Natalie and Brandon

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How He Asked: Brandon and I have been dating since my freshman year of high school… I’m now a senior at the University of Virginia and we’ve been together for a little over 6 and a half years! We met at a high school football game through mutual friends in Winchester, VA and have been inseparable ever since!

How he proposed: Brandon had been talking about how he wanted to go on a hike for weeks, and we finally figured out a time that worked for both of us. Of course, being outdoors in 100 degree weather when it was hot and humid was not on the top of my list of “Fun things to do this summer,” but I agreed to it anyways because I knew how badly he wanted to go. He decided that we should go to this place called Bear’s Den, along the Appalachian Trail in Bluemont, Va. We heard that it  was an absolutely beautiful place to watch the sunset, and only about a half a mile hike that was super easy and laid back. Sounded perfect to me! On the Friday that we planned to go, it stormed and rained all morning/afternoon long. I wasn’t too concerned though, I just figured that we could go another day. However, it ended up clearing up later in the evening, and Brandon decided that we should definitely still go. He also told me that we were going to grab dinner at a local place right after the hike so I should not wear the oversized t-shirt, nike shorts, and running shoes that I hard already had on. So, I changed my clothes and we hopped in the car and drove to the mountain. When we got there, we immediately started walking up the mountain and made it to the top just before sunset. It was pretty crowded, but there was a rock in the center of everyone that was open, and the most beautiful view of the valley. We sat down for a second, and immediately Brandon wanted to stand back up and move to another rock (little did I know he was just trying to figure out a way for me to stand back up so he could get down on a knee!) I didn’t know what he was thinking because we were in the most perfect spot but I went along with it anyways. A few seconds later, he grabbed my hands and began to say something along the lines of “Natalie Lynn Kloo, we’ve been dating for 6 years…..” and then I immediately knew what was happening. I put my hands over my face and couldn’t hold back the tears for the entire time he was talking. When I finally said yes, he announced it to everyone around us (including the 30 person boy scout troop) and everyone clapped and cheered. It was just incredible! The photographer was hidden behind a rock and captured the most beautiful pictures I could have ever asked for.

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Photos by Sam Cobb