Stephanie and Mike
How We Met
In high school, we met as dance partners in a community theater group. Mike was a bit uncoordinated and made me laugh every time our arms got tangled or he tumbled to the floor. Our friendship was created through laughter. We loved the sound of each other’s laughter and kept finding new reasons to laugh together. As our friendship grew, our hearts did too. In different states and different schools, we began our relationship in college. Together, we committed to a year of adventures. Each month, we would experience something new together. As our relationship grew, so did our adventures. We continuously sought to see new places, try new things, and add more love to our lives (especially when we got our pup, Harvey).
How He Asked
HER SIDE: The alarm went off. For a moment I thought I was home in my bed. Then I opened my eyes and remembered, I am in Iceland. My boyfriend Mike and I had booked a spontaneous last minute trip to Iceland towards the end of the summer. At that time, I didn’t know how much I would fall in love with the country. Waking up every morning held the possibility for endless adventure. Mike rolled out of bed and started getting ready. The sun wasn’t up yet. Maybe it was the Iceland air, maybe it was the exciting moment yet to come but the day felt electric. We got ready quickly. Our plan was to visit the Seljalandsfoss waterfall early, hopefully to beat the impending crowds and rain. My heart was racing with excitement for our day ahead, not knowing Mike had a ring in his pocket. Not knowing that today he would propose and August 13th would be forever engrained in my heart. When we arrived at the waterfall, the beauty of the scenery was overwhelming. If heaven was a place, it would be in Iceland. We saw no other cars, no other people. We walked arm in arm toward the waterfall. Taking in the beauty of it all brought tears to my eyes. Mike turned to me and said he had made something special for me. Out of his backpack, he handed me “Our Adventure Book.” Maybe it was the surprise of this thoughtful gift or maybe it was the electric energy of the morning, but I could feel my heart beating faster. We quietly looked at the book together. The photos dated all the way back to when we first met in high school. I admired every page, filled with pictures from every adventure, every vacation and every special moment we had together. Each picture evoked laughter, love, and nostalgia. It was almost too much for my heart to handle. Tears brimmed my eyes, but Mike encouraged me to keep reading. Then, I turned to the final page. It was titled, “Our Proposal.”
Until that moment, I was unaware of how much emotion one body could hold. As I read the title of the page, music started playing. The song “Can’t help falling in Love” surrounded us. Before I could catch my breath, Mike was down on one knee. To be honest, it was all a wonderful blur after that. What I do know was that Mike said heartfelt words that ended with “Stephanie Rose Bussiere, will you marry me?” and I said yes.
At that point I could no longer stand on two feet. I was kneeling with Mike as he held me in his arms. While kneeling together, he placed the ring on my finger. It was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen and seeing it on my hand felt surreal.
I wiped the tears off his cheek and he helped me stand. Then, a backpacker approached us with his congratulations. Another surprise! He wasn’t a backpacker, but our photographer. He caught the whole moment on camera. He walked around the waterfall with us taking pictures along the way. Between every photograph, I had millions of questions for Mike. Our hands were still shaking when we shook hands and said goodbye to Ernir, our photographer the only one to share in our moment. Afterward, we sat at the waterfall for a while. I asked Mike to tell me everything he had said again (and I made sure that I said yes because like I said, it was all a blur). As I listened to him tell our story, people began to arrive to see the waterfall. We sat together for a while, lost in our own thoughts and excitement. Once our hearts were ready, we walked back to the car. As we drove I watched the waterfall fade away, hand in hand with my fiancé, ready to start our next adventure.
HIS SIDE: The night before our proposal started with me waking up every hour to check the weather. Stephanie and I love the outdoors and traveling, so Iceland was a perfect place to start our engaged life together. Unfortunately, the weather is super unpredictable in Iceland and this makes an outdoor proposal a bit tricky. Before traveling to Iceland, I contacted the photography company, Flytographer, to capture our special moment on film. They helped me with the location, time, where to stand, and even on what angle to position Stephanie during the proposal to get the best shot (I HIGHLY recommend them btw) So when our photographer contacted me 2 days before proposal time and suggested I move up the proposal a day to avoid the rainy weather, I trusted him. Cut back to my semi-sleepless night before the proposal: The alarm went off at 6 AM, and I immediately checked the weather. Clear Skies! I was so relieved and knew this was the perfect start to a perfect day. We began to get ready for our early morning outing. I told Stephanie we should start our day by eating a picnic breakfast at Seljalandsfoss. We were very excited to see this waterfall and she happily agreed. (What she didn’t know was that I was going to pop question!) I made breakfast sandwiches and packed them in our bag (that we never ate because of the excitement), along with a special scrapbook I made for the proposal and of course, the ring! We got in our rental car and began our 20-minute drive to the waterfall. My heart was racing with excitement but I was still trying to play it cool so Stephanie wouldn’t catch on. We chatted about our trip so far, and how we couldn’t wait to see this waterfall. As we chatted, I kept thinking to myself, “Our lives are about to change! We are going to be engaged! Please let the proposal go well!” We pulled up to the waterfall and I was ecstatic with what I saw. I saw NO ONE. No one except our photographer. I told Stephanie that he was probably a backpacker. This was going to be perfect. It was as if I reserved the entire waterfall just for us. We walked hand in hand to the waterfall. My heart began to beat even faster. I put our bags down, and we embraced as we looked at the massive waterfall in front of us. It was breathtaking. I thought to myself, “Wow. I am going to ask the most beautiful woman to marry me in the most beautiful place on earth.”
After we took in our surroundings, I told Stephanie that I had a gift for her. Prior to coming to Iceland, I made Stephanie a scrapbook with pictures from throughout our relationship. It was our own version of “Our Adventure Book” from the Pixar Movie Up (one of Stephanie’s favorites). As we flipped through the book, we looked at our memories from high school, college, vacations and adventures with our dog, Harvey. We finally reached the final page, which read “Our Proposal’. Stephanie was caught by surprise as I put down the book, and started playing our favorite love song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”.
Tears began to well in both of our eyes as I took her hands. Tears streamed down my face as I expressed my love for her and my excitement for our future together. As I took the ring box out of my pocket, she began to jump up and down. She was adorable. I got down on my knee, and asked her to marry me. She said yes and knelt down with me. I slipped the ring on her finger, and we embraced again. Both of us out of breath, crying, and smiling ear to ear- It was truly the best moment of my life.
Later that night, we tried to find a special restaurant to celebrate, but had no luck. Instead, we sat together in our Airbnb eating soggy pizza and stale bread that we picked up from a gas station. As she laughed and gagged on our “first meal as an engaged couple” I looked at her and smiled, thinking, “I’m gonna marry you.”