Franciska and Stephen

Where to Propose in Hughenden Valley

How We Met

We met four years ago in Bali. We were in the same volunteering program in Ubud, he was doing construction in schools there and I was teaching in them. We quickly became best friends and spend literally every second we had together in Bali. Stephen is from the UK and I’m from California, so after Bali, we spend the year making every effort to meet up in different places around the world. First, we met up in Amsterdam, then that summer I came to visit him in London and then, finally when he came to visit me that fall in California, we confessed our love for each other. We made a quick decision that I would move to the UK that December so we could be together. It’s been three years since I moved and we are both so thankful we took the risk!

How He Asked

The day started with Stephen waking me up just as the sun was rising on the weekend of our anniversary and, as I am not a morning person, I was begging him for a couple more minutes sleep. He then told me he had a surprise planned for our anniversary and didn’t have much time to waste. He didn’t have to say much more, I was up and ready within minutes. We quickly got into the car and drove off to the surprise. We arrived at Hughenden National Park and since fall is my favorite I was so excited to see all the leaves there changing to their beautiful fall colors. Finally, Stephen told me the surprise, “we are hunting for buckeyes today!” I have such fond memories as a child hunting for Buckeyes.

We never had them in California so when I first saw them in the UK I was over the moon and proclaimed we would collect them every fall! Needless to say, I was very excited to have a day planned out for it. Stephen had even mapped out all the buckeye trees in Hughenden. We followed the map and stopped at every tree to pick up the best ones and then continued.

When we got to the last tree we couldn’t find any. Stephen, who had already planted a very special buckeye, pointed it out for me. As I looked at it, still in its thorny green shell, I thought it looked a bit strange. Stephen told me to pick it up and open it. I picked it up and realized it was made of wood, and as I opened it a tiny wooden buckeye flew to the ground.

Franciska's Proposal in Hughenden Valley

That’s when Stephen got to his knee, opened the Buckeye and asked me to marry him! I was in disbelief, totally surprised! I didn’t actually get a chance to look at the ring until he put it on my finger. After I finally did look, I couldn’t stop looking!

Special Thanks

Webster Photography | 
Photographer