Our Proposal Story! The One Year Anniversary of Our Engagement

This will be a first for the blog! Darcy and I co-wrote a post. Today is the one year anniversary of when we got engaged! The first two weeks of our engagement were amazing. I think we were riding as high as ever, and then the pandemic struck. We realized that we never really got to celebrate it with our family and friends, so to bring some of that excitement back we are telling our favorite story.


GUNNAR: The first part of my proposal plan was finding a way to get the ring to Hanover without you knowing.

DARCY: Ok hold up, if we’re going to talk about the ring, we have to go WAY back. Let me set the scene – the year is 2013 and I am a college student in a class called International Human Rights and Advocacy. My professor, who I very much respect, is a subject matter expert in post-genocide Rwanda. We were learning about economic exploitation of diamond fields in Africa, and she says to us, “Please, I beg you, if you ever get engaged and want a ring, promise me you won’t get a diamond.” Ok, I promise.

GUNNAR: I don’t think you’ve ever told me that story?

DARCY: Hmm I think I have – it’s critical to the “ring” part of the story! But anyway. Fast forward to the summer of 2019 – I went to browse rings with your Mom and one of her best friends. I ended up designing my own ring (an ethically sourced sapphire) and then I sent you the exact instructions of what I wanted. You ordered it a couple months later.

GUNNAR: I was very happy to let you take the responsibility of picking out the ring! 

DARCY: Now you can get back to the ring getting sent to New Hampshire.

GUNNAR: I decided my best bet was to ask for advice from the Associate Dean of the MBA program, who had already been wonderfully kind and supportive during my time at Tuck. She recommended that I have the ring sent to her office at Dartmouth, so I could pick it up after class one day. She sent me an email when it arrived, and she and I opened it together in her office. She was the first one to see it! I then took it home and hid it in my hockey bag.

DARCY: I had no idea when it was in the house!

GUNNAR: The two things that were most important for me in the proposal (other than you saying yes, of course) was 1) a surprise and 2) a great photo. I love orchestrating fun memories, and what better memory than a great proposal where you would be surprised?

DARCY: You achieved one out of the two 🙂

Gunnar: We’ll get to that! I also had the idea that I wanted to proposal to be during a snowstorm, because you love the snow.

DARCY: I do love the snow! The sun is my archnemesis.

GUNNAR: But when I called a local photographer and talked the snow plan through with him, he suggested that it may end up a logistical nightmare. After nixing the snowstorm idea, I settled on a location — a little pond in Hanover. We both love skating and have lots of great pond hockey memories together, so I thought it would be perfect. It also wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for me to suggest that we go pond skating on a random Monday.

DARCY: In fact, we’ve gone pond skating together every President’s Day since 2016.

GUNNAR: Although I don’t think you would have been suspicious if I asked you to go skating on Monday, I decided to enlist some of our friends to ask you, to throw you off a bit. The Thursday before the Monday I proposed, Hailey and Christie “suggested” to you that we all go skating on Monday afternoon.

DARCY: Of course, I said yes. I wasn’t suspicious at this point.

GUNNAR: When did you get suspicious?

DARCY: On Sunday, the same friends asked me if I wanted to get a manicure with them. As a nail biter who doesn’t get manicures, this suddenly put me on red alert.

GUNNAR: Ugh.

DARCY: This is where the highly calculating side of my personality started to shine, unfortunately for you.

GUNNAR: Unfortunately!

DARCY: Once I got suspicious that you were planning on proposing on Monday, I couldn’t help myself but try to pry for information. First, I suggested that we go skating on Tuesday instead of Monday, because “the pond will probably be too crowded on Monday since school is out.”

GUNNAR: I obviously insisted we had to go on Monday.

DARCY: Hint #2!!!

GUNNAR: When Monday morning rolled around, my plan was in motion.

DARCY: Wait, how were you feeling on Monday morning!?

GUNNAR: I wasn’t nervous! I was excited, but also looking forward to the feeling of relief I hoped to have afterward.

DARCY: I had a lot of nervous excitement on Monday morning. I kept oscillating between the thought, “oh my gosh, I’m getting engaged today,” and “oh my gosh, I’m crazy.” To ease my anxiety, I tested you a little bit.

GUNNAR: Yes, yes you did.

