Alex and Sam

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Farm Island Lake, Aitkin, MN

How We Met

We grew up in the same area, except I went to the private high school and he went to the public. During my senior year of high school, I decided that I had seen him in enough pictures on Facebook and we had enough mutual friends to make it appropriate to friend request him. I thought that he HAD to have heard my name or seen my face in mutual friend circles by now. As it turns out, he hadn’t. To him, it was just a friend request from a stranger (how embarrassing for 17 year old me). He later told me that when he got that friend request, he thought I was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Granted, he could have just been saying that down the road to earn him some brownie points :)

A couple months later, we met at a friend’s party and immediately knew who each other were. We talked off and on from there, going on a couple group dates, but eventually losing touch for a summer. When it came time for him to go to college, he decided he better return the hat he had of mine from one of our casual group dates earlier that spring. He dropped it off with me while I was in orientation week at the University of Minnesota, and it wasn’t until then that I found out that he was going to school just an hour away. Immediately, I knew I was in trouble. We talked every day after that, and were dating less than a month later. I transferred to the same school as him a year later, and 5 years later, we’re engaged!

how they asked

Sam and I have been dating for five years, and have been talking about getting married pretty much the whole time! After doing a preliminary look at rings this spring to get a feel for what I liked, I pretty much left the ball in his court. By the end of the summer, I had a feeling he had been following up with the jeweler, but I had no idea how close he was to an actual proposal. Our Labor Day weekend plans included going up north to his family cabin in Aitkin, MN. Sam is really close to his family, and was especially close to his grandpa Frank, who used to live at that same cabin and passed away only a few years ago.

On Saturday evening, after a day of boating, we took a break from playing beach volleyball with the whole family to go inside and get a glass of wine. When we came back out, he suggested that we go sit on the dock, but I was completely clueless and decided that I wanted to keep playing volleyball. So, he went out and sat on the dock alone while I played for another 20 minutes. Finally, when he was STILL sitting out there, I took the hint that he wanted me to come out and sit with him.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Farm Island Lake, Aitkin, MN

When I got out there, I noticed that he had tears in his eyes and I asked him what was wrong. Just like I had thought, he told me he was thinking of his grandpa Frank and how much he missed him. Just being in that special place always brings up so many memories, stories, laughs, and tears. I didn’t find it out of the ordinary, so I just sat with him and we held each other and talked about how much we loved the people that surrounded us. Another 15 minutes went by of talking, reminiscing, and watching his aunt ski out on the glassy lake. Then he started crying again… and I was STILL clueless. At that point, I was thinking “come on…pull it together…”, but this time he was crying for a different reason. He dropped to a knee and pulled this unbelievable ring out of his pocket, with no box or anything! I couldn’t believe that it was just floating around in his pocket! (He later told me that the box was too big and awkardly-shaped to fit in his pocket, he just couldn’t risk it :)

Where to Propose in Farm Island Lake, Aitkin, MN

Proposal Ideas Farm Island Lake, Aitkin, MN

I was so taken aback and thought all along that I would be able to read him like a book and know exactly when this was going to happen. Because I was so surprised, I started crying and shaking all at once, so much so that Sam had to ask “Are you OK?! Are you upset?? I can’t tell if you’re even happy!” But I was happy. SO happy.

He had told pretty much none of his family members that he was planning on proposing that weekend, so when one of his cousins caught a glimpse of him on one knee on the dock, he immediately told his girlfriend, who happens to be a professional wedding photographer, to get her camera QUICK! She sprinted inside and ran out just in time to capture some of the best, most emotional moments immediately following the proposal. I am so thankful to have had her there to capture these memories that would have otherwise been such a blur.

He later told me that he had gotten the ring just 24 hours earlier, and had had it in and out of his pocket all day. He said that if I hadn’t come out on the dock, he would’ve saved it for another day. But since I did, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

The way he chose to do it wasn’t extravagant or over-the-top in any way, but it was so perfectly HIM. He wanted it to be a moment between the two of us, at a place that he holds so dear to his heart. Everything about it just reaffirms how much I love the person that he is, and how excited I am to be his wife.

Special Thanks

Carly MacGowan
 | Photographer