Sunny and Rachael

Sunny and Rachael's Engagement in Bloomington IL

How We Met

Sunny and I met in high school, but became better friends our senior year of high school. We were in the same group of friends and actually went to senior prom together (just as friends!). After we went away to college (5 hours apart), we decided to give long distance a shot. For the last seven years, we have lived in five different cities, but have always made it work. Last December, we finally ended the long-distance for good, and moved across the country to Arizona together with our dog Nala to reunite our little family for good!

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Proposal Ideas Bloomington IL

Throughout our relationship, our families have always been a huge support system, and there isn’t anything we enjoy more than spending time with both our families whenever we can. My mom especially had always loved Sunny and watching their relationship grow, and how they became so close is something that made me love him more than I ever thought possible. Sunny is a permanent fixture in my family, he is the type of person I’ve always dreamed of being with, and I couldn’t imagine my life with anybody else.

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How They Asked

Our relationship has always been centered around love, and especially the love we both have for our families. My mother had been battling cancer for the past five years and had taken a turn for the worse in early 2019. I was back home in Illinois helping in whatever way I could, and Sunny was coming to town for the weekend to spend some time at home. He decided on Thursday that when he was back, he wanted to pop the question so my entire family could be involved. Sunny had bought the ring a few weeks prior, anticipating on proposing a few months later when we go to Hawaii. Instead, he called my sister on Thursday morning and told her the news, and that instead of proposing in a few months, he was actually going to be proposing on Saturday! He asked for her help, and they spent the next 48 hours, unbeknownst to me, putting together my dream proposal!

Saturday night he flew into our local airport, which is about 45 minutes away from my hometown. I was planning to pick him up, and he suggested we make a night of it and make reservations at a steakhouse in the city. I left around 6:30 pm, and as soon as I walked out the door my family was frantically trying to put together the picture-perfect spot. Sunny and I enjoy dinner (quicker than expected), and my family managed to pull everything together just in the knick of time. On our way home, Sunny blindfolded me and told me somebody was in town to surprise me (which I was hoping was my dog!).

We pulled up to my parents house, and as he took my blindfold off, the first thing I saw was my mom sitting outside surrounded by candles, string lights and rose petals… it was so amazing to see her out there, surrounded by the rest of our families, that I couldn’t even focus on the fact that Sunny was down on one knee in front of me. He asked if I would marry him in front of everybody we love, and I was so excited and of course, said yes (in between all the tears!). After the initial shock and excitement (and some more tears!), we were able to look at everything our families put together for us, from the photos of our relationship from the past 7 years to the photo that Sunny took of our dog Nala with the ring! It was all so beautiful and moving. We spent the rest of the night eating cake and drinking champagne.

It was everything I have ever pictured for us, and it was so special to include all of our families. All the effort and love that Sunny, my sister, and the rest of our family put into this made everything so beyond special, and it’s a night that we will never forget. It was especially meaningful to be able to share that night with my mom, who unfortunately passed away two months after. That night is something that we will all cherish forever, and my mom’s happiness and love is something that we both will hold onto for the rest of our lives.

Special Thanks

Brittnee Snodgrass
Photographer