Michelle and Kevin

How We Met

The first encounter I had with Kevin was while swiping through Tinder in March of 2016. I came across his profile which also had a link to his Instagram account and I just had this gut feeling and thoughts of ‘Wow!’ I called my mom pretty much immediately after ‘swiping right’ on his profile to tell her “I found him!” It took about two whole days and a lot of waiting and checking on my Tinder matches as they came through (and a few inquiries from my mom as well!) for Kevin to swipe right on my profile. His match came across in the middle of the night two days later (a Wednesday) and I jumped out of bed to check and I was so excited I couldn’t go back to sleep. Without hesitation, I immediately messaged him first saying, “Hi Kevin! How are you?”

We connected very well through text although Kevin struggled to keep up with my rapid typing and resorted to using iPhone’s Siri to type out his messages for him. Our first planned date was the upcoming Sunday’s brunch after I declined joining him to a restaurant on St Patrick’s Day since I had plans with a girlfriend who had just broken up with her year-long boyfriend. The Saturday rolled around and I received a message early afternoon from him asking me if I was up to anything and if not, if I was up to a ‘touristy’ type of day in Toronto. Of course I was! I asked no further questions and he agreed to pick me up at my apartment at 3 pm.

I wore some basic skinny jeans, a tank top, sweater, heels, and packed some converse sneakers in a big purse as I had no clue what we were going to get up to. I waited outside once I knew he was close and it was truly love at first sight AND swipe! He greeted me with the sincerest hug and opened his car door for me. Inside was an old Fujifilm polaroid camera (he had no idea how much I love photography!) and our first mission was to find film. Our first date ended up being 12 hours long with dinner starting at the CN Tower at 4:30pm, molecular drinks at Barchef on Queen Street, dancing and our first kiss at The Addison’s, and we finished off at Wildflower at the Thompson Hotel. We had such a blast. The next day, Kevin still picked me up to take us to the original brunch date. We have been inseparable since.

how they asked

The Back Story: The proposal was set in motion a few months before Kevin proposed. He is the kind of guy that would propose quite instantaneously once he had the ring in his hands. He had initially booked an appointment back in February with Tiffany’s to begin to secure the ring design and the day before, we dropped off one of my Tiffany’s bracelets to get sized and we wandered over to look at the rings. I have long been a fan of Tiffany’s and pretty much only wear Tiffany jewelry however, the rings did not strike me the way I had anticipated! I tried on a few and didn’t feel that sparkle that I hoped! He was very shocked. We wandered over to Maison Birks where I instantly fell in love with the Birks Deco ring. It is such a unique, beautiful ring and I had tunnel vision – this was the ring! We left it at that and never spoke about rings again. The weekend before the proposal happened, Kevin realized he had yet to ask my Dad for his permission (meanwhile had attempted the question many times during their many sporting outings but couldn’t find the words) and called him to find out where he was while I was out with my Mom on the Sunday afternoon. To his surprise, my Dad was in New Jersey visiting my brother and his fiancé and all he could say was “Well – I need to talk to you. When do you get back?!”

Image 1 of Michelle and Kevin

The plan for my Dad to catch an earlier flight back from New Jersey was set in motion. The week of the proposal Kevin began acting a little strange. I didn’t pick up on all the queues and in hindsight I can now point out many of them. He did not sleep the Sunday night and was picking up the ring the next day. When he picked up the ring late afternoon, he called my mom and spoke to her and was so excited that he drove way beyond where we lived and had to pull over because he couldn’t contain himself! When he came home, he put his backpack (which I now know contained the ring) in the main closet instead of a different closet that he has always kept it in. He was also extremely protective of that backpack and even burst out of the washroom one morning asking me what I was doing when I was unzipping my own backpack in the same closet to get some lip balm! The following day, I had appointments in Aurora and Kevin drove me to my parents place to pick up a car so that I could get around for the day meanwhile, he was using that opportunity to show my mom the ring and also tell her his proposal plans! Kevin barely slept the rest of the week and had taken off both Wednesday and Thursday before we headed to the cottage for 5 nights. He barely slept both nights, didn’t eat, and when he did, he was sick to his stomach! I had no clue that it was related to the proposal. He was on edge and was reacting to anything that created any kind of minor conflict or could potentially create a conflict. I never put two and two together.

Image 2 of Michelle and Kevin

The Lead Up: Every year my family hosts a Victoria Day/May 2-4 weekend long cottage party and invite a multitude of friends. We had about 25 people schedule to join this year with most coming Friday through to Monday. Kevin and I had taken some extra time off from work to enjoy the weekend and we drove with our friend Heather on the Thursday night. Kevin needed a plan to get us to my parents place on the Thursday night (May 18th) in order for him to formally ask my Dad for his permission to marry me without it seeming obvious to me. The result was that we had to pick up the famous Lasagna that my mom makes for the cottagers because she had no room in her fridge to keep it for my Dad to bring it up on Friday morning. We arrived and Heather and myself went inside leaving Kevin to assist my Dad with packing his car for the cottage weekend. Little did I know that Kevin was asking my Dad that extremely important question! While driving up to the cottage, Kevin would hold my hand extra tight and he was looking at me the way he does when I catch him looking completely enthralled and in love with me = the best feeling! We arrived at the cottage a few hours later and were greeted by my cousin, his girlfriend, and a few friends. I was not suspecting anything that was to come!

