Siena and Davis

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Overlooking the Colorado River, INSIDE OF the Grand Canyon

How We Met

Davis and I met in the fourth grade at our elementary school. We were only acquaintances and classmates, so we didn’t really know each other well. After I left for middle school, we were totally unconnected until we met again in high school, in a way that’s too awesome to be just a coincidence.

After going to Paris the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I knew I needed to learn French for some reason… but there were some scheduling conflicts with the French class I wanted to take. Darn! Well, this landed me in the class of Davis’ sister Kate, who became my friend after spending so much time together in class. I had also remembered her from the grade below me in elementary school.

Kate talked to me frequently about her brother, and I always mentioned how I remembered him from elementary school. Then one day, I finally ran into him at the SAT, for the first time since I had left in the fifth grade! I immediately went up to him and told him I remembered him and how great it was to see him again. I think that’s where it all started.

The next few months were a gradual process of Davis telling Kate that she should invite me over, and Kate playing a role in helping the two of us coordinate and get to know each other, in a completely subtle way. At first, we hung out as friends. Then a few dates. Then, we knew we wanted to officially be with each other. All of Kate’s efforts worked, obviously!

Davis and I have been by each other’s side through more SATs, proms, graduations, and now all of college, together. We cannot wait to see what adventures lie ahead!

how they asked

I found out after it happened that Davis’ proposal was a specific plan that he had formally in the works for around ELEVEN MONTHS… and I had no idea about it… not even suspicion! I knew we would get engaged eventually, but his timeline was a total secret to me. He even purposely misled me a bit to achieve the ultimate surprise. I’m happy he did. Every time I mentioned anything wedding-related in conversation, he entertained the topic but reminded me that it was at least a few years down the road. He never bluffed.

Where to Propose in Overlooking the Colorado River, INSIDE OF the Grand Canyon

Davis rafted down the Grand Canyon for the first time a few years before we met again, and from the beginning of our friendship and relationship, he mentioned wanting me to experience it one day. He said there was really nothing like rafting the Colorado River, but me being the not-so-adventurous and not-so-outdoorsy type, I didn’t know if it was something I would actually ever experience firsthand. When Davis told me about a year ago that his family was considering the rafting trip a second time and that they wanted me to join them, I was simultaneously excited and terrified. I hadn’t even gone camping in a tent before! Or tubing! How would I be able to handle the Grand Canyon? Despite my fears, the excitement undoubtedly overtook the apprehension and I began to plan for the trip with Davis and his family. After all, Davis has a way of helping me overcome my greatest fears.

Time passed and suddenly it was a month before the trip, and Davis insisted we celebrate our anniversary early — our four-year anniversary since he asked me to be his girlfriend. He knew that we would be rafting during our actual anniversary a month later, and so he wanted to give me my gift a month early instead of in the middle of the Grand Canyon. So one day he pulled out a little jewelry box from Smyth, his jewelry store of choice. I opened it up and inside was a stunning rose gold and diamond infinity band. It was a beautiful anniversary celebration, and I thought that would be the end of it! For all I knew, that was the end of our celebrating until at least the 4.5 year mark.

Before I knew it, the Grand Canyon trip had begun and Davis and I were rafting down the Colorado River with his family and others in our group trip. No cell phones, no technology. No toilets, no showers, no beds. We were entirely living and breathing the Grand Canyon to the fullest, without any distractions.

June 9th, our anniversary, fell on the second day of our rafting trip. I was simply thrilled that we could tell everyone we had finally been together for four years officially! After a long day of rafting under the Arizona sunshine (in its driest season, by the way!), we made it to our campsite for the evening in an area called “Furnace Flats,” titled fittingly for its climate. When Davis and I set our camping gear down after making it back onto land, he casually mentioned that we should go on a hike, just the two of us. He even let me lead the path most of the way, until we ended up climbing up a path of dirt and rocks to gain elevation. After a few minutes and a few gallons of sweat, we made it to higher ground with a stunning view of the sun over the Colorado River. It was breathtaking.

Davis started to tell me about how grateful he was for the many adventures we had together so far, and the many adventures to come. He said a lot more, but I couldn’t remember it all because of the shock I experienced from what would happen soon after. I didn’t catch on yet, because I was so mesmerized by the view! I kept walking around until Davis gently stopped me and had me look at him. When he said, “And now is as good a time as any…” and got down on one knee, I was in absolute SHOCK. I could NOT BELIEVE that my dream, OUR dream, was coming true before my very eyes. And of course I had stopped walking around in the one pile of rocks on that cliffside, so poor Davis had to kneel into a pile of rocks to propose! But I fell into the rocks with him, absolutely crying. He had pulled the ring box out of his pocket, and out came the most beautiful stone I had ever seen (and will ever see, for that matter). “Yes” was my instinct, and so were a few gallons of tears (which I’m surprised I had in me, considering the sweat and dehydration). Yes! I even ugly-cried for about an hour (#noregrets)!

After a few moments of catching my breath and recovering from the initial shock (good shock!), we made it back down to ground level and hugged his family, then told the others in our rafting group. Kate pulled out her digital camera and took pictures of Davis and I, our first pictures as an engaged couple. No other engagement shoot, however beautiful, could ever capture the raw and real intensity of our canyon proposal experience. Davis was right — we had the experience of a lifetime. The rafting leaders had pies saved to celebrate the last time of the rafting trip, but they broke them out that night to have an impromptu riverside/desert engagement party. It was truly an evening to remember forever. Then we had to wait to return to civilization almost a week later to tell everyone we had gotten engaged in the middle of the canyon!

Special Thanks

Kate Michaud
 | Photographer