Sarah and Kyle

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How We Met: I met Kyle through a mutual friend when I first moved back to BC from Ontario in August 2010. Kyle had been out drinking with friends all day and met myself and our mutual friend at Browns in Port Moody where we were both living. Kyle being somewhat tipsy had decided to call me ‘Jake’s girlfriend’ (Jake being our mutual friend), instead of actually calling me by my name. As I was not dating Jake this obviously annoyed me. We spent the night with friends eating and drinking and celebrating my coming up birthday. By the end of the night Jake ended up leaving me stranded with Kyle to find our way home. Kyle was nice enough to get a cab which dropped me off at my place before bringing him home. I had decided Kyle wasn’t so bad but I was by far not interested in dating him.

A few months went buy of texts and hanging out together with other friends when I started to realize Kyle had a ‘crush’ on me but like I said, I wasn’t interested in that kind of relationship with him.
Right before Christmas we began hanging out more and one night while at an ugly Christmas sweater party Kyle was actually quite the gentlemen and made sure I was OK throughout the night (essentially protecting me from any creepy guys at the party). At the end of the night we still went our separate ways as Kyle made no attempt otherwise and to be honest I was still hesitant. As this was my first year in BC I want back to Ontario to be with family over Christmas. While in Ontario I was dealing with family drama and the first person I thought to text about it was Kyle. He responded right away and we texted throughout the day/night on Christmas Day. I started to realize that maybe I should give this guy a chance just cause he’s tried so hard, I was almost starting to feel bad for him!
On January 14th I had decided to give Kyle a chance, we agreed we would keep it casual as I wasn’t sure I wanted to get into a relationship, and to be honest I wasn’t sure how I felt about being in a relationship with Kyle still! That sounds bad now but he was just so goofy! I didn’t think he could be serious. For two weeks we saw each other almost every day, in fact I think it was literally every day for 14 days! Before I knew it I was beginning to fall in love. The thought of Kyle being with anyone else was something that started to bug me, and it turned out the feeling was mutual. After another night out with friends we decided to have ‘the talk’ and agreed that neither of us wanted to see other people, that was on January 29th 2011.

Things moved really fast at first. In April of that same year I moved in with Kyle. I was obviously a bit hesitant but figured why not give it a try. Almost 4 years have gone by since we moved in together and not once have I questioned my choice. And I’m pretty sure Kyle hasn’t either! I am so excited to continue our lives together.  I fall more in love with Kyle every day, even on the days he makes me mad.

Right now Kyle works away from home for 11 days at time and I am happy to say even after this long I still miss him every night he’s not home. I don’t get excited for nights he’s not home. And that’s saying a lot! I’ve never gotten along with roommates!

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How He Asked – by photographer Rose Dykstra: I am a Vancouver, BC based wedding photographer and every year I do a Valentine’s Day contest. I try to do something a bit different each year and this year’s was particularly special because I had a team join me; Stephanie with Sweetheart Events, Ashton from Bespoke Decor Rentals and Faye Smith from Faye Smith Makeup and Hair. The four of us together created a huge Valentine’s Day giveaway that was very successful. The entrants had to send me their love story along with a photograph of themselves.

Sarah was one of the first people to enter the contest. She was friends with one of my past brides and had tried to enter past contests but always missed the entry cut-off. Not this year! Shortly after receiving her entry, her fiance, Kyle, emailed me to let me know he had a light bulb moment – that this contest would be the perfect opportunity to propose to Sarah, if they won that is. I shared this with the team and we were all very excited at the prospect of doing a surprise proposal.

The contest ran its course and it was amazing; so many couples shared with us their beautiful stories of how they met. We ended up choosing two couples to win the contest, Sarah and Kyle being one of them. And so the planning began.

The team had an in-person meeting with Sarah to discuss some shoot ideas from props to location that would fit with who they were as a couple. The conversation drifted many times to engagements and proposals since Sarah and Kyle had been together for many years and were approaching that point. It was a real challenge keeping everything under wraps!

Their shoot day arrived and the team met at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, BC to begin the set up of the proposal. Ashton has a complete alphabet set of lit marquee letters so we set those up at the end of the pier along with hurricane vases with candles. Sarah and Kyle arrived – Sarah still having no idea what was about to transpire. We eased into the photoshoot while we slowly continued down the pier. When we got to the end, Sarah saw the marquee letters and suddenly knew what was happening. Kyle gently pulled her towards the letters, got down on one knee and proposed. She was completely surprised and elated and of course, said yes! Stephanie, Ashton and myself were there so we were overjoyed (as were some onlookers!). The shoot then transitioned into their Engagement Session and we moved to a different location for that part of the session.

Never did I ever think that a Valentine’s Day contest could turn into something so amazing and wonderful, but it did. I had such a wonderful team assisting me that day; Stephanie did all of the planning and co-coordinating with everyone, Ashton provided the props, flowers and set-up, Faye made sure that Sarah looked her absolute best and this all together made the photos really shine. Kyle shared with us some really kind words about how he felt about the experience,”All the details were taken care off with no more than a couple phone calls, a few emails and a meeting the morning, and it captured both Sarah’s and I personalities. It was elegant and special, but not overpowering or artificial. It captured the essence of our relationship, wherein we want to make each other feel special, without it being artificial or impersonal.” And that was our ultimate goal. Not only to create a really wonderful surprise proposal but something that would be true to them.

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Photographer: Rose Dykstra of Simply Rose Photography
Wedding & Proposal Planner: Stephanie Reitsma of Sweetheart Events
Decor and Rentals: Ashton Burdge of Bespoke Decor Rentals
Hair and Makeup: Faye Smith Makeup and Hair