A Picnic to Remember

OCTOBER 15, 2020

A PICNIC
TO REMEMBER

I f you’ve been following along on my Instagram stories, you’ll know that, Tom and I booked a one week getaway to the mountains this past August to escape the pandemic blues and came back home a newly engaged couple! Yup. Queue the fireworks because..  

I SAID YES!

It was such a surreal moment for both of us and I still catch myself getting teary-eyed whenever I glance down at my finger and realize there’s an engagement ring on there. To be honest, I’ve never been the type of girl that has given much thought to what my dream ring would look like but it’s beyond anything that I ever imagined. Today, I’m brimming with excitement and finally ready to share with you how it all happened.

AUGUST 25, 2020

It was a hot summer day in August. The weather was absolute perfection — calm, blue skies, sun-beaming as if the day was curated just for us. Tom shot a round of golf at a prestigious course in beautiful Canmore while I indulged in a mani/pedi day at the spa. We agreed to rendezvous for a picnic in the mountains which I would  stage beautifully for blog photos later that day. Little did I know, I’d be staging my very own proposal! 

Now, some may claim that I must’ve seen this coming but I really had no clue at all. When it comes to capturing photos for my blog, I’m completely focused. I’m fixated on brainstorming a concept and researching photo locations. I take the time to scroll through Pinterest for photo inspo. I plan hair, makeup, outfits, props and all the little details in between in order to produce content that really provides my readers with an experience. I admit that I tend to be very “type A” when it comes to these things but I suppose if you know me like Tom does, you’d use this to your advantage, just as he did…

Later that day, we began to realize that finding a location to set up a picnic that wasn’t so high traffic might be difficult to achieve on such a beautiful day. If we weren’t staging and shooting photos for a planned blog post, I wouldn’t have cared much but we didn’t want to take the chance of losing sunlight by driving around aimlessly searching for the perfect spot. My fellow creatives know that timing & lighting is everything, especially when planning blog shoots. 

And so while I got myself ready for the day at the hotel, Tom drove around town scoping out locations for our picnic. He returned soon after explaining that he wasn’t able to secure a spot but that he had a backup plan. Although I felt extremely anxious at that point, I really had no other option other than to trust that everything would work itself out.

We packed up the car with all of our picnic supplies and were on the road to said “back up plan” which turned out to be a secluded spot nestled behind a resort that Toms family has been visiting every year for as long as I can remember. There’s no doubt that this spot had the potential of being the perfect location for our picnic photoshoot, but we hadn’t been there since last winter and had a feeling that it would be a challenge to get there. 

Still, we persisted, even though we had a hunch that it would be a trek through overgrown fields of bush and weeds. We’d also have to cross over a small bridge and hike through a forest with fallen tree trunks, overgrown roots and obstacles galore. This would have been much less of an issue if we didn’t have a wagon jam packed full of camera equipment and picnic supplies to transport. I should also mention that the location was not car accessible which meant that we would have to travel the bumpy distance all by foot.

As I stared down at my outfit and thought about the trek we had ahead, I realized how comical this was. I offered Tom one last option of turning around and finding another spot but he was adamant that we continue with our plan — almost too adamant, now that I reflect back on that day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man so determined to get somewhere in my life! Still, I didn’t find this out of the ordinary at all because if there’s one thing you should know about Tom, it’s that he has always been my number one supporter especially when it comes to anything blog related.

 There was one time, I remember him climbing a tree and hanging dangerously by branches just to achieve the perfect Instagram shot as I posed uncomfortably for photos hoping he wouldn’t fall and break a limb. If you’re wondering whether those photos turned out great, they did and you will witness them in my next post — The Next Chapter. But anyways, my point is that this certainly wasn’t the first time he had gone through with a silly decision just to make me happy. 

I laughed at the sight of us, thinking how silly we must look if we were unlucky enough to bump into strangers. I was clearly overdressed for a hike into the wilderness and well, where the heck were we even going with this wagon piled full of stuff? As we continued on the rocky path to the location, I decided to pull out my phone to begin recording our journey through the thicket. If we were really going to do this, I thought I might as well capture the whole ridiculous experience. 

