Katie and Ryan

How We Met

A little bit about how we met and fell in love…Our story began in 2008 when I was a junior at an all-girls school in high school and Ryan, my now Fiancé, was a senior at the local public school. We were both extremely involved in sports growing up, and even into college, and through sports, we had a mutual connection. I played soccer with one of my neighbors down the street for about 8 years, and her brother was, and still is, best friends with Ryan. Through this mutual connection, we developed a friendship and solid foundation for our relationship, which wouldn’t start for another two years. By the time the end of my senior year rolled around, Ryan was a Freshman in college and we had started to develop feelings for each other. I knew it wasn’t a good idea to start a new relationship the summer before my Freshman year of college, but there was just something about Ryan and the connection we had that I couldn’t ignore.

We started dating my freshman year of college at Arizona State in 2011 and Ryan’s Sophomore year at the University of Nevada, Reno, doing long distance for about 2.5 years. After taking a break for 1.5 years while in college, knowing we’d end up together again eventually, we found our way back to each other in 2014 and haven’t left each other’s side since. A year after graduation, we were both still in our college hometowns but knew we couldn’t do long distance forever and needed to try it out for real! Not long after, I got a job in the Bay Area and Ryan joined me soon after. Three years later, we were living 5 minutes away from each other (both with high school friends) and our relationship had grown tremendously. Our love for each other had grown two-fold and only confirmed for both of us that we were meant for each other. In January of this year (2018), Ryan received a promotion and moved back to Sacramento, and just like he had for me, I found a new job in Sacramento and moved to be close to him and both of our families. At this point, we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, it was a just a matter of when exactly that would happen and when he would pop the question.

How He Asked

It was April of this year and our four year anniversary was quickly approaching. We knew we wanted to celebrate this milestone in a special way. One day while Ryan and I were talking on the phone on my way home from work, like we always did, he said “You know our anniversary is coming up…We should celebrate in Tahoe this year.” We both love Tahoe and have taken many trips there together, so of course, I was all in. On one hand I thought, “Wow, how thoughtful of Ryan to plan a trip for us!” On the other hand, I thought, “Wait, this isn’t like him (or most guys) to plan this far ahead, since our anniversary wasn’t until May 15th…could this be it?? Is he going to pop the question then??” We settled on a date and that was it. We never really talked about the trip or what our plans would be while we were there until the week of.

Katie and Ryan's Engagement in High Camp at Squaw Village in Lake Tahoe, CA

I remember wondering if we were still going because he hadn’t said anything about it. The weekend we had decided on was Memorial Day weekend, which was great because we both had that Monday off. A few days before we left, I confirmed with Ryan that we were still going and if he wanted to do anything in particular. He said he had something small planned for Saturday morning, but the rest of the weekend was free for us to do whatever we wanted. Again, I was slightly suspicious but thought it would be too good to be true. Friday after work, Ryan picked me up from my house, said goodbye to my parents, and we were headed up to Tahoe. We had planned to stay at his parents’ cabin, which is in Kingvale, not far from Tahoe. I kept trying to ask him what we were doing on Saturday but he wouldn’t spill. For some reason, I have a secret gift at ruining surprises that Ryan tries to plan for me, so I understood why he wouldn’t say anything. We got up to his cabin fairly late, and immediately dropped off our stuff and headed to downtown Truckee for dinner.

Proposal Ideas High Camp at Squaw Village in Lake Tahoe, CA

Everything was normal and we were excited for a weekend alone since we both live with our parents. The next morning, we woke up, and I still didn’t know what we were doing. Of course, being a girl, I asked “Soooo what do I wear” and he responded, “Just dress like you’re going to a nice dinner.” He also told me to give him my swimsuit and a change of clothes and he would carry it in his backpack—we might need it later. Mmmm interesting, I thought. We hit the road, and about 20 minutes later, we pulled into Squaw Valley. Ryan had found a Memorial Day festival that was going on in Squaw Village with live music, drinks, and little shops, so we were going to hang out there for the day. I was excited about doing something unique and proud of him for finding something different like that for us to do! Upon our arrival, we grabbed a coffee from this super cute, hipster coffee shop and then started walking through downtown. The weather had been amazing all week, but unfortunately, on this Saturday, it was overcast and sprinkling.

