did you meet? When did you first start dating?
LB: "I met him at church. It was my first Sunday in New York City. He ushered me to my seat."

How did the proposal go down?
JC: "It's pretty cliché, but I knew I wanted to marry Laura from the first few dates we went on — so, I decided to film everything we did together. I mean, everything — from even as far back as 2012. I did this so I could one day show her what our life is like together, and why she should eventually say yes to me.

"For the day of the proposal, I had coordinated with my friends at the restaurant Black Hogg in Silver Lake to host the surprise proposal and our celebration dinner afterwards. We planned for Laura and I to come by the restaurant when it was closing for the day to pick up some quick sandwiches before we had to head to a party. Prior to this day, I edited the entire video and put it on my iPad for her to watch while we waited for our food. I also set up multiple hidden cameras around the restaurant, and had a friend hide behind the bar to film the incredible moment when I would propose to her. Nearing the end of the video, I excused myself to go to the restroom so I could prepare (and maybe throw up a little because I was so nervous). After I popped the question, her closest friends and family, who were hiding in the kitchen, popped out and surprised her. It was the happiest day of my life, and the proposal was the perfect ending to my video: the three-year journey of how I got her to say yes."

Wow! Laura, were you expecting it?
LB: "On the day of the proposal, he picked me up, and it was at an awkward hour, when it was kind of too late to eat lunch but way too early to eat dinner. But, he kept insisting that he was starving. When we finally arrived at the restaurant, he asked me to take a look at the first draft of his new video, and I still didn't expect anything."
4 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Have you made wedding plans yet?
LB: "Our wedding is set for May 23. We wanted to go for that minimalist and industrial look, and discovered a beautiful warehouse space in Downtown L.A. called 440 Seaton."

Finish this sentence: "I think we’ll be the kind of old couple who…"
JC: "Thinks they can solely survive on $1 carne asada tacos for the rest of their lives."
5 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Name: Kristie Streicher
Profession: Eyebrow specialist

Name: David Golden
Profession: Orthopedic surgeon

How did you meet? When did you first start dating?
KS: “I met Dr. Golden on January 9, 2012. I [had been] ice-skating the day after Christmas, on a frozen lake in Northern California near Lake Tahoe, and fell on the ice, injuring my knee. When I returned home to L.A., I sought out the ‘Best Orthopedic Surgeon in L.A.’ and ended up at Dr. Golden’s office. He was very professional, and waited until I was no longer in his care [to send] me a beautiful note. We went out on our first date the very next day, February 15, 2012.”

DG: “I was fortunate enough to have her simply walk into my life, as my patient. I was completely taken with her, but since I was professionally treating her, I had to wait until I could release her from my care in order to ask her out.”

How did the proposal go down?
KS: “David and I were in Lake Tahoe celebrating Christmas, decided to go on a hike, and ended up at Cascade Lake, the exact place I injured my knee. He then got down on his knee and proposed. I screamed, 'YES!' as loud as I could, as the echo carried through the mountainous valley.”

DG: “I thought of a thousand different ways I could propose, but none of them were as meaningful as choosing the place where it all started.”
6 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Tell us about the ring.
KS: "David was kind enough to allow me to design my own ring, which was amazing and really fun. I wanted a band instead of the traditional solitaire. I chose diamonds in rose gold, in a braided-like setting. I LOVE it!"

Have you made wedding plans yet?
KS: "We’ve talked about summer '16 in Lake Tahoe."

Finish this sentence: "I think we'll be the kind of old couple that..."
DG: "Treats each other with love and respect, and still laughs at the same corny jokes."
7 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.

Name: Julie Van Winkle
Profession: Math teacher

Name: Rahul Subramanian
Profession: Advertising sales

How did you meet? When did you first start dating?
JVW: “We started dating about two years ago. We met online, on OkCupid. We set up a date at a bar on the west side, drank a considerable amount of drinks, had a somewhat awkward first kiss — and the rest is history!"

