Written by Cortlyn Adams
Mountaintop Surprise Proposal at Gold Creek Pond
I’m a sucker for a sweet surprise proposal, but this mountaintop surprise proposal at Gold Creek Pond was one that I’ll hold dear (keep reading to find out why!). After months of working on the details to pull this surprise off, there’s just nothing sweeter than seeing that ring on her finger and hearing her say the word, “Yes!” So, get comfortable, because I’m about to tell you all about this amazing surprise proposal.
Meet the couple: surprise proposal at Gold Creek Pond
This is Erin and Jeff! Erin and Jeff live in San Antonio, and are just incredible humans. Here’s what Erin had to say about their love story on How They Asked:
“Jeff and I met at a camp in July of 2018. I was a baker, and he was making sure people stayed alive. Jeff had a girlfriend at the time, and I had a crush on a guy I didn’t know much about. Regardless, we put our heads down and worked hard. We quite literally lived a few steps away from each other and worked in the same building for a month, but we only interacted twice. I remember him being called “Cute Head Leader Jeff,” and I saw him walking through the kitchen wearing LuluLemon sweatpants on a 100-degree day, scrunched my face in confusion and then got back to the sopapillas. When we actually spoke it was weird and short. The first time I was wearing donut pants (credit my best friend and the photographer of these photos) and looked “miserable” as he greeted me on his way through, and the next time I went to the pool and said, “Hi!” to the girl sitting next to him, gave him a slight grin and promptly fell asleep on a chair.
Five months passed, and he broke up with his girlfriend while I ditched the hopeless love for the boy I didn’t know (all without a thought of each other). It was a season of finding ourselves again, and (looking back) we are so glad we weren’t with each other for that. In October, we ended up on the same group page on our company’s website. He took notice, and that was Thought One. He remembered I said I liked baseball and ballpark nachos in our camp staff introductions, and, as a baseball player himself, apparently that was noteworthy. Another month went by, and we ended up at the same training for our work amongst hundreds of other staff. We were on opposite sides of a Florida resort with no reason to see one another. Somehow, we ran into each other (according to Jeff) seven times, thus leading to Thoughts 2 – 9: (1) a big hello to previously-mentioned pool girl and a knee-jerk reaction to give Jeff a hug because I wanted to be a kind human; (2) a cringe acoustic dance party I was escaping before he stopped me on the way out to ask where I was going. Confused and awkward, I replied “I’m going to get lit!” Now embarrassed, yet clueless, I ran away and went back to the hotel lobby to play a board game (it was very lit, okay); (3 – 9) and everything else was apparently brief enough for me to forget. We left and I went back to Texas and Jeff went back to Michigan. Life went on for me.
He went to another training where my name was brought up by a friend in conversation (Thought 10) and that was the tipping point for Jeff to shoot his shot. That’s when I woke up to a Facebook message and had to convince myself it was not 2010. Jeff asked me a question about work and, yet again, I was naive enough to simply share my Google Drive folder with him and go on with my day. He realized he would need to make his intentions very clear to get me to catch on. After a few messages back and forth, he asked me on a date. Obviously, I was a bit confused since we lived in two different time zones, but he told me to go to my favorite coffee shop and he would go to his. Then, we would FaceTime to get to know each other more. I was scared that I would nervously sweat or “flirt” too loudly, so I stayed home and he later regretted going in public where he ran into three people he knew throughout the conversation. He explained that his mom worked for an airline, so he landed free flights and quickly asked “Well, can I come and take you on a date next Friday?” And, just like that, it was set. The day before he came into town was Valentine’s Day and he sent me a bouquet of flowers, so the stakes were high. I nearly passed out on my way to pick him up from the airport.
After he arrived, I smashed chips and salsa into my face, sat close (but not too close) to him at an underground jazz club, forced him to hold my hand when he wasn’t catching the hint, got caught on a walk by a man playing “Kiss The Girl” on his violin, both laughed after a woman fell and tumbled down a hill nearly falling into the Riverwalk (she was okay) and ended the night with our first kiss. Note: it was my first kiss ever, so really the night wrapped up with me apologizing and him just laughing kindly. That night started off what would be the greatest plot twist of our lives. We figured out long-distance with a weekend visit each month. He met my family at my brother’s engagement party, and I met his family in a much more normal way. We had many afternoons playing cards, and, by May, he found himself in a job interview that would land him a spot in the same organization just ten minutes away from me. In August, he made the move and we have been living the dream: the messy, hard, beautiful, redemptive and joyful dream. We got engaged in November and are getting married this May. As I write this, I am full of gratitude to be able to look up and see the man I adore and respect sitting right across from me. We don’t know much of what the future holds, but we never have and it’s turned out pretty sweet so far.
