Written by Caleb
The first step in the making of this proposal story was to ask Maison’s dad for his permission to marry his daughter. For me, this was very important because I wanted him to know what his daughter meant to me and what my values on marriage were.
<Cue the lunch break date>
Maison’s dad does a lot of traveling through northern Wisconsin for his job, so we had been trying for a while to set up a time to meet in my hometown of Merrill during his lunch break. I think that because of my desperation to set this lunch date up, he knew what was coming. He pulled into my driveway and I instantly got weird. I think I may have looked him in the eye once. I was n-e-r-v-o-u-s. He’s a big guy who loves his daughters very much. When I finally mustered up the courage to ask him, he said, “It’s about time!” Phew. We hugged and I cried. Part one of the plan was complete!
Next, I had to find a ring. Ladies — I want you to know how hard of a job this is! We have to pick out what is probably your most expensive piece of jewelry and hope that it becomes your favorite. I turned to my wonderful grandma (who just happens to be a gemologist) for the ring and Maison’s best friend Ann Marie for the size. My grandma explained everything from clarity and inclusions to what a carat actually was. Because of her, I’m confident I could pass for a second-rate jewelry salesman! ; ) After I got the ring, I knew it was perfect and I could move on to the final phase of the plan.
This last phase (and really the only phase that determined anything) was hard for me. I’m terrible at keeping my own secrets when I’m very excited. I’m the kind of person who buys a present for someone 100 days before their birthday and gives it to them the next day because I can’t not tell them that I have it in my possession. So somehow, I had to disguise my excitement for the proposal or I knew I would ruin the surprise.
That’s when the perfect plan hit me!
I needed to do something that I was naturally really excited about as a disguise for the proposal. Snowboarding instantly came to mind. Every year I get SUPER giddy to get out on my snowboard for the first time of the season and I knew I could keep the secret if I could use the trip as a disguise. As an added bonus, the hill we were going to is the same place I really started developing feelings for Maison! Leading up to the day of the proposal, I’m pretty sure I talked about how excited I was to go snowboarding 100+ times … I’m not sure how she didn’t catch on!
The day was finally here: opening day of snowboarding season and the most exciting day of my life for a different reason. The whole time, I was SO scared that the ring was going to fall out of my pocket, so I had my hands in them most of the day. I’m sure I was also acting very strange. About two hours into the day, I finally mustered up the courage to ask.
(Back-story: the Tuesday before we went snowboarding, I did P-90X legs with my dad for the first time and could barely walk. I used my sore legs as an excuse to take a break from snowboarding. Maison obliged.)
We headed to a place where the hill overlooks the entire city of Wausau. It’s actually a very beautiful view! We sat on the snowy benches for about 10 minutes (it seemed like 10 seconds) before Maison asked if we could continue snowboarding because she was getting cold just sitting there. Shoot. Was I going to miss the opportunity? No way. I told her that there was something that I needed to tell her. She got a very nervous look on her face like I had some horrible news to deliver.
I got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and said, “Maison, I love you and I was wondering if you would marry me?” (The best part about this was that we had waited to say ‘I love you’ to each other until we were engaged. It felt REALLY good to finally say it!) What didn’t feel as good were the words that came out of her mouth right after I proposed ; )
“Get up!” she said, “Everyone is looking at us … !!!”
So I got up. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I think we were both just super nervous and excited! Ha! )In our years of shooting weddings and hearing lots of proposal stories, I’ve learned that none of them happen 100% perfectly ; )). Maison then asked me about five times if this was real. She might have been in shock. That or she was unthawing from the cold … anyways, after it set in, she told me she loved me back and that the answer was a YES : ) She tried on the ring and LOVED it (thanks Grandma!). We spent the rest of the day snowboarding together and later celebrating with family. It was a beautiful day that I will never forget!
Photo from the day we got engaged : )