Sarah and Gabe's Hanging Rock Mountain Proposal

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How We Met: Here is a little timeline of our journey:
– October 10th, 2008 – Gabe asks Sarah to be his girlfriend at a high school soccer game. Sarah says yes.
– Early 2009 – Sarah and Gabe fall in love.
– November 2009 – Gabe claims that he knew he was going to marry Sarah as far back as their Thanksgiving Dance in 2009; Sarah is a little skeptical of this.
-May 2010 – Gabe and Sarah both graduate from their high schools. Sarah is baptized the weekend of her high school graduation.
– August 2010 – Gabe and Sarah break up because they believe the distance of Sarah being in Boston for school and Gabe being in Argentina for his gap year will be too much strain on their relationship.
– Fall 2010 – Sarah starts undergrad at Northeastern University in Boston. Gabe and Sarah still talk every day despite being “broken up.” Clearly still pretty into each other.
– Valentine’s Day 2011 – Sarah and Gabe get back together, despite thousands of miles of distance.
– Fall 2011 – Gabe begins his undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill. Less distance. Sarah and Gabe come visit each other as much as possible.
– January 2014 – Sarah graduates from Northeastern University and moves back to Chapel Hill.
– August 2014 – Sarah starts at Duke Divinity School. Wonders what’s taking Gabe so long.
– October 10, 2014 – Gabe asks Sarah to be his wife. She says yes.
– November 14, 2015 – Gabe and Sarah will be married!

How He Asked: For their sixth anniversary, Gabe and Sarah planned to spend a weekend in Asheville to celebrate. On the day of their anniversary, they planned to hike Hanging Rock Mt, a beautiful little hike of sentimental significance. Afterwards, they would head to Asheville. Little did Sarah know that Gabe had something extra special in mind.

A few weeks before the proposal, Gabe asked Sarah if their best friend Zach could come along on the hike they had planned for their anniversary. Zach needed a ride to see his girlfriend who lived near Hanging Rock. It only made sense that he would come along!  Sarah was shocked that Gabe would even ask if Zach could crash such an important date! After much convincing, Sarah relented.

On October 10th, Sarah, Gabe, and Zach loaded up the car and headed to Hanging Rock. As they got closer and closer to the park they found themselves in a torrential, unrelenting thunderstorm. Sarah kept asking “Okay guys, are we really going to do this? Even in this rain?” Gabe was so nervous about the impending proposal that he kept getting lost on the ride up to the park. When they finally got to the park, Sarah, Gabe, and Zach, ready for adventure rain or shine, began their hike.

Once they were getting towards the top of the mountain, Zach started to speed up ahead of Sarah and Gabe. Unbeknownst to Sarah, Zach was making sure that the summit was clear, so that Gabe and Sarah could have their special moment with some privacy. Sarah hardly noticed that Zach had jumped ahead.

Once Gabe and Sarah had reached the beautiful summit, Sarah walked toward the edge to take in the view. She turned around to see the love of her life, down on one knee, holding a ring. She was so overwhelmed with joy that she immediately started crying and emphatically nodding her head. Some words were said, but honestly it was all such a blur. The important part is that he asked her, and she said yes!

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Gabe really hit it out of the park. This proposal was the culmination ofmonths of careful planning and secret Facebook group messages. It turns out that Zach came along to throw Sarah off the scent of a proposal, and make sure the scene was clear for the perfect moment. That clearly worked without a hitch! Even in the middle of a thunderstorm, Gabe made the most beautiful proposal imaginable.

He even hired our friend and seriously talented photographer, Carolyn Stotts of CarolynMarie Photography, to secretly shoot the whole thing.

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Photography by CarolynMarie Photography