How did the proposal go down?
JVW: “Rahul had a pretty great plan for the proposal. He asked our friend Pam to invite us to an event in Chinatown, which was walking distance from where we lived at the time. The logical way to get there is through a really pretty park in Downtown L.A. As we walked past the fountain on our way to Chinatown, he got down on one knee and said a bunch of really sweet stuff that neither of us remembers, because he was really nervous, and I was just thinking, 'Oh, wow — he is really doing this!' Meanwhile, his other friends were hiding behind a bench and snapping photos.”

Were you expecting it?
JVW: “We were in the process of buying a house, and we had talked about getting married, so yes, I was expecting Rahul to propose. In fact, his mom was texting us on pretty much a daily basis to see if he had done it yet!”
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8 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.

Have you made wedding plans yet?
JVW: “Yes, we are getting married on March 14 — soon! A friend recommended the venue to us — The Women’s Twentieth Century Club of Eagle Rock — and we really liked it. It is an old, historic house with a lot of character. They were almost entirely booked for over a year in advance, with the exception of March 14, which happens to be Pi Day (remember, I’m a math teacher)! Our ceremony is not going to be religious, but we will be incorporating some Indian traditions — I will be wearing a sari, and we will exchange flower garlands. The music and food will be a mix of Indian, Polish, and Mexican. It will be pretty eclectic, and all DIY.”

Tell us about the ring.
JVW: "Rahul picked it out and did a really great job! Garnet is my birthstone, and the other stones are white sapphires."

Finish this sentence: "I think we’ll be the kind of old couple who…"
JVW: “Appreciates each other more and more over time.”
9 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Name: Kira Vidergauz
Profession: Investment banker at the Sage Group

Name: Jordan Bahat
Profession: Commercial and music-video director

How did you meet? When did you first start dating?
KV: “We started dating the summer after we graduated from college, but we had known each other for much longer. We went to middle school and high school together, basically since we were 11 years old.”

JB: “We were just friends at the time, and we had planned to go out to a movie. I was late to pick her up, so we missed the movie and ended up spending more time talking instead — and at a certain point, it started to feel like a date.”

How did the proposal go down?
JB: “I had the ring for about a month before the proposal, but I had to wait because it was around the same time as my brother’s wedding, and I didn’t want to take anything away from that. I hid the ring behind a DVD box set of The Godfather. She’s never seen the movie, but I figured it was a safe place. Anyway, on a Tuesday, she mentioned out of the blue that she wanted to see The Godfather, and I had a total panic [attack]. Either it was a sign or she was onto something... So, we planned to watch the movie the next day. I still wasn’t sure if I was going to do it, and then, about three o’clock the following day, I just started winging a plan together. I ordered an obscene amount of meatballs and Italian food. [I lit] whatever candles we had around the house. It was a scramble, but I really felt like I had to do it at that moment. When she got home, she could see I’d put effort into setting a scene, but she just thought it was a little bit of ceremony for her first time watching the movie. In other words, my extravagant planning was mundane enough not to give away what was to come. She came home from the gym, and I asked her if she’d grab the movie off the shelf; the ring was hiding behind it.”

Kira, were you expecting it?
KV: “It was a random Wednesday night, and I was completely surprised.”
10 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Tell us about the ring.
KV: “Jordi designed the ring himself, with a little help from my mom. The jeweler is this phenomenal man, a true artist. He is 87 years old and used to be the South African wrestling champion back in the day."

JB: “The man’s name is Joe Melamed, and he has his workshop called Pejois tucked away in Beverly Hills. It’s just him and his soldering station. He’s exactly the kind of guy you hope and imagine you’ll be dealing with when it comes to the ring.”

Have you made wedding plans yet?
KV: “We are getting married this summer in L.A.”

Finish this sentence: "I think we’ll be the kind of old couple who…"
JB: “Walks into a deli and everyone knows our names. Like the show Cheers, but a deli. We’ll strut in — or, Kira will strut, and I’ll possibly be in a motorized scooter, gunning it towards our reserved booth. The staff will know our orders. She’ll get a pastrami sandwich, deconstructed, so she can make it herself. And, I’ll order the left side of the menu.”

