Jillian and Derrick

Where to Propose in ICELAND - Under the NORTHERN LIGHTS!

How We Met

Derrick and I ironically met on a dating app, not realizing we had gone to the SAME high school. He was a senior when I was a freshman but had never known each other. We matched with each other on a night when we were both babysitting so despite living almost an hour and a half apart we’d somehow began to chat and hit it off pretty quickly. We went back and forth for a while before finally agreeing to meet in person at Bacon Bacon Cafe in San Francisco, CA. As soon as we met, we both knew this was special. We continued to date despite the small distance between us and things continued to just get better and better as we fell in love and became best friends. At that time, Derrick was applying to medical school so we had no idea where the future would take us, our motto was to live day by day and stay present. As the months continued, it looked like he would be moving to the Caribbean for school and the most likely option for us would be to break up. At the last minute, he got off the waitlist at a school in South Florida! So we continued to make it work for the next year doing even greater long-distance, the whole time each of us knowing just how worth it it was and how lucky we felt to be in such a unique and loving relationship. Following that, I made the move out to South Florida and we began to build our life out here. We eventually moved in together with our two pups, built a strong community of friends, and currently live in Miami as Derrick finishes his 4th year of medical school.

How They Asked

Unbeknownst to me, Derrick started to plan this proposal almost 2 and a half years ago always knowing he wanted to pop the big question under the Northern Lights in Iceland BUT wanted to keep it a surprise. Being a huge travel bug, as soon as he brought up the idea of a winter trip to Iceland to see the epic Northern Lights I eagerly began to plan the trip, hotels, and best ways to see them.

Fast forward to our trip finally happening…

The first night we got to Iceland, we drove an hour and a half from the airport to a remote boutique hotel called the Ion Adventure Hotel that we hoped would give us the opportunity to see the Northern Lights.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in ICELAND - Under the NORTHERN LIGHTS!

The forecast looked good so after the most perfect evening of a 3 course dinner, geothermal pool swimming, and a quick drink at the hotel bar, we made our way out to the front of the hotel to see a slight glint of green on the Horizon! The other tourists who had gathered outside preferred to stay in the parking lot, but Derrick insisted we had to climb the ridge (see below our recreation the next morning in front of where he asked) to see if we could get a better view.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in ICELAND - Under the NORTHERN LIGHTS!

After trudging up to the top with my camera and tripod in tow, we began to take in the sights, but Derrick still wasn’t satisfied. What most people don’t tell you is that the Northern Lights are typically seen as milky white with hints of green or other colors on the skyline. Derrick wanted to climb up to an even further ridge, but I told him it was probably the same over there as well. As we began to watch, the lights really began to dance and incredible so I began trying to catch pictures with my camera. As I was taking a break, he said “Well, I guess the white color is a sign….” and then got down on one knee under the Northern Lights!!!

It was pitch black out, cold, and I was in absolute shock as I tried to comprehend what was happening, as he began his speech “I knew when I met you 4 years ago –” He stopped and said, “Oh my god I dropped the ring!” I had to calmly ask him what it looked like as I knelt down in the snow and we both tried to find it with our phone flashlights. About a minute later, I found it and handed it back to him. He admitted he didn’t bring my main engagement ring to Iceland as it was the diamond ring my late father gave to my Mom and she gave to Derrick to adapt to then give to me and didn’t want to risk dropping it in the snow or losing it in travel! So, as he restarted his proposal, he recounted how he knew that when we met I was the one, his absolute best friend, soulmate, and love of his life. I couldn’t stop smiling ear to ear and said “YES!” before he even finished asking me to marry him.

He proposed with a very unique sapphire ring, which is incredibly special to us both.

And after an incredible week away in Iceland loving on being engaged and new fiances, I went home and was given my diamond ring that was so thoughtfully coordinated by my mother, grandmother, Derrick, and his family too. I lost my father when I was in high school and although he never got the chance to meet Derrick, the fact that he was a part of our engagement story is incredibly special to us both.

We’ve been on Cloud 9 since he asked and cannot wait to get married in front of all the people we love. Highly recommend an Icelandic proposal from your best friend under the Northern Lights ;)