A Surprise Mountain Top Proposal in Cranbrook, British Columbia

A man down on one knee asks his girlfriend to marry him during their adventurous photography session in Cranbrook, BC with Tara Hill Studios

This is the cutest surprise mountain top proposal story in Cranbrook you’ll hear all year!  And I had the absolute pleasure in being their adventure photographer for this monumental moment in their lives!! 

Macro shot of a beautiful pear shaped engagement ring with a dainty halo around the pear stone in rose gold.

Their Story

Bhawna (pronounced Bav-na) & Tyler met in high-school math class. They both agree she’s the only reason he passed math in grades 10, 11 and 12. Since then they endured a long-distance relationship through university and the depression mountain lovers get when they’re stuck in the flatlands.

But it’s gotten much better since then. They’ve settled into a cozy little life in the mountains of the East Kootenays together with their pride and joy, Aspen, their 1-year-old Lab/Great Pyrenees cross. 

They explained to me that they never plan their weekends, they just see where the wind takes them. But they usually end up doing a combination of hiking, fishing, camping, and now canoeing!

Aspen the Pyrador Lab cross dog wanders around the mountain during her parents have their photoshoot with Tara Hill Studios, Fernie Elopement photographer

The Plan

Tyler contacted me a few weeks prior to this about photographing his proposal. He explained that the ring was being custom made as we spoke but it should be ready in a few weeks and that he’d love for me to join them on an adventure to a mountain top for him to ask the love of his life ‘a certain special question.’

I responded with a bunch of !!!!! and GIFs to try and convey my excitement that he was asking me to document such a special moment in their lives. The surprise mountain top proposal in Cranbrook was officially planned!

I say this all the time about all different types of photography but I MEAN IT when I say photographing mountain top proposals followed with an engagement session is probably my favourite type of session to shoot EVER!

The butterflies couples get before, during and after the proposal is addictive energy to be around. One that I will never get tired of!

Special moments as a little family, taking in the views on top of a mountain outside of Cranbrook, British Columbia
A woman cuddles up to her boyfriend, soon to be fiancé, at sunset enjoying the mountain views.

Fast forward three weeks and Tyler told me he had the ring and we started scheming what day would work best for our adventure. 

At first, we were talking about going out on Sunday, a week from then. As we talked he explained that had only had the ring for 24 hours and the ring was already burning a hole in his pocket.

A week was simply too long to wait, so we decided on the very next day!

A man in jeans and a plaid button up shirt helps his girlfriend in a yellow flowing dress navigate the rocks on top of a mountain in the East Kootenays

The Proposal

The plan was in motion. I approached Bhawna about going on a photo adventure for my portfolio and we were pretty sure she bought it! So we planned to go to a special mountain top that they visit often with Aspen on Monday evening.

Before we left Bhawna mentioned to me that Tyler was acting flustered. I brushed it off explaining guys often get a bit nervous to have their photo taken. But she was right, I could sense he was a bit flustered so I made sure to have his back!

We arrived, cracked a cider, busted out some crackers and cheese together and got to know each other even better. I love getting to know couples, their journeys and their stories, it’s my favourite pastime.

Finally, it was time to get them in front of the camera! I gave them very loose prompts and shot with my 70-200mm lens to give them lots of room.

Tyler and I hadn’t gotten a chance to talk ahead of time about how or when he was actually going to get down on one knee and ask his question. So I decided to give them lots of time and space for it to happen naturally when he was ready.

A couple looks at each other, smiling, with mountains in the background

Well, long story short, Tyler didn’t have the ring in his pocket, he had it hidden in their bags 20 feet away from them! So here I am giving them a strangely long time with each prompt thinking he was going to pop the question any minute hahaha! Oops!

Fast forward to about 15 minutes into shooting I start wondering how Tyler and I are going to be able to communicate telepathically to formulate this plan. Then I decide to prompt Tyler to face Bhawna and tell her about some of the different reasons why he loves her.

Well, he picked up on what I was hinting at. So he explained to Bhawna and I that he needed to grab something quickly. And it was then that she knew!

She had a suspicion all along that this might be happening and this confirmed it. She already had tears in her eyes as he quickly grabbed the ring he had spent weeks designing to perfection. 

A woman laughs and cries as she realized her boyfriend is about ask her to marry him.

And then the magic happened.

He got down on one knee. He said a bunch of stuff that neither of them remembers and I didn’t hear because I was too far away. 

I do know that as he put the ring on her finger, tears running down her face, she enthusiastically said, ‘DUDE! It’s perfect!!!’ 

And that, friends, is true love and adrenaline at it’s finest! 

We continued the shoot after laughing and celebrating together. If the adrenaline high/euphoria you feel moments after a proposal could be bottled and sold it would be the most popular drug on the market, I swear! I know from my own experience that you can’t stop looking at the ring on her finger or smiling from ear to ear while your hands and whole body quiver uncontrollably. 

A man pulls a ring box out of the back pocket of his jeans to propose to his girlfriend on a mountain top in Cranbrook, British Columbia
A man in jeans and a blue plaid shirt is down on one knee asking his girlfriend to marry him during their adventurous photography session in Cranbrook, BC
A man wipes the tears off of his fiancé's cheek moments after he asked her to marry him on top of a mountain
A man slips the custom made engagement ring on his fiancé's finger after he asked her to marry him.
A beautiful couple admires the engagement ring he picked out for his new fiancé.
A beautiful Indian woman smiles at the love of her life moments after she said yes when he pooped the question during their adventurous photography session in Cranbrook, BC
Detail shot of a pear shaped engagement ring and a photo of a man getting a bottle of champagne from his truck to celebrate his brand new engagement.

Then is was champagne popping time! 

Any excuse to drink champagne is good in my books! 

A couple in matching Arcteryx jackets prepare to pop a bottle of champagne on top of a mountain in the East Kootenays with adventure photographer Tara Hill Studios
A couple laughs as they spray a bottle of champagne together, toasting their engagement moments before.
An adventurous couple in hiking gear laughs as they spray champagne from the bottle on top of a mountain outside of Cranbrook, BC
A GIF of a couple spraying champagne during their adventurous engagement session in the mountains.
A man enthusiastically poses as his fiancé drinks champagne straight from the bottle.

Time to get Aspen involved! 

An adventurous couple in hiking clothes cheers each other with camping mugs full of champagne as their dog sniffs the mugs.
A detail shot of the engaged couple holding hands with the dog sitting between them looking at the camera
A couple hold hands, showing off the new engagement ring, and their dog puts her paw on top of their hands.
A man gives his fiancé a wild piggy back ride as their dog jumps around with them enthusiastically.
A detail shot of a couple kissing and showing off the engagement ring
A beautiful Indian woman smiles from ear to ear after her boyfriend proposed to her on top of a mountain during their adventurous couples photography session with Tara Hill Studios
A couple cuddles their dog who is looking up at the camera
The couple takes in the last few minutes of sunset before heading down the mountain from their adventure couples session turned proposal session with Tara Hill Studios

What. An. Evening!

Links you may want to check out:
Follow Aspen and her adventures with her (now engaged) humans here: @aspenthepyrador
Custom made ring: Jewels on 9th Cranbrook

Are you thinking of planning your own surprise mountain top proposal in Cranbrook or anywhere else in the Kootenays?! Let me know, I would LOVE to help document it for you!