I'm so excited to share this epic surprise proposal on the top of Observation Point with you guys today. Sam & Marlee had me in tears as I captured the love between them. I'm pretty sure they will have you in tears too. Read their story below.
"Sam & I met in South Africa. This is where our story begins. If you know either of us, you know we are two people who have a passion for God, loving people, & chasing adventure. We signed up for South Africa thinking that was the biggest adventure yet, but God had other plans in mind.
Four years later Sam is in Seattle & I’m in… Puerto Rico? He messages me on Instagram asking me to accompany him to a country concert- BUT, not just any concert, my FAVORITE country artist, on Saturday. (Keep in mind this was Wednesday). The catch? It’s in Arizona. So what’d I do? I got home from Puerto Rico late Thursday night, packed a bag & was on an airplane to Phoenix the next day! That was the best “yes” decision I have ever made. It was the start of something magical.
Flash forward to Almost one year eight months later and Sam has been living in California. People often asked him why he moved and his answer is my favorite. “To be close to her.”
I have always wanted to visit Zion National Park and so Sam surprised me one day and said were going. I was SO excited. It was July 31 & we were jogging to make the sunset. We were hungry, exhausted & laughing because the back road of this hike was almost impossible to find. At one point we were following a speeding minivan on a dirt road. Luckily, we asked a local who told us “if you’re trying to make it to the observation point its definitely “that way” & he pointed in the opposite direction of where we were going. Sam had never done the hike before, but he had it all planned out. (Little did I know). We finally made it to the trailhead after many dirt road turns & breathed a sigh of relief.
Knowing Sam had planned this hike to watch the sunset, we hurried onto the trail. We came across a family with little kids & decided to ask how long the hike was. (Sam was under the impression the hike was only 1 mile). “It’s about three more miles,” they said. We looked at each other; they must’ve seen the look of surprise on our faces because the next thing they said was, “But- it’s definitely worth it!”
I don’t know if I have ever walked faster in my life; we SERIOUSLY chased the sun. About 3 miles into the hike- Sam’s shirt off, my legs cramping; we made it to the top. I was SO relieved to see this woman in red because the sun was going down…fast! I was convinced we wouldn’t find our way back to the car in the dark. As I approached the edge, I was overwhelmed by the vastness & beauty of the canyons before me. How high, how wide; it was unlike anything I had ever seen. Sam eventually joined me near the edge after asking me about 12 TIMES if I wanted a bite of my sandwich or a drink of water (he was definitely trying to throw me off! ).
He put his arms out against my arms & said “stand right here” as he went down on one knee. “NOO! Are you Serious?” I said in shock. I remember thinking how surreal it felt. I wondered what this day would entail since I was a little girl & here it was. Here I was & here he was, & it was nothing short of magical. I fell to my knees & wrapped my arms around him. “Yes, oh my gosh, yes!” And if you guessed, we cried? You’re right we did- tears of joy. “You didn’t even look at the ring!”he said. So I looked. And, while I thought It was the most beautiful ring I have ever seen, it was not about the ring, it was about him. There’s nothing better than saying “yes” to marrying your very best friend & love of your life. He surprised me in the best way. And the woman in red? Her names Arika, he hired her to capture this magical moment. Wow. I cannot wait to be his wife. - Marlee
"Arika is absolutely amazing and a blessing to work with. She talked me through all of the different proposal hiking ideas (because I have never been to Zion before). The proposal and the photos turned out better than I ever could have dreamed." -Sam