Hannah and Mason

How We Met

In 2007, my military family settled in a tiny town in Washington, just seven minutes away from his. We met that summer, but we didn’t start falling in love until my brother forced us to dance together at the county fair in 2012. It was a chilly night for August, and I was far more impressed with his clear blue eyes and easy smile than I was with his two left feet! We danced and laughed and talked until the music stopped. I was 19, he was 21.  His friend said they left that night and he couldn’t stop talking about “that girl.” To me, he was still basically the boy next door, but I agreed to go out over peppermint mochas when I got back from college at Christmas.

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That was our first date. Awkward silences, hot coffee, and a shy, “So, do you want to go out again?” I went back to college after another date, but long distance took its toll and we broke up the next summer. We both did a lot of growing up and when we got back together again in 2014, we knew it was for real this time.

How He Asked

My photographer friend, Anna, and I loved finding new places to watch the sunset, so when she took me up to the end of a private-airport runway overlooking our small, country-town valley, I knew I had to take Mason there. It quickly became one of “our spots,” a place we went whenever we were home. It’s halfway up a mountain, so you basically get the view without the hike.

Mason kept talking about Christmas Eve. About how it was his favorite day of the whole year, about how it was soooo romantic and sooooooo beautiful. I could’ve sworn he was going to propose on Christmas Eve, so I didn’t even do my nails for Thanksgiving break! What the heck, right? He wasn’t going to ask on Thanksgiving!

Before I flew home for Thanksgiving, he’d been bugging me about spending Thanksgiving morning on “our mountain” with him. I finally gave in, despite the below-freezing temperatures and *all* the prep I had to do, and we drove up to the airport. On the way, he was exceptionally quiet, but usually I’m the more talkative of us two, so I thought nothing of it. We stopped for peppermint mochas (just like we had on our first date!) at the one coffee shop open Thanksgiving morning. We drove up to the airport and walked along the runway until the view opened up beneath us. It was quite literally freezing, and so I was hugging him to keep warm. He was hardcore shivering, and I could feel his heartbeat through his jacket. I wanted to just stand there and hold his hand, but he kept encouraging me to turn around and take pictures of the mountains behind me. Eventually I turned around and pulled my phone out of my pocket. He put his hand on my back and asked, “Are you happy right now, babe?”

“Of course!” I answered. “Could you be any happier?”  “No, of course not!” I turned around to look for his face, but it wasn’t there. I glanced down to see him on one knee with the world’s most perfect ring in one hand. “What. Are you. Doing?” After a long pause, all he could manage was, “Would you… marry me?”

“ARE YOU SERIOUS?” I shouted. And after I asked about seven more questions, he got up, slid the ring onto my finger, and I finally managed a “YES!” I’m very hard to surprise, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so surprised in my whole life. I couldn’t stop staring for the next few minutes… wait. I still can’t stop staring! Everyone asks if I was surprised, and I just refer them to the chipped nail polish. Does it look like I was prepared for that!?

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But I still wanted pictures of where we got engaged, so for our engagement session, Anna – the same friend who introduced me to the proposal spot years before – took us up to knee-deep snow and we re-created that day: jackets, scarves and all! It was perfect… gorgeous mountains, sparkling snow, and a bright diamond.

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Special Thanks

Anna Cleghorn
Engagement Pictures