Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

Image 3 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

How We Met: I met Eric through a mutual friend from college when I first moved to Melbourne, FL to start my career. At that time in our lives, neither of us was really ready for each other, so we spent the first three years of our relationship as friends. We were part of the same social circle, crossing paths at weddings, birthday outings and parties hosted by friends, but it wasn’t until August 2012 that any of our conversations ever turned to the potential of an “us.”

Image 4 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh ProposalAt that time, I’d never pictured Eiben (which of course I always called him by his last name when he was just one of the guys) as more than a friend. However, one night at a friend’s cook out, I decided to sneak away from the crowd to watch the sunset and all of a sudden, Eiben was right there next to me asking if he could join me.

I was surprised right away by the fact that he wanted to spend time appreciating that moment with me, but as we sat there talking and watching the sunset, I saw a deeper and sweeter side to him than I’d known was there.

Eventually our conversation went something like this:

Me: “I would really love to do a group ski trip next winter.”

Eiben: “Yeah, definitely. Maybe you can come along with me out to Colorado since I have a few buddies out there.”

Me: “I would love that, but it probably won’t happen, because knowing me, I’ll have a boyfriend by then.”

Eiben: “I know. But your boyfriend is going to be me.”

Image 5 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh ProposalWell, needless to say, that conversation we shared and his unfailing confidence got me hooked. I resisted for a while, afraid of messing up a dynamic in the group, but after spending more time getting to know him, I couldn’t get enough. I had never met someone who could make me laugh so hard and comfort me when I needed support as much as Eric (which yes, I eventually could call him by his first name once we became a couple) could. I had never known someone I could enjoy the everyday with just as much as I could enjoy every new experience and adventure we shared.

We spent the next year and half exploring the country, experiencing wineries, breweries and sporting events, falling in love with each other’s families and growing together, forming a stronger and deeper relationship every day. We both knew we’d found the one.

Image 6 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

Image 7 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

how they asked: Throughout our relationship, Eric and I have loved trying to surprise each other with trips or celebrations with friends for birthdays, so I didn’t think it was too out of the norm when he let me know in December that we were going on a surprise trip to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Over time, I did learn that we were going skiing and I did learn that we were going to Colorado, but I had no idea how big of a surprise he had in store for me once we got there.

We landed in Denver and he finally told me that we were headed to Breckenridge. I was super excited because Breck has great slopes for beginners (like me!) and lots of restaurants and bars, including their own brewery! As we waited for our luggage, Eric kept talking about the “shuttle” that was coming to pick us up. We waited outside for a few minutes and then I ran inside to grab some napkins. When I came back out, Eric was standing next to a white stretch limo! I was starting to get suspicious, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. He covered it up by pointing out that when my five best college girlfriends and I do our annual weekend trip we always get a limo, so why couldn’t he and I have that experience as well?

After enjoying our champagne and cocktails on the ride from Denver, we headed to a pub to wait for the next part of the adventure. Soon enough, we were being chauffeured out of town and into the mountain forest. We pulled up to our destination and I was so excited to see it was dog sledding!

Image 8 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

It turned out that wasn’t on our agenda for day 1, but Eric knows I have a love for dogs and had planned that for the next day. Instead, we were going to be trekking through the forest on a beautiful one-horse-open sleigh. Although it wasn’t puppies, I was still so excited to be toted around nature at sunset with the love of my life.

As we rode through the beautiful snow covered woods, we came to a place where the trees opened up and you could see the valley. Our driver gave us the go-ahead to get out to hike around and take some pictures. As I was trying to snap some photos of the sun setting over the mountains, Eric started kind of pushing me in front of him. All of a sudden, I heard him calling for me so I spun around to find him on one knee with the most beautiful ring. I was in shock and couldn’t say anything but “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God” and then the tears just started falling. Eventually I was able to utter a “Yes” and tackled him in the snow. We were engaged!!

Image 9 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

Image 10 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

Both teary-eyed, we were able to capture a few pictures of the moment just after he proposed and the beautiful and romantic surroundings we were in.

Image 1 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

Looking back on the conversation that started it all, Eric almost had it right. We did end up on a ski trip together and he did become my boyfriend. But our ski trip was one year later than planned and he wouldn’t be just my boyfriend. Instead our ski trip was the setting for a beautiful proposal and the beginning of a lifetime spent with my best friend.

Image 11 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal

Image 2 of Jessica and Eric | One-Horse Open Sleigh Proposal