Kaitlyn and Michael
How We Met
Michael and I met at our best friends’ engagement party. My best friend was marrying his best friend. It is funny looking back on this day because my friend was trying to set me up with someone else the whole time, but we did not click. Michael says that right when I walked into the door at the party, he was immediately drawn to me. He asked around about me at the party, to find out that I was single! However, because my friend was trying to set me up with someone else, he was told I was “not available”. Michael still went out of his way to talk to me, and I remember being so mesmerized by his beautiful blue-green eyes. I was trying to not give it away that I thought he was the most gorgeous person I had ever seen. He was sweet and charming, and held my attention. I was so interested in him. But because I was “not available”, he did not ask for my number. We left the party both thinking about each other in the back of our minds.
Fast forward to our friends’ wedding, Michael and I were paired to walk together down the aisle. Deep down in my heart, I was so excited! I wanted to be paired with him because I was so intrigued by him. However, during the wedding we both were in other “situations”. We danced our very first dance together (little did I know we would dance our whole lives together) and then went our separate ways after the wedding. My roommate Susu told me after the wedding that good things come in threes. Michael and I had walked down the aisle once in rehearsal. We had walked down the aisle a second time for the actual wedding. The third time would be when we actually walked down the aisle for our wedding. She called this immediately after the wedding before Michael and I had started dating!
By the end of that year, I was single and my mind kept coming back to Michael. Michael ran track in college and now runs marathons. I was running my first half marathon that December. It seemed like the perfect excuse to talk to Michael, am I right?! I messaged him on Facebook, because we had never exchanged numbers, and asked him how I should avoid knee pain when running. It totally worked! He immediately responded with his phone number and we started texting, which eventually led to many dates. After our first date, my sister confidently stated that he was the one for me. She was definitely right! Michael eventually moved to Midland, Texas, where I was going to school, so we would not have to do long distance anymore. After many more dates together, Michael proposed to me! I, of course, said yes!
There is something about Michael that will always keep me coming back to him for as long as I live. We are so happy and so in love and have been meant to be from the beginning.
How He Asked
Michael and I love to be outdoors. I never had a dream proposal in my head, except for that it needed to be outside. Michael knew this and also knew that I LOVE mountains. I am in physician assistant school, so we had been talking about what we wanted to do for spring break. He had his mind set on the hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, and then heading to Charleston to get the mountains, beach, and city vacation in one trip. It was his dream vacation, and after some thought I decided that it would be a great trip. I had no idea that Michael was planning an engagement there from the moment we booked our plane tickets almost five months before.
We arrived in Montreat, North Carolina and it was not ideal weather. It was cold and rainy. We had planned to take a long hike, but the weather was not in our favor. We did a short hike to the top of Lookout Mountain, and all you could see was clouds. It was still beautiful, but for Michael it was causing some stress. He wanted to propose on top of one of the mountains, but he wanted to have the view to be seen in pictures. He had a photographer ready to come the next day for one of our hikes, but he was starting to have second thoughts. He was worried the top of the mountain the next day would not have the view he wanted and would be cold and rainy. He also did not like the idea of proposing with a photographer there because he was worried about it being authentic and being able to enjoy the moment with me – however that moment was meant to play out- but he also knew how much it meant to me to have the moment captured on camera. Meanwhile, I had no idea and was just enjoying my hikes, with or without clouds.
Because of the weather, Michael started looking into other hikes. He came across a hike online called Catawba Falls, where there were gorgeous waterfalls. We both agreed to do the hike, both not knowing that this would be the place he would propose. We arrived at the trailhead and started hiking. Catawba Falls has two waterfalls. The first one we came across was absolutely breathtaking, but was pretty crowded. We noticed that people were climbing the mountain next to the waterfall, and so we followed not knowing where the trail led, just knowing we wanted to enjoy the weather while it lasted.
The next part of the hike was tough. It was slippery rocks, steep inclines, and lots of mud. There were warning signs everywhere stating that this part of the hike was extremely dangerous and to proceed cautiously. Michael kept asking if I wanted to turn around and I said no every time. I enjoyed the challenge, but I was pretty nervous. I also am always trying to impress Michael, so there was no way I was going to chicken out! Finally, after climbing the mountain, we came across a second waterfall. It was absolutely beautiful, and we could not help but stare in awe. Michael said that right when he saw the second waterfall, he knew this was where he was meant to propose to me. But wait, we did not have a photographer anymore! Michael had to start thinking on his feet. He decided to do a self-timer on his camera to capture the moment. We use self-timers all the time when we hike to get pictures of the both of us, so this was not abnormal. Except for this time, Michael was extremely weary about getting the perfect picture (obviously). He had me come and check the self-timer pictures to make sure they were good, and I said they were great and we could hike back.
This is when things got tricky. Michael said he wanted to take the pictures one more time. I was confused because I said we already had the perfect shot and we did not need anymore pictures. He said please just one more picture, and I reluctantly said yes. I then slipped on a rock and landed directly on my back really hard while standing up to head back out to the waterfall rocks to take pictures. I was done, and I told him so, but he kept trying to convince me to take it one more time after he helped me up and it was clear there wasn’t any permanent damage. It was funny, because Michael said after I fell he thought to himself, “Maybe I was not meant to propose to her here.” After I saw how much it meant to him, I told him would take these pictures one more time because I loved him and that was the only reason. The proposal was back on.
Michael set up the self-timer and ran out to where I was under the waterfall for our third set of timed photos by the waterfall. But this time, he posed for one picture, then got on one knee, and proposed. The self-timer camera caught the entire moment. I burst into tears and said yes. It was absolutely perfect because it was outside, in the mountains, and it was just us. It was real and raw emotions and I will cherish this day for the rest of my life. Because Michael was so meticulously about the self-timer camera, the entire engagement was captured on camera. It was and still is the sweetest moment of my life.