Anna and Ian

How We Met: Five years ago my best friend Jenna called me saying she had “the perfect guy” for me. She said she was going to set the two of us up on a semi-blind date when I was in town for the holidays. Who can say no to their best friend?! So I went along with it. Ian and I met on that first date (December 21, 2010) and he was handsome and nice, but I lived in Washington state and was just home for the holidays, so whatever, right? Then we hung out again…and again…and you get the picture. Six-weeks later I moved back to Reno…

how they asked: This is the story of how Ian asked me, Anna, to marry him. You won’t find the usual perfect perfectly lit photos or the well-dressed couple to go along with this story. What you will find is one of the most genuine, true-to-who-we-are, romantically wonderful stories I ever could have imagined.

Let me set the stage; Ian and I are both avid hunters. He is the fisherman and I am the gardener outside of hunting season, but for hunting season, we are darn near inseparable. This year we drew a number of tags and were very excited for all of our hunts.

Image 1 of Anna and Ian

Image 2 of Anna and Ian

On August 9th we headed to the Pine Forest Range to backpack into a remote part of the range for our archery deer tags. We started out completely laden with very heavy packs. Barely a quarter of a mile into the hike and Ian exclaims, “Get down, there’s a buck in the trees!!!” I look where he’s pointing, but can’t see anything. He insists, “Look right there!” Pointing at the same place in the trees. But something is fishy, he’s not even trying to be quiet or trying to hide. And then I see the first two trees, ‘WILL’ and ‘YOU’. And I look a little farther and there they are ‘MARRY’ and ‘ME’.

Image 3 of Anna and Ian

(At this point my mind is blown away. We are WAY out in the mountains, a six-hour drive from home, up a brutal 4-wheel road and somehow Ian found the time to drive all the way up here and hike in, just to carve the proposal into these four aspen tress. Unbelievable!)

And I turn to look at the love of my life, my adventure partner, my best friend, my biggest supporter, the sexiest man I’ve ever laid eyes on, and he’s on one knee pulling a ring out of his pocket.

I take one look at the ring and know that it isn’t just any engagement ring. It is hand-carved from antler. Ian slips it on to my finger and starts to tell me about all of the hours he spent on it. He spent weeks making practice rings and then finally working on this one. And if that wasn’t amazing enough, he starts to tell me how this ring has been carved from that shed antler, the one that has been in our home since the day that he fell in love with me 4.5 years ago.

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Rewind to 4.5 years ago: Ian and I went on our first hike together. It was a magical day, all story book animal sitings, beautiful weather and full of the excitement that falling in love breathes into life. It was the first day he told me he loved me. And on that day I found a shed antler while hiking. We brought the antler back with us and it has been in our house ever since.)

I can’t stop looking at my ring. It isn’t just a ring. It won’t look like anything you’ve ever seen before and it isn’t shiny or sparkly like most rings you’ll see. It is MIND BLOWING in the depth of his care, intent and romanticism. My ring is hand carved, by Ian’s hands. There’s a power and depth to that unlike any other.

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Even now I struggle to properly put into words how this makes me feel. The amount of forethought, care, love, genuineness and time that he put into preparing for the proposal is awe inspiring and absolutely beautiful. I have never had someone do something for me that was so incredibly true to who I am. I hope you enjoy our story. It may not be storybook, but I believe it is one for the ages.

Image 6 of Anna and Ian