"When couples love God first, they love each other better." - Brela Dellahoussaye
Rachel and Lance are truly a special couple. Rachel is one of my best friends on the face of the earth, and when I met Lance over the summer, I immediately knew that they were perfect for each other. I knew they were going to get married, and figured things were going to move quickly. Rachel texted me over the holidays while I was out on a run and told me she was pretty sure Lance was going to propose. So I reached out to Lance and offered planning assistance/photography for the big event if he was planning on proposing while we were all out west in Utah on our ski trip. Lance played things pretty close to the vest, and we didn't do much planning until we were both physically out in Utah. On our first night in the condo at Park City, Lance took me into a separate room where he showed me the ring. I started crying, but quickly had to pull myself together because Rachel was in the other room. Throughout the weekend, Lance and I created a plan for the proposal. At one point, Rachel mentioned that she had thought Lance was going to propose but she wasn't so sure anymore because they were nearing the end of the trip. By the time Monday had arrived, Rachel was truly thrown off the scent.
After a half day of skiing, on Rachel and Lance's last day in Utah, we planned on doing a little adventure day/road-trip because Jason and I had rented a car. I found Antelope Island State Park, just outside of Salt Lake City, and it had the gorgeous mountain views Lance was looking for as a backdrop. Rachel had mentioned that she was pretty sure Lance was going to wear the shirt he wore on their first date to propose, and when she came upstairs from getting ready and he was in the shirt, she started to understand what was going to happen. On the hour long car ride to Antelope Island State Park, I tried to ask leading questions to Lance and Rachel to get them reflecting on their relationship. When we arrived at Antelope Island State Park we were stunned by the gorgeous park we had stumbled across. The two mile causeway that took us from the mainland to the island was breathtaking, and as soon as we pulled into the state park, we saw two wild Buffalo just chilling in nature. We decided to walk down a bit of a trail and then I asked Lance to take a photo of Jason and I. After that I offered to take a photo of Rachel and Lance, which Lance and I had planned to be the signal. Lance asked Rachel to marry him and she said yes. It's amazing I got any usable shots because I was shaking from adrenaline and pure joy for my best friend.
After the proposal, we drove up to Midway Utah, where we had a celebratory dinner at Z's Chophouse. Rachel and Lance were Facetiming their family in the back seat when suddenly, we got pulled over for speeding. Turns out, that should have been a sign of things to come for the evening. Dinner was lovely, and then after dinner we went to the Ice Castles to close out the evening. We had an incredible time on colorful ice slides, exploring beautiful ice tunnels, and really just running around like kids. We were having such a blast.... until Rachel notified us that she couldn't feel her ring in her glove. Her ring was lost in possibly the worst place on the planet to lose your ring. And only about 4 hours after she said yes. So we started searching for the ring with our flashlights. We recruited customers and employees to help us find the ring. We looked for about two hours to no avail. To top it off, we were informed that they were refreezing the ice castles that night. Meaning that around 11pm they would bring in heavy machinery, flood the castles and take a snow lawn mower over the entire thing to crunch the ice back up. We were truly racing against the clock. When they turned on the hoses and the Ice Castles started to flood, I don't know if I've ever felt more despaired. Lance was so level headed through it all and just thoroughly confirmed that he was the perfect man for Rachel. We took time to pray, and God was on our side. Jason managed to find Michael through RingFinders.com. Michael lived about an hour away and was a professional ring finder. Jason texted him right before he went to bed and he promptly came out to help the search. He found the ring within 30 minutes of his arrival at the Ice Castles and we were all so so so grateful for him. Salt Lake City's main news outlet picked the story up, and Rachel told me people are approaching her, knowing her story without her telling them. Lance and Rachel's story has gone viral.
It was one of the craziest days I've ever experienced. I'm so grateful my best friend is marrying the man of her dreams and I couldn't have wished for a more epic story for them to start their lives together. We love you both. Here's to the first day being a bit less than chaotic than the yes day. Cheers.