It was December 13th, 2019, when we met. It was the old, "locking eyes from across the room" scenario. He was meeting up with a friend who just so happened to be friends with one of my friends that I was with. Once we met and started talking, it was like sparks flying. The night continued with us talking all night, (no, literally ALL NIGHT. Until 3am to be exact). The instant chemistry was something neither of us had ever experienced, and we both knew then that we had found something pretty special. A few days later, we had our first date, and we've been inseparable ever since. Fast forward, to 2022: We're now engaged to be married! So, cheers to that!
Eeeek! This is my favorite story by FAR. I thought it would be fun to do this story from my point of view first, then from Tanners. Enjoy! Her Story: It all started with Tanner wanting to plan a trip for us. He worded it as though he wanted to take me somewhere fun to get away from the stressors of nursing school, and of course, I said YES PLEASE. So, he told me he wanted plan the whole trip himself (we usually plan itinerary together) and that he wanted to take me to the Grand Canyon, because he thinks it’s beautiful and romantic. At this point, I didn’t think “oh my gosh he’s going to propose” because as some of you may know, Tanner and I have a life goal of visiting all the National Parks, so I assumed he just wanted to check one off of the list. On March 30th, we woke up at 5am in an AirBNB in Williams, AZ, and our plan for the day was to hike the Grand Canyon from the top all the way down to the Colorado River, so I was STOKED! As we’re hiking, we get to about a mile in, and he stops at the most beautiful view I had ever seen, and said “this is super pretty, I want to get a picture of us in front of this view” so he set up the tripod and his camera and walked over to me. From there, he turned to me and got fidgety and nervous and said “Baby… you know I love you right?” Right in that moment I was like “Oh my gosh he’s about to propose right now” and sure enough, my amazing man got down on one knee in front of the most beautiful view, and brought out the most gorgeous ring, and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said YESSSS!!! When we hugged and he put the ring on, we could hear the cheers from a group of hikers who saw what was about to happen and stayed back and waited until we had our moment. I will never forget that day.
His Story: I knew I loved this woman and already knew I wanted to spend my life with her. I bought the ring in august of 2021 and had been sitting on it for several months at this point. Step one: Check. But the real question was the how? Over the weeks leading up to the trip (Before I asked her if she wanted to go on the trip), I started planning the how. I knew I wanted somewhere with a gorgeous backdrop, but we were working on little time to squeeze in a trip and everywhere I was finding was out of season or closed. Then it dawned on me, THE NATIONAL PARKS!! So, I started scrolling through national parks that we could venture off to and have an adventure that I could turn into the romantic trip I wanted. After much research, I found that the typical “touristy” Grand Canyon had some of the most gorgeous hikes you could find, and the BEST part, most of them were secluded after reaching a certain point where the touristy types would get tired and hike back to the trailhead. PERFECT!! I found the South Kaibab Trail! It had everything I wanted; a romantic backdrop, a direct shot to the Colorado River (16 miles roundtrip HA!) and secluded viewpoints perfect for the proposal! The rest of the itinerary seemed to just fall together. A beautiful cabin big enough for two in Williams, AZ, great food places in town, and flagstaff close enough to celebrate afterward. The day of: The day arrived to waking up at 5 AM to ensure that we were in the park in time to pick up any last-minute hiking essentials and find parking. The air was chilly, and it had snowed the day before. As if I wasn’t already nervous enough, now all I had on my mind was "Are we even going to be able to do the hike that I planned for us?" We prepared for the day, packed our bags and I hid the ring in the top of my backpack in the sunglass pocket (A spot I know Tesia would never look) and headed out the door. As we drove to the park, the clouds started clearing. But with the clouds clearing more, I felt my nerves growing more. The trip felt like forever. I did whatever I could to not seem anxious. Music, laughing, and joking filled the car! We arrived at the park, parked the car, and to my surprise it was the exact day I had planned for, cold but not a cloud in the sky! The perfect day for the proposal. We geared up and we were off on the hike we knew would take us all the way to lunch time. Now mind you, I had plans for the proposal to be at OOH AAH point about a mile into the hike. As we rounded the corner to the point, my hands were sweating, and I felt a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball. The point approached and upon getting to it, I realized there’s no way we can both stand up there with me on my knee without me plummeting to my death in the ravine below. “Were my plans ruined?” was all I could think. We continued hiking around the point and came out below to find the most spontaneous gorgeous view. Rock steps lined the top of a ridge that you would walk down, all with a 270-degree view of the canyon. This was it. This was the spot. I had Tesia stop and told her I wanted to take a picture. I bought a tripod for my phone for this and set it up so we can capture “the moment” without her even knowing. As I came walking back to her, I felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest. All the rehearsed lines I wanted to express to her before asking her disappeared and all I could utter out was “You know how much I love you right?” It did it, I saw her face light up, she knew. My nerves eased some and I was able to compose myself enough to get a small bit of my feelings out before finally asking her the question. “Will you marry me and make me the happiest man ever?” She almost couldn’t get the words out, “YES!!!” I placed the ring on her finger, gave her a hug that I will cherish for a lifetime, and instantly heard all the cheers from hikers on the ridge above. We started that hike that day as boyfriend and girlfriend and finished as Future Mr. and Mrs. Briel.