Anna and Daniel

Image 1 of Anna and Daniel

How We Met

I always wanted to meet the one the same way my parents met. I was single for a while before I met Daniel. I was getting tired of swiping left and right on Tinder. Quite often I would tell my friends “I just want to meet someone in real life, naturally, ” The same day I met Daniel I was ready to give up on dating. It was one of my best friend’s birthday party. I didn’t know many people and I started feeling a bit anxious and lonely. I knew my other friend was hosting an “end of snow season” party the same night so I made a decision to attend both of the events the same night. I didn’t really know anyone at that party either. The host introduced me to Daniel who let’s say had few drinks by then. To be honest my first impression of him wasn’t the greatest haha. I had to constantly repeat myself that I was originally from Russia and that my name was Anna. As the night progressed we got to know each other better.

His first memory of me apparently is “lady in red”. I do love red though! On our first date, we went to Red Rocks followed by a lovely dinner that he cooked for us. I remember taking sneaky photos of him while he was cooking and sending them to my best friend saying: “Omg can you believe it??? This guy is making us dinner. He is a keeper!” No one cooked for me before, so that must have been it. A way to a woman’s heart must be also through her stomach. Or is it just me haha?

How They Asked

On our first anniversary, we flew down to Queenstown. I get a lot of “gut feeling” moments in my life and every time I make a decision to act on it, I never regret it. That time I was so happy and content, I got a feeling “how awesome would it be if we got engaged.” Several months later I came across an article about women popping the question. Since 2020 is a leap year it was a topic of discussion for some. There I had that “gut feeling” moment again. I’ve always felt strongly about women being capable of doing and achieving everything men can so I thought why can’t I propose? I got that spark, shared my “gut feeling” with my best friends, and started planning in February. I came across a helicopter proposal at Coromandel Peak and right away knew that was going to be the place.

Image 2 of Anna and Daniel

I’ve booked it way in advance along with flights to Queenstown. Changed a few times my opinion about where we were going to stay but later found a perfect chalet in Queenstown. Since we are both snowboarders and absolutely adore mountains I knew he would love it. Then I had to make a decision about whether I was going to give him a ring in a box or something different? I remember going to one of the shops and searching for a ring. The shop assistant kind of laughed at me when I shared my plans with her. To be honest I knew from the beginning that some people wouldn’t understand. “If they don’t have your vision, don’t expect people to understand your path” – as my mentor says. My friend suggested getting Daniel an engagement watch which worked out well. I, on the other hand, resized my diamond ring gifted to me by my deceased father which makes it extra special. So on the 3rd of November 2020, on our 2nd anniversary, we flew to Queenstown. He had no idea what was going on. We rented a car and spent some time in Queenstown before heading to Wanaka. Once again he had no idea that’s where we were heading.

Image 3 of Anna and Daniel

We checked into our chalet first. It had incredible views and an outdoor bath, to be honest, I wish we had more time there. I told Daniel that we got to change into our formal wear and head out to our next destination. At that point, he was extremely confused about why he would need to put a suit-on. Once again he had no idea where we were heading. We arrived at Wanaka Airport, he realized we are doing a scenic flight. The incredible staff was absolutely discreet during the whole process. We had a private helicopter flight to Coromandel Peak where we had about 30 minutes to spend.

Image 4 of Anna and Daniel

Obviously, at that point, it started to feel real to me. We were taking a lot of pictures and enjoying the views. I planned this moment so many times in my head and yet wasn’t 100% sure. Do I get on one knee? For some reason that felt incredibly odd to me. So I came up with another plan. “Let’s sit down on that grass and enjoy the views while we can,” I said. I had a box with an engagement watch and a ring in my tiny bag with me. I asked him to close his eyes. With those views around us, he wasn’t too happy about it. There I was with my box and most ridiculous speech that was full of mumbling asking him “will you marry me?”. It was a confident yes. Our helicopter pilot was very kind to take some pictures of us a few minutes afterward. I’ve learned that day that once again “following your gut feeling” can be extremely rewarding.

Image 5 of Anna and Daniel