Amanda and Andrew

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How We Met

Andrew & I met in College at Bulldog Pizza in Duluth, MN – he was slingin’ pizzas + I was serving them – a love story that started with a waitress thinking the pizza delivery boy was super cute. It took a year as friends before we started actually dating, but I was persistent and wouldn’t give up. We met when we were just babes, 21 year olds still trying to figure out who we were and what we wanted out of life. The last 8 years together have brought long lists of struggles, celebrations, job changes, career moves, personal growth and so much love.

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We have faced loss, failure + success side by side, always each other’s biggest cheerleader. There were tough times, hard times and unsure times – but we worked through it all together to make sure our relationship had deep roots and was built to last.

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So 8 years, one house, a handsome pup + endless adventures later – here we were. Content with the life we had built, but ready for the next journey together.

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How He Asked

This past Spring, after a late night of good ales + great company, our friends suggested that we plan a road trip to Colorado in the same timeframe as them, so we could cross paths and team up for brewery tours. Bailey (my good friend, who is also a local wedding photographer) and her husband, Hutch (the tap room manager at the Brewery Drew works at) graciously allowed us to crash their trip and the planning process began!

In early August we packed the car – and our trusty travel companion, Cooper dog – for a 10 day road trip that would take us from Minnesota to Colorado and back again. We snuck in as many natural wonders, campsites, local “must stops”, breweries + dog parks as we could in along the way. The first night we made it to the Black Hills and camped in this awesome spot overlooking the entrance to the park – I remember thinking that this might just be “the trip” but also tried to not to get my hopes up (because let’s be real, I had thought that on the last 3 vacations!) I will come back to this little detail – because in true Andrew fashion, it’s hilarious and so “us”.

So we trudged along through South Dakota, stopping at Mount Rushmore and cruising on through to Fort Collins, CO where we met up with Bailey + Hutch (and Cooper’s Best Friend Summit, their pup) to squeeze in as many brewery tours as possible. Andrew is a brewer, so beer is kind of part of our life + ever present in our travel plans. Bailey and I chatted about our planned sessions we were swapping the next day (we are both lifestyle photographers, so it wasn’t odd to have this planned) at their Airbnb in Rollinsville, CO and we parted ways, Drew and I headed West into the Rockies for the day.

Coming down from some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen, we realized we had taken a little too long in the mountains and we were pressed for time to make it to the Airbnb before we lost sunlight – which meant, no photo session. We were bickering about making it on time, which of course led to some other fight about nothing and then onto how we weren’t engaged yet (Anyone else been in a long term relationship and felt this way? Man oh man, if you do – don’t worry. It’s only natural – and I promise the wait is worth it!)

So we slide into Bailey + Hutch’s cabin in the woods, pop outside for some epic Sunset Mountain photos, and the whole time I am feeling weird, like something is off. At one point, Bailey had us facing back to back and instructed us to turn towards each other – my heart dropped. This was it. It was all happening. Except – it didn’t. I turned around and there was Andrew, handsome as ever and a big goofy grin – but no ring. I laughed it off, thinking again how crazy I was, and we finished up and all headed to the local pizza place for dinner. (Fitting, right?)

On the way back to the Airbnb I kept insisting that I wanted to just pack up and drive into Boudler to get a hotel room, I was tired of camping and wanted a bed and a hot shower and a little comfort – but Andrew was really persistent that we had to camp on this mountain top. While he set up the tent, I called five different hotels – all booked. So alas, our tent in the driveway of Bailey + Hutch’s Airbnb in the mountains was where we would stay.

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

As we were changing and getting ready for bed in the tent, Drew calmly asked me to marry him – something that wasn’t an uncommon phrase for us to talk about in conversation, and had even been asked before, but never with a ring. I was crabby and tired and I thought he was just talking, so I responded with some colorful language about “proving it” and turned over to fall asleep. The next few seconds were the most hilarious, amazing, awkward, but oh so perfect moments of our life. Drew began pulling out everything from his large camping pack, throwing clothes to the side (and I halfway opened my eyes to see what kind of crazy he was getting into) only to swiftly kneel next to me with a small blue box.

I laughed, asking what was happening, and though there wasn’t a lot of words – I knew exactly what was happening. After 8 years here we were, engaged. He told me how he had planned to propose on the first night of our trip, but he couldn’t reach the ring at the bottom of his pack and I had kept insisting to help him grab things out of it – and I fell asleep before he could even try. Every day along the way had been the same thing, something happening that came in the way of his plans, and he wanted to ask me before we left the mountains. Clumsy, unplanned and hilarious – it was perfect in every way.

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

So the next morning we told Bailey + Hutch what had happened (while they were just feet away in the cabin) and she jumped into action, taking some photos of us by our tent, in the drive way, happily engaged.

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

We spent the next few days calling close family + friends, but kept the news off of social media for a week before finally sharing – something I would suggest to all couples after their engagement! It was so special to have those first few days together, celebrating, just the two of us.

I really wanted to share our story, not because we have pictures of the actual proposal or an extraordinarily epic story, but because it’s quite ordinary in so many ways. I think it’s hard not to get caught up in the idea that your proposal might be the most insanely perfect, giant, public show of affection ever – when in reality, it might just be in a tiny tent or over take-out dinner at home or in a place you never imagined. But every proposal is perfect and incredible in it’s own way, because it’s yours, and yours alone.

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com
© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

© Bailey Aro Photography // www.baileyaro.com

Special Thanks

BAILEY ARO PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTOGRAPHER