Rachel and Travis Van Loo
How We Met
Travis and I met on November 28th, 2015. He was working at the Christmas Tree farm that my family had been going to for years. I had noticed him a few years prior to the day we actually met and had referred to him as the “hot tree farm guy” every year after. This particular year, I had recently gotten out of a very toxic relationship, and I was feeling more confident than ever. When my family and I arrived at the farm and I saw him again, I knew it was time to finally make my move and see if he was the Prince Charming I had been waiting for!
As we hunted for our tree, I was giggling with my best friend Maddie, and my Mom, plotting on how I was going to talk to him. He always worked as the front guy at the farm, taking payment and helping customers load their tree’s on cars. So, I ended up only getting to chat with him for a brief moment when I went to pay for the tree and walked him to my families Suburban. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t start drooling when he threw the 11-foot tree over his shoulder and carried it single-handedly to the car. As we drove away from the farm, I watched him laughing with one of his coworkers and admired his beaming smile. I thought to myself “THAT is going to be my husband.”
At this point in the story, you’re probably thinking that I’m a total creep, BUT I’ve never been the type of person to give up on things that I really want, and I REALLY wanted to get to know this guy. After we left the farm, I realized I hadn’t even got his name! All I knew was that he worked on the farm, was super tall, and had a beautiful smile. I spent the rest of my day trying to hunt him down on Facebook with Maddie and my Mom. I ended up finding him by searching through the photos on the farms Facebook Page. There was a photo of him (from behind) and in the comments, someone had asked: “is that Travis?”. I then scrolled through the farm’s friends until I found him!
I proceeded to message mine and Travis’s only mutual friend, which turned out to be his cousin. What are the odds?! I let his cousin know how I had seen Travis at the farm and talked to him momentarily, but that I needed his help to put in a good word for me and see if Travis would be SUPER freaked out if I messaged him. Lucky for me, Travis didn’t find my stalkerish ways creepy at all. We ended up messaging each other all night, and he asked me to get dinner the following day. We discovered we both worked in the same mall; It was as if our paths were always supposed to cross one way or another. We talked for hours over dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, so romantic right? Travis texted me later that night and asked when he could see me again, we proceeded to see each other almost every night for the following two weeks until he eventually kissed me for the first time, and asked to make things official and call me his girlfriend.
How They Asked
Travis and I dated for three and a half years! We both knew pretty soon after we started dating that we could picture spending our lives together. We started talking about getting engaged at the start of this year, but with me still being in college, and him working full time to pay the majority of our bills, I didn’t expect it to be happening anytime soon. Back in April we started having a weekly date night on Sunday’s and would take turns coming up with fun ideas and new places to go. Travis made sure to always find a way to surprise me with fresh flowers, and usually a special treat like chocolates, or my favorite fruit. Seriously, how did I get so lucky!?
Summer is always super busy for me because I’m a bridal hair and makeup artist, so July was proving difficult for us to maintain our date nights considering I’m usually booked up on weekends. Travis had let me know a couple of days after the 4th that he wanted to plan a date night picnic for us the following weekend; Something I had been asking to do for a long time, I was super excited! He told me he would take care of planning everything, and that we would go when I got home from the wedding I was working.
When I got home, I started getting ready; Travis made me change my outfit at least three times because he said that my choices “weren’t right for a picnic”. It was at this point I had a feeling something was up because Travis NEVER cares about what I wear. I played along and let him pick out my outfit, which was not an easy task because I had just packed up the majority of my clothes as we were going to be moving the following week.
After I got ready, he took me to the grocery store to get our picnic goods, he explained to me on the way that he wanted to do a French-style picnic with a charcuterie board, a nice wine, and fresh fruit, some of my favorite things! We loaded up our basket and headed to the unknown picnic destination he had chosen. It wasn’t until we got closer that I realized he was taking me to the Tree Farm. He pulled in and drove us to the back of the U-Cut trees, where he said we would be able to have more privacy and not have to worry about the farm animals or people. He turned on a playlist he’d made just for me, with all of my favorite love songs.
We laughed and sang along to the music, talked about how much we loved each other and reminisced about our three and a half years together. Butterfliers started to fly in my stomach, as I started to catch on to what might be happening. We finished our picnic snacks and started to pack up, I started to wonder if I had completely over thought our date night. We started to drive towards the front of the farm and he pulled over and suggested that we go take some pictures in the trees before we left.
As we walked towards them, he started to play my all-time favorite song, Mirrors, by Justin Timberlake. Tears started to swell in my eyes when I looked ahead and saw a Christmas Tree decorated with twinkly lights, and pictures of us wrapped around it. He led me to the tree and stopped right in front, as we heled hands, he started to tell me how much he loved me, and how excited he was for us to finally be moving into our first apartment together without roommates. After I started crying however, he couldn’t get any more words out through our tears and laughter other than “stop crying”. He got down on one knee and before he could even pop the questions I yelled, “YES!”.
My best friend Maddie and Travis’s siblings emerged from behind the trees surrounding us cheering! He had even hired one of my good friends who are also a photographer to take pictures of the whole thing. We spent the rest of the night celebrating and sharing the news with our friends and family.
Travis truly is my Prince Charming, and I can’t wait to spend forever with him.