Olivia and Dakota

Where to Propose in Hiking Ryder Park

How We Met

I met Dakota in grade school. We were best friends for years and started dating so young… I was just in 8th grade and Dakota on the 9th. Funny story is I told him at first I did not want to date him because I valued our friendship so much; I didn’t want to mess anything up in case we broke up— boy was I wrong. I did not realize that we would become even closer and he would just become the most amazing best friend and partner I could ask for in life.

Olivia 's Proposal in Hiking Ryder Park

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Hiking Ryder Park

So here we are, 9 years later, about to start the next chapter of our lives together that God has had in store for us since the beginning. No breakups, no major fights, and absolutely no disappointment. I am so in love with this man and cannot wait to marry my best friend of 12 years. I wish I could clone this man for all the lovely ladies in this world!

Proposal Ideas Hiking Ryder Park

How They Asked

So Dakota had said something about starting our own tradition for the holiday season… so we talked about hiking and I was all for it. So, on Christmas Eve I woke up and, of course, took my time waking up and getting ready to go hike. As always, I woke up late and was taking my good ole’ time getting out the door to meet him at his place to drive to the place we were going to hike, Ryder Park. One reason I was taking so long to get ready was my hair. It was like Day 3 and I could not get my buns to look tight, there were kinks in my hair from sleeping on it, so I was like “screw it, I’m gonna curl it. That’s it!” So weird too because I only ever curl my hair on special occasions but I was just over the messy hair look — thank God at least my hair was done 😂. So I went to leave and noticed nobody was home… did not think one thing about that!

I got to my fiancé’s house, picked him up, and we were on our way! As we were driving up to the hiking park, it legitimately started snowing. So naturally, I had to get videos and pictures on the way up, which made us get up there even later (you’ll see why all of my stalling matters later… I still get a kick out of this!) Mind you, it’s Christmas Eve so it felt absolutely magical! It did not snow anywhere in our area except you this mountain because of the elevation change! So we get up there and we start to head towards our usual route and of course, I suggest, “maybe we should go a different route this time” (which was not his plan). And Dakota calmly redirects me with, “What about your favorite lookout? Don’t you want to hang up the hammock there?” Of course, I don’t think anything of it and I say, “you’re right! Let’s go that way.” Then I offer to carry our hiking bag but Dakota declines, which I thought nothing of because he is just like that; a pure gentleman.

So this lookout is about 15 minutes in and as we get closer, Dakota trailing behind me, I see a tree ahead. I say, “Oh look! A tree! Awhhhhhh!” Still clueless. Then I see that it has lights on it and a tree skirt. I say, “Awhhhh it’s decorated!” STILL. CLUELESS! I’m legitimately thinking, “How cute! They decorated a tree for all the people to see when they go past. And then I got closer and saw an ornament. I say, “It has an ornament!” STILL. CLUELESS. As I get closer, I realize that what it says with a small cartoon image of a boy and a girl. It says “Will you marry me?”

I stopped and honestly don’t remember this moment. On the video, I bend over and just start sobbing. Dakota has to pull me in and I am just so giddy and it was so so so perfect! Then after a little bit of hugging and kissing, Dakota says, “Okay guys. You can come out!” Out pops our parents from behind brush and trees in head-to-toe, camouflage ghillie suits. It was the best thing I have ever seen! HAHA! At that moment, I cried so hard because he knew without me saying anything to him about how I wanted proposed to; a relaxed atmosphere, somewhere that meant the world to both of us, with the people that meant the world to us. Everything about the proposal was perfect.

Side Note: Remeber when I said I overslept, took forever getting ready, and just had to take pictures on our drive-up of the falling snow??? All the while, our parents had been up on the mountain for over 4 hours waiting for us to get there. SO SORRY AGAIN GUYS! 😂 LOL