The bride-to-be grew up in church with her good friend, Heidi. As Delaney was heading off to college, Heidi gave her the snapchat of a friend from high school who was also attending GCU...Stephen. However, Heidi did not inform the groom-to-be of this girl who would soon be reaching out to him; so, Stephen believed Delaney was some random friendly stranger for their first several months of talking. Heidi's role in in the entire story was not fully brought to light till much later.
January of 2020, they met in person for the first time. Stephen had a flannel and his longboard, and Delaney was in scrubs that were two sizes too big. With the rise of a pandemic, long outdoor walks allowed them to deeply connect through communication. They supported each other through their schooling, and Stephen still believe his name also belongs on that nursing diploma. Since then, their love language has turned into quality time through hikes, exploring downtown Phoenix, and trying lots and lots of food.
Always looking for their next hike, Stephen and Delaney had set aside a full day to get out of town. The Aspen Trail in Flagstaff, AZ is only in fall colors for three weeks a year. A few minutes into the hike, Delaney played with pine cone and got her hands covered in sap (not realizing just how stressful that was for Stephen). The couple also passed an elaborate proposal picnic at which Delaney gave Stephen a hard time and said "must be nice!" A little further along, Stephen claimed there was a photo-op ahead that his friend had just recently discovered. They found a large flat stone with sunlight beaming down on it through the bright yellow leaves, and they set up a phone recording a video instead of using a photo timer. Getting ready to strike some poses, Delaney saw someone hiding in a distant bush. "That looks alot like Mason," she said and pointed at the stranger. Sure enough, Mason (the Best Man) stepped out from his hiding place with a fancy camera in his hands. Delaney looked from Mason to Stephen and put the pieces together, giggling uncontrollably as Stephen reached into his pocket and dropped to his knee. And here we are now!