Whitney and Taylor's Proposal in Sedona

When I told my dad I was moving to Arizona to compete in Pageants he warned me not to fall in love because I may never make it back to the beach… Here I am publicly allowing my dad an “I told you so.”

It was March of 2012 I had won Miss Phoenix a few months prior and was laser-focused on winning Miss Arizona. My days were mapped out and scheduled down to the millisecond.  I didn’t have time for a boyfriend, nothing could slow me down.

Miss Scottsdale Tiffany needed me to fill in for her at an event so I went in her place… There I met the most fabulous, and I mean fabulous man ever, no not Taylor…. Gerald!! Gerald was extremely well dressed, knew more about pageant history then I did, and had perfect brows….So when he asked if I was single at the end of the event I was slightly confused, “ Is he asking me out?” I thought very puzzled. I sheepishly replied, “ Yeah, are you?” He laughed “ Oh Honey, not for me, ew. You would just LOVE my best friend Taylor.”

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I was reluctant to let him set me up on a date with a guy I had never met. Then Gerald texted me a picture of Taylor and it took me about half a second to agree. ( I’m not that shallow I promise, but he’s a looker!) The next day my phone rang at 8 am and a very energetic Taylor asked if we could hang out that night. ( He had tickets to some big basket ball game )

Tayandwhitsundayfunday …. I knew any guy who called at 8 in the morning wasn’t a player so I agreed to hang out with him, however me being the busy bee that I was I offered two-time slots. “ I can do tonight after my shift at 10, but I have to be home by 11…. Saturday before noon…. Or some time next month” I penciled the mystery man in for 10 pm that evening.

When Taylor arrived at my house to pick me up everything in the small town of Cave Creek was closed and my carb-deprived body was crying out for ice cream. Our only option was McDonalds. Gotta love those $1 soft serves! He even said “ What if we end up getting married and we have to tell everyone I took you to McDonalds on our first date”.

Well since you’re all reading this the McDonalds first date went great! We talked the night away in his yellow jeep like high school kids… and I couldn’t stop thinking about him when he dropped me off.

How he asked: Taylor and I were headed up for our annual Sedona trip sat morning while rocking out to a playlist T created of our songs! I celebrate my birthday all month long so Taylor brought along two large boxes with my final birthday gifts in them. Rather than heading to breakfast ( like we planned) he turned and took me to Cathedral Rock ( a place we enjoy hiking) to give my my gift ( I was convinced it was hiking shoes) and he insisted I needed it for our whole Sedona trip!! I reluctantly climbed the mountain asking him a few times if we could go eat breakfast instead. ( I was hungry) When we got to our spot on the mountain I plopped down into the dirt to open my gift. ( this is where he got nervous and started asking awkward questions about what my goals are for the year)

ProposalThe gift was an old school Polaroid camera! I stood up so he could take a photo of me, he placed that in his pocket to develop in the dark while I took a photo of him. He then took my photo out to show me how it turned out, only it wasn’t the pic of me but rather this photo featured ( of a dream box I bought him 2 years ago at powwow, it’s believed that if you write your dreams down and place them in the box they come true) At this point I was crying ( Taylor says he said a lot of romantic things here, but I was so caught up in the moment that I don’t remember) then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! ( I’m holding the picture in the photo at that moment..I know it looks like I’m texting haha) After that he handed me a stack of Polaroid photos of our family members holding congratulations signs, and told me how much they all wished they could be part of our special day. ( More tears)  A moment later while having our photo taken, I notice a man who looked just like my daddy walking up with a huge camera and a gopro in his hand! Turns out my dad was documenting the whole thing from afar…He drove all the way from The Bay Area! ( insert more happy tears ) I was super hungry and excited at this point so we scurried down the mountain! Little did I know at the bottom of the mountain was my mama, Taylor’s parents and his brother and sister in laws ( all the way from Switzerland) waiting to share the moment with us! Needless to say I was overwhelmed with excitement and so thankful everyone made such an effort to make me feel loved!

Fun Fact: The proposal happened on the 2 year anniversary of our first date!

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Photos by: Kevin Thomas ( My Dad)