Ashley and Chris didn’t have a conventional relationship starting out, but this isn’t your typical proposal either!  Chris decided to make things interesting by sending Ashley on a scavenger hunt.  With the help of friends, local artist Amberella (who Ashley adores!), and Cao Films this proposal was definitely special in every way.  You may want to grab a tissue, because this one’s a tear-jerker!  Keep scrolling to see this couple’s love on film, and to read more of their amazing back story!


When did you first realize you wanted to propose to Ashley?

“There wasn’t one distinct moment in time that particularly stands out. I think it was a culmination of many moments where I realized that this girl really loves me, accepts me for me, challenges me to be a better version of myself and that I should start saving for a ring.”
Scavenger Hunt Proposal with Philadelphia Artist Amberella Cao Films Paolo Tanjuakio Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings
“For the longest time, I’ve prided myself on doing things unconventionally, being creative, and thinking outside-of-the-box. When I thought about what a successful proposal entailed, I broke it down into: (1) include things that I knew she had a deep love for, (2) incorporate sentimental elements that spoke to the unique history of our relationship, (3) lean into my strengths and do something that resonates with my personality, and (4) shock and awe.
 1. There were a variety of things I knew I had to include. First, art from her favorite artist, Amberella. Every time a new piece of hers would pop up around Philly, Ashley would always express an affinity for her work. Next, I knew that I had to involve her close friends and loved ones. Lastly, I knew I had to integrate her love of giving/receiving cards on special occasions.
 2. I realized that the city of Philadelphia played a big role in our relationship. The city was sprinkled with locations that served as the backdrop to many milestones and frequent visits — despite the fact that I was living in NY and she was living in DE for a majority of our relationship. From the first place we met to the location of our new home, I knew I had to somehow incorporate these locations together.
 3. I’m a very atypical Filipino. I was not blessed with the talents of song and dance, so those options were out the window. I, however, leaned into my past experience and expertise. With multiple locations, multiple inanimate objects, and multiple friends, it dawned on me that a scavenger hunt made the most sense. I would use Amberella’s art as the markers of the locations, the cards as her map, and her loved ones as the sherpas guiding her through the experience.
4. This was the easy part. Aided by the veil of her 30th birthday, it was easy to mask the proposal as a birthday gift until the last moment.

Although there were a lot of moving parts, it was beautiful to see this labor of love come together. Through the buy-in of 10 amazing people, a colored-coordinated spreadsheet, strategic compartmentalized structure, and one entertaining group text, what was once a disjointed, complicated concept in my brain turned into one of the happiest days in my life.”

Ashley & Chris :: The Proposal :: from Cao Films on Vimeo.

Ashley: “I was in complete shock. I knew we would get engaged soon, but had conversations that it would NOT be on my 30th birthday. My reaction was just tears, tears, and more tears. I was so happy with how Chris did everything. It was perfect.”

Scavenger Hunt Proposal with Philadelphia Artist Amberella Cao Films Paolo Tanjuakio Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

Scavenger Hunt Proposal with Philadelphia Artist Amberella Cao Films Paolo Tanjuakio Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

“We met back in 2009 when my friend, Mike, and I were interested in starting a Filipino student organization at our school (University of Delaware). I reached out to Chris, who was active in his organization at Temple University. We arranged a very informal meeting to meet Chris at the Qdoba on Temple’s campus. Little did I know, that at this first encounter, that I would be meeting my future husband. A few years passed, we were in and out of touch..different relationships, a few moves, it always seemed like bad timing until Chris moved back from LA in 2014 and that’s when things really fell into place for us.”
Scavenger Hunt Proposal with Philadelphia Artist Amberella Cao Films Paolo Tanjuakio Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings

“I started wedding planning even before we got engaged. (j/k, kind of not really), but I have always been one of those girls that fantasized about their wedding. After getting engaged, I pretty much started planning the next day! It has been the best experience. I am so excited.”


Vendors | Videographer: Cao Films | Street Art: Amberella | Photography: Paolo Tanjuakio

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