The Proposal: 7:30 am: I can be a pretty light sleeper and was aware when Kevin got out of bed the next morning. I woke up too but not for long – we typically have separate waking schedules as I tend to sleep in for many hours whereas he will wake up on a weekend, muster about for two hours, then go back to bed for a two-hour nap. I recall him having a nosebleed at some point that morning too (stress!?!) After what I am sure to be a short period of time waiting for me to fall back asleep, Kevin woke up Heather in the next room to help him with the proposal setup. Apparently, they spent the first 45 minutes trying to figure out how to work my Sony A-6000 camera when they failed to get my instruction the night before through some sly suggestions that I did not pick up on. Heather’s job was to help Kevin set up his proposal idea and also hide in the bushes to take photos for the actual proposal! The location of the proposal was on the raft that unfortunately had to be canoed to as no dock was in yet since this was the first weekend of cottage season. Kevin started out with a kayak to move the gear when my cousin’s girlfriend confronted him and said, “Why aren’t you using the canoe” when Kevin replied “Well, what one earth am I using?” 9:30 am: Kevin comes to do the impossible: get me out of bed. He came into our bedroom in the cottage and kissed me sweetly, telling me that it was 11:00 am and that he had something to show me. When I asked, he told me that he had made my favorite breakfast (Eggs Benedict!) and that it was going to get cold if I didn’t get out of bed and put on something warm quickly. I had to battle with the thought of getting out of bed in my mind but with the idea that it was 11 am and Eggs Benedict were in play, I couldn’t resist!

I put on an additional grey sweater over the Roots sweatsuit that I slept it, some leopard print socks with white converse shoes, and never even went to the washroom to fix my hair or brush my teeth. I didn’t even think twice when I saw the time of 9:30 am on the oven timer because I just figured the timing was off as we likely had just turned on the power for the cottage season opening. No one was in sight – I had inquired where our current cottage guests were because it was 11 am and Kevin just simply told me they were sleeping (when he had actually banished them to their rooms). No breakfast was in sight yet as he lured me outside into the cold, dewy morning and down to the lake. When we arrived down at the lake I saw the raft decorated with rose petals, white candles, ready-to-pour mimosas, blankets, and a canoe to get there. It was so romantic! Kevin turned to me and said “I haven’t done something nice for us in a little while…” and while it was untrue, this gesture was just so lovely. This was technically our ‘one year anniversary’ as he had asked me to be his girlfriend the same weekend the year prior so in my mind, this was an ode to that. We had already celebrated our one year anniversary based on our first date because we were inseparable and committed to each other since then. We wobbled into the canoe, frigid and shivery, and canoed the 10 seconds to the raft. Thankfully we didn’t tip although there were a few questionable moments.

Once on the raft we quickly snuggled under the blankets he had set out and wow, what a moment! Kevin had a small portable speaker with us and he began to play some adorable love songs (James Arthur, Christina Perri), and through our kisses he buttered me up with all the wonderful things he always says to me about us being together. We have both never been happier or felt better with our respective partners, are consistently excited and passionate about each other, and our feelings for each other keep growing. I don’t want to write out what he said to me because I hold that very dear to my heart and won’t ever write it the way he was able to express himself to me so perfectly. After a few more kisses, Kevin sat up and asked me to stand. He began to tremble and had the most genuine and loving smile on his face as he tried to keep his emotions in check. He took my hand and I immediately knew he was proposing. Unfortunately, this is also where my memory is a bit bleak. Kevin got down on one knee and with both of us in tears, Kevin began to say, “Michelle Laureen Cour…” and I lost all feeling in my legs and dropped to my knees! I knew I had to stand which felt almost impossible in that moment, and he continued, and to his recollection I said yes about three to four times before he asked me to marry him.

Image 3 of Michelle and Kevin

I just couldn’t contain myself! He finally got the words out where I could say, “Yes!” as my final answer and dropped to my knees again. We were both crying happy tears practically in disbelief that we have been able to find each other and share this incredible love that we do. It is this moment that I also spotted Heather hiding in the bushes taking photos of us (something I will be eternally grateful for) and she stayed for another hour! We popped our champagne, the sun came out, we kissed and hugged and danced some more, I jumped around with excitement, and Kevin even yelled as loud as he could across the lake “SHE SAID YES!” His proposal was more than I could have ever imagined and was so perfect for him and I. We also had friends and family arriving later that day (including my mom) which turned into quite the celebration. Kevin couldn’t have planned or timed the proposal more perfectly!

Image 4 of Michelle and Kevin

Special Thanks

Heather Wadel
 | Photographer