I’m sorry it’s two months in coming, but I am finally getting around to posting my engagement story! 🙂 It took putting together a wedding website to get me to put it down in words.
Kyle and I had gone hiking with three friends from our Bible study here in NYC, Bonne, Jon, and Susan. Last year we’d hiked the same trails, up in the town of Cold Spring, NY which is about an hour north of NYC. We’d had our first picture taken together, and that was June 2012.
We started the day off this year with breakfast in quaint downtown Cold Spring, and then drove over to the trail head. Kyle had been in charge of planning the trip, and had selected the trail with the most scenic overlooks. Little did Ashley know that there was a very specific reason why.
Everyone else on the hike was in on the surprise, and kept waiting for Kyle to propose, all day long. But Kyle had decided that he would wait until I asked to have our picture taken before he would propose. (Hence his selection of the most scenic trail, sure that would mean I’d ask him for a picture!) He wanted to be able to say that I had picked the spot where we got engaged.
Well, as the day wore on, we hiked and hiked and hiked. And we passed many beautiful overlooks looking out over the Hudson River valley. And every time we passed one, everyone was like “ooh, ahh, so pretty!” but I never asked for a picture.
The poor other people on the hike were probably all anxious, all day, thinking “When is it gonna happen!?” because Kyle had failed to tell them the key detail that his cue to propose would be me asking for a picture.
We made it all the way to the top of the mountain, and again I just said “oh, isn’t this pretty? This is where we hiked to last year,” and promptly kept walking right on by. Poor Kyle was now having to think up back-up plans, and nobody else knew what was going on. Kyle was getting texts galore from his family and my family asking “Has it happned yet!? What’s going on?”, and he had to turn his phone off so I wouldn’t get suspicious. As we hiked down the hill, and there weren’t any more scenic overlooks, he started trying to prompt me to ask for a picture by making suggestions that Bonne & Jon get pictures together. I thought about it, but then decided against it.
Finally we were almost back to the parking lot, and Kyle thought “I can NOT propose to her in the parking lot!” Thankfully, before we got there, we happened upon some beautiful stone ruins in the woods with greenery and vines growing all around them.
I loved them and starting taking pictures everywhere, and exclaiming how beautiful it was! And then I turned to Susan, handed her my phone and asked her to TAKE A PICTURE OF US!
Susan took one normal photo of us, and then after she did, it was starting to rain a little and I was trying to grab my phone and put it back in a plastic bag to keep it dry. But Kyle kept pulling me away and wouldn’t let me go…)
“Kyle! I need to put my phone away, it’s starting to rain!” says Ashley.
“Just wait one minute,” says Kyle.
“No! Its going to get wet!” says Ashley, pulling away trying to take the phone from Susan.
“Just wait one minute, I want to say something” says Kyle patiently.
Kyle went off into a little schpeel, about how when our bible study had hiked these same trails last summer, I had asked him if we could have a picture taken of us. At the time, it was the first picture we’d ever had together as a couple, and I had been nervous to ask him if we could have it taken. I thought he was being sweet and sentimental, as I was still trying to take away my phone and put it away. And then he said “Well, last year you told me that you were nervous to ask for a picture of us. So this year, it’s my turn to ask you a question that I am nervous to ask you!” And he got down on one knee, pulled a beautiful solitaire diamond ring out of his pocket, and proposed!
I was completely surprised, burst into happy tears and said “YES!!”
And Susan was there the whole time, snapping precious pictures of the whole thing. It was fantastic, and I love the backdrop for where he proposed, probably because I picked it! I immediately called my family and my Aunt Jan, and told them the happy news. They all seemed surprised, and very happy for me.
After the proposal, Kyle had even more surprises planned. He duped me into believing that he didn’t have plans for us for that evening, so when my Aunt invited us to come out to NJ for dinner that night to celebrate, I agreed.
When I showed up, Kyle had planned a huge surprise party with (almost) all of our closest friends from the city (a few couldn’t be there), his Abuelo and cousins from Philadelphia, Aunts from Pennsylvania and Delaware, and MY FAMILY HAD DRIVEN UP FROM NORTH CAROLINA! They drove through the night to be there for the surprise, and had all been pretending earlier that they weren’t together! Realistically, they had all heard me tell my story 4-5 times as I called them all one by one, and they tried to stay quiet in the background of the many phone calls. I was so surprised, and so happy!
It was a huge and wonderful surprise party, and I was overwhelmed. Such a beautiful, beautiful day.