Bianca and Derek

How We Met

Derek and I met on an ordinary Tuesday night at a meeting for a church nonprofit that we were both volunteering for in California. I had just returned from an international trip, and was incredibly jet-lagged, until Derek walked into the room. I introduced myself, and throughout the evening, I kept thinking to myself, “who is this guy volunteering and committing his time to something other than work and friends? I want to know him better.” Our president of our nonprofit mentioned that Derek was also from Colorado, and we immediately clicked and found out we grew up 45 minutes from each other, but it took us moving to California to finally meet. Long story short, our friendship rapidly grew through our volunteering with each other and our team hikes, lunches, and meetings. I always noticed his kindness, his willingness to help, and his integrity- three very important things to me in a husband. After a few months, Derek and I began officially dating and had no idea how beautiful this journey was going to be. That fall and winter, we found it so fun and convenient that we could fly home to the same airport together for the holidays. Meeting each other’s families and seeing how quickly we clicked was something that was so important to both of us. Our relationship has been the most enriching and loving journey- I didn’t know something could be this good. Till this day, he continues to exemplify the qualities that I was so attracted through in the first few months of getting to know him- integrity, honesty, and a strong work ethic. I honestly did not know men like Derek existed.

How He Asked

Since Derek and I are both from Colorado, we usually go home for our birthdays to celebrate with family. Derek’s birthday is in October, and we had flights booked 6+ months in advance to go home and be with family to celebrate him. We flew home on a fall Friday for what I thought was to celebrate his birthday weekend. After landing at the Denver airport, Derek and I drove up to Idaho Springs and he took me on a hike to Saint Mary’s Glacier, this stunningly beautiful mountain hike with a lake and the most scenic background. At the top of the mountain, at 10,000 ft elevation and 29 degree weather, Derek took me by surprise and got down on one knee.

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His speech included our entire journey as a couple as well as explaining the kind of husband he wants to be for me. Halfway through his speech, he told me that he wished my dad could be here for this day, but instead he went to my dad’s grave and asked for his blessing to marry me. He also asked my mom, both of my brothers, and my uncle for their blessings. You can imagine the tears streaming down my face as I said “yes, a million times yes.” I don’t remember looking at the ring or him putting it on my finger. As he stood up, he told me to turn around and introduced me to the photographer that just caught the proposal on camera. We popped a bottle of champagne and took in the moment of being able to call each other fiancé. On the drive back to his parents, I bawled as he told me more detail about asking my family for their blessing and how they responded. They all knew it was him from day one. I remember the night I met him- I thought to myself, “This is my husband.”

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Bianca and Derek's Engagement in Colorado

Special Thanks

Grace Gatto Photography
Photographer