Ashwin & Chai’s Surprise Proposal at Lyon Street Steps | Pacific Heights Engagement Photography

Ashwin flew from London to San Francisco last weekend to give Chai the sweetest surprise!

The two first met each other in London when they were 15, then reconnected a few years ago… which sounds uncannily similar to the story of yours truly! After lots of planning and help from Chai’s friends, Ashwin was ready to give her a huge surprise at the top of the Lyon Street Steps. He even flew his family all the way from London and hers from Seattle for their post-proposal dinner, all unbeknownst to her — she thought he was asleep in London!

Chai’s friends brought her to the Steps under the guise of having some Saturday afternoon tea. They were all dressed up and had their nails done together, and wouldn’t it be nice to check out the view from the Lyon Street Steps while they were nearby? Once there, they conveniently bumped into Annie, who helpfully volunteered to help them take some photos. Once it was Chai’s turn, while Annie was busy posing her and making sure she didn’t look back, Ashwin quietly walked up the steps and gave her a great surprise.

Ashwin describes, in his words, how the events unfolded:

Proposing to Chai always had to be a complete surprise, and coming to San Francisco when she least expected it was the perfect way for me to do just that. I had begun planning with her four best friends more than a month before the big day – with every last detail thought through, I was in the enviable position of being able to spend the entire day looking forward to that moment I walked up the steps… Chai’s reaction will always be one of the most memorable events in my life, and after weeks of playing out this moment in my head it was truly even more emotional than I imagined. Getting down on one knee and holding her shaking hand gave me a sense of excitement I will never feel again – it really is a once in a lifetime experience asking the woman of your dreams to marry you, and looking back at it all, I would not change a thing!

As Chai eloquently recounts:

I embarked on a fun day with my best gals, drinking champagne for breakfast, getting our nails done, and enjoying a splendid afternoon at high tea. As we nibbled on our final scones and sandwiches, it was only natural that we would end up sunbathing at a beautiful park in the city, taking selfies upon selfies. As we approached the picture perfect Lyon steps in Pacific Heights, we needed a friendly soul to take a group photo of us, that conveniently happened to be Annie… so up I went, in search of the next profile picture. Little did I know that a special someone was about to photobomb. Ash slowly walked up the steps behind me and gently tapped me on the shoulder, asking if he could join the photo. I turned around to see him and my mind was blown! From meticulously editing his travel itinerary to say he was visiting SF the weekend after, to sending me a goodnight text earlier in the day as though he were asleep in London, he gave me no reason to believe this was possible. Before I could let it sink in, Ash got down on one knee to ask me just one more question. In this moment, I realized what was happening — this was the most important question of my life, and one that I had dreamed of hearing since I first fell in love with him over 12 years ago. He told me that I was the girl that made him realize what loving someone really meant. As he popped the question, I could say nothing else except YES. I was overwhelmed with excitement… It truly was a surprise of a lifetime.

See this story unfold in the photos below!