Compiled by Kendall Kostelic, Katie Berohn and J’Nae Squires-Horton

FIVE COUPLES SHARE THE STORIES BEHIND THEIR “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” MOMENTS.

ashley-and-paige

ASHLEY WOODARD & PAIGE SARNACKI
Wedding date: July 11, 2015

Photographer: Nicole Nichols

Tell us your love story. “We met through a mutual friend and had our first date at Breckenridge Brewery,” Ashley says. “I think we both figured that if it didn’t go well, at least we’d have good beer! We hit it off right away, though, and it was an amazing first date.”

Who proposed? “Paige proposed on a trip to New Jersey, where I had lived for a couple years. She wanted to propose in Central Park in New York City, but that was the last night of the trip and she couldn’t wait any longer. So after a walk through a beautiful park by my old house, Paige stopped and pulled the ring out of her pocket. She nervously stumbled through her words and got to the ‘Will you marry me?’ part. I, of course, said yes.”

What does the photo shoot say about you as a couple? “Our shoot was super laid back and playful. We started at Breckenridge Brewery; it was great to tie in the brewery with our engagement photos, but it also helped having a beer before the shoot to calm our nerves. After that, we took some pictures around the Five Points area, where I used to work, and then finished with a skyline shot at night to highlight our love of Denver. I think our personalities really came through.”

danny-and-olivia

DANNY FOSSEN & OLIVIA HAAS
Wedding date: June 23, 2018

Photographer: Houseman Studios

Tell us your love story. “We met in college,” Olivia says. “My roommate started dating Dan’s roommate and my house started hanging out with his house. He was actually dating someone else at the time, but when I heard they broke up, I swooped in and swept him off his feet—just joking! Really, we started texting more, did a coed volleyball league together and went from flirting a little bit to being in a relationship. After I graduated we got an apartment together. Shortly thereafter, I decided I wanted to be in Colorado and got a job offer. He jumped right on the wagon, found a job and we moved here, not knowing anyone. I think having to rely on each other so much after that made us into the couple we are today.”

Who proposed? “He proposed on Memorial Day weekend. We went to Sugarloaf Mountain. As we were hiking up, he kept saying little things that were not really him, like ‘These last four years have been really great.’ We were the only ones on the trail at the top and there was a storm coming in. He set up the camera on a timer, took a picture and said, ‘No, that one wasn’t very good—let’s take another.’ So he set up the timer again and then got down on his knees. He brought a bottle of champagne that we finished off—it was awesome.”

What does this photo say about you as a couple? “We’re from Wisconsin, and a lot of our family haven’t been here. I wanted our pictures to have the amazing mountains. I was toying with the idea of Rocky Mountain National Park, but Adam (Houseman, the photographer) suggested Mount Evans. It was breathtaking—exactly what we were looking for.”

ryan-and-colina

RYAN DAIGLE & COLINA FLANNAGAN
Wedding date: September 9, 2017

Photographer: Jenae Lopez Photography

Tell us your love story. “I went with some girlfriends to Country Jam in 2012, and Ryan went with some guy friends,” Colina says. “Our groups started hanging out and we found out we both like to rock climb, so we exchanged numbers. I had a boyfriend, but we started rock climbing together as friends. Then in 2014, I had an epiphany: I have more fun with my rock climbing friend than the guy I was with. We’ve been together ever since.”

Who proposed? Last September we did a trip to England, and he proposed on top of Dover castle.”

What does the photo shoot say about you as a couple? “We packed all of our stuff to go camping at Guanella Pass. Our wedding is an all-out Colorado theme because we enjoy rock climbing, camping and country concerts. It’s stereotypical Colorado, but it’s all true.”

hillary-and-jeff

HILLARY & JEFF GEMAN
Wedding date: October 7, 2017

Photographer: Joe Keum of Studio JK Photography

Tell us your love story. “I met Jeff at the University of Denver and we were friends. Really quickly after college, we started hanging out and by the end of July we had officially coupled up. Now we’ve been together six years.”

Who proposed? “We were skiing in Vail. He said, ‘Get your phone out; let’s take a picture.’ I turned around and there he was,, with a blue box with a ring. I just pulled it out and said, ‘Oh, my god!’—at some point I’m sure he said, ‘Will you marry me?’”

What does the photo say about you as a couple? “Since skiing and the mountains are such a big part of our lives, we thought it would be fun to capture our day skiing together. It was a fun and different way to capture our personalities and our relationship.”

kesley-and-ryan

RYAN MOLASKEY & KESLEY ADAMS
Wedding Date: September 24, 2016

Photographer: April O’Hare Photography

Tell us your love story. “My brother, Weston, and Ryan are best friends and grew up in the military together,” Kesley says. “Wes suggested Ryan and I start dating early on in their friendship and we started talking (over text and Facebook) in October 2011, but we never got the chance to meet in person because he deployed in May 2012. While he was deployed, I was pursuing my studies at Colorado State University, but I still managed to write him letters frequently—he still has every letter I wrote him. Many people say long-distance relationships never work; Ryan and I are proof that that’s not always true. We were in a long-distance relationship for three and a half years, survived two deployments (soon to be three), and we could not be happier. When you know, you know.”

Who proposed? “This is one of my all-time favorite stories to share! We were in Cooke City, Montana, visiting Ryan’s Grandpa Ken, who knew prior to this trip what Ryan’s intentions were. On the last day of the trip, Ryan coaxed me out of bed at an ungodly hour to go watch the sunrise. We drove up Beartooth Highway and, on the drive, Ryan went through every emotion possible in about 20 minutes. I had no idea what his deal was. I told him to pull off on the side of the road at a pullout and turned on one of ‘our songs’: ‘Next to Me,’ by Otto Knows. I climbed on the roof of his car and starting dancing like a maniac to try and get a good giggle out of him, which I thoroughly succeeded in. He told me to get down and before I could get in the car he dropped to one knee. He said, ‘I have a question to ask you.’ He was attempting to be suave and hint at the question without actually saying it. I was oblivious but finally said, ‘Wait! Am I supposed to give you an answer?’ ”

What does the photo shoot say about you as a couple? “For me, Fort Collins is the first place that has really felt like home. Some of the best memories Ryan and I ever created were in that town. Our photos show we thoroughly enjoy having fun. I believe that every relationship has a core quality, and ours is laughter. We can be serious when we need to be, but it never lasts long.”