DARCY: You were in class on Monday morning, and I texted you asking what I should wear to skate later (all I knew at this point was that you were coming to pick me up at our apartment after morning classes at 12:15pm, and then we’d head to the pond at 12:30pm). The text conversation went a little something like this:

                D: What should I wear to skate later?
                G: Whatever you want
                D: Well are we playing hockey or just skating around?
                G: We can play hockey!
                D: Fun! I’ll wear sweatpants then
                ***Gunnar types and deletes…. Types and deletes…***
                G: Well I think Hailey and Christie will be in school clothes if you want to wear something else

HINT #3!!!

GUNNAR: And then you ALSO texted some of our other friends and invited them to come skating with us at 12:30pm. I had to frantically text them, tell them not to come because I was proposing, and make them swear to secrecy!

DARCY: I couldn’t help myself!!

GUNNAR: So this was the actual plan: After Monday morning class, I would meet up with Christie to give her a key to our apartment. Then I would drive back to our apartment, pick up Darcy to “go skating,” and after our departure, Christie and Hailey would sneak into our apartment to get Blinky and bring her to the pond.

DARCY: After the whole “don’t wear sweatpants” hint, I was convinced it was happening, and I was so nervous with excitement that I had to get out of our apartment. I ended up going to a barre class from 11am-12pm even though I knew it would be cutting it a little close! I only had a few minutes to change between barre and when Gunnar was picking me up, but I threw on some makeup and a sweater (I would normally never wear makeup or a sweater to go ice skating).

GUNNAR: Right before I left school around noon to go pick you up, I didn’t *think* I was nervous, but Christie likes to tell the story of how I told her over and over how to get into our apartment, how to put Blinky’s collar on, how to clip her leash, and other (ridiculous) minutiae of the plan.

DARCY: When you came to pick me up and I was in a sweater and makeup, did you think I knew?

GUNNAR: I thought you had a hunch since the day before, but I was still happy you’d likely be surprised that Blinky was going to show up!

DARCY: How could I be proposed to without my soulmate there to celebrate right after!?

GUNNAR: Exactly!

DARCY: When I climbed into your car to head to the rink, the song that came on over the Bluetooth was “our song,” so then I was really suspicious! (The song is Jets to Peru by Senses Fail for anyone wondering). My rollercoaster of emotions quickly shifted, though, when you told me we’d only be able to skate for about an hour, because then you had to attend your afternoon class. Surely he wouldn’t propose and then LEAVE ME to go to class!? Maybe I’ve orchestrated this entire thing in my head.

GUNNAR: Oh yes, I would propose to you and then leave you to go to class.

DARCY: As we pulled up to the pond (about a five-minute drive from our apartment – the longest five minute drive ever), I thought to myself, “ok ok, it’s not happening, unless I see a photographer.”

GUNNAR: And there he was.

DARCY: And there was a photographer, standing in the middle of the pond!

GUNNAR: My heart, which had been pounding for the duration of the car ride, suddenly sank. The photographer and I had previously discussed that he would hide or pretend to be taking real estate photos, but instead, there he was with a twelve-inch telescopic lens smack in the middle of the pond. As if that wasn’t revealing enough, he wasn’t even wearing ice skates!

DARCY: I had the opposite emotional reaction!!

GUNNAR: I was a little disappointed that the surprise was ruined, but we were past the point of no return. We walked down to the pond, strapped on our skates, and took a few strides out into the middle of the pond. The photographer and I had planned for me to propose on a precise part of the ice, so I practically left Darcy in my tracks and sprinted right for that spot while she tried to catch up.

DARCY: I just remember that it happened really quickly – we probably skated for all of 20 seconds before you turned to me and said, “The real reason we’re here…” and got down on one knee!

GUNNAR: I don’t remember anything I said, except that it ended in “I will love you forever”

DARCY: I also don’t remember anything you said other than “I will love you forever!” You gave a sweet little speech, but I think we were both so nervous and excited that we blacked it out.

GUNNAR: You didn’t actually say “yes” when I asked you to marry me, but you nodded.

DARCY: And then, instead of waiting for you to put the ring on my finger, I instinctively snatched it out of your hand and shoved it on my pudgy finger. OOPS.

GUNNAR: Christie and Hailey arrived shortly after with Blinky, and we had a great little engagement photoshoot!

DARCY: We had a little time after that to call our families and tell them, before you actually left me to go to class!! Were you even able to pay attention?

GUNNAR: Yes, I really liked that class!!

DARCY: Well in the interim I went to Christie and Hailey’s house and started planning the wedding.

GUNNAR: And then a pandemic hit two weeks later!!

DARCY: And here we are! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. I may not have been wholly surprised, but it was a beautiful, amazing day.

GUNNAR: I’m glad we’re writing it down so we can remember!

DARCY: Me too!