KV: “Still feel like our 11-year-old selves when we are together.”
11 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Name: Gari Askew
Profession: Photographer

Name: Poppy Orphanides
Profession: Production manager

How did you meet? When did you first start dating?
GA: "This May, it'll be eight years! Initially, [we met] at a bar. It was late on a Sunday night, and [it] was closed to the public — just a small group of us...celebrating a friend's birthday."

PO: "We all went to another location, and then another. The whole time, we were flirting and arguing, until we finally exchanged details."

How did the proposal go down?
PO: "It was supposed to be a fishing trip he planned with his guy friends that fell through, and I joined instead. We drove from Atlanta for five hours to St. Marys in Georgia, got on a ferry to Cumberland Island, and spent the day taking photos and enjoying the beautiful landscape. It started to rain, and it was only more beautiful and romantic. Before we got on the ferry to get back, Gari said he wanted to do one last look around, and he found an opportunity to get on his knee and propose!"

Were you expecting it?
PO: "I was not expecting it at all! I had absolutely no idea — even when he got down on his knee, I still didn't realize what was going on!"
12 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Tell us about the ring.
GA: "I shoot for the jewelry brand Tacori, and Poppy had mentioned that she loves the brand...and was hoping to own a piece — so I knew that it would be a great idea to get her a Tacori ring!"

Have you made wedding plans yet?
PO: "We know we want to get married in Sydney, Australia, and are considering February 2016."

Finish this sentence: "I think we’ll be the kind of old couple who…"
PO: "Are happy and have great stories to share of all of our adventures together!"
13 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Name: Janah Brooks Adickman (left)
Profession: Casting producer and chef

Name: Lauren Schlossman
Profession: Senior casting producer and culinary consultant

How did you meet? When did you first start dating?
JBA: "We started dating over three years [ago]. We met at the Food & Wine Festival in Malibu in 2011. I was dating someone else — she chased me for about three months! So, after being friends for about three months, I broke up with the person I was dating, and Lauren and I gave it a go.”

How did the proposal go down?
JBA: “I had told Lauren it was just a date. We’re space nerds, so I initially wanted to take her to the Griffith Observatory for it. But then, I decided to have a telescope on the beach.”

LS: “So, she sets up this picnic on the beach with a telescope. And, she’s acting all weird — I tried to kiss her and she threw me off, which I found out soon after was because my parents, her parents, and my grandparents are all watching from the pier. She knew this; I didn’t. She tells me to go look through the telescope — it’s 4:30 p.m., so there’s nothing to see. I keep looking in the telescope and then looking back up at her, being like, 'This is so fun, but I can’t see anything!' This whole time, she’s trying to get the ring out of her pocket without me seeing. She finally just puts this velour box in my hand and drags me back to the picnic blanket. I mean, the minute that box hit my hand, I was having an instant panic attack. Then, she got down on one knee and I said 'yes' a million times.”

Were you expecting it?
LS: “Well, in the car on the way to the beach, I said, ‘You’re not proposing to me, are you?’ She goes, ‘What? No! Why? I’m going to propose to you when we’re in sweatpants in our apartment, watching Law & Order: SVU.’ I said, ‘Good. I’ll say yes to you then.’"

JBA: "Unbeknownst to her, I was going to propose to her in about 20 minutes in this whole elaborate thing on the beach.”

LS: "Then, two weeks later, I surprised [Janah] and proposed to her, in our sweatpants watching Law & Order: SVU."
14 of 14
Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Tell us about the ring.
LS: "When Janah told me she wanted a ring, too, I went to the same diamond dealer and said I need the same quality — but better."

Have you made wedding plans yet?
LS: "Yes! In 25 days!"

Finish this sentence: "I think we’ll be the kind of old couple who…"
JBA: "I just imagine being like the old man who sits there holding the wife's purse while Lauren shops."
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