Stephanie and Daniel

How We Met: Daniel and I met in 2008 on the first night of our College and Career group at church. A friend of mine introduced us (and she’s now my maid of honour!). We soon became best friends but we were young and just starting university, so dating wasn’t really at the forefront of our plans. It became pretty clear in those first few months that this was the guy I wanted to marry. While we both had strong feelings for each other, we were worried about how pursuing marriage at this point in time might affect our plans for schooling and careers. It got to a point where we couldn’t deny where our friendship was headed, so after much prayer, counsel, and discussion, we went for it! We officially started pursuing marriage on January 1, 2010 when Daniel asked me to be his girlfriend!

how they asked: We had known we wanted to get married this July, so I was wondering how he would keep the proposal a surprise with the date coming up so soon – but he went above and beyond!!

On the Tuesday night he called me and gave me a list of four different bags to pack, each including different outfit changes. He told me to have them packed and ready to go at any moment. On Wednesday he told me to check my email – he had sent me a romantic poem that mentioned I should bring Bag #2 to our youth group that night. After youth, he gave me another poem that led us to Starbucks. The next poem led us to Deer Lake, which is one of our favourite spots to go. When we parted ways at the end of the night I was definitely excited – when would I use the next bag? What would we do next? When we said goodnight he gave me two envelopes – one was bulky, the other had instructions that said to open it Friday morning at 10am sharp.

I opened the first envelope on Friday, which had a poem instructing me to grab Bag #3, and skytrain to Broadway station where I could then open the bulky envelope. When I got there and opened it, inside was a set of car keys! Daniel called me and directed me to where he had parked his car. On the dashboard was another poem and a map with directions. I drove to our favourite coffee shop and there he was. For the rest of the day we followed different clues and poems that brought back precious memories from over our years together.

As the night was wrapping up I really felt as though he would be proposing – we were in my neighbourhood and everything, so it would be so convenient to go and tell my parents right afterwards!! Plus, he had made it extremely clear that he had plans with his family the next day, so if he didn’t propose tonight he wouldn’t be until Sunday – and that was just too far away, in my opinion! However, it started to snow and he had to drive home safely, so he promptly left – without proposing!! I went to bed feeling more and more curious.

The next morning I got up to do homework, and who should walk into my kitchen but Daniel! He made my entire family a beautiful sit-down breakfast before whisking me away on another adventurous, clue-filled day – with the help of Bag #1. Finally, after surprising me over and over again all day, we arrived at Deer Lake around 10:30pm. When I got out of the car, Daniel blindfolded me and led me down a path. When he took off the blindfold we were on the boardwalk, which was lined by red and white lights that were also in the trees all the way down to a dock. The dock was lined with lights as well and on it was a lighted canopy, a couch, an electric heater, an ipod/speakers, and a thermos (I found out later that he had rented a generator in order to do all of this!).

We sat on the couch looking at the still lake, bundled up in blankets he had brought and sipping hot chocolate he had packed in the thermos. He got out one last envelope and read me a fairy tale he had written about us, from the time we first met all the way until the present moment (covering about 3 1/2 years of storyline!). Then Daniel put on some music and asked me if I wanted to dance. We danced for a couple songs and when he went down to turn the music off, he got down on one knee and pulled out a box from his back pocket. The box had the most gorgeous ring I had ever seen in it! (Turns out Bag #4 had been a decoy to make me think he was proposing on Sunday!)

He proceeded to tell me how much I meant to him and why he wanted to spend his life with me – and he asked me to marry him!! I said yes!!

Photos by Marie Skerl Photography