Kate and Branden

How We Met

B and I were an unlikely couple from the beginning; he was younger than me, I had graduated from college. Our families lived 2000 miles away, and we were both incredibly lost in our respective ways. Our friendship began rather quickly, forming a connection and relating to each other in ways that scared us. I constantly tried to set him up with my friends but he would never follow through. A few weeks into the friendship I asked him, “why won’t you ask any of my friends out? They’re all gorgeous”. He replied, “yes they are. But none of them are you, I want you”. From that moment on, I decided to ignore my fears and within just a few more short weeks, I was madly in love with this man.

We had our fair share of obstacles along the way; my grandfather, my dearest person on earth, died early in our relationship and Branden broke his leg which ended his football season (on the actual date of my birthday I might add!). But everything we went through never broke us, it just made us stronger. The challenges just seemed to propel our relationship forward, causing most people to tell us that we were moving at “lightning speed”. Little did they know we took that as a compliment. Just at 9 months into dating, we would go look at rings together, fantasizing about the day he would get down on one knee. One particular day, I found my dream diamond. It was absolutely beautiful and everything I had dreamt of since I was a little girl, but I left feeling sad, knowing some other bride would come and claim it as her own. The joke was on me because Branden secretly went back that night and bought it.

Fast forward to just over a year and a half from the moment B and I started officially dating, you find us now, engaged. The road leading up to the engagement is bumpy, but that fits along with our story. We’ve always had obstacles happening around us, but the only thing that’s never wavered was our love for each other.

how they asked

Branden is from Salt Lake City, Utah, but plays football at Ohio State (where we met). He gets very little time off from football and school, so when he does, we make it a point to go home and visit his family. I had it in the back of my mind that this week may be the week he’d pop the question- but thanks to all the things that went wrong (which I had been completely unaware of all week), I ended up being totally shocked. B had the ring sent out to Utah to arrive on Tuesday, July 3rd. I knew that if he was going to propose, it would have been before July 4th, because my parents had to leave early on the 5th. And I was right, that was indeed his plan, but the ring missed it’s connecting flight in Memphis, meaning it was stuck (due to the 4th being a holiday and nobody was working, there’s no way the ring would have gotten there in time). So the scrambling began- Branden asked us to change our flight home from the 5th to the 6th, claiming he wanted to see friends that were coming in on the 5th, so obviously I didn’t think anything of it. I’m a blogger and had a photo shoot set up on the 3rd, but the photographer reached out to me claiming that her camera wasn’t going to be finished with its cleaning in time for our scheduled shoot, so she asked if I could do the 5th instead. You’re probably wondering, okay how did she not think it was happening on the 5th? Well, the most important people in my life, my parents, were still going to be leaving early that day, and I knew he wouldn’t propose to me without them there.

Where to Propose in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

The 5th rolls around, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed, but I knew it would be happening at some point, so it wasn’t going to ruin my week. My parents came over to say goodbye to us and his family, and I left for my photoshoot. Nothing seemed sneaky or secretive, so I really had no thoughts of a proposal in my mind. The shoot started off like all of my others until I did an outfit change and we walked back out towards a dock. I was a little confused as to why we were making our way out of the forest (since that’s where I wanted my pictures to be taken), but when Kaci, our photographer, told me to turn around and walk to the end of the dock, my heart sank. Branden was standing at the very end, holding a bouquet of roses, dressed to match me, with the biggest smile on his face.

Kate's Proposal in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

I had butterflies the entire long walk to meet him, and when I finally reached him, I saw the ring box in the flowers from the exact place I had fallen in love with the perfect ring, months and months ago. I started to tear up before he even spoke these words: “I have been wanting to do this so much longer than you know. You’ve brought me all the happiness in the world, you’re my better half, the love of my life, my soulmate. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?” Of course, I said yes with a beaming smile on my face. The ring he put on my finger was indeed the one I had fallen in love with; I was shaking. People formed around the lake erupting in cheers, whistling, clapping. It truly felt magical.

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We took some pictures with Kaci, as she told me the story of what had happened, how her camera was never being cleaned and she was in on the whole thing. I was in complete shock, but one question still had me confused, where were my parents? It was quickly answered when I heard B’s mom yell CONGRATS! I turned around to see his mom and my parents walking towards us on the dock, holding a fiancé gift basket and champagne.

Proposal Ideas Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

I looked at him as if I almost didn’t believe it was happening. All my faith in him was just even more confirmed, he knew my parents being there was too important to me, and they all made it happen. I ran like a little girl over to my mom, she had tears in her eyes and hugged me tighter than she ever has. My dad looked me straight in my eye and told me he was proud of me and said: “you picked a good one Kate”.

Kate and Branden's Engagement in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

The surprises don’t stop at the proposal. The next day when we arrived home, one of our best friends picked us up from the airport. I was so tired and overwhelmed (in a good way) from all the love we had received after announcing our engagement, that I was just ready for a nap. We pulled up to our house with a giant sign on the door reading “Welcome home future Mr. and Mrs. Bowen”, with the added note of “congrats” from the UPS delivery man! We walked into our stairs lined with roses and candles, balloons everywhere with our pictures attached to the bottom, champagne and decorations everywhere (not to mention they iced us with 2 Smirnoff Ices, LOL). Branden had asked two of my best friends to set it up for me when we got home, and I absolutely did not see it coming. Saying that I felt like a complete princess is an understatement.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

The entire week happened as if I had written it myself. A little drama, a ton of surprise, and my fiancé absolutely outdoing himself. I will never get tired of telling our story, sharing our proposal, and feeling like the luckiest woman in the world. I can’t wait to spend the rest of eternity with you, Branden Lane Bowen.

Special Thanks

Kaci Baum
 | Photographer
Olivia Dicarlantonio
 | Planning
Ninamarie Powell
 | Planning