Alexis and Danny

Alexis and Danny's Engagement in Franz Josef Glacier, New Zeland

How We Met

From Her: Danny and I both attended a small (3000 people) college in Illinois named Augustana College. I grew up in the area while Danny was from a Chicago suburb. During our time at Augustana, we met COUNTLESS times… however I must have been being self absorbed because I never remembered Danny’s name! Finally one fateful weekend in January of our senior year we were out with our mutual friends (yes, we spent nearly every weekend with the same mutual group of friends.. again was I self absorbed much or what?!) celebrating the football team’s annual Christmas Extravaganza. I knew I had been around the tall, handsome guy in the dark coat, so I thought I would break the ice by asking his name again with my best smile. What I received from as the COMPLETE opposite of what I expected. Rather than giving me a smile back, Danny immediately looked angry!!

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Franz Josef Glacier, New Zeland

Where to Propose in Franz Josef Glacier, New Zeland

In a rather sharp tone Danny told me “Alexis I have met you so many times over the last four years. I know you are from Orion (true), I know you are a Biology major (true), and I certainly know your name. You can ask someone else what my name is.” He turned and walked away and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. After asking one of our friends for Danny’s name (and asking if he thought Danny would hate me repeatedly), I buried my pride, bought two beers, and went to deliver an apology using “Danny” in it as much as possible. We spent the rest of night laughing and teasing one another. From then on out we were inseparable. The next three years had their ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. From a two week camping trip in Yellowstone 3 months into our relationship, to moving into our first house, to the addition of our two fur babies we have been growing closer and stronger each step of the way.

Alexis's Proposal in Franz Josef Glacier, New Zeland

How He Asked

From Him: Alexis and I had our New Zealand and Tahiti trip booked about 9 months prior to our departure. We spent countless hours planning, getting things booked, saving every penny we could find, and, of course, longing for the day we would embark for our dream vacation. Secretly, I scrimped, saved and planned something special for what turned out to be the best day of our lives. We were leaving for our trip at the end of February 2017, and by the time the 2016 Holiday Season started rolling around, it was time to start putting my plan in action. First step: buy the ring. Coincidentally, one morning a few weeks before Christmas and while I was in the process of buying a ring, Alexis had emailed me about a local family owned jeweler who was retiring. They were offering some great deals on rings, and I figured that I would go compare styles/prices to what I was looking at online.

Turns out, the very day that Alexis sent that email is the day that I bought the ring. When I first saw their best marquise diamond in their inventory, I knew that was the one I had to get for Alexis. It was exactly what she had mentioned she wanted (for two years like 50 times a day ?). It was a perfect stone, but I had to send the ring out to get placed on a special band. I waited for the ring to be completed for about 2 weeks, and in the meantime, I also had to hear almost every day about “that great special that was going on at Diamonds on the Avenue, Dan!! Don’t miss out!” Needless to say, it was tremendously hard to keep the ring a secret and hidden for 3 months, especially during the holidays.

But I knew that the perfect moment was only a few weeks away. Leading up to our trip, Alexis and I had both looked forward to one thing above all else for our vacation: our Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier helicopter tour and hike. Basically, we flew over Middle Earth in a prop plan for 2 hours, had a badass helicopter ride to the top of a Glacier, and got to hike on top of one of the coolest places I have ever seen. Even though our trip was jam packed with highlights including Milford Sound, bungee jumping, snorkeling with sharks and stingrays, Hobbiton and so much more, Alexis and I both looked forward to this tour the most. I knew it was at the top of a glacier on the other side of the planet is where I wanted to ask the love of my life to be my bride. We got VERY lucky.

In the entire month of January, the month before our trip, the helicopter tour only had 4 voyages due to weather. Getting there and getting the approval to fly was the biggest risk involved with this proposal, but we were blessed with a bright sunny day where even standing on the ice, a light coat was all you needed. The next challenge was I really wanted someone to either take pictures or film it. Luckily, we met a ton of nice people on our trip and Megan (if you are out there thank you!!) was kind enough to capture this moment on my phone.

I also had our GoPro strapped to my head like a goofball just in case. But again, we were very blessed to have such a perfect day in a beautiful place with the love we share.

I will never forget that moment. She said yes, and I finally felt whole. I was nervous leading up to the proposal, and it took a lot to make it happen, but every second of planning and every penny spent far exceeds the moment we shared and the life we are lucky to start together. I love you hot stuff.

P.S. Alexis told me after the proposal that she had been hoping I would propose on the glacier. Her suspicions were thrown off, however, when I had to quickly hand her my red fanny pack (which was open) to save my hat from flying away. The nosy girl looked inside! Luckily the ring was safely in my pocket and she was then truly surprised.

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Special Thanks

Air Wakatipu
The helicopter line that helped Danny plan his proposal!!
The Helicopter Line New Zealand
They (especially guide Rachel) were the guides on the ice, taking us to the perfect ice cave!