Ryan kept saying how disappointed he was that it wasn’t nice because he didn’t want it to ruin our trip. I told him I didn’t care, I was just happy to be there with him! Soon after, we switched to beers and continued to walk around. At about 1:30 PM, Ryan told me there was another surprise…he had tickets for us to take the tram up to High Camp (aka the top of the mountain). There was also a hot tub at the top with a DJ for Memorial Day, so we could partake in that as well—hence the need for the swimsuits. I was very excited, as I’d never been to High Camp! We got on the tram and although the sky wasn’t clear (usually you can see all of Lake Tahoe), it was still breath-taking. We got to the top and starting to explore, taking some pictures together. It was even colder at the top of the mountain and it really felt like we were up in the clouds, or in Heaven. We decided not to do the hot tub because of the weather but instead headed to the bar, my favorite.

While we were up at High Camp, I noticed that Ryan had been on his phone a lot and didn’t want me to see what he was doing, which isn’t like him. I would ask him who he was texting and he would just ignore me and change the subject. After about three times, I started to get frustrated that he wouldn’t tell me. Not knowing what to say…he told me that one of his friends from Reno was on drugs and he didn’t want to talk about it, as it was a sensitive subject…Little did I know he was texting his friend, from Reno, who was our photographer for the proposal. This story is basically a running joke now—I definitely bought his white lie and we moved on. I also noticed that Ryan had gone to the bathroom several times and was in there for an abnormal amount of time. I started to get irritated because I had been outside waiting for him multiple times…little did I know that he was on the phone with the Event Coordinator and photographer, trying to nail down the final details and meeting point for the proposal, which was just minutes away. Each time I asked him what was taking so long, he blamed it on the pizza we had ate the night before…this is also a running joke between us now. After we finished our drink at the bar, we were pretty much ready to head back down to the village. Ryan said there was one spot outside that looked like a good place to take photos, and of course, being myself and being a girl, I said yassss I love photos let’s go. We started walking outside and because of the weather, there was literally no one else outside, except for our photographer, who at the time, I thought was just a professional, taking pictures of white clouds. We headed to the lookout point and I started to reach into my purse to grab my phone so we could ask “that guy” to take our picture. Before I could, Ryan grabbed my hands and said “You know how much I love you, right?” and I agreed, yes of course, totally obvious to what he was happening. Then he went on: “I’ve known I wanted to be with you for a really long time, it just took some time…” then he went down on one knee and my heart sank…I started freaking out (in a good way), saying “OMG what are you doing, what is going on”, not actually believing that this moment was here….he continued “I want you to be my wife and the mother of my kids, will you marry me?”…as he pulled out the ring box, that he had been hiding in that decoy backpack, I exclaimed…”OF COURSE!!” The photographer had been there to take pictures of us and congratulated us. I was in complete shock but have never been more happy. I had thought about that day so many times in my head, but to actually live it, seemed surreal. 10 minutes later, as we’re taking pictures, our parents and his sister walk out of the building at the top of the mountain, with a platter of champagne and absolutely shocked me. This is when I completely lost it…I was overwhelmed with love and could not believe Ryan had done all of this for me; my heart was so full. I am beyond blessed that our parents were able to share that once in a lifetime moment with us. They arrived, we took photos together, and then told me that they had rooms reserved at Squaw Village for all of us and they were staying the night there to continue celebrating with us. Again, I lost it. I was so overjoyed I thought my heart would explode. We headed down on the tram, back to the Village, this time with our families, and a ring on my left ring finger. After checking into our rooms, there was one more surprise…Ryan had arranged a four-course meal at a beautiful restaurant in the village, that he treated everyone to. We had champagne and drinks and delicious food and continued the celebration throughout the night. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect proposal. It was a dream come true and I cannot wait to marry my fiancé!

Wedding Proposal Ideas in High Camp at Squaw Village in Lake Tahoe, CA

Special Thanks

Chef Carnahan
Photographer