Denice and Austin

Image 3 of Denice and Austin

How We Met

My fiancé, Austin, and I met while we were both working summer jobs at Dominos Pizza in 2015. That summer, the summer before I started college and while Austin was on break from his college, we quickly became friends: hanging out slinging pizzas, and playing with some of our other coworkers. When Austin left to go back to college for his last semester, we spent that fall and the next two years long-distance dating and making the best of weekend and holiday visits, like Thanksgiving and Winter break. Our feelings for each other grew during that first winter break together, and we officially started dating on January 2nd, 2016. After two years of long-distance, in the spring of 2018, I decided to move closer to home. I’m currently a computer science student and we plan to get married after I graduate.

Image 1 of Denice and Austin

How They Asked

My Fiancée proposed to me at Maroon Bells in Colorado. However, this was not his original plan. He had a two-week road trip planned for us. I thought we were just going on a really cool vacation. The trip was supposed to start at the Grand Tetons, then to Yellowstone. After that, we were going to go to Crater Lake National Park. This is where he was going to ask me. From Crater Lake, we were going to go through the Redwood forest down to Yosemite National Park. He shared his original plans after the fact. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we had to pass up on this dream vacation. I was pretty upset, but Austin told me not to worry about the vacation because we could still go to Gunnison, CO to visit our best friends, Taylor and Nathan. The day after we arrive in Gunnison, Austin told me that we had this nice day planned to visit the Maroon Bells, near Aspen.

He told me to dress nice because we were going to take updated pictures for our family. He said, “In order to see the best view we have a two-mile hike.” I was not happy because I found out I had to hike two miles in a dress. Unbeknownst to me, his idea of this proposal was supposed to take the whole day. It was a four-hour drive there and back. As we were driving to Aspen, we had to drive over three mountain passes. It was some of the most beautiful scenery I had ever viewed. We even came across wildlife which was obviously not a part of the plan. Mother Nature knew something was going to happen that day. We saw a family of marmot, a fox, and a brown bear. I have never seen a bear in the wild, it was amazing! Then we got to the bells. This hike was no joke for me. I live in Dallas where it’s flat. Austin also failed to tell me this two-mile hike would be uphill. The entire way. It was so hard, several times I wanted to give up. I even asked if we could turn around. Austin would not let me back out of this. He kept saying “It’ll be totally worth it at the top.” I gave no thought to that; I just didn’t want to walk uphill anymore. We finally got to “the spot” which just so happened to be called Crater Lake and I asked him “Why did you make me do this?” He got the biggest smile on his face, he started talking sweet to me and telling me he loved me.

Image 2 of Denice and Austin

He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “Yes!” with
happy tears in my eyes and he had tears of joy in his eyes too. With the Maroon Bells in the background, it was perfect. We stayed around for a bit, but we had to get back on the road as we had another four-hour drive ahead of us. On the way back to Gunnison we drove over two more mountain passes. The sights were just as amazing as the first half of the drive. And again, Mother Nature didn’t disappoint.

Image 4 of Denice and Austin

More wildlife came out and we saw a family of bighorn, elk, and a moose! It was so incredible. This was the best proposal because Austin planned an amazing original proposal that unfortunately didn’t work. Last-minute Austin, Nathan, and Taylor put their heads together to find a new plan that Austin thought I would love. We saw mountain views, Colorado wildlife, and an amazing proposal at the Maroon Bells. Austin even concluded the day with a pizza dinner to come full circle to how we met. It couldn’t have been a better day.

Image 5 of Denice and Austin

Special Thanks

Taylor Cull
 | Photographer
Nathan Worsham
 | Planning