A romantic marriage proposal carefully staged on a outcropping of rocks at a scenic beach in Southern California, turned into an epic disaster when, in mid proposal, the loving couple was blasted by a rogue wave and rolled onto the shore.
Fortunately, Matt and Lis were unharmed, the diamond engagement ring survived the ordeal, and the lovely, but soaked to the skin, bride-to-be eventually said, "Yes."
Lucky for us, photographer Jonathan Hwang — a friend of the couple — was on hand November 21 to document this memorable moment for all of us to enjoy. His still photographs are breathtaking, and the companion two-minute video, with 383,000 YouTube views, is both shocking and hilarious. The story and video hit The Huffington Post last week and quickly went viral.
Here's how it all went down, according to an account by Hwang.
Matt Hartman had planned the perfect marriage proposal. It would take place at the scenic Aliso Beach at sunset. He would lead his girlfriend, Lis, from the beach to an outcropping of flat rocks, where he would serenade her with a song he composed especially for the occasion.
Then he would drop to one knee and present his love with a diamond engagement ring. But before Hartman could complete his proposal, something went terribly wrong...
Apparently, Mother Nature wasn't going to cooperate on this day, and she let loose with a mammoth wave that blew the couple off the outcropping and sent them tumbling onto the beach. Undaunted, the soaked lovers collected themselves and completed the proposal on dry land.
According to Hwang's account, Hartman slowly opened the jewelry box and let out a huge sigh of relief upon discovering that the ring was still there.
Photographer Hwang had a suspicion the day might end up wetter than expected. Hartman's original plan was to have his friends set up a path of candles leading to the rock outcropping. That part of the plan failed when a large wave wiped out the candles and the friend who was laying them down.
"Having witnessed that scene, everyone began to panic and we almost decided to have the proposal on the beach instead of out on the rocks," Hwang told petapixel.com. "I tried my best to reassure everybody, telling them, 'What are the chances of it happening during the actual proposal?'"
The photographer was embarrassed to admit that he was secretly hoping they would be swallowed by a wave. "Looking back, it probably was not the wisest thing to put the two in potential danger," he said, "and thankfully nobody was hurt." Here's the video...