David here! Well, it all starts when we both swiped right. That is: We’re a Tinder success story. The efficiency of online dating wins again. 🤓
Our First Date
Our first date was in early July of 2016. What Megan *wants* me to tell you is that I “lied” on our first date. Why? I suggested we meet at a bar a few people a had told me was great, The Mayor of Old Town.
What you need to know about The Mayor is that it’s one of those places famous for its taps—in their case, they have 100. It’s mostly (I now know) a beer bar, and it identifies itself as such.
Where this *hugely unfair* “David was a liar” story comes from is that I ordered a beer, and invited her to “a beer bar.” But I don’t really like beer. In my defense, a reasonable person can invite a romantic prospect just about anywhere (except a movie theater) and it’s fair game. (Kids: never make a first date of a movie unless you know you like the person and are terrified of talking to them. And even then, maybe don’t.)
The date itself was great. We talked about God and “the mystery” and China and travel and watched the sun set on a Friday evening over Fort Collins. We nursed our drinks for hours. I kissed her goodnight.
The Early Days of Courtship
Immediately after our first date, I went on a business trip. We’d texted a bit the night after our date, but what came next was still a little up in the air.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to get a few unexpected flurries of text messages while away. If you’ve ever texted with her, you may know that Megan is a “many short messages” person rather than an “essay-texter.” That’s a little detail I was delighted by.
Another memorable milestone of the halcyon early days: on the way to the airport for another trip, I played on repeat the Carly Rae Jepson song, “I Really Like You.”
I also sent it to Megan. This was too early for “I love you’s,” but we felt comfortable with oblique mentions of “really liking” you. 😳
Saying I Love You
It wasn’t until a fall hike in Rocky Mountain National Park where we said “I love you.” I think both of us knew before that—of course we did—but it was too scary to say.
It took some Rocky Mountain Fall magic to get over the hurdle. The magic of a slightly chilly, but also yellow and gorgeous Colorado fall day. A long windy drive taking in the blaze of aspens. And the sense that we’d really taken an adventure I’d always wanted to be taken on.
If you know Megan, you know sitting still isn’t really an option. So we went! Where’d we go? Home to meet Megan’s family in Indiana. To New York City and Boston. To NOLA for Fred’s wedding. To Jackson Hole for cross country skiing and wolf-spotting. To the Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving, and Santa Fe for a random weekend. Texas. Michigan. Utah. Camping. Hiking. Snowshoeing. Biking.
Out to Belgium, Berlin, and the tulip fields of Holland. To the Bay Area to drink Philz and hang with Katie, Brian, & Kiwi. A disappointing cowboy-bar jaunt to Cheyenne. Grand Lake with the Hayeses and Orlando with the Lees. And as I write this, Oaxaca followed by Guatemala. So many I’m confident I missed a few.
Through it all, we learned how to work together… and how to get through too-early flights together. We grew ever more confident that this was something special.
Planning the Proposal
I’d known I was going to propose for a while.
For the actual question, I was set on matching the “I love you” event—an autumn hike in Rocky Mountain National Park—because it was our first major collective adventure. And I was pretty set on surprise because I knew she wanted it to be one. (Even though, literally days before, she was insisting on getting some sense of when / if I’d propose 🙄.)
Determining her ring size and style preference was well beyond my counter-intelligence-gathering ability. So I needed a stand-in ring. But what? I couldn’t just use one from a Cracker Jack box. Cracker Jack hasn’t had rings in decades, if it ever really did. But I was in luck: We’d been wearing the answer for months. 💡💡💡
Randomly, in the early stages of our relationship, Megan showed me how to make a friendship bracelet. And she gave me one. But I said “You have to wear one, too.” So, we chose to wear matching friendship bracelets. And kept doing it for the following two years.
This little YouTube video guided me on how to make friendship bracelet rings. Even with its relatively good advice, it took five tries before they started looking any good…
The Real Proposal
On September 16, 2018, we started our trek towards Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a hike Megan was excited to complete before winter made its way to the high mountains.
We got to the end of the hike–the namesake pond. There, we sat on a large rock to take in the view and soak our feet in the alpine lake. Mustering up all of my courage, I awkwardly kneeled on the (awkward) rock in the pond, said I had a surprise, and held out my homemade ring. After she turned around and because I assumed she knew the question, I said: “Well, will you…?”
She didn’t answer. And instead insisted that I *really* say it. By now, I was terrified. But I did squeeze out “Will you marry me?” (Before that, I do think I asked her not to make a scene… she was audibly and happily freaking out, and while we were alone on the rock, there were lots of other people on lots of other nearby… and I was so nervous!).
Then we celebrated with Takis, Polish food, and later, champagne.
Here’s where you, dear reader, enter the story. You’ve hopefully found this page because you mean a lot to us and have been invited to our wedding.
We want to make memories with those people who’ve meant so much to us. And after a lot of venue shopping and planning, we’re throwing a camp wedding. In addition to the traditional ceremony and reception, we’ll be doing a whole lot more: color wars, board games, traditional camp activities (hiking, boating, camp fires, etc) for the Friday and morning before our Saturday ceremony. We hope you’re able to join the whole adventure, but if not, we’ll be pumped for whatever presence and support you’re able to provide.