Marlee and Samuel

How We Met

Sam & I met in South Africa. This is where our story begins. If you know either of us, you know we are two people who have a passion for God, loving people, & chasing adventure. We signed up for South Africa thinking that was the biggest adventure yet, but God had other plans in mind. Flash forward 4 years later. Sam is in Seattle & I’m in… Puerto Rico? And he messages me on Instagram asking me to accompany him to a country concert- BUT, not just any concert, my FAVORITE country artist, on Saturday. (Keep in mind this was Wednesday). The catch? It’s in Arizona. So what’d I do? I got home from Puerto Rico late Thursday night, packed a bag & was on an airplane to Phoenix the next day! That was the best “yes” decision I have ever made. It was the start of something magical.

Where to Propose in Zion National Park

How He Asked

It was July 31 & we were jogging to make the sunset. We were hungry, exhausted & laughing because the back road of this hike was almost impossible to find. At one point we were following a speeding minivan on a dirt road. Luckily, we asked a local who told us “if you’re trying to make it to the observation point its definitely “that way” & he pointed in the opposite direction of where we were going. Sam had never done the hike before, but he had it all planned out. (Little did I know). We finally made it to the trailhead after countless dirt road turns & breathed a sigh of relief.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Zion National Park

Knowing Sam had planned this hike to watch the sunset, we hurried onto the trail. We came across a family with little kids & decided to ask how long the hike was. (Sam was under the impression the hike was only 1 mile). “It’s about 3 more miles,” they said. We looked at each other; they must’ve seen the look of surprise on our faces because the next thing they said was, “But- it’s definitely worth it!”

I don’t know if I have ever walked faster in my life; we SERIOUSLY chased the sun. About 3 miles into the hike- Sam’s shirt off, my legs cramping; we made it to the top. I was SO relieved to see this woman in red because the sun was going down…fast! I was convinced we wouldn’t find our way back to the car in the dark. As I approached the edge I was overwhelmed by the vastness & beauty of the canyons before me. How high, how wide; it was unlike anything I had ever seen. Sam eventually joined me near the edge after asking me about 12 TIMES if I wanted a bite of my sandwich or a drink of water (he was definitely trying to throw me off! ).

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Zion National Park

He put his arms out against my arms & said “stand right here” as he went down on one knee. “NOO! Are you Serious?” I said in shock. I remember thinking how surreal it felt. I wondered what this day would entail since I was a little girl & here it was. Here I was & here he was, & it was nothing short of magical. I fell to my knees & wrapped my arms around him. “Yes, oh my gosh, yes!” And if you guessed we cried? You’re right we did- tears of joy. “You didn’t even look at the ring!”

He said. So I looked. And, while I thought It was the most beautiful ring I have ever seen, it was not about the ring, it was about him. There’s nothing better than saying “yes” to marrying your very best friend & love of your life. He surprised me in the best way. And the woman in red? Her names Arika, he hired her to capture this magical moment. Wow. I cannot wait to be his wife.

Special Thanks

Arika Bauer
Photographer