Liz and Chris

Liz and Chris's Engagement in Lake Taupo, New Zealand

How We Met

Chris and I met in Philadelphia, where we both lived at the time, at a New Year’s Eve party in the final hours of 2015. My new roommate invited me to go, and Chris was invited through my roommate’s boyfriend. Neither of us knew many people at the party, so we gravitated toward each other and talked until I left for another party.

On New Year’s Day, we happened to see each other again and spent time together with mutual friends. Some drinks were had and some dancing was done, and we definitely became smitten with each other. The next day, I asked my roommate what she thought about Chris and if it was ok if I started seeing him. She said they’d been wanting to find someone to set him up with, so she was more than happy we found each other!

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Lake Taupo, New Zealand

For some reason, I was very sure about the situation and talked Chris, who was definitely more nervous, into hanging out with me and getting dinner. We saw each other nearly every day from then on and decided we were exclusively together several weeks later.

Although we’ve been together for over 3 years, we’ve been in a “short distance relationship” for the past 2 years. We live two hours apart, and only get to see each other a few times a month, but we’ve made it work and are really excited to start this next chapter of our lives together in the same place!

How They Asked

Chris’s family lives in New Zealand, so we took a trip in April to visit the country and for me to meet his extended family. We’d talked about getting married and had looked at rings, but I didn’t want to put any expectations on the trip in terms of getting engaged. I wanted to enjoy being together for 2 whole weeks!

Our first night and day in New Zealand were spent at Lake Taupo. It’s a beautiful lake on the North Island surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and fields. Because of our jet lag, we were awake at 4 am on the second day. Thinking we should get in the car and to our next destination while we were awake, I was confused why Chris was moving slower, suggesting we see multiple tourist sites before leaving, and insisting we get breakfast. But he did all the planning for this trip, so I just went along.

It was now around 10:30 am and I wanted to get on the road, but Chris insisted we go to a rocky outcropping along the lake that was supposed to be really pretty. I reluctantly agreed, wondering why he was so set on seeing this scenic outlook. We took some pictures and asked a “random stranger” to take a picture for us. Thinking we were all set, I started to walk back to the car, when Chris insisted that I not rush away as he got down on one knee.

It turns out that “random stranger” was a photographer he’d hired to capture the moment and this rocky outcropping was the place they’d picked for him to propose! To be honest, I’d always thought it was weird to have a photographer for a proposal, but I’m so glad she was there to capture the moment because I was so surprised I don’t remember the whole thing happening.

I’m sure Chris said very romantic things because I started crying, but when he opened the ring box, I got distracted seeing if he bought the ring I wanted. Once I could see it was the ring I wanted, I was so distracted by how beautiful it was in person that I forgot to say yes!

We had a short photoshoot after and then hopped in the car down to Wellington to meet his parents and his brother. It seemed literally everyone knew Chris was going to propose except me, so the next couple of weeks were spent celebrating with his family and enjoying our engagement-moon before heading home to the States.

Special Thanks

Jessica Lee Photography
 | Photographer