When Christoph contacted me in January with hopes of surprising his girlfriend of five years, Madi, with an epic proposal in Zion National Park, I knew that this proposal was going to be good. Besides planning the best proposal ever on one of the most jaw-dropping hikes in Zion, Angels Landing, Christoph had a few more tricks up his sleeve. Read on for Madi's account of all the fantastic details.
"Chris and I met during my sophomore year of college in Los Angeles, CA about five years ago. At the time, I was involved in a female volunteer group where I was assigned a Big Sis, Morgan. Her boyfriend Brian was Christoph's roommate. Growing up, I was a competitive surfer and had agreed to give surf lessons to a bunch of friends including Brian and Morgan. Brian brought Chris to the lesson, and we became quick friends. So quick that I invited myself on his spring break trip to Hawaii two weeks later. This began our relationship, and we have not stopped taking spontaneous trips ever since.
"In 2015 when Chris and I moved in together, we started an annual tradition to go to Zion each year in February. I was excited to go this year for the third year of our tradition.
"That morning, Chris woke me up early saying that he had a special hike planned for us. We had tried to go up to Angel's Landing the year prior but were deterred by bad weather. The weather this time looked good! However, I am not my best self before 9 a.m., and I have to admit I was a bit grumpy on our way to the trailhead. Once we started hiking though, I quickly woke up and was enjoying the views. We walked and took pictures and laughed at how out of shape we were. When we got to the proposal location, it was like any other photo opp stop. Chris asked a "stranger" (Arika) to take our photo. I turned towards the camera, smiled, and turned around to see Chris on his knee. Mid-ask I blurted out, "Are you doing what I think you are doing?!" and when he asked me to marry him I said "HELL YA!" I was shaking and repeatedly asked him if he was sure. The ring was perfect!
"We spent the rest of the morning hiking with Arika and taking in all the views of Angel's Landing as an engaged couple. I did not think the day could get any better, but Christoph had one more surprise up his sleeve. He had told me he booked a romantic dinner for two at a nearby family-run restaurant. We HAD to be on time though he insisted as he raced up the curving roads of Zion.
"When we got to the top of the road, we parked, and I walked into the most beautiful Airbnb filled with all of our closest friends and family. I was shocked! My family and friends mean the world to me and it was so special and overwhelming to have them all there to celebrate. Arika was also there to capture it all. She was in on the surprise too after having said goodbye to us at the end of our morning hike. My mom and grandma had been cooking our favorite foods all day long, and we got to spend the evening eating, sharing stories, dancing, and playing games. I was so surprised the whole way along and the love I felt that day was absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to get married and celebrate our love again!
"Working with Arika with zion adventure Photog was a pleasure and I highly recommend her to anyone who wants beautiful photos of their adventures in and around Zion." - Christoph