how we met
Michael and I met through mutual friends years and years ago probably while we were still in high school or just out of high school. We never really connected because we were both in other relationships. Over the years we would run into each other here and there and then around 2010 – 2011 we were constantly bumping into one another at the Graduate in San Luis Obispo where we would go country line dancing and swing dancing. We became best friends and then decided to go to Stagecoach Music Festival together, and there our friendship blossomed into A relationship. We were teased a lot because we were breaking the standard rule of dating friends and messing with the friend circle. But it was all worth it!
how they asked
Michael and I had been together for about five and a half years. For the past four summers I had been living out of state, one extended summer to attend photography school in Montana, one summer to work at a children’s summer camp in the hill country of Texas and two summers to work as a teaching assistant at the photography school I had previously attended in Montana. Of course, the long distance was not easy on our relationship, but we always came out stronger at the end of each summer. Over the three summers I spent in Montana I fell in love with the state. The people are the kindest you will ever meet, the mountains are beautiful, the country is wide open, the sky is huge, there is a fantastic micro brewery on every corner, and a rodeo every weekend. I was able to get out of the city I was living in, Missoula, quite a bit and explore a lot of the state. My favorite place, probably on earth, became Glacier National Park. I guess this made it easy for Michael when he decided to propose. It had to be in Glacier. This was going to be my last summer in Montana so I wanted these special photos of him and I to hang on our walls. I planned the shoot with one of my closest friends and favorite wedding and portrait photographer, Stella. It became quite a little production. I was really excited about doing this shoot so I prepared the perfect idea. There had to be expansive mountains in the background, and some sort of epic scenery, so we decided Many Glacier was the spot for us. I bought the perfect dress and Michael got the perfect shirt and polished his boots.
Our photoshoot location was everything I dreamed of. We started our photoshoot and the photos were turning out gorgeous, but it was a little cloudy and I can tell it was bumming Michael out, and I wasn’t sure why. Stella and I both tell him that the clouds are beautiful for photos and Stella shows him the back of her camera. He cheers right up!
I still had no idea that Michael was going to propose, but Stella did. She distracted me by setting up photos with just me in them, conveniently facing the opposite direction of Michael. He pulled the ring box out of his boot and hid it under his arm. Stella finished posing me and brought Michael back into the picture. “Well, is there anything else you want to do here? Or should we move to another place?” Stella asks. I looked around and said, “Nope, let’s move somewhere else!” When I turn back around I found Michael on one knee with an engagement ring! “Kristin Michelle Raynor will you marry me?”
“Is this real?? Oh my gosh what’s happening?” Tears. “Is that a yes?” “Yes!”More happy tears from me. ?We did some more photos but I could barely focus I was so excited. After our shoot Michael and I went our separate way from Stella.
We were heading to Canada in the morning and we needed a place to stay that was warm and dry for the night. We lucked out and found this adorable little cabin for rent. We couldn’t find a place to eat dinner because it was getting late and we were in the middle of nowhere, so we went to the nearest gas station and got noodles for dinner and bacon for breakfast.
It was so simple and so cheap but it was the most special dinner of my life. We got to spend our first night as an engaged couple in the middle of the beautiful Montana mountains in our own little cabin, with only each other’s company. After more than five years of knowing we were perfect together, his proposal still caught me by surprise. I get to marry the best man in the world! I can’t wait to start our newest adventure together!