Amanda and Michael

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How We Met

Michael and I met back in 2011 in a marking center at The University of Toronto. My mom, a professor at the University, encouraged me to make some extra money and input marks with her Teaching Assistants for the day; Michael just happened to be one of them. Years later we agree it wasn’t love at first sight. We were friendly strangers marking exams and eating sandwiches together. However, while we know it wasn’t love, it was undeniably fate.

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Since meeting that day, our paths intertwined in many facets of life. Soon after, Michael helped me an interview for a construction company his dad worked at; a company that I worked at for 4 consecutive summers. Michael pursued further education in the MBA program and held the position as my mom’s Teaching Assistant for multiple years. While studying architecture, I found myself following Michael’s home renovation projects and often visiting with coffee. We built a sporadic friendship.

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It wasn’t until 2017, when we were both single, that the possibility of something more than a friendship would be obvious. Throughout that year we were inviting each other to fundraisers, taking trips up to my family cottage, exchanging European travel stories, discussing architectural styles for Michael’s new project, and oddly enough hitting Black 11 at the casino. By November the two of us were searching salvage yards for Christmas projects and in December I was inviting Michael to my work Christmas party as a date. It probably wasn’t until my boss’ wife, not knowing Michael and I were only there as “friends” said to Michael, “Lucky you, your girlfriend looks beautiful today” and he responded with “She really is!”, that I knew there was something more.

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We went on a couple of official dates after the Christmas party. They were carefree, easy, and special. After a month of questioning our transition from “just friends,” Michael asked me to be his girlfriend. 11 years later; and I couldn’t imagine doing life without him.

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How They Asked

Getting engaged was something Michael and I openly talked about as we wanted the timing to be right. As our lives settled into place and years passed, we knew we wanted to start taking the next steps to our forever. Then in 2020, COVID hit and life paused. Events were canceled, date nights weren’t alone and our plans to travel disappeared. I had always imagined a destination proposal and I may have expressed that idea to Michael a couple of times over… Needless to say, after a year and a half of travel restrictions and lockdowns, my perspective changed and I knew the location of our engagement wouldn’t mean anything compared to the thought of finally starting our life together.

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On Tuesday, June 8th, 2021, Michael and I bought our first home together. It was in the neighborhood we loved and were overjoyed the second we got the call that our offer had been accepted. Coincidently, I had taken off the following Monday so we could extend our weekend at my family cottage on Jack Lake. Knowing this, Michael said it would be a perfect time to celebrate the house just us. Elated, the week flew and by Saturday night we had made it up to the cottage just in time for a family bonfire.

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On Sunday,, June 13th, we started the day with the typical cottage breakfast and enjoyed doing chores outside. By early afternoon, my parents and brother left the cottage (in a big rush), while Michael and I put a bottle of celebratory Prosecco in the fridge for an after-dinner toast to the house. It was an unusually warm spring night and Michael suggested we go out for a sunset fishing trip on the boat.

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Given this is something we do all the time in the summer, I didn’t think twice. I kept on my Levis shorts, threw my hair in a messy bun, grabbed the fishing rods and we headed out on the lake. After some time casting off the boat, Michael suggested heading closer to the cottage for a better fishing spot. As the golden hour approached, I drove the boat closer and closer to the cottage, questioning Michael on why he didn’t want to just stay out on the lake. And then, I saw it.

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The dock was lined with mason jars, each one of them twinkling with lights. My favorite type of flowers, peonies, were in vases scattered on the dock and the bottle of Prosecco we were chilling, was on the wooden table with glasses. As I docked the boat, I kept on looking at the grin on Michael’s face as he looked at the smile on mine. And there, in the middle of the dock, at the cottage I’ve called home for 29 years, Michael got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. As speechless as I felt, I said YES!

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As I took in the moment and put on the ring of my dreams, I couldn’t believe how perfect this moment was. When I embraced Michael, he told me to turn around for one more surprise. As I did, I saw a photographer in the bushes and I started to tear up. We spent the next 30 minutes with Heather as she captured our happiness in the most authentic form. We popped the bottle, said a toast, and smiled into the sunset. As I gazed into Michael’s eyes with pure joy, I realized, there was no place in the world that would be more special to me at that moment. As the sunset, the dock stayed lit with the lights like fireflies. We used this time to call our families and share the good news, although, they already knew.

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Michael later shared that he worked with Wheelhouse Events to stage the proposal and he had contacted them a month prior. He let them know the details of my favorite things and they curated the décor and photographer from there. It was beautifully executed and the photographs capture such an intimate moment between the two of us. While Michael had been planning for this particular weekend all along, he had no idea it would fall on the same week that we bought our first home. To say my proposal was perfect, would be the understatement of this century and I still can’t believe he planned it all for me.

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Since that magical day, we’ve booked our wedding for New Year’s Eve (Saturday, December 31st, 2022) and cannot wait for a ring in the following year as Mr and Mrs.

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Special Thanks

Heather Doughty
 | Photographer
Wheelhouse Event Company
 | Planning
James Allen
 | Ring