Cailin and Brandon

Cailin and Brandon's Engagement in Banff, Alberta

How We Met

Brandon and I met 4 years ago in 2015 while both working at the Fairmont in Banff, Alberta. I’d moved across the world on a working holiday to get as much distance between myself and a recently ended relationship in my home country Australia, and I was looking for a scene change and adventure in the Canadian Rockies.

When we first met at a mutual friends barbecue, we didn’t hit it off. I thought he it was attractive but a bit of a show-off and self-absorbed, I didn’t realize he was trying to flirt with me the whole evening and the more he tried to catch my attention, the more I withdrew to my phone. A friend told me later and I was so embarrassed for not catching on.

Proposal Ideas Banff, Alberta

Almost a year later we ran into each other again at a bar and started (with the aid if a glass of wine or two) to chat, and we laughed about our last awkward encounter at the barbecue. I think from that night on I was smitten with him. He had this confident, outgoing, magnetic personality, and he was so kind, I learned he loved to hike too and we made plans for the summer to do a few trails. A week or two into dating officially, I remember calling my mother back home in Australia to apologize because I’d “Met this Canadian boy and I really like maybe I’ll hold of coming home for just a little while longer..?”

3 years later, we’ve hiked countless mountains together, camped amongst bears, been to Japan, lived in Australia, and started a life together back in Canada. It’s truly been one adventure after another- some huge and exciting, some tough and lonely, living so far away from both of our families, his being on the other side of Canada, but through all of it he’s stayed my best friend and I’ve always been able to rely on him to be there when I felt so far from everyone.

Cailin's Proposal in Banff, Alberta

How They Asked

For our 3 year dating anniversary, Brandon had organized a little getaway back in Banff for us. We’d visited a wolf sanctuary earlier that morning that I thought was the big surprise, but on our way into the mountains, he suddenly turned off the highway and pulled into a carpark below a waterfall that we’d hiked on our very first date years earlier. He suggested we climb it for old times sake, so we hiked up through the snow and mud to a semi frozen waterfall, it was spectacular.

Brandon led me out to a little ledge, squinted, and pointed across the valley asking if “I could see what he was seeing?” I moved to look across the mountains to see what he was gesturing to, and when I turned back around, he was down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring I’d ever seen. I remember him saying “because I see the person I want to spend the rest of my life with” and the rest is just a blur, I think I began laughing with excitement and shaking and grinning like a madwoman, I almost forgot to say yes! I was so excited I didn’t realize one of our close friends had been hiding camouflaged in a nearby bush with a bottle of champagne and a camera, had captured it all on Go Pro. It was so sweet! We both Facetimed our families from the top of the waterfall, it was like they were there with us.

Brandon explained that one of the diamonds in the ring he had made was originally from my great grandmothers wedding ring from well over 100 years ago, then worn by my grandmother in hers, then my mother’s, then had been sneakily given to him by my mom for when the time came for him to propose to me, so that I could still be linked to them always, even when I was living so far away. He’d been hanging onto it for 6 months without me catching on!

As a final surprise, we ended up staying that night in the very same beautiful old castle of a hotel we first worked and met at years ago, it was the most beautiful, sentimental weekend and I can’t wait to see what adventures might still be in store for us in our future together.