Emily and Blake

Emily and Blake's Engagement in Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe

How We Met

WE MET ON TINDER 5 YEARS AGO! It seems so out of character for both of us looking back on it!

After graduating from Iowa State I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go to start my career. I remember sitting in my basement looking at a map, and thought, Chicago seems pretty cool. Although I had never even visited Chicago I was able to find a job and moved a few weeks later! I hardly knew anyone in the city and used the excuse that I was ‘looking to meet friends on Tinder’. Emily didn’t seem too convinced at first, but I talked her into letting me take her out on a date to Old Crow in Wrigleyville.

As it turned out, both of us were from Iowa, she graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and we realized but have a ton of mutual friends and even one of my cousins graduated High School with her. It’s so crazy that our paths never crossed, because it felt like we had known each other forever — we instantly clicked.

Theres something that has always felt so comforting yet thrilling dating Emily. We came from similar backgrounds and values, but we’re both focused on living life, traveling, and taking on new challenges and experiences. After we started dating my Job relocated me to Los Angeles. We both decided to try the long distance thing even though our relationship was so new. Luckily she was traveling to the west coast for work then and we were able to meet up in different cities about once a month for that year — another reason our relationship has always been rooted in travel and new adventures.

One day I went into work and got a call that our entire team was being let go. Looking back on it this was exactly what was supposed to happen and this was a door opening and bringing me back to Chicago. Em and I were able to really get to know each other and found out how obnoxious, loud, spunky, adventurous and creative we both were, but at the same time everything seemed to easy. We could be completely black and white with one another, we could be super independent, but also be best friends. Everything since has been nothing but excitement, and the rest is history…

How They Asked

I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity and timing and this proposal has been a long time coming. Emily was helping her parents plan a family trip to Lake Tahoe, CA for her parents 33rd wedding anniversary, which makes it even more meaningful. I’ve always wanted to visit Tahoe and knew this was the perfect place to plan this big event and she deserved it all! She knew that her brother Alex, and his girlfriend Rachel would be on the trip, but what she doesn’t know is that my parents were flying out for the big surprise!

Emily thought we were going to dinner so we piled in the car and headed that way. Since her whole family was together we told her we were stopping at this beautiful photo spot called Sand Harbor Beach along the way to get a family photo that her mom could use for their holiday cards. Luckily she didn’t think anything of it!

We pulled up to Sand Harbor Beach, and couldn’t have asked for a prettier setting in October. Emily catches on quickly and saw the proposal spot and said to me “we should turn around I think there’s a wedding going on over here” and I turned to her and said that it was for us. She was definitely in shock. I had an archway made of birch, decorated with flowers. I took her hand and walked over the the arch and told her how I remember the first time we met. I remember feeling so inspired by all her traveling, and learning about how adventurous she was—I knew I needed to know more about her. I loved and respected her sense of curiosity and creativity, and its something that really helped me understand more about myself, that being together was such a rush, and it was so clear to me that we were best friends and meant to be. I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me, and after she said yes! She turned around and said “Oh my gosh, you’re parents are here!”

We were both so excited we ran over to our families popped the champagne and started the party! It was truly the most beautiful night and something I will cherish forever. I couldn’t have asked for such an amazing 5 years with Emily, and I couldn’t have asked for such great family and friends that have been a part of our relationship. Emily has been waiting on this special day for so long, and it couldn’t have turned out any more perfectly. I’m such a lucky guy!

The event planner Allison helped me create the perfect proposal spot right on the beach and a the boho-styled picnic. I had a vision and Allison hit it spot on! The photographer Lauren and videographer Vinny did a great job of capturing it all! I brought in some local musicians, Ike and Martin to play her favorite Tom Petty and Mumford & Sons and everything was better than I could have imagined.

Special Thanks

Lauren Lindley
 | Photographer
Lucky Burro
 | Vintage Rentals