After countless obstacles, a few tree branches to the face, and a bloody shin, we managed to arrive at our “perfect spot” just a little out of breath. We were immediately met with breathtaking views of a turquoise tinted river and a stunning mountain scape that looked like it came straight out of a Bob Ross painting. There was not a soul in sight, the air was mountain fresh and the only sound to be heard was the river calmly flowing. 

It was safe to say that we had stumbled upon a little piece of paradise.

Shortly after our insta-worthy picnic was set up, we started assembling our tripod and camera and began our creative work. Our intentions were to capture some photos of our backs to the camera with the incredible mountain scape before us. We were able to take a few of just me, myself as you see here but unfortunately, Tom never made it into any of the still shots. I guess he took this window of opportunity to hit record on the camera to capture what was about to happen next..

I remember waving over at him to join me, so that we could capture some photos as a couple, still completely oblivious to everything at this point. That’s when he walked towards me, got down on one knee and popped the question! I was in total shock and really, everything after that was a blur. Just as you see in the movies, there’s laughter, happy tears, and in my case… a whole lotta “ YOU?!…Want to marry ME?!” I remember closing my eyes and giving it a moment before somebody would wake me up from a dream because it was such a surreal moment. I remember feeling like my heart was about to explode out of my chest. It really was a dream location for a proposal! 

We were completely alone, surrounded by the mountains and soaking up every second of our special moment.

We popped open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to celebrate and spent the rest of the evening sharing our exciting news over facetime calls to our closest friends and family. By the end of the night my face hurt from smiling endlessly. Tom ended up capturing the whole thing on camera but we’ve decided to keep that private moment just to ourselves. 

I can’t say that this was the proposal I pictured, but I can definitely say that it surpassed the cliché one I had dreamt up in my head for so many years which involved Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Originally, we had planned on visiting Paris for my 30th birthday this year where Tom says he planned on giving me my dream proposal. However, with the pandemic and travel restrictions in place, our trip to Paris was put on pause. With 2020 being an unsettling year for many, Tom wanted us to have something to celebrate in the midst of all the uncertainty that came along with this year.

At the end of the day, our picnic in the mountains turned out to be unforgettable and one that we will always remember. It was imperfectly perfect and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. Leave it up to Tom to troll me into staging my own proposal. (Insert eye roll emoji here) I still laugh thinking about it because only he would be clever enough to drum up an elaborate plan like this. I suppose this way he eliminated any stressful factors about staging the setting just the way I would have envisioned it, given the fact that I was tricked into staging the whole thing myself! My thoughts? Evil but equally genuis. I guess Toms trolling tactics have finally worked in our favour and I’ll be marrying a genius afterall! 

Here I go again, using the word surreal but it truly is surreal to think that after 10 years of friendship and another 5 years of being together as a couple, we’d be here — still the best of friends, still deeply in love and starting the next chapter of our lives with our new “fiancé” titles. I’m not a religious person but I have always felt a deep connection to the universe when it comes to finding genuine love and really trusting that what is meant for me, will always find its way. 

I think I’ll always wonder what I did to deserve all of these blessings but I’ll welcome each and every one of them as long as they keep coming! I believe that everyone has a chapter in their lives that they don’t read out loud but this certainly isn’t one of them. I think this is the kind of chapter that deserves to be read from rooftops, wouldn’t you agree?  

We also want to thank everyone who took the time to congratulate us on entering the next phase in our lives. We are overwhelmed with love and feel incredibly grateful to be surrounded by friends and family that support our union and are always rootin’ for us as a couple. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, and if you’re sipping on a glass of wine like I am, cheers.. to lots of bridal blog content ahead!

OUTFIT DETAILS:

DRESS | ZARA

HANDBAG | ALDO

EARRINGS | XIXI BY ADRIENNE HOUGHTON

RING | FOREVERMARK

love & good vibes
xo, annie