Alex and I had been together a year and a half as of Summer 2019 and I was almost positive we were going to be engaged by the Fall. We had talked lots about getting married and I had dropped not-so-subtle hints that I wanted to get engaged in the mountains, I wanted it to be a surprise, and I wanted to have someone there to take pictures… you know, the basics in my mind!
On September 22, 2019 we hopped in the car and hit the road out to Fernie, BC to go hiking one last time before we both left the country for the next few months. Leading up to this day, Alex had me book off two dates for things he was planning for me. He used my upcoming birthday as an excuse for the one but I was a little suspicious that one of these days would be the day he asked.
As things started playing out on our drive up, the likelihood of him proposing that day started seeming less and less so I sort of let it go and my attention turned fully towards just enjoying the last hike of the season in a place I loved.
We got to Fernie and took our time, making extra sure to stop at Big Bang Bagels (a personal fav whenever I pass through). By about 11 we finally made our way up to the Island Lake area. The drive up is full of old forest growth and massive trees on both sides of the road, and I was loving it so I even asked Alex to drive slower so I could take a time-lapse as we went up. Poor Alex thought we’d be there probably an hour earlier…
Finally, we made it to the trail head and started making our way up what I thought would be a full 10km hike up one of the mountain ranges. It was maybe 10 minutes into our hike, I was in front and followed the trail that turned slowly around some trees. And that’s when I saw it.
A sweet little letter-board sign, set up on a table, next to a hand-written card, handmade by the lovely @ladylikecalligraphy.
“KAYLEY WILL YOU MARRY ME?” was clearly spelt out on the board, with the card beside it reading, “With my whole heart for my whole life”.
For half a second I stopped to look at it and thought to myself, “Oh what a cute idea that someone set this up for their girlfriend…”
Then my brain processed it. He was about to ask.
I turned around in pure shock and joy to see my best friend down on his knee with a lovely ring popped open in front of him.
When I look back at these pictures, they bring me back to so much sweet and joy-filled emotion that I felt went by in such a blur during the moment. Alex swears I said “WOW” about thirty times before finally telling him yes and it’s probably true. That was the only word I had to express every bit of excitement and joy that I was feeling.
Our sweet friends then came out from hiding in the bushes and we celebrated with champagne, lots of hugs and more “WOW”‘s.
Needless to say the joy was a little too real so we decided to ditch the hiking plan and just soak up the day in town. We went and got ice cream at a local hub in town and then spent the afternoon by ourselves walking by the river, enjoying the sweet fall air in the mountains and replaying the moment over and over. If there is ever one thing I can recommend to couples getting engaged it’s that: SOAK IN THE DAY. It was so great to call our families right away but after that, we took the whole afternoon and spent it with each other before sharing with any other friends or media or anything like that. Each to their own, but to me this time was so cherished and added an extra part to the day that I’ll forever consider a special moment and place.
To ring in the end of the day, we stopped at one of the best Mexican restaurants I’ve been too – Nevados – and cheers to the best waitress who brought and did celebratory tequila shots with us. That definitely put the cherry on top of our evening!
I’m forever grateful for that day and the man I get to marry this summer. Here’s to the next step in our love story!