Hannah and Tyler's Peony Garden Proposal
How we met; by Hannah: In the beginning of 2012 I got my first tattoo: an anchor. It was inspired by the bible verse Hebrews 6:19a, “We have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure.” It references the promise of grace and forgiveness God’s given us all in the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. I wanted the tattoo as a constant reminder to me, and a way to share God’s word with others.
A little over a week later, I got a group together to go bowling. Tyler came along with a friend of mine and we were introduced. That night, he came over and asked me about my tattoo. I shared its meaning with him and we began to talk. I remember him seeming so interested in talking with me; asking so many questions about my life and interests. At the end of the night we parted ways, but I could not stop thinking about him. I wondered why I’d monopolized the conversation and not asked him about himself! I was so interested in this mysterious man, and I wondered his story. I hoped he would ask our friend for my number, or get in touch.
After a few weeks, I found myself stalking him on Facebook. I couldn’t resist but friend him. I felt like a love-sick school girl. We started talking and decided to meet for a coffee. It was the best coffee of my life. We talked and laughed for six hours. I missed an evening class, and we closed out the shop. After that night, my body felt charged, like there was electricity running through me. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. I had constant nervous butterflies in my stomach! But that was just the beginning.
Through the next year Tyler and I grew in love with each other. I dropped out of my evening class to spend more time with him. Some of the butterflies faded, but the nervousness and excitement was replaced with the kind of comfort of being with an old friend. We discovered our paths had crossed so many times prior to our meeting, but timing was everything.
How we met – by Tyler: It was January of 2013 and I have committed fully to accepting life as it came. I didn’t want to miss out on any opportunity and had full faith in Christ to guide me. A spur of the moment night out with friends put me face to face with the most amazing girl I had ever met. Through friends I ended up in a bowling alley watching this girl who would not stop smiling and laughing as she stumbled down the lane. We had been introduced earlier in the night but hadn’t talked since. I did something I have never done in my life, approached a girl. I instantly was enchanted and couldn’t stop asking questions. After talking and discovering how great she really was I thought for sure someone had stolen her heart already.
I left that night knowing that someone like Hannah was exactly what I was looking for in life, not knowing that she was the one Christ had fully intended for me to love.
A few weeks later she got in touch with me and to my surprise she was single. I immediately asked her out for coffee and after spending several hours talking like we had been together for years I knew I was falling in love. 2013 was full of new adventures, discoveries, and love with Hannah and it was only a matter of time until we started the rest of our lives together.
How he asked; by Tyler: Feminine and full-bodied, I’m talking about peonies of course. Hannah’s favorite flower is truly amazing and here in Ann Arbor thousands of them bloom together after Memorial Day for only a few short weeks at the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden. I wanted our engagement to take place somewhere that would last, that we could revisit and was truly special to us, the Peony Garden was definitely that place. Months before I had the ring made but it wasn’t until the week of the proposal that it was truly perfect. I had shared my plan with Hannah’s sister Sarah in hopes of finding the right photographer to capture THE moment. Sarah’s close friend Caili Dalian of S’Mitten Video offered graciously to video the entire proposal and create something special for us.
Two days before the proposal Sarah, Caili and Sam from S’Mitten met in the full bloom of the peony garden. Some back-story was shot and the game plan was set.
I tried to play off that Saturday morning with Hannah like any other, our usual breakfast together at Angelo’s, talks of running some errands later in the day and of course a walk through the peony garden. With nerves running on high we walked into the garden. Butterflies were flying around my stomach trying to escape as we took photos and laughed. I guided her between two of the most perfect beds of peonies. I turn toward her and instantly smiled with excitement. She looked at me and I could see it hit her; it clicked in her head knowing what was coming. Christ had created us for each other, I told her how special she was too me, that it had been a long journey through life and now was the moment for us to began that walk together. I love Hannah with everything I am and can’t wait to see what is to come.
Photography by Sarah Renken
Videography by S’mitten Video