How we pulled of this surprise proposal
Erin (or Hibbie as I will affectionately refer to her as throughout the rest of this blog post) was one of my college roommates and best friends. We’d planned this reunion weekend up in Washington with our other roommate/best friend Brooke and her husband Ty. Jeff and I had been talking for months to plan this epic surprise proposal. And, I think we came up with a pretty amazing plan. So, here’s how the surprise proposal went down. We devised this plan that included watching the sunset around a bonfire in the mountains. Now, if you’re a local Washingtonian, you know that you can’t have a bonfire at Gold Creek Pond, but Hibbie didn’t know that so we were in the clear! So, the boys planned to go on ahead of us to “get the firewood,” when in reality they went to set up the proposal spot at Gold Creek Pond. Then, Brooke and I got to drive Hibbie to Gold Creek Pond, I secretly grabbed my camera, and Hibbie had the surprise of a lifetime when we walked up to see Jeff waiting for her in front of the most stunning mountain backdrop. After Jeff and Hibbie got engaged, we all went up to Dru Bru in Snoqualmie Pass to celebrate!
Best locations ideas for a surprise proposal in Washington state
Gold Creek Pond
Deep in the forest
Trails in North Bend
Mount Rainier National Park
Gold Creek Pond is an amazing proposal location that is so easily accessible! It’s a drive-up location with an absolutely stunning backdrop.
Deep in the forest
This location can be super intimate and there will be less of a chance of people stumbling upon where you’re proposing.
Trails in North Bend
Okay, now I’m really going to be biased, because North Bend is my hometown! My little mountain town neighbors deep forest trails and epic mountains to climb. It’s all my backyard, so I have some personal-fav locations that I know like the back of my hand where I’d love to take you! Have I peaked your interest? Reach out to me about proposing in North Bend and explore these adventures below!
I really believe there is no place that is more beautiful than Mount Rainier National Park in the summertime. From fields of wildflowers to the epic mountain backdrops, this is a great surprise proposal location option. Also, Packwood Brewing would be a fun place to celebrate after you’re engaged!
Ruby Beach on the Olympic Peninsula is a stunning, rocky beach on the West Coast. Sunset at Ruby Beach would be the perfect backdrop for your proposal.
This beach is another option on the Olympic Peninsula, and you could have a bonfire here after you’re engaged!
Things to keep in mind when planning a surprise proposal
I have helped a lot of couples plan surprise proposals, and I’ve learned a thing or two about how to pull them off! Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you plan your surprise proposal:
Always have a Plan A, Plan B, and even a Plan C
You really can’t have enough backup plans. When you’re planning an adventure (like a surprise proposal) in the mountains, you never know what the weather may hold. For example, I helped my brother-in-law propose to his gal, and during the days leading up to the surprise proposal there was a massive snow storm at Gold Creek Pond. So, we went with Plan B and their location ended up being so stunning. You can’t control the weather, but you can control having a backup plan. So, plan ahead!
Keep the end-goal in mind
At the end of the day, you’re going to be engaged to your best person! And, that’s what matters! You can have all of the plans and ideas in place to pull off an epic surprise, but it’s okay if something goes wrong, a detail slips out, or you have to change plans because of something like the weather. You’re getting engaged, and that’s what you need to remember throughout the surprise proposal planning.
Hire a photographer
Psst…I know of a pretty cool Washington photographer who would love to document your surprise proposal…just saying (lol). But, truly, this is a really important step in pulling off the best surprise proposal! Of course, you’ll want photos of your day to treasure for years to come. But, you also want to book a photographer with experience in surprise elopements. From planning logistics to hiding in shrubbery to avoid being spotted, I’m here to help you pull off the most incredible surprise proposal yet!
Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!
Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.