a.photographer | he asked..she said yes! | xavier & emily [proposal stories] | white bear lake photographer

he asked..she said yes! | xavier & emily [proposal stories] | white bear lake photographer

July 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
XavierAndEmily_003XavierAndEmily_003
Xavier & Emily [proposal stories]
White Bear Lake, MN May 
What can I even begin to say about this awesome couple? When I first met up with Xavier & Emily at one of my favorite watering holes, it felt like we were fast friends. I loved hearing about their jobs, their cats, and their EIGHT years together! (It gave me hope!) Just like me, these two don't take themselves too seriously and are easy to laugh with. In order to book their wedding venue, they camped out for a week to be first in line! After we had been chatting for awhile, I asked them the inevitable question about the proposal..and boy was I in for a surprise! After so many years together, Xavier wanted to make it good. He gathered up all of Emily's favorite people to have them in on the plan. Its a bit of a read but oh so worth it. I will let their stories speak for themselves! Can't wait for your October wedding day friends! 

In Emily's words:
I woke up on the morning of May 28th to meet my mother for breakfast. We had made plans to do this several weeks previous and I was pretty excited seeing as we were going to one of my favorite restaurants. When I went to turn off my alarm clock I was surprised to see a small manila envelope labeled “READ ME”. Inside the envelope was a letter informing that I would be going on a TOP SECRET mission. I was to meet my mother and wait for further instructions from “secret operatives”. Of course, I thought this was bizarre but I was up for the challenge.

I arrived at the restaurant and found my mom waiting for me. I thought for sure my mother would have more information for me about this so called “Top secret mission” but she seemed just as puzzled as me when I showed her the letter. We proceeded to eat breakfast and talked as much as we could, though my mind was very distracted by why Xavier had left me this letter. After finishing breakfast and walking out to my car my mother finally pulled out a small cardboard briefcase labeled Clue #1. Inside I found a satellite image of a location with longitude and latitudinal coordinates. Xavier had showed me how to look up locations using these type of coordinates on the iPad just a week before…convenient right?

I followed the coordinates and found myself at the location where we first met. Back in 2008 we had met at a hotel where our mutual friends were staying after prom. I had met Xavier there and we had played cards and talked. Fast forward to 2016 and I found myself walking back into this hotel. Upon walking into the lobby, I saw Xavier’s Aunt. I immediately starting crying, because I knew that she had come all the way from the state of Virginia. I think at this point I was fairly certain that this scavenger hunt was going to lead to Xavier proposing. Xavier’s Aunt, Erin, gave me a key that lead to the room where Xavier and I first met and there I found a second briefcase labeled Clue #2.

Once again I followed the coordinates and found myself at the bowling alley where we had our first date. There I found one of my closest friends Jaime. Jaime lives about 90mins away so I was shocked to see her. Of course, she was holding a briefcase that said Clue #3. I grabbed the briefcase and Jaime and I headed to the next location.

The next briefcase lead us to the zoo where Xavier and I had our second date and had spent many more since. As I walked to the entrance of the zoo I had this whole process down. I scanned the crowd looking for someone that I knew. Sitting on a bench was another one of my close friends, Mel. Mel lived 4hrs out of town and I couldn’t believe that she was standing in front of me. She quickly handed me another briefcase with Clue #4 on it and the three of us jumped in my car, after seeing my favorite animal the giraffes of course!

Clue #4 lead us to the exact location where Xavier had officially asked me to be his Girlfriend. There I found two of our mutual friends. These two gentlemen got a little too much into the role of “Secret Operatives”, both were wearing aviator sunglasses and had James Bond music playing in the background. They “presented” me with briefcase #5. I looked at the satellite picture and without needing to put in the coordinates I drove to the final location.

I arrived at Matoska Park. This was the location where we spent most nights the first summer we were dating. We would sit on the dock and talk about life. On this dock was where Xavier had first said “I love you”. When I arrived at the park on May 28th I saw Xavier standing on that very dock waiting for me. At this point my stomach was mush. I was so nervous. I climbed up on the dock and Xavier was down on one knee. He managed to spit out the words “Will you marry me?” and of course I said YES!

