July 17, 2014

“I was so excited when Ryan contacted me to document his unique and beautiful proposal to Elise. It was one of the rainiest, stormiest nights I have ever seen in Denver and it made the night that much more magical and memorable. All their closest friends and family put on a flash mob and it ended with Ryan getting down on one knee and asking Elise to be his wife. At the end of the evening the sun came out and cast the most beautiful warm glow over everyone.” – Jamison Gale Photography

The images are beautiful and heartwarming, but you have to see it in action!

Describe your thoughts on your proposal, where you surprised?

I’d always requested that my friends and family be there on the day I was proposed to as we are both very close to our families. This was quite a challenge, as family lives all over the country. For months Ryan had been teasing me saying he could propose at any minute. We would go to weddings and he’d say “That’s a beautiful dress, do you love it enough to be captured in special photos forever??? Weddings are a great place to propose.” When Christmas and Valentine’s were approaching (days I was adamant he not propose on), he’d say “I’m going to take you out, be prepared to be WOWed!” Even when we’d be running out to take our dog for a walk, he’d say, “Better be careful, your family and friends might be hiding in the bushes at the park!” Every time we went anywhere, I thought, maybe it’s now. I’m so nosy it’s hard to surprise me, so keeping me on my toes was the very best thing he could have done.

The day before the proposal was my mother’s retirement party, this meant my brother and his wife being in town didn’t seem out of the ordinary. I got to the party at my Aunt’s house and all of the sudden my cousin, who more like a sister and my best friend, was also there. I didn’t know she was going to be in town and immediately got butterflies, thinking THIS IS IT! But alas, the party passed, no big questions were asked, and we went home. A friend of mine from work had been talking to me about a charity event she attends annually to benefit the children’s burn unit. It’s a calendar competition of hot, half naked firemen, and she demanded I go with her. I felt guilty going as my family was in town, but she’d been asking me for months, so I agreed.

The next morning Ryan was scheduled to go help clean out the belongings in his late grandfather’s house, who had recently passed. I usually sleep in on the weekends, but for some reason woke up at 6am! Ryan left in his gym shorts and a t-shirt (I later found out he had to buy the entire outfit he wore for the proposal because of me!) and I prepared for my big day ahead… a day full of hot firemen… or so I thought!

One of my very best friends told me she had an elopement party that same night and she wanted to get her nails and make-up done and asked me to go with her. I agreed and we went to the salon. While there, I was telling her it seemed suspicious that all my family was in town and maybe he would propose. My friend immediately put my suspicions to rest, by saying “I’m one of your best friends, and I have the elopement party tonight, he wouldn’t do it without me there would he??” She even pulled out the invitation for the party, so I decided she was probably right. Maybe later that month for our anniversary he would pop the question…

I went home all done up, and got dressed for the firefighter competition. Denver doesn’t usually get much precipitation, but on this day it was monsoon level rain, possibly the worst Denver has seen in years. My friend I was attending with kept texting me telling me she was late because traffic was bad from the rain storm. She finally picked me up and stated she’d left the tickets at a house she was housesitting near Cheesman Park. I immediately got butterflies… I’d always wanted to get married at Cheesman park, and all the sudden she was housesitting near there???

We drove into the park, flooded with rain, and she pulled up just outside of the pavilion. I saw lots of people inside, and turned to her and said “You are so sneaky!”

We got out of the car and with my heart beating through my chest, I approached the pavilion. There was a pedestal that said “Press to play” with a tap light on the top. When I pressed the button, there were lines of my family and closest friends who broke out into a choreographed dance, even our dog was included! Our family and friends are NOT dancers by nature, but they did it for me. As the lines approached, danced, and then ran to the back, Ryan got closer and closer. Once I locked my eyes on him, I couldn’t look away. I’ve never experienced emotions like the ones on that day. A mixture of extreme joy, crazy adrenaline, and total utter happiness. It’s something I couldn’t describe with words if I tried. Ryan danced towards me, dropped to one knee, and said “Elise, when I’m with you, time seems to stop, everything slows down. Will you make the next 60 or 70 years feel like forever? Will you marry me?”

I couldn’t even choke out “yes”, I just dropped to my knees, head nodding, and hugged him. I was so happy and overjoyed, I didn’t even manage to look at my ring until nearly 10 minutes later when Ryan reminded me of it!

Being surrounded by all the people I love most in the world during the most special moment in my life thus far, is something I can never find the right words to explain. It was everything I ever wanted and more. My family and friends all hugged and celebrated, took pictures, and then went to dinner and drinks at a near by restaurant. The original plan was to have a BBQ in the park, but the rain was so intense, we moved it inside.

When we got to dinner Ryan had videos from all of our friends who couldn’t make it out for the proposal to show me. It was all so special. He put so much thought into all of it. I couldn’t feel more lucky to be marrying this man in a few short weeks!

How did your fiancé find the photographer?

My fiance was recommended our amazing photographer by my friends at work. Jamison Gale used to work as the photographer for all the furry, adorable animals at the shelter where we all worked. I’m so thankful Ryan had the whole thing documented because I was so overwhelmed and overjoyed during it, my mind only remembers a few small parts of the proposal. Jamie captured EVERY moment and emotion perfectly. The pictures and memories associated with them are so special.

What are you DIY-ing for your wedding?

We have done much of the wedding DIY style. My wonderful fiancee designed and created all of our printed materials. He created our entire wedding website from scratch, and he designed all the signage for our upcoming nuptials. We are doing all the flowers, centerpieces, and decorations ourselves, and all of the desserts and the cake are being made by friends and family. We also made an 8’x8′ paper-flower wall to sit behind the dessert table. We brought all the supplies to my bridal shower and friends and family could each make flowers that would be featured on the wall. We hope they will enjoy seeing their work on display on the wedding day! We, of course, will be getting married in the Cheesman Park pavilion, which we had to camp outside for 40 hours to get the permit to! We chose an old 1800’s boiler factory turned studio for the reception, it’s very urban and gives us a “blank canvas” to create what we want… our Urban Garden themed wedding. We have rented food truck as opposed to traditional catering, and can’t wait to have an “outside the box” wedding that is personal to “us” as a couple. – Elise, the bride-to-be


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