1. First clue and instructions1. First clue and instructions 7. Emily with friends7. Emily with friends
2. Clue Boxes2. Clue Boxes
4. Hotel Clue4. Hotel Clue
In Xavier's words:

I started planning the proposal two years in advance. Emily and I had been dating for 8 years before I popped the question so I had a lot of time to ponder on it. One thing that helped is we started talking about our wedding before we got engaged so I knew who Emily was going to have as her bridesmaids. The basic premise of the proposal was a scavenger hunt. I wanted the scavenger hunt to walk Emily through the first month of our relationship, so each location held a special moment for each of us.

The theme of the scavenger hunt was “secret agent”. I got these party bag cardboard brief cases from amazon. Inside each brief case was two aerial photographs of the next location. I used google maps and photoshop to give them a satellite surveillance look. On the back of each photograph was the longitude and latitude of where she needed to go. She was also told that a “secret operative” would meet her at each destination to give her the next clue. The “secret operatives” were her friends and people she was going to have in the wedding. It took me two months of making clues, contacting her friends, and planning the coordination of it all.

I talked with Emily’s mom a few weeks before the proposal. I had her call Emily and arrange to meet her for breakfast. Emily drove to meet her mom, they had breakfast, and Emily received her first clue and instructions. The first clue brought her to the Radisson Hotel in Roseville.

Emily and I met on prom night in 2008 at the Radisson. We went with a group of friends and did not know each other, the whole group stayed in two rooms. We ended up playing cards and just talking for most the night. Then the whole group crashed. The next morning, I had to ask a friend for Emily’s name and who she was, more on that later….

So, Emily punched in the longitude and latitude coordinates I left in the briefcase into to her GPS. Inside the briefcase was also a key to the same hotel room we met in. She drove to the hotel and found her second clue in the hotel room. The second clue brought her to Flaherty's Bowling Alley. Keep in mind I’m driving ahead of her with her friends in my car and dropping them off at each location. I had a stop watch to gauge how much time I had before she would arrive at the next location.

Back to 2008. My friend told me her name was Emily. The next weekend after prom my friend told me the group was going to a music concert at White Bear Lake High School and Emily would be there. So I went to the concert and later that night asked Emily for her number. I called Emily a few days later and asked if she wanted to go bowling. Flaherty's is where I brought Emily for our first date. We bowled a few games and I dropped her off at home…

Emily got to Flaherty’s where she met her friend Jaime. Jaime handed her the next clue and they both hopped in Emily’s car. The next clue brought Emily to the Como Zoo. Specifically, to the giraffe exhibit because that’s her favorite animal.

A week after our date at Flaherty’s Bowling Alley Emily called and asked if I wanted to go to the Como Zoo with her. I obviously said yes and picked her up. We were not there long before we had to leave. In May of 2008 a tornado struck the Twin Cities. It touched down in Hugo but the zoo had started to close everything down to prepare for the bad weather. As we drove away it started to look really bad. By the time we got to Emily’s house the wind was gusting and we ran inside to seek shelter. This is when I met her family. We all hung out and waited for the storm to die down, it was a good way to meet them…

Emily gets to the zoo and meets her friend Mel there. I had left money in the brief case so they could feed the giraffes. Her next clue brought her to this drainage ditch on the side of the road by her family’s house.

After the storm died down Emily and I decided to go on a walk. Things had been going pretty good up to this point. So, while we were walking I decided to ask Emily if she wanted to go out with me. She said, “sure”. I remember we were standing next to this drainage ditch in a very nonromantic location…

She arrives at the drainage ditch by her house to meet some of my friends who handed her the last clue. It lead her to the Matoska Park in White Bear Lake.

... At the time, I was living near Matoska Park with my aunt and uncle. Emily and I liked to go on walks and would hang out on this dock in White Bear Lake. We pretty much ended every night that summer on that dock, looking at the stars and just talking.

There I was standing on our dock, 8 years after I asked her out. The thing is White Bear Lake dried up. The dock wasn’t in the water, it just was piled up on the side of the lake. I climbed on top and just waited. I saw her car come around the corner and instantly got nauseous. I knew she was going to say yes, but I guess you still get nervous. Anyways at this point I kind of lost my memory. I remember she climbed up the dock. Said something snarky like, “you made me drive all over town, okay let’s hear it...” and I can’t honestly remember the rest. I was so nervous. I think I just said will you marry me.

She said yes.

8. Emily with friends (2)8. Emily with friends (2) 9. On the dock9. On the dock
10. Proposal10. Proposal
   
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I love photographing love! Send me a message if you are popping the question or getting